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Review-Free Holloween Cruise Offer on Golden Princess Part II


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For you members who tried to read my first post on this topic and it was blank. The goofy program asked me to sign in again after I typed out my post and hit send. Then when I signed in it said I had to reaccomplish previous page. Happened three times. Now I am going post is small segments to see if it will take.


We did not have much warning for the Free Cruise offer from Princess. We found out about it at 8:00P.M. on the 17th of Oct. And we were scheduled to go to Reno, Nv for a short vacation on the 18th of Oct. So while I was signing into the Princess web site to find out what cabins were available, not very many, the Wife was calling her Sister and Brother to invite them along with us.


We decided to go for the 4 day California Coastal Sampler on the 28th of Oct.


The next morning we contacted Princess, reserved a Ocean View Fully Obstructed on Deck 8. E630 is located between two life boats so we could see out very nicely. Then we contacted the Crown Plaza Hotel in San Pedro to sign up for their Park and Sail program.


Monday 28th, Embarkation Day. We were up early because I wanted to eat lunch in the MDR on embarkation day, something that has never worked out for us. When I looked out the window of the Hotel I saw it was raining. Not Good, However it did stop in little while.


We ride the Hotel free shuttle to the port and receive Priority 1. Hooray.


Then the speaker calls out for the Privileged and Elite group A to board. We should be going next, right? Then Group B-C-D-E. I am starting to get worried that we will miss lunch.


It seems every Platinum and Elite member on the West coast signed up for this Cruise.


To be con't

Edited by 4x4bob
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Then we were called, drop suit cases in room, check Platter for open MDR, and Just make it before they close off the dining room.


1st cold soup for the Cruise. Now I know I am on a Cruise.


After Lunch we head back to the Cabin, meet our steward Nilo, and unpack.


Life boat drill for us was in the Explorer Lounge, so we grab the life jackets off the shelf and head up there to get a good seat.


We put the life jackets away and I head up to top deck to watch the sail away party. The Wife heads out to try and locate her Sister. Neither one of them gave their cabin number to the other. :eek:


On the way out to sea we pass the Battle Ship Iowa. For few minutes it looks like it is sailing escort with us. I have a quick senior moment and wonder just where are we going that we need a Battle Ship Escort? Then I noticed how small she looked compared to to the Golden Princess.


We were given Anytime Dining so get together around 6:30 and head down to the Bernini Dining room on Deck 5. While our cabin was Aft near the rear elevator, it would go up to the Horizon Court, but not down to deck 5. So, we had to use the center elevator.

Edited by 4x4bob
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Upon arrival at the Dining room were given a buzzer and was told 30 minutes. So, we sat down in the little lounge next to the dining room.


After lingering over diner we then head up to the Princess Theater. Now, for you new people who are reading this post. You do not want to wait until 3 minutes before show time to arrive at the theater. The next time we arrived 30 minutes early, found most of the seats already taken. That night they played the British Invasion. Not outstanding, but still good.


Before I forget. This was a short 4 day cruise which means that the crew and staff do not have much time to rest. However, every staff person I encountered met me with a smile. And, they did an outstanding job doing what ever I asked from them.


Since we missed the show, the Wife and her crew headed to the Casino. Now, I have always gotten good grades in Math so I can figure out that the chances of winning big on a Cruise Ship is less then zero.


So, I stop by the bar next to the Photo Shop and purchase a brandy and talk a little while with the bar tender. (I am making good use of the $50.00 OBC that I received from Princess for being a Vet.) Then I head back to the cabin.


Tuesday 29 Oct, San Diego. When I walked out into the hall way I saw that the staff was setting out new mattress that would be issued to the cabins on our deck. That was good because the one on my bed was way past its retirement age.


We walked off the ship to look around. We finally make it back to the Port area and found the Old Town Trolly booth. The Wife and I purchased tickets and the Sister and Husband decided to go off on their own.


The Trolly takes 2.5 hours to make a circle and it goes past the Zoo, Little Italy, and Old Town. This is a Hop On/Hop Off ride. We got off at Old Town to look around.


I found a shop in which I could purchase some candy bars for Nilo the Cabin Steward. I had brought some from home, but left them in the car at the Hotel.


To be Cont

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After diner we watched some the Passengers sing in one of the Lounges. Some were good and some were really trying.


Same thing again. Casino for Wife and crew, bar and cabin for me. Hay I was getting good at that.


Wednesday 30 Oct, Ensenada, Mexico. Arrival time 8:00 A.M. Depart time 6:00 P.M. This is first cruise where every one paid close attention to the Depart time. I did not see late runners trying to get back to the ship.


We had signed up for a Ship Tour that would go to two wineries.


Now I have driven several times the area between Mexicalli and San Felipi. There is some hard core desert between those two cities.


I was surprised to see that the valley North/East of Ensenada was just as green as the Napa Valley, Wine country, California.


First we visited the L.A.Cetiro winery. They are a huge facility that has been in operation for a long time. They grow 38 different types of grapes. while visiting the tasting room they also provided fresh baked bread and cheese. When we got back onto the bus, they gave each of us a bottle or Red Wine as a gift.


The Casa Lupe winery was a smaller facility owned and operated by a 85 year old Lady. She was there and visited with some of the People. Then she boarded the bus, thanked us for visiting her, gave us a blessing, and said good by.


The local bus company will give you ride into town for $2.00 and bring you back for $1.00. Maybe coming back is shorter or they think you have spent all of your money in town.


When we got back to the Ship The Wife and I ate lunch in the Horizon Buffet. That day the cooks put out Peanut Butter Cookies, which in my humble opinion are the best cookies on the Cruise. So, being an experienced cruiser, I put six in a bowl, grabbed a glass of lemon

aid and took them back to the cabin for a snack later in the day.


Now a word of warning. When you are walking around a cruise ship on which peanut butter cookies are in short supply you have to be careful. Do not get into a crowded elevator or you may face a hostile take over.:D


To be cont.

Edited by 4x4bob
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Now a word about food on a Cruise ship. When the topic comes up the answer normally is food is subjective. So, here is my take on the subject. Before the Cruise we stayed at the Atlantis Hotel in Reno and Played Bingo at the Pepper Mill Hotel next door. We ate in both Buffets and their dining rooms. I think that the Buffet on the Golden Princess is much better than both of those Hotels. And the MDR also was better.


Thursday 31 Oct, At Sea. Holloween. I went down to the International Cafe for breakfast. They serve a Muffin with egg, cheese and ham. With a cup of fresh brewed coffee and a pastry I was good to go for the day. Well anyway until lunch.


Lunch was the Pub Lunch at the crown grill. I had the plow-mans lunch and the rest of them had fish, chips, and mashed peas. Then desert was bread pudding. The Wife and I shared a can of Ale. Since we have done this before we were aware that the can held two glasses.


Then off to Bingo. The only prize I won was that someone stomped on my left foot. I did not think very good thoughts about that person who did not stop. It left me a slight limp for the rest of the day. Lucky we were not going on a tour.


Then the witching hour arrived. About 80% of the serving staff were dressed in costumes. Also some passengers. Me, I was Cleverly Disguised As A Responsible Adult. The ship was decorated with holloween stuff. There was a costume contest for the kids in the afternoon. And, a costume party for the big kids in the evening. Fun was had by all.


To be Cont.

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We were given a bulletin in our cabin that stated that we were assigned Walk Off23 which would meet at 11:20 at a collection point for a silent walk off. Which means that a staff member would there to tells us when to depart.


Since we were scheduled to pick up our car at the Hotel before 12:00 we went up to the tour desk and had our time changed. They assigned us Purple1 with a collection point of the theater at 9:15.


Friday 1 Nov. San Pedro. While doing some last minute packing so we could be out of the cabin by 8:30 I saw the first group of walk off's depart about 7:15.


When our turn came to depart the ship we joined the line of people walking down the dock towards the Custom Check Point. There was not hold up. We just walked along at a normal pace. When we arrived at the check point the agent looked at our photo's, asked a few questions and we were on our way. We picked up our baggage at the baggage site and were on our way.


To sum this up. The ship was in good condition, the staff were friendly and work hard to give us a good cruise, and fun was had by all.

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We were given a bulletin in our cabin that stated that we were assigned Walk Off23 which would meet at 11:20 at a collection point for a silent walk off. Which means that a staff member would there to tells us when to depart.


We were on board with you...our walk-off was #25 out of 26 (something like that). We were ready to go (breakfast done, bags packed by 8, so we decided to walk down to the lounge where we were supposed to wait...the officer there asked, "are you ready to leave?", we said yes and he said "go that way". We were off the ship and finished with customs by about 8:15. WOW!!


We went to the M&G and the Hotel Director was there. He explained how disembarkation was working with these shorter cruises and said that if you show up early there would be no problem. He was right.


BTW: excellent review!! Very funny. I missed the cookies:(

Edited by JF - retired RRT
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