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  • Writer's pictureLizzy and Laura

The Cruising Obsession Begins With Grand Princess

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

Back in 2012 we visited our local travel agents to book our summer holiday. The day before this, tragedy had struck when the Costa Concordia sank, who would have thought this would lead us to booking our first cruise? As we were sat there, travelling the world through brochures and watching the headlines roll in, one of our travel agents suggested a 14 day Mediterranean cruise onboard the Grand Princess. Going to a variety of places in Europe really appealed to us because we'd been planning on a trip to Italy, so we went ahead and booked it.

Fast forward 6 months, whilst the UK was gripped by the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, we were in our hotel room in the Grand Harbour Hotel, Southampton. As well as being excited, we were also extremely nervous. Lizzy isn’t a fan of water and the thought of spending two weeks on a ship was filling her with dread. We’d researched as much as we could but still worried about many things. Would people on our dining table speak to us? Would we be too young? Would we be bored on the sea days? Would there be anything for us to do on the night times?

The funnel on Grand Princess

After a sleepless night, due to heat, excitement and worries, a taxi arrived to take us to the port. Lizzy was terrified and genuinely considered not getting on the ship. (Oh, how things have changed!) Who would have thought that Saturday 28th July 2012, would be the day that would change our holiday habits forever. From the moment we got on the ship and saw the stunning atrium we were hooked. We were in awe at the size of the ship and how beautiful it was.

There were many times in the first few days where we felt out of our depth as we were unsure on 'cruise etiquette'. However, the many amazing people that we met on board, helped us navigate our way and answered all the questions we had. We couldn’t have asked for a better dinner table, they were all experienced cruisers who took us under their wing, encouraging us to try many new things. If any of you are reading this, thank you!

Lizzy and Laura with a waiter on Grand Princess

We love a good night out, a few drinks and have been known to enjoy a dance! We soon made friends with another group who we would sit with every night in the One5, the onboard nightclub. We’d never been on a holiday before where so many people were friendly and wanted to chat. The staff onboard also helped us to feel at home, nothing was ever too much trouble.

Formal nights were a real highlight for us. Looking at everyone’s elegant dresses and smart tuxedos made the night so special. The champagne pour was something we had never done before and we even managed to make it onto the cruise DVD! We only knew about this when a stranger stopped us while we were walking around the ship and told us that they'd seen us on their in room TV.

Taking part in the champagne pour

The ports of call were incredible. We visited places we had never considered visiting before and places that we’d always wanted to visit. We’ve never been fans of lying by a pool sunbathing and always spend time exploring. We found a cruise gave us a perfect balance of busy days in ports, relaxing sea days and great entertainment.

The two weeks flew by and before we knew it, it was time to disembark. At the end only one question remained. When could we book another cruise?


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