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elaine Oct 11th, 2000 05:21 PM

Grand Princess/Eastern Caribbean
My husband and I are booked on Grand Princess (balcony cabin - not mini suite)early March. We have sailed NCL, RCL and Windstar. By 1/1/01, the Grand will offer 'Personal Choice Dining' which appeals to us. Has anyone recently sailed the Grand? <BR>I'm particularly interested in the balcony cabins. Our cruises on Splendour and Legend had been Category 'C'. The value of the B category cabin on the Grand is very appealing. Would appreciate hearing personal experience on this ship, both pro and con. <BR>Thanks to all who reply.

sandy Oct 12th, 2000 09:33 AM

Hi, we sailedon Grand this past April, our second time on her. She is beautiful and big. The balony cabins are super, you have lots of room. I will say this, for dining in other resturants, please make your rev. early. Like the first day, I think it opens around 5pm on that day. Otherwise you may be eating dinner at 10pm or later. Have a good time.

elaine Oct 12th, 2000 12:10 PM

sandy, <BR> <BR>I appreciate your reply. We have our choice for cabin selection. I realize there are some BA cabins that have larger balconies. Would you recommend Caribe deck? I am apprehensive regarding the new alternate dining option, and hope by the time of our cruise this will be passenger 'tested'!

Paul Therault Oct 13th, 2000 01:01 AM

<BR>I hope you all realize you must sign up for the "Personal Choice Dining" option before you leave home. <BR> <BR>The new option is only for the main restaurant which will stay open until midnight. A section of the restaurant will be dedicated to the personal choice option passengers. <BR> <BR>The two alternative restaurants will continue to be reservation only. <BR> <BR>Paul

Paul Therault Oct 13th, 2000 01:16 AM

<BR>Hi Elaine, <BR> <BR>The "B" cabins are all 214 sq.ft. except for the few that are for the handicapped. I never measured the size of the balconies but they are additional to the 214 sq. ft. <BR> <BR>The only balconies in the "B" category that are larger (63 sq. ft.) are the ones on the Emerald deck but you would be very lucky to get these limited cabins. But if you do, you will have to pay extra since the LBS Rate does not apply. <BR> <BR>Paul <BR> <BR>

elaine Oct 13th, 2000 02:37 AM

<BR>There are 2 sizes of BA cabins: 257 sq. ft. vs. 214 sq. ft. Square footage for all BA cabin interiors are identical and the stats state this includes size of balcony. Without a calculator this converts to approx. 165 sq. ft. for interior cabin space. The difference is size of balcony: Larger sq. footage has balcony that is 9x9x10" (whatever the 10 inches mean, I've no idea!) vs. 9x5x5". The difference (to me) is very significant and these cabins are definitely not equipped for handicap access. In addition, we prefer having a cabin that does not have a cabin across the hall. We are now booked in a BA cabin with the larger balcony on Caribe deck. (There are not many of the larger BA cabins and the Princess brochure does not make mention of this). I have the 2 page press release from Princess, dated 9/13/00, which fully explains the Personal Choice Dining option. At booking, this was noted. Two dining rooms will offer this new dining option. The third dining room will still offer tradtional eary/late seating and will only seat passengers who request 'tradtional' in this dining room. After sailing Windstar, we look forward to choosing our dining time and the smartly casual attire, which we prefer. I would never accept a BE it is located on Emerald Deck and the folks on Promenade can actually walk right past the balcony! My research shows there are 4 B cabins in this location, and Princess (and others) claim it is rare for a passenger to request a cabin here. Would hate for other readers to be misinformed.

Marilyn Oct 13th, 2000 04:53 AM

Just wanted to say great research job Elaine. With so many ships, even good travel agents have a hard time with all the differences on each ship. Sometimes the info from the cruise lines isn't the best either until you really do some extra questioning. Never assume that because something is true on one ship it will be on another. Have a wonderful cruise!

Paul Therault Oct 14th, 2000 08:31 PM

<BR>You are correct Elaine. I did mean to write the 214 sq ft. of all the "B" cabins include the balcony. <BR> <BR>For a few dollars more you can go up to an "AD" minisuite which is 323 sq. ft. with a butler thrown in. <BR> <BR>These cabins include a 63 sq. ft. balcony that has a roof over it. Those passengers above you can not look down on you. These are the only cabins on the ship that have privacy. <BR> <BR>Paul

Theresa Oct 21st, 2000 12:21 AM

Elaine - I think Princess just cancelled their butler service (after Paul posted his message). If you are considering the upgrade because of the butler - double check with Princess.

elaine Oct 21st, 2000 05:50 AM

Theresa, <BR> <BR>Prior to booking, Princess rep did mention butler service would cease. I knew of this in late September. While we are not booked in mini-suite or suite, it would not apply to us. Think the term 'butler'a bit archaic, unless one does have a butler at home! <BR>

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