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mmsoko

Back from the Golden 3/13-3/20

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Had a wonderful cruise...aren't they all wonderful?

 

Flew out of DTW on Sat and stayed at Embassy Suites, Isle Verde. Flight uneventful (that's good) and fine stay at Embassy Suites. They have nice pool area, happy hour/complimentary breakfast, and a small casino. The beach is just a short walk away.

 

Embarked about 1:00...no lines. Checked in, visited duty free store and went onboard. Just a note: The pier in very industrial area..three ships were leaving that day.

 

We had been on Golden last year to Eastern Caribbean...she's looked just the same..no worse for the year's wear. There is constant maintenance on this ship. DH bought his $25 soda card...and we were in our minisuite on Dolphin deck soon after. Am used to being greeted by cabin steward as you arrive in cabin, but didn't see Danny until much later that evening.

Preordered eggcrate pad wasn't on bed, but Danny had that and feather pillows there by bedtime. Clean robes weren't available until next morning.

 

Went to Horizon for lunch and onto Tradewinds to meet with fellow CC's.

Didn't rush to make spa appts,etc...decided to wait for specials later in week. In the end, itinerary is so port intensive, we didn't make time for the spa.

 

Our PC dining experience was not as good as last year. Most nights we had a party of eight. Found we could only make dining reservations before 6 or after 8:30. At that rate, we all decided maybe we should have just done traditional dining. We never waited to be seated last year, but this year without reservation, once waited for over 1/2 hour. If we hadn't had such a good experience last year the 1/2 might not have seemed so long.

Eventually, we found Daniella and Patrizcia at table 70 in Bernini...we enjoyed their service and company. Food was good, can't complain when someone else is cooking. Couple of men in our group thought the beef wasn't as good as in past.

We breakfasted in DR several mornings...limited menu but prefer the service.

 

DON"T miss Grandma Rose's cake in Horizon Buffet. We stumbled upon it on Saturday at lunch time. Almost a custard with rich chocolate sauce, found in warm buffet station not with other cake. We all agreed it should be available for dinner in DR. Our group voted it the "best new taste" of the cruise.

 

Enough about food....on to drinks. We did purchase hurricane "drink of the day", got a hurricane special sticker for our cruise card and purchased later "drink of day" at reduced rates. DH did complete the pub crawl and received his T-shirt! YEH!

 

Sorry this review is so dry...but trying to give you some quick info for those of you starving for it.

 

Casino: We found better luck in casino than reported by past cruisers. Three of our eight cruisers hit jackpots on the slots....personally I did well at the blackjack table. I will let you know I'm pleased when I double my $ and can walk away a winner!

 

Have to run...will report more later...

Maybe my fellow ccer's will help with more info.

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Mmsoko, Thanks for the review. Just under 3 weeks for us :). Was the tradewinds a good place for a get together? Our group is thinking about just after muster. Is there a better place? Give us more! :)

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Saved copies of Patters and On shore brochures if you have questions.

 

Ports of Call:

St Thomas: Took $3 taxi ride into town to do shopping

Once at SJ airport wondered whether we should have just waited to

buy alcohol. Would appreciate comments on this.

Headed back to ship and enjoyed the day.

 

St. Kitts: St Kitts/Nevis sailaway. Had read many complimentary reviews on this catamaran snorkle trip. Great crew and service. Take care as

booze flows! The beach lunch was better than others we've enjoyed. Careful because the beach drops off quickly! (No comments, Paul:D)

Great day!

 

Grenada: Visited island on our own, just walked streets relatively close to the pier. The recommended store "Dots" is just a souvenir shop about 10 x20 feet. A waste of time! Don't think our way was the best way to visit this island... Suggest that you book a tour here!

 

Isle Marquarita: Found this my favorite stop! Very relaxing. Just shopped area near the pier and went to the beach. Lovely for wading in the water.

Had a quick tequila sunrise at the bar and back to ship. Didn't see much of the island but enjoyed our time there.

 

Aruba: With advice of CC boards went on "Passport to Paradise" DePalm Island tour. A short bus ride to the ferry to reach the island. Fun, food and drinks. What a value! You don't even need to snorkle to see the beautiful parrot fish. They swim near the snorkeling pier because they staff feed them there, just look in the water to see the beautiful blue fish! Lots of chairs, sun or shade. Group gave this excursion an "A"!

 

 

Will return later!

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Thanks for your trip report! I enjoyed reading it since we will be on this cruise in Jan. Question? How long is the stop in Isla Margarita? I guess it sounds like one needs to make a reservation for PC dining now. We didn't last year on the Golden and never had a wait.

 

Kaye

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Meeting

Tradewinds seem to work out well for our group meeting. There were about 14 of there. You're still out in the festivities of the ship.

 

If you want something a little quieter--still outdoors, there's the Outrigger, Aft deck 14. You can get some shade there. More tables if you have larger group.

 

Indoors, the Wheelhouse is a nice, quiet sitting area during the day. We met again there later in the week.

 

It's fun to see people you know during the week's activities!

 

Isle Marguerita: We were there from 7-12....shops didn't open until 9. It's a quick stop. Some good excursions there, I understand. The Laguna was very nice.

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While things are fresh in my mind, wanted to mention a few words about onboard entertainment.

 

Our group participated in more games, etc than we have in the past and highly recommend that.

Some of us joined the pool games, the Passenger Feud and even tried the Trivia Game(disaster, here!:o). Jen's questions are very tough, but two teams still got 12/20!! Not us! (Hush! Mike;))

There's always lots to do onboard, never enough time.

 

We only went to two shows, a comedian and the Caribbean music show.

Not bad but not the greatest either IMHO.

 

We enjoyed the Princess Idol finals on Sat night. Some surprisingly talented passengers. (A note to Bostoncruisergirl: was Lauren, that sang earlier in the week, with your group?)

 

 

The pools never seemed crowded even with a full ship. There were many times during the day the aft pool didn't have a sole in there.

This ship absorbs the passenger load so well. Many intimate areas...rarely seems crowded.

 

Embarkment was a breeze: We were in no hurry to depart the ship..flight didn't leave until 4. Our yellow 7 (Dolphin deck aft) was called about 10:30 or so. We played cards in the Vista Lounge until then.

Some lines at customs but moved quickly. Luggage is easy to locate.

Don't pack your ID(passport/drivers license) in your luggage that's picked up the evening before departure;). Someone should have told ED that!

 

We took a cab to Old San Juan, left our luggage at Barrachina (just a tip$),

shopped a little, had lunch and then off to airport. Arrived there about 1:30. Lines at NW desk were short but the security check line was still long. They moved pretty well though. Patience is the key! The gate areas don't have nearly enough seats.

:confused: The duty free shops in the airport have better prices than in St. Thomas. We questioned why we bought and hauled our liquor! Any comments or advice here? Is there an echo?

 

later?!?

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:cool: Just read all the messages, we are leaving on the 10 th of April cruise. First time on the Princess line, have been on two Carinval cruises, one western on the Vicory and the southern on the Destiny.

Is there anything else we should know about the Princess, besides what has already been said. We have prebooked our shore tours, we are also doing late seating traditional .

Cannot wait to get back to Aruba, we had a GREATtime there in 2003.

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Interesting to read what you ended up doing, Marcia.

 

We're still in San Juan and fly out tomorrow (1:40 AST). I'll probably post something about our trip, but wanted to briefly mention to others what a fantastic cruise this was. Weather was Terrific - only had a mild coupla sprinkles in St. Thomas, but the rest of the trip had Perfect weather! The seas were Slight to Moderate the entire cruise. The only night there was noticible motion was when we left Aruba and headed out into the open Caribbean.

 

Will catch up with you all tomorrow evening or Wednesday sometime. Am hating to leave this place..

 

~Paul :cool:

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I have a 'drink of the day' question. If I don't want the glass, is it still the same price?

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The first drink comes in a plastic hurricane glass....not a keeper, just festive!

 

Price is the same without the "glass".

 

Make sure to ask for the "hurricane special sticker"...they don't seem to offer it automatically.

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Paul,

surprised to see you on the boards...should be enjoying the sun.

They're predicting a little snow here tomorrow in MI

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Thanks for the review. We did the same itinerary last July and Isla Margarita was one of our favorite stops as well. Brings back memories. Can't wait to cruise again!:)

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:cool:

Is there anything else we should know about the Princess, besides what has already been said.

 

If you read the Princess boards you're going to get most info.

 

Logistics: Red carpet border-port side of ship

Blue carpet border-starboard side

This is an amazing aid for navigating ship

 

The aft elevators only go to as low as floor 6--only 2 go to 17

That means if you need to get off ship on 4 and have an aft cabin...it's best to

walk to mid elevator bank b4 going down...OR get to 7(Promenade deck) and you can get from Aft to forward.

Think you need to use aft elevators to get to traditional dining room.

 

Princess has egg crate pads, robes, fruit basket for the asking.

 

There's a fun mini golf course midship (only can get there from midship) on 16 or 17. Free of course.

 

Princess made ice cream from 3:30 - 4:30 in Horizon Buffet

 

What other kinds of hints do you want?

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We would like to to Sabatinis and possibly Sterling Steak house for dinner. I know the food in the main dining room is great, but were there one or two nights that you would recommend that we eat at the optional restaurants? We would prefer not to go to them on Formal nights...

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Also, what kind of Spa "deals" were they offering on the various port days??

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Thanks for the tip on the carpets, as we are on the port side. You have to ask for the robes, there are not in the room??? Last two cruises where on Carnival, robes where in the room. I just hope that they have fiberfilled pillows I am allergic to feathers. Ice cream is not open all the time, they where on the Victory and the Destiny.Oh well better for the waist line!!!!! I think that is all I need,Thanks for the info. it has been a great help. Teresa:cool:

:cool:

Is there anything else we should know about the Princess, besides what has already been said.

 

If you read the Princess boards you're going to get most info.

 

Logistics: Red carpet border-port side of ship

Blue carpet border-starboard side

This is an amazing aid for navigating ship

 

The aft elevators only go to as low as floor 6--only 2 go to 17

That means if you need to get off ship on 4 and have an aft cabin...it's best to

walk to mid elevator bank b4 going down...OR get to 7(Promenade deck) and you can get from Aft to forward.

Think you need to use aft elevators to get to traditional dining room.

 

Princess has egg crate pads, robes, fruit basket for the asking.

 

There's a fun mini golf course midship (only can get there from midship) on 16 or 17. Free of course.

 

Princess made ice cream from 3:30 - 4:30 in Horizon Buffet

 

What other kinds of hints do you want?

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For my personal preference (and I was on the same sailing as the OP) I thought the meal the last night was terrible. However, I'm a vegetarian, so that limits my options some. But everything I ate that night was pretty bad: the appetizer (mediocre oranges), the soup (cold squash soup), the salad (romaine hearts), the entree (eggplant in mint sauce), the dessert (baked Alaska). Nothing was good.

 

All the other meals were great. And my table mates (my husband's family) all ate meat and thought all of the meals were wonderful. They especially loved the night we had lobster - I think that was the second formal night. They had so many entrees they wanted most of them ordered more than one.

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I was on the same sailing as the OP

 

What did you do in St Kitts. We're a group of 7 and want to do a private tour. Are there any large vans (cabs) available near the ship?

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Formal nights were Tuesday (St.Kitts) and Friday (Aruba). I agree with TupeloHoney, the last night was "American Night"...Turkey, Prime Rib..etc. and not one of the best. Seems like Sunday night's dinner wasn't real impressive either.

 

Spa deals:

Sunday: Travelers Tension Special; 20 minute foot and ankle massage*20minuteback,neck and shoulder massage for only $79

 

Monday: Pick any 3 for $99.00

Energizing foot and ankle massage*Deepconditioning hair and scalp treatment* Sunglow makeover*Mini Facial * Wah and blow dry

 

Tuesday: Mix & Match Combine any two for $89

25 minute massage*25 minute mini facial*25 minute Lime and Ginger* 25 minute foot massage

OR 25 minute hot stones massage comined with any of the above for only $99.

 

Wed: Full body and face Lim and Gine exfoliation followed by a 25 minute massage usually $141 for $99

 

Thursday: Ladies Night Body exfoliation,detoxifying massage and facial

only $99 save $70

Men Only scalp massage, haircut and mini facial $60

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What did you do in St Kitts. We're a group of 7 and want to do a private tour. Are there any large vans (cabs) available near the ship?

 

We did the Nevis Sailaway too, which was really wonderful. We were in St. Kitts in '99 and just rented a cab van and drove around and saw the island and then went to a beach. That was really nice too. St. Kitts is a beautiful island. As I recall we easily got a cab for our party of 7 back then.

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We dined at both Sabatini's and Desert Rose Steakhouse (as it is called on The Golden) last week. The food at both restaurants was good; but not near the quality of that served at our Ultimate Balcony Dinner. Service was very good at Sabatini's but the meal took exactly 2 hours and 35 minutes, far too long for all four of us. Our waiter Michai, at Desert Rose was very stuffy and unfriendly at first; but opened up about midway through the meal and turned out to be okay.

 

Mike

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You purchase your first "drink of the day" for $5. They put a sticker on your cruise card.....from then on when you purchase a drink of the day, you get reduced price. If I remember correctly, Small $3.25 usually $3.95 and larger $4.25 usually $4.95. something like that.

 

Drinks of day were Rum Punch,Tequila Sunrise,Strawberry Daiquiri,Emerald Isle, Margarita , Pina Colada,Mai Tai

 

 

bhopal: What did you do on St. Kitts? any ideas for our crisp1!!

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Hi............. glad to hear you enjoyed your trip on the Golden. I will be on her May 1st and would appreciate any of the following info you could provide. Who was Captain, Cruise Director, Captains Circle Hostess, piano player in the Atrium Longe, Bands in the Wheelhouse & Maitre 'D???? Also did they do "make to order omlettes" for breakfast in Horizon Court?? Thanks Jeanne

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Hi............. glad to hear you enjoyed your trip on the Golden. I will be on her May 1st and would appreciate any of the following info you could provide. Who was Captain, Cruise Director, Captains Circle Hostess, piano player in the Atrium Longe, Bands in the Wheelhouse & Maitre 'D???? Also did they do "make to order omlettes" for breakfast in Horizon Court?? Thanks Jeanne

 

Captain: Tony Herriott

Cruise Director: Paul O'Loughlin

Captains Circle Hostess: Sindy

Bands in Wheelhouse: Jean Mack Quartet, Prestige,

Desert Rose: Ruben Ruiz

Promenade Lounge: Maurizio

 

Atrium Lounge only lists "Golden Musicians"

Was surprised but never saw or met Maitre 'D in DR. We dined mostly in PC Bernini.

 

There wasn't an omelette station at buffet...but I understand you could ask for one.

The best omelette I had was delivered from room service for our balcony breakfast.

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