Family suite on the Grand Princess

So on a short weekend cruise from San Francisco to Vancouver, we did a celebration for our twenty years since adopting the kids.

It was me, Beloved, Granny, our daughter Blondie, her boyfriend, and our son, the Boy. As we adopted them as children, Blondie’s now 30 and the Boy is 26.

We decided that… well… COVID… a reasonably-sized private area where we could get together, the family suite sounded like a great idea. Also, it meant we could have Granny close by. Not that she needs oversight, but y’know, it makes me feel good to have her near us.

So Beloved and I and Granny took the family suite and Blondie and boyfriend went up a floor to a balcony and the Boy went across the hall from them – since he’s traveling solo, the inside room was most affordable. And he’s one of the most good natured people I know.

The Boy in the sitting room.

As Granny said, it’s a suite… but it’s not. It doesn’t have the class you’d expect from a suite – the details and glamour isn’t there. Instead, it’s built to stand up to kids.

Main bedroom

The bigger (“parents”) room is nice – it’s like a mini-suite, but the suite-y bit is bigger. Full bathtub.

The smaller (bunkhouse) room has four single beds (two from the ceiling), with the tiny shower the rooms normally have; the dressing area is also smaller than normal. The floor space in front of the small sink is pretty decent, though.

This bunkhouse is not well lit. There’s a couple of overhead lights, but lacking a window or anything else, it’s dark in there. They have little individual reading lights for each of the four beds, but it’s not great.

In the middle of the day, all the lights on.

It would help a lot if they had put at least a porthole in the big wall in the sitting room.

The bunkhouse is just through that door on the right – it gets dark in there.

The bunkhouse has a pocket door that you can close, but the main bedroom is just open to the sitting room… which has two, yes, two sofa beds… so really, you could sleep ten in this suite. I personally wouldn’t want more than four in here, but whatever.

It’s kind of a bummer not to have even a blackout curtain separating the main bedroom from the sitting area – Granny didn’t feel comfortable coming out and opening the curtain while we were sleeping. A simple curtain wouldn’t cost that much and it would help with the privacy/sleeping.

Laying on the master bed.

The balcony is great – huge – but it is hella windy when the ship is moving. There’s nothing to blunt the wind at all, it’s like being in a hurricane (and a cold one at that.). But it is big.

Granny & me trying to take a selfie while going under the Golden Gate. My photography skills need work.
Beloved and Granny on the balcony
Entrance from the balcony
Off the front of the balcony while moored at San Francisco

You also get suite privileges for having this cabin – the most notable being the club class dining.

I have a real bone to pick with Princess about this new anytime dining, it’s total crap. We tried to get seating in DaVinci at 6pm and were told there was NOTHING because we didn’t make a reservation.

Well, we didn’t make a reservation because the damn app wasn’t working.

Then, for the next two nights, the earliest dinner we could reserve was after 7pm. That’s way, waaaaaaay too late for me.

The hostess at DaVinci cheerfully said “you can go eat in club class, you qualify!”

Yeah, but what about Blondie, boyfriend and Boy?


So what Princess has done, with this ship at least, has lopped a good 2/5ths of the DaVinci dining room off, and made it “club class”. Same menu (one “exclusive addition” each night) and they keep tables open so the club class people can just walk in and sit down at any time.

This of course has put pressure on all the other dining rooms, which means getting a table is that much more difficult so there’s empty tables waiting for the primo passengers.

Not. Very. Impressed.

Bottom line… I love the extra room in the family suite. The togetherness is terrific, but we decided the drawbacks (lack of ability to close off the main bedroom, mostly) are sufficient to pass on this again. Some of the other stuff Princess is doing is rough – the nickel & dime stance is getting worse and it was bad before.

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