The Grand Princess shoots for luxurious accommodations and frequent refurbishment to give the older ship a modern feel. The Grand is a 2,600 passenger, 16 deck cruise liner which sails around the Western US, Alaska, and Hawaii. The smaller passenger size can be a blessing for larger families who need to keep an eye on younger children and creates a more comfortable, intimate sailing experience. The ship travels on 7, 10, and 15-night journeys departing from San Francisco. This more rigid itinerary can save families hours of researching as any time of the year your vacation may be, the details will stay the same.
The Grand Princess has plenty on board to keep younger passengers happy. Water lovers will adore the ship's five pools, perfect for swimming the day away. Families with less-than-great swimmers may want to opt for the Kid's splash pool on Deck 16. As usual with most Princess cruise liners, the kids and teens areas are a huge hit with families.
Younger kids age 3-7 can enjoy The Treehouse's puppet making and painting crafts, kids games like Bingo, and other organized activities. The Lodge is a club for slightly older 8-12 kiddos with arcade games and opportunities for kids to make friends on the ship. The typically harder to please teens will find a place of their own at The Beach House, a teens-only club for socializing, relaxing, and organized events like pizza parties and hip-hop dance classes.
A recent partnership between Discovery and Princess cruise liners offers passengers activities that are both fun and educational. The Discovery at Sea program is a recent addition to the Princess cruise line, featuring lecture speakers and interactive activities based on shows like Shark Week and Finding Bigfoot. Stargazers should take advantage of the ship's observation deck where lights are turned off for constellation viewing.
The Grand is anything but lacking in activities and entertainment onboard. Fans of The Voice will adore the Grand's spin (sorry for the pun) on the singing competition show with the classic blind auditions and spinning chairs. As with most Princess cruises, theater fans will not be disappointed by the numerous Broadway-style productions, stand-up comedians, and magic acts available in the ship's theater. A miniature golf course allows families a fun day of fresh air and a little friendly competition. Daily fun has no limits with art auctions wine tastings, onboard shopping, and (on select sailings) Festivals of the World events to fully immerse yourself in the culture of your destination. For parents looking for a little alone time, group babysitting is available on board with a charge of $5 per child, per hour.
Each ship has a variety of fun activities for the whole family, so be sure to check your ship before you cruise to view what's available. Whether you're 8 or 80, there's no reason not to have fun on your getaway at sea; before breaking off into everyone's activities, enjoy some time together by planning to meet for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
This is the time to make memories and nothing could be more memorable than setting up a shore excursion for the whole family. Plan your shore excursions ahead of time for the best chance at booking your top selections.
*Please note it is often cheaper to book two staterooms or two connecting cabins instead of one large stateroom suite - plus it gives you a second bathroom.*