Just returned from the Golden. Any questions?

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#1
131 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
We just returned Sunday April 17 from a Southern Caribbean cruise on the Golden. This was our sixth with Princess, and our second on the Golden. The last time we sailed her was November, 2001. We noticed several things which were different and unfortunately disappointing. There seemed to be less variety in the buffet at Horizon Court. On day one, especially, the buffet was downright sparse. It also seemed that more often, we were waiting for a table to be cleaned. In the Donatello dining room (personal choice) where we ate each night for dinner, we noticed that the waiters/servers seemed intense, rushed and under pressure to move people out quickly. It was almost impossible to develop a rapport with the staff here which was a significant change from our past experiences. We have always done the Personal Choice dining. On our first cruise with our children, the waiters were pleasant and even made up games and riddles each evening. We ate in different sections this time and found that the tension and pressure permiated the dining room. One night we were in and out in 35 minutes! This is not our idea of relaxed, fine dining. The food selections were more mundane; the salads unchanged each night. We have always loved the personal choice dining because it has allowed us to eat when we want to and to have a table just for the two of us. It seems now that the focus is "turnover". The interesting thing is that every night we were seated immediately, and there were always many empty tables. Until now, I would have recommended Personal Choice; not anymore. The other minor change was that there was no String Quartet. I have always enjoyed this feature and looked forward to beautiful classical music. We found our cabin steward to be lax, and forgetful. We have never experienced this before. On the positive side, we found embarkation and disembarkation quite efficient and organized. Public areas on the ship were clean and well-maintained. The room-service and service in the bars was excellent, as was service around the pool. There were two excellent bands on this cruise; Deep Blue, and BlueEyes. The young entertainment crew were excellent and put on a wonderful Caribbean Night. We attended one Comedy show which was also very entertaining. We still enjoyed our cruise and think that there are many good things about Princess, but hope that the changes mentioned aren't the beginning of a new trend in Princess cruising. I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.
#2
932 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
thank you for the honest review - we have traditional first seating and were going to change to PC as we like dining alone and the flexibility - now we will wait and see. We will sale on the golden in Sept.

Did you notice if they have added texas hold'em poker to the casino? Thanks!
#3
24,905 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Some of your comments made me think about how cruising is changing.

Some coworkers recently returned from a cruise (Holland America). One of their first complaints was that dinner took between 1.5 hours to 2 hours each night. They said they wrote a complaint on the comment cards about this. They wished to be in and out of the dining room in less then an hour. I wonder if your dinner being rushed is because Princess is getting a lot of new cruisers who don't want a long, relaxing dinner with great service. Not sure.

I personally have not had good service on Personal Choice. On my cruises - I now decide on dining based on where I am going. In Alaska (and other port intensive cruises), I want convenience and realize I am giving up better service for it. On other cruises such as the Caribbean - I want relaxing cruises and go for traditional.

I also like the string quartet and they did have this on my December Caribbean Star Princess cruise. I hope this doesn't go away.
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#4
Perry, IA - The Villages, FL
161 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
I read recently where the Golden was to be installing the big screen for movies. Has that happened? Also, do the coin laundries take quarters, bills or special coins? Another question...Does the buffet have fried chicken? Just curious : ) And is the jogging track actually usable as a running track or is it blocked by people who are not that concerned about excercise like I need to be after eating the chicken that I hope you say they have. We will be on the Golden May 8th. Thanks for your information.
#5
11 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
I will be on the Golden on April 25th and I was wondering what ports you went to and what excursions you did.

Also was there a hypnotist on your cruise?
#6
242 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Hi mik,

We are booked on the Golden on a 12 night Greek Isles/Med cruise next June and I was wondering if I need to bring an adapter/converter for the outlets in the room?
Also, what is the status on room service if you are not staying in a suite? We will be on a very port intensive cruise and I know we will want to use room service for dinner several times and also may want room service breakfast as well? Will we be limited to a smaller room service menu or can we order anytghin we want?
Thanks
#7
missouri city, tx, usa
1,489 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Also interested in hearing whether the movie screen has been installed on this ship and about room service. We are in a Cat BB balcony room and wondering if during dining room hours you can order from the full menu?

Thanks.
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#8
Minnesota
1,437 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
We are travelling in a family group and will have one or both of our children staying with us (one might stay with my parents). We have booked a mini-suite with balcony on the Dolphin deck. I am interested in the storage space - especially the closet! How big is it, does it have doors? I there a door entering into the closet/bathroom area?
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#9
Low Country, SC
211 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Thanksfor the info on the Golden. We sail on her in less than two weeks.
Could you please tell me who the Maitre'D was???
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#10
Toronto, Ontario
730 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Originally posted by twit
I will be on the Golden on April 25th and I was wondering what ports you went to and what excursions you did.

Also was there a hypnotist on your cruise?
I was on the same cruise as the original poster. We went to St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Grenada, Aruba, and Margarita Island. My hubby and I did "views of st. thomas". I enjoyed it but felt we could have done it on our own. .
In st. kitts, we did the scenic railway tour and loved it!
There was a hypnotist onboard and we quite enjoyed him. He had a regular show and then later in the week, he had an adults only show which was hilarious
#11
Toronto, Ontario
730 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Originally posted by mina
thank you for the honest review - we have traditional first seating and were going to change to PC as we like dining alone and the flexibility - now we will wait and see. We will sale on the golden in Sept.
My travel agent said it is much easier to go from traditional dining to PC than the other way around.

Carrie
#12
Toronto, Ontario
730 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Originally posted by cruiserdenny
I read recently where the Golden was to be installing the big screen for movies. Has that happened? Also, do the coin laundries take quarters, bills or special coins? Another question...Does the buffet have fried chicken? Just curious : ) And is the jogging track actually usable as a running track or is it blocked by people who are not that concerned about excercise like I need to be after eating the chicken that I hope you say they have. We will be on the Golden May 8th. Thanks for your information.
The Movie under the stars is not on board yet. I don't believe they have any plans in the near future for it.
Not that I used the jogging track (LOL) but it seemed to be a hit and miss. You will always have people that seem to walk diagonally slowly across the track as you are trying to run by. Other days, it seemed to be fine.
I'm not sure about the laundry..sorry.
I believe I saw fried chicken at the buffet but we didn't eat there much.

Carrie
#13
80 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Hi folks,

We are leaving on the Golden this Sunday, and I've really been trying to find out what the weather has been like in the last few weeks down there. I particularly would like to know how rough the seas are in the southern caribbean at this time. We usually go later in the spring, but really wanted to sail on the Golden and do that itinerary, and this is the last chance before the ship heads out of the area. Have done the southern route twice before in May and June on different lines, and I know the Golden is large, have been on the Grand, so just curious because of motion problem I have. Thanks for any info you can give me, we are on the St. Kitts, Grenada, Aruba itinerary.
#14
Maine
10,227 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
We just got back from sailing The Star. The weather was a little rougher than last year - most days had 4-7' swells. Our trip to Princess Cays was cancelled because that day they were up around 15'. The ship handled them very well and it was not rocking and rolling.

Our friend, who is prone to sea-sickness started taking non-drowsy Bonine two days before and then one each morning. He had no problems at all.

Hope the weather is better for you but it sure did not ruin our cruise.
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#15
1,553 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
[quote=cruiserdenny] Also, do the coin laundries take quarters, bills or special coins?

I have not sailed on the Golden but on all the other Princess ships I've been on take quarters in the laundry. You can also buy detergent with quarters.
#16
14,192 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
I think the casino tokens also work in the laundry room.
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#18
1,499 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Thanks for the review and valuable info.
We will be sailing the Golden in Jan. for the second time. I am disappointed to read that the service is not as good as before-especially the room steward.
How was Grenada and what did you do there?
What type of room did you have. We will be in a balcony on the lido deck.
Was the food ok?
Any tips on excursions would be appreciated.
#19
97 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Please tell me if the Golden has a Sailaway party out on deck and is there a Island party out on deck towards the middle of the cruise? Thanks!
#20
Brickell, Miami FL
6,866 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Originally posted by MNfamilycruiser
We are travelling in a family group and will have one or both of our children staying with us (one might stay with my parents). We have booked a mini-suite with balcony on the Dolphin deck. I am interested in the storage space - especially the closet! How big is it, does it have doors? I there a door entering into the closet/bathroom area?
We were in a mini suite on the Dolphin deck on our 10/24/04 cruise on the Golden and will be in one again on our 7/11/05 Europeon cruise on the Golden. This time around we have our kids with us in an inside right across the hall. The mini-suites are great, you'll love it. The storgage space in wonderful and the closet was large, much larger than a regular balcony stateroom. There's also a very large shelf in the closet, I just moved the life jackets onto the floor in the closet so we could us it. Right next to the closet if another closet type enclosed shelf system. I was able to put all our pajamas, underwears, shirts, sweaters, etc. in here no problem. You also have storage by the beds, the desk, and there's a lot of shelving space by the 2 televisions. We brought a lot with us and didn't even use some of the space that we had.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything we bring with us for the 2 weeks this summer will fit as I'm sure my kids will run out of space (one's a teenage daughter!) and will have to have some things in our cabin.

And the ship is on the same currency as here in the US so you won't need an adaptor for anything!