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MBMiner

Golden Princess review of 8/20/05 Transatlantic

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My wife and I are an active retired professional couple in our 60’s, who have sailed on approximately fifteen cruises, the last six of which were all 14-day cruises on three different Celebrity ships from 2003 to 2005. We have always reserved balcony cabins when available, and on this cruise we had balcony Cabin A501 which was on the Aloha Deck 12 about midships just below the Lido Deck. We don’t consider ourselves fussy or demanding types, and rarely ask for special treatment from the crew and simply “go with the flow” and enjoy the cruise.

 

After six cruises on Celebrity, and as shareholders of Carnival Corporation, the parent company of Princess Cruises, we decided to book a cruise on Princess to see if this line might be to our liking. We have been interested in trying different itineraries and other ships, and when we learned of this 14-day cruise on the Golden Princess with three ports in Western Europe and three in the British Isles, coupled with a transatlantic sailing to New York, we booked it on rather short notice. We had only been on the ship a short time when we reluctantly concluded Princess was a very poor alternative to Celebrity, and this opinion was continuously confirmed throughout the cruise. We also concluded that much of this is attributed to serious cost cutting by Princess in all area of its operation, the automatic tipping policy of Princess, and the obvious attempt to appeal to the less sophisticated cruise passenger, the “McDonalds-generation” passenger, with low expectations, little experience in finer dining and proper food preparation, and one who is happy with the cruise as long as he can heap the food on his plate in the buffet on a 24-hour basis. Our feelings were shared by other passengers with whom we spoke during the cruise.

 

Princess seems to do few things very well, and in nearly all respects a Princess cruise is not at the level of that which we have experienced on Celebrity. Officers, staff and crew generally seem sullen, with a poor attitude toward the passengers. Crew members seem to have no understanding of service, and make passengers feel as if we are intruding on their time or causing them inconvenience. They rarely speak to passengers and are often inclined to project an attitude of uncaring or indifference. Also, passenger requests are often met with a response as to why it cannot be accomplished, rather than trying to find a way to please. A good example of this is a request for a table for two in the Personal Choice Dining room. In their literature Princess says you can have a table any way you wish including a table for two, but when this is requested, the request is almost always met with an urging to share a table with others, or being told it will be difficult to provide. One evening we asked to have an obviously dirty table cleaned and were told it was already clean. Purser’s desk representatives seem to be particularly hostile to passengers. Examples abound of a poorly run cruise line cutting corners at every opportunity. Unfortunately, the parent company, Carnival Corporation, appears to have “Carnivalized” Princess Cruises, much to its detriment.

 

The most glaring example of this is the quality of food and dining room service. Princess has initiated many shortcuts in its dining rooms. No wine steward or bar waiter exists, and this is handled by the waiters. Salad dressing, cocktail sauce and the like is not offered at the table, but rather put on salads and seafood cocktails in the galley. Refills on coffee or iced tea are rarely offered. There is no showing of a desert tray. Courses seem to be brought to the waiter’s station all at once and served in rapid succession with no pacing, often resulting in cold items and hot items both being served at room temperature. Menu choices are often unappealing and on numerous occasions we elected one of the mundane “always available” items, such as a cheeseburger at lunch and fettucini alfredo at dinner to avoid going hungry when none of the offered choices seemed appealing. Items ordered from the menu often do not fit the description on the menu. Steaks, beef and pork were of poor quality and delivered overcooked with very poor taste, and a boiled potato dripping with water was served, being pawned off as a baked potato which was ordered. One passenger told me of finding it totally impossible to cut a swordfish steak. Rolls are dry and hard and pastries unappealing and often dry as well. One serious warning – don’t order the chilled “essence of seafood” soup! It is the most disgusting thing I have ever tasted and should be removed from the menu. It tasted and smelled like dead rotting fish passed through water. To add insult to injury, waiters often seem uncaring and disinterested, again appearing to result from the tipping system, poor supervision or poor morale. In the chaos at the serving stations of the Horizon Court Buffet the passenger is expected to pile their food on a large plate, reminding me of my days in an Army mess hall. I repeat, this is coming from a person who will usually eat nearly anything offered, although I expect good sanitation and proper service along with proper food preparation served at the correct temperatures.

 

Further examples from the dining rooms and the Horizon Court Buffet: Tables and floors are often dirty and multiple tables are cleaned continuously with the same dirty rag. The serving area is always chaotic, with passengers pushing, shoving, grabbing food with their hands, throwing serving tongs into the food and a generally disorganized atmosphere. The same situation applies around the drink stations. Tables are often unavailable. Food on the buffet is often at room temperatures which we found to be true even immediately after it was placed on the buffet such as cold meats and lukewarm vegetables. We tried to avoid this area as much as possible, but it was sometimes the only alternative. Princess made it worse than it might be at lunch, by closing two of the three dining rooms with the explanation there was work going on in those areas in spite of the literature saying two would be open. This left 2,600 passengers with the only lunch alternatives being the totally inadequate buffet and one dining room, resulting in complete confusion in both areas. Ice cream is only available without charge at tea, in the dining rooms, or by standing in very long lines at the Horizon Court Buffet during tea time. On many occasions we observed the flatware as well as the serving plates used under soups and appetizers being recycled by waiters and used for multiple diners – a serious health hazard. This was reported to management and we were told it has been corrected. Roll baskets and butter are returned intact to the galley, appearing to be reused at later tables. .

 

One reason we were anxious to sail on Princess was the opportunity to try “Anytime” or “Personal Choice” dining. After 14 days of this, we concluded the drawbacks of this far outweigh the advantages, and we look forward to returning to traditional cruise dining. Princess promotes this concept, and stresses the fact passengers can have any table arrangement they wish. This does not take place in practice, as the guardians of the

Anytime Dining rooms are always reluctant to give up a table for two and push passengers to share seating at larger tables. Even when we reserved a table for two, somehow the reservation was lost and we were again asked to join others in spite of the reservation. On one occasion we were led to a purported table for two which was placed no more than three inches from another table for two, in effect a table for four with a slight gap placed between two tables. Also, rapidly seating twenty or so people at one waiter’s serving station usually results in very slow and delayed service. Meals are poorly paced, with either a rapid delivery of courses which have been waiting on the serving table or long delays between courses. Another mystery; we asked for a 6:15 reservation in a dining room which opens at that time. We were told only 6:30 and 8:30 reservations were available that evening. Does this indicate an earlier party is eating in 15 minutes or is it because this is really “Princess Choice” and not “Personal Choice”?

 

Princess does not supply towels at the pool, and passengers are expected to take beach towels placed in their cabin to the pool. Nevertheless, large area of deck chairs are reserved by passengers with these towels, a practice regularly observed also in the theatres and buffet area. I observed two glasses left on the bow deck one morning which were later broken with glass pieces left on the deck for two days. The arms of the chair in our cabin were filthy, and the cigar smoke emanating from the cabin next door often made our balcony unusable. The lectures and programs provided on the ship were severely lacking and there is little of interest offered, much of it at an additional charge. This was particularly unfortunate during six long days at sea crossing the Atlantic when there was very little in the way of entertainment during the day offered by Princess.

 

 

A cruise on Princess buys you basically just that – the opportunity to sit on a ship from beginning to end, eat Perkins-type institutional food and pay extra for everything else. Many things we are accustomed to having included as part of the cruise on Celebrity is an additional charge on Princess. A simple example – hot chocolate must be ordered from the bar on Princess rather than being provided with the tea and coffee. Ice cream is never available without charge except at meals in the dining room and at tea, and is offered at a substantial charge all day on the Lido deck.. No juices are available during the day except from the bar, again at a charge. Offline as well as online computer usage is only available at 35 cents a minute. In one port Princess was offering a 15-minute shuttle service at $12.00 per person round trip while a Celebrity ship docked next to us was providing a free shuttle to the same point. Most lectures and seminars are on a charge basis. Princess not only charges extra for nearly everything but the basics, but has cut corners to reduce expense in every aspect of its cruise offering.

 

Although Princess seems to impose rules on proper dress it is rarely enforced. Grubby T-shirts and dirty jeans often accompanied by baseball hats were very much in evidence in the public rooms and dining areas. Princess seems to have attracted the type of passenger who insists on dressing as they please without regard to the dress code, and who feel no reluctance to disregard most other rules imposed for the cruise. Although I try to enjoy the cruise without regard to the actions of other passengers, it is difficult to ignore when it is so widespread.

 

A few other bits: the pastries are most unappealing with only two dry cookie choices being offered in the buffet. Avoid Aloha Deck 12 with the noise coming from overhead in the pool area. Pillow covers went unchanged for the entire 14 days. With all the negatives, my wife and I tried hard to find a few positives. The ports were excellent and the one Princess tour to Paris was most enjoyable. Embarkation and disembarkation was run smoothly, although once through the check-in process we were herded into a waiting room where we waited to board for about 90 minutes with no explanation. The entertainment was not on a par with Celebrity, and entertainers were recycled throughout the cruise with one comedian appearing four times. Our balcony cabin was comfortable, and we liked the closet/bathroom layout, although the noise from the Lido Deck above was disturbing during the day and early morning. The shower stall is very small and difficult to use. Cruise Director, Richard Joseph, seems to be filling in temporarily and seems much too talented for his present position. Unfortunately, his presence doesn’t seem to be reflected in the entertainment package on the Golden with the exception of his personal presentation on “Ships – Where are they now?” which was outstanding.

 

I have intentionally not discussed the ship’s layout and features because this has been discussed in other reviews. Suffice to say, we found the ship's layout not suited to handling the passenger and crew load carried by the Golden.

 

By far the greatest negative was the food; unappealing choices, poor preparation, low quality meats poorly cooked, food served at wrong temperatures and often by uncaring and hurried waiters not following good sanitary practices, a very unappealing combination and the principal reason why we looked forward to the end of this cruise and will never sail Princess again.

Bruce

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Sorry you had a bad experience on Princess - my only suggestion is - don't cruise Princess again - Please!

 

Ron

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I was going to reply to this but I could not think of any nice way to express myself .... I may have missed something but it appears nothing at all was acceptable to this person ... how very sad ... I do hope this cruiser returns to Celebrity soon.

 

Actually I have another thought, cheer up and get a grip, you could have been in New Orleans instead of on a cruise.

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Having just sailed on the same cruise I feel I must respond! I found the Golden to be an enjoyable experience on a whole with a fabulous itinerary. Having chosen traditional early dining I can't address the above complaints about tables for 2. My experience with our waiter and busboy(Julian and Ruben)was excellent. we had attentive courteous service which was unobtrusive. Food arrived hot when served(except tea water). All meats arrived rare or med rare when ordered. The prime ribs, chateau briand, rack of lamb and lobster were all excellent, tender and attractively presented. Fish dishes served to my tablemates was consumed with enthusiasm. I would agree that salad dressings and cocktail sauce should have been served on the side. There was never a problem with refilling coffee and tea cups. The dining room shortage was due to laying new carpeting and did result in unfortunate crowding in the buffet area.

 

I did feel the Buffet needed a MAJOR overhaul. Too tight a space, confusing arrangement of foods, terrible and dangerous traffic patterns with people practically bouncing off each other and entering from too many points. It was difficult to access hot soups and hot cereals which were located in the corners- I felt like a salmon swimming upstream.I found the buffet desserts to be very unappealing(actually a plus, since it kept me from gaining too much weight). Desserts at dinner fared much better.The beverage stations were illogically arranged with hot and cold drinkers having to cross in front of each other and fight for lemon, sugar, stirrers. (Holland America handled this by having the cold drinks pre-poured and served by a staff member).I actually was impressed with the staff regularly scrubbing down the buffet area(unfortunately, that meant closing down that side to accomplish this), There was not enuff seating- perhaps sacrificed to provide the generous pool areas.

 

There did not seem to be enough activities on At Sea days, tho the computer photo seminars were excellent. There seemed to be a lot a group games which didn't interest me. I felt it would have been easy to show more movies during the day in the theater.The production numbers were very good tho the Vista lounge should not be used for these shows(too small, too low a ceiling with poor visibility). It was a better setting for a singer, comedian or magician.Having sailed on Royal Carib last year, what I felt was missing was a warm-up act(RCCL had Cruiz Comics who entertained the audience while they were being seated).

 

I also would have appreciated a live presentation of each port- allowing Q & A. The tours were generally well organized and ran smoothly.

 

Embarkation ran very smoothly, tho disembarkation took forever since several passengers had not settled their accounts or show up for immigration and that prevented the rest of us from leaving the ship.

 

I don't mean to sound negative, it was a great cruise with a wonderful itinerary

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My wife, son, and I just got off this very same cruise, and our experience was completely the opposite of MBMiner's. I have posted my review in the "Reviews" section of this site, where it will appear whenever the site monitor posts it.

 

MBMiner is entitled to his opinions, but the comment that "[Princess's] the obvious attempt to appeal to the less sophisticated cruise passenger, the “McDonalds-generation” passenger, with low expectations, little experience in finer dining and proper food preparation, and one who is happy with the cruise as long as he can heap the food on his plate in the buffet on a 24-hour basis," reveals more about MBMiner than the quality of this particular trip.

 

Those of us who don't purport to be members of some sort of cruising elite were very happy with the experience, and found the food to be fine, the crew to be very welcoming and cooperative, the ship spotless, and the experience to be a good one.

 

I wrote in my review that cruises have the reputation of being havens for cranky senior citizens, but that we found the Golden's (mostly senior) passengers to be admirable, dignified individuals who respected the ship and crew and had a good time. MBMiner, unfortunately, appears to have arrived with low expectations and concentrated on finding reasons to realize them. For example, we experienced no confusion whatsoever when Princess closed one of the dining rooms for breakfast and lunch - we just went to the Canaletto as the sign suggested, which was uncrowded and filled with people that we enjoyed sharing a meal with.

 

MBMiner will no doubt return to Celebrity, which appears to be able to meet his sensibilities. But I would not judge this cruise, or Princess, on the basis of his comments, as they simply run counter to the experience I had on this same cruise. And no, no member of my family wore a baseball cap.

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MBMiner, thank you for taking the time to write such a thorough and thoughtful review of your cruise. Although I'm certain it will not be appreciated by some members of this board, I consider all reviews to be helpful and worth consideration. I can't claim to have noticed one bit of difference between Princess cruisers and Celebrity cruisers, but, for what it's worth, I agree with you that, in many respects, a Princess cruise cannot compare with a Celebrity cruise...and vice versa. They are like chocolate and strawberry ice creams...kind of the same, but a whole lot different, and I like them both. We return to Princess because their cruises are so darn easy, user friendly, we call them, and we like the itineraries they offer, but we are happiest on them when we leave our "Celebrity expectations" behind and go with the Princess flow.

 

BTW, my husband wears a baseball hat a LOT, on a cruise and off, but NEVER with his tux!

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I too sailed on this voyage with my friend and parents and we had a great time.

We had Traditional 2nd Seating and we too were served by Julian from Romania and Ruben from South Africa and they were outstanding! Both of them were very personable and professional and Julian went out of his way to please us. He knew my parents liked chocolate so he brought them a love boat dessert every night with their other dessert selections in case they didn't like what they ordered. When there was a Beef choice and a Seafood choice on the menu, he would combine the two for me because he knew I liked "surf and turf". Unsophisticated? So be it. We were happy.

Overall, I thought the meals at dinner in the dining room were very good with a few exceptions. We all thought the prime rib was not very good, but the Chateaubriand was very good as was the Beef Wellington. The only bad meals I had were at breakfast but in all honesty, I'm not easily pleased at breakfast so I can't really fault Princess.

I will agree that the buffet lines were bad. People were moving in all directions and it was frustrating as at times, there was no room to go from station to station.

We thought the pizza was very good and the pizza maker was the happiest worker on the ship! He was really nice, and very polite. In contrast, we thought the hamburger chef was the unhappiest worker on the ship and we didn't think the hamburgers were very good. The hot dogs and french fries were good though.

We all enjoyed the ports and especially enjoyed the trip to Edinburgh to see the Military Tatoo. We also enjoyed eating chocolates at Dumon and drinking beer in Bruge.

We enjoyed seeing the sights of Paris and liked drinking Guinness in Dublin. We really enjoyed our minicoach tour along the coast of Northern Ireland.

We were also all in agreement that the cruise director Richard was very nice and very personable. (Hi to you from Hawaii Richard if you are reading this!)

The embarkation in Southhampton was a breeze. We were out of the car and in our cabin in 20 minutes. After reading all of the negatives about embarkation in Southhampton on the previous British Isle cruises, we were worried but it was the easiest embarkation I've ever had. The Debarkation was also easy except we waited quite sometime for people to clear immigration. We were also surprised to arrive at the JFK airport in 25 minutes from the port in NYC. Everyone on board told us it would take about an hour. Wrong!! And for future reference, there is a set fee of $45.00 to or from JFK to the port. DO NOT PAY what the meter says, it's $45.00!! We had no problems making our 12:00pm flight from JFK to Honolulu as everyone we talked to on board seemed to think we would.

If I had to complain about anything on this cruise it would be about inconsiderate cigarette smokers. They were everywhere! We had a mini suite on Dolphin Deck and we could smell the smoke out on our balcony. The Atrium area just wreaked smoke all the time, and people were even smoking while we waited in front of the elevators for our group tour of the bridge. I am sensitive to smoke as I have allergies and personally feel that people should limit smoking to the outdoor areas. When we would return to our cabin late at night, our room would smell like smoke. We think it was either coming from the Crew Lounge below us on Emerald Deck or from others on our floor that smoked all the time. If Princess ever offers a "smokeless" cruise, I'll be on it.

As for the baseball cap comment, I wore a baseball cap quite often. What the heck is wrong with that? I didn't wear it to dinner, I wore it while in the sun on deck. Is something wrong with that?

Again, the four of us had a terrific time on this cruise and I will post pictures soon, when I recover from my jet lag and 12 hour time change.

 

Aloha,

Matt

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MBMiner, thank you for your comments. Your 'attitude' is just the reason I like Princess and do not care to cruise on Celebrity any more than I have to. I have found the Celebrity cruisers to be far too impressed with themselves, the service stuffy.

 

As for not having a dessert tray being brought to your table as one of the reasons for a poor cruise, then I guess you don't dine out very often at home either, very few restaurants provide that anymore. The server in most restaurants also handle a drink order, so I guess there aren't many restaurants you like at home either.

 

I do have 2 Celebrity cruises booked but am not overly anxious for them. Booked one of them because my sister I travel with wanted to try another cruise line and it is an outstanding itinerary, and have the 2nd one booked because of the group of people going.

 

I'll certainly put several Princess cruises in there someone, been on 34 Princess cruises and loved them all.

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MBMiner, thank you for your comments. Your 'attitude' is just the reason I like Princess and do not care to cruise on Celebrity any more than I have to. I have found the Celebrity cruisers to be far too impressed with themselves, the service stuffy.

 

Well stated, CruiseAholic. I couldn't agree more.

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Bruce,

It's interesting to read your review. Many of the things you mentioned are exactly why we left Celebrity and returned to Princess. :)

 

MBMiner, thank you for your comments. Your 'attitude' is just the reason I like Princess and do not care to cruise on Celebrity any more than I have to. I have found the Celebrity cruisers to be far too impressed with themselves, the service stuffy.

 

I agree with both of these individuals 100%.

 

I have sailed with both Princess and Celebrity and really have no desire to go back to Celebrity.

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Very interesting thread......my husband and I usually travel on NCL because we like the casualness and ability to dine when and where we please, but.....we opted for a change this time. We decided on the Golden Princess, and now I am glad we picked this over Celebrity. We are both in our 50's, and yet prefer cruising with a younger, less stuffy group.

Some people are never satisfied, obviously.

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I have elite status with both Celebrity and Princess. Each year I do one cruise each. I am 64 and will retire next year. I was on the spring Star transatlantic and did not feel the food was bad. Read my review on this web site. There were some service problems and breakfast and lunch in the main dining room, but nothing at night. I am on the Constellation in November. Overall I am satisfied with Princess and put $100 per person toward a future cruise as yet not chosen. I prefer the fixed seating option and made some new friends on this cruise. The food on Celebrity is better, but the service, entertainment and shore excursions on Princess are on par with any mainline cruise line.

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I don't understand - how can one couple have such a bad cruise experience in all areas and several others on the same cruise experience the opposite. Perhaps those whom had agood ncruise went in with low expectations and vica versa?? Or - is my theory a reality: The crew draws a cabin number from a hat at the beginning of the cruise and that cabin gets to experience the "cruise from H***. If so, we have been fortunate to have not had our cabin number drawn in 15 cruises - or - having only sailed Princess we don't know any better and just think it is great!

 

Ron

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I am always surprised when people think that if Celebrity does, the other lines must do it or they are inferior to Celebrity. I have eaten at many 5 star restaruants that also do not bring out a dessert tray or bring salad dressings to the table. If I want to put my own salad dressings on, I just ask for it on the side, really not a big deal. The waiters have handled my wine orders fine -- why have sommeliers if you do not need them?? Personally I don't want to pay $400 more per cruise to have an extra person in the dining room taking my wine order.

 

Maybe I should go over to the Celebrity board and complain that Celebrity doesn't give updated travel insurance for no charge to their repeat cruisers, free unlimited internet to their repeat users or free laundry to their Elite members.

 

People who cruise Princess are choosing to cruise Princess. Many of us have tried Celebrity and not all of us were impressed with Celebrity.

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I have been sailing Princess since the 80's and there have been changes in the Dining room. Pasta and Ceasar salads are not made table side anymore, but I found the meals on Princess generally good. But the price of Cruising has gone down in real dollars. I get a balcony now for what I used to pay for an inside cabin. MBMiner speaks about the Carnivalization of Princess for which I am thankful. I sailed Celebrity before and after the RCCL takeover and noticed changes there too. At least Carnival is building new ships for Princess, had RCCL taken over Princess I don't think we would be seeing all the new Princess ships. RCCL is more interested in building Megaships for RCCL that you will never get me on than building new ships for Celebrity, that line will shrink in capacity till 2008 and their prices will go up. This next Celebrity cruise may be my last because I will not pay 30% more to go on a Celebrity cruise. I have elite status with both lines and do not get the perks on Celebrity I get on Princess.

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Just returned from the same (?) british isle trans atlantic cruise. We had a great cruise! We chose the anytime dining & had no problems getting a table for two when we went to dinner, which was about 7PM each night. We usually though, enjoyed sharing a table & meeting new people. We always had excellent service at anytime time dining & if there was something extra we wanted, we just asked & received it.

The guests on this cruise were very friendly.

I found the cruise staff to be very accomodating through out the entire trip.

We also had a balcony on the Aloha deck - mid ship, port side- right by the elevators. Had no problem with any noise above - only heard very occassional walking, although the room did creak on those rough sea days.

Sure there was room for improvement, but not to the extent that would ruin a great cruise. One example I heard from a cruiser was that they were upset there was no bathrobe in their room, when they specifically requested it on their cruise personalizer. We had the same situation & when we arrived in our cabin, just contacted our room steward, asked for the bathrobes, feather pillows & the egg crate foam for the bed - they were there when we arrived back to the room after our lunch. And we had our linen changed while on this cruise - without asking. Our cruise personalizer was read by a cruise staff member at some point, as we did have balloons in front of our door for our anniversary, as requested.

If you went on this cruise to compare it with other cruises, too bad, because you missed a very enjoyable time.

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Four good cruise experiences to one very bad cruise experience on this thread - what gives? Are there two Golden Princess ships out there runing parrallel?

 

Ron

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We Sailed on the August 10 cruise out of Southhampton and had a wonderful time. We enjoyed the cruise, the food and the three tours that we took; the tattoo, beaumaris castle and the skara brae excursion. The Horizon Court had great food. I usually am happy with anything I do not have to cook myself. Coffee service bar area could use a traffic pattern reorganization but the coffee was better than I expected after reading all the negatives about the coffee on CC. Personal choice dining is just perfect for us. We met more nice people when when the maitre de asked us if we would sit with others or asked if we could joined others at a partially empty table in Horizon CT. My husband ran into an old college friend and we met a couple who knew a couple we knew from years back. Talk about 6 degrees of separation! The comedian Kevin Hughes was right on target and the opera singer Philippa Healy outstanding. The Princess dancers are always great. I loved the lap pool off of the Lotus Spa and followed with the jacuzzi. Both water temperatures were just right. This was our second cruise with Princess; the first being last summer to Alaska. We plan to do a land cruise tour to China next year and are looking forward to it. See you on the Princess.

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The one thing that MBMiner did not complain about is what he paid for the cruise. I saw this cruise heavily discounted at the last minute. The similar cruise on the Constellation was not. You do have to do your own airfare to get the last minute deal, but one was air out of NY to London is not expensive. I am considering this one for next year. On my Star transatlantic I met a couple that booked last minute that paid $800 per person less than I paid for the same cabin category. Since my former agent didn't work to get me the lower price, she is my former agent. Princess will honor a price reduction if the agent requests it.

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We were on the Golden Transatlantic too and on the whole enjoyed ourselves but if I had to rate our 19 Princess cruises then this one would be our least favorite but only because we thought the ship was too big. This was our first time on anything larger then the Regal.

 

Joeyddog's remarks are pretty much what we felt. The Buffet needs to be redesigned and they need more small tables up there. Too many tables for 6 or 8 had only one person sitting there. The desserts at lunch were virtually the same every day and not very good, they made no effort to have any special buffet lunches on the six day stretch to New York.

 

We had a table for 2 at first sitting in the traditional dining room and were very pleased with our waiters and the food was fine though the portions are definitely smaller than they used to be.

 

I was disappointed at the lack of special lecturers during the sea days - all that personal finance stuff is not what I want to think about on a cruise. Even when we were stuck inside during the days with bad weather they made no attempt to show extra movies etc. Too much space and effort is given to revenue enhancing areas such as the spa, special classes, bars etc but I can live with that if it keeps the cruise prices down.

 

We spent most of our time in Skywalkers because the ship has no forward facing lounge or enough places where you can sit and see the sea. Most of the staff were excellent but I agree that the people at the Purser's desk need to improve their attitude and they also need to learn more about the ship - sometimes I knew more about what the Golden had to offer than they did.

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