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AmyBeth68

Golden Princess Easter Week...highlights

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We just returned from a wonderful week aboard the Golden Princess. I would like to hit on some of the highlights of this cruise:

 

*Pre-Cruise: Sheraton Yankee Clipper.

We enjoyed this hotel....great beach location with lovely views from our beach-front room. We chose to eat dinner at Shula's On The Beach instead of at the hotel and had a WONDERFUL dinner there. It's pricey but VERY good. Overall this hotel was fine for a night or two. Generally clean and very friendly staff.

 

*Embarkation: We arrived at 11:30 and it took us maybe 30-45 minutes to get onboard. Princess has this aspect of the cruise down to a science. Truly it was a breeze. I spoke to an RCCL cruiser on our flight home and she said it was a nightmare getting onboard. I have to say that the cruise certainly started off on the right foot with this quick and breezy embarkation.

 

*Cabin D205 (Dolphin Deck Mini-Suite): What can I say...you cannot go wrong with any of princess's mini-suites. They are perfect for a family of four with two small children. We never felt crowded and the bathroom with a tub is so wonderful. We had no problems with storage and the closet is plenty large. The balcony is wonderful and had four chairs and two small tables. We spent many an hour just reading or enjoying a cocktail on the balcony. We did NOT have any problems with cigarettes raining down (we did last year on the Grand) and we never saw the folks who were in the cabin just above ours. I like the open balcony b/c I'm able to get some sun! icon_smile.gif

 

*Condition of the Golden: Overall, the ship is in good condition. Does she need a bit of sprucing up? Sure. That's what dry-dock is for I suppose. Some of the carpets are a bit worn, the cabin doorways are a bit beat up in the hallway. But it won't take away from your experience at all. The Grand class ships have such an understated elegence...I love the soft wood tones, brass and marble. The wheelhouse and explorers lounge are very comfortable and classy spaces. The pool areas are gorgous with the tiles and sculptures.

 

*Food: As we've all said...food is truly subjective.

~Horizon Court: Food was fair (area congested)

~Trident's Grill: Good burgers and dogs

~Pizza Poolside: Quite good..Chicago style

~Desert Rose: VERY good southwestern/Mexican.

~Dining Room: Very Good to Excellent. The lobster tails were delicious, souffles were outstanding, soups were unique and tasty, Shrimp Creole was outstanding!!! We have absolutely NO COMPLAINTS about the food. We dine out often here in the NY metro area and we found the food to be on par with some fine restaurants.

 

*Service:

~Dining Room: Excellent. Our waitstaff and headwaiter were great. We had traditional first and enjoyed getting to know our waiters and for the first time we really got to know our head waiter who was EVERYWHERE around the dining room and sooo much fun. Mariusz rocks icon_smile.gif!!!

~Horizon Court: Fair. I thought the lines were way too long, and people were waiting for food to be replenished too often. It didn't seem like they were on top of their game last week.

~Germ Control: Yep...some folks got sick. But boy do they jump on this RIGHT AWAY. The hand sanitizers were out early in the week and they were spraying and cleaning everything all the time. Princess has also got this down to a science. I feel very confident sailing with them.

~Cabin Steward: We loved Pedro...he was friendly and efficient. No complaints.

~Bar service: Fair

 

*Kid's Center (Funzone): They did a GREAT job handling the 600 (yikes) kids on this sailing. They broke the age groups down even further so that the groups were manageable. I was surprised at how many kids did NOT participate though. My kids came home with medals, stuffed animals, arts & crafts projects, etc. They had a fabulous time...including karaoke night, disco party at Skywalkers, pajama party, talent show, etc. I think that the children's program has improved over the program a year ago (and we liked it then).

 

*Cruise Director and staff: We thought that Graham Seymore was hilarious!!! He was the best cruise director we've ever seen. However, I thought the staff was actually more accessible last year on the Grand. By this I mean that we saw them all day, and they were more readily available to chat with. No bid deal...just a difference that we noted.

 

*Entertainment: We did not see many of the productions shows. We heard the magician was fantastic though from MANY people. The comedien, Stu Moss, was pretty funny. We did love the new piano bar singer...Brendan Jones. He has an amazing voice, a cross between Billy Joel and Elton John style. The piano bar was quite full every night and sometimes he had standing room only. Definitely catch him one night if you can...it'll be worth your time.

 

*Fellow Passengers: Wow...this ship was FULL FULL FULL. There were a LOT of kids. But we expected that, sailing over Easter break. Generally speaking the children were well behaved. A few nights we heard teens coming back to their cabin late and they were very LOUD. At times there was running in the hallway (how can people that small sound so LOUD). LOL. The pools were crowded during sea days BUT we were able to find lounge chairs (just not next to the pool). We found that the pool area w/ the cover (which was uncovered for the whole cruise) was excellent and much less crowded than the main pool. As for other areas, the ship handles the numbers very well. I never felt claustrophobic (except around the photo center on the last day).

 

What I don't understand is bringing or allowing younger kids to the later evening events (which generally featured more adult humor)...or to the lounges. I have no problem w/ kids at the production (dance) shows or the magician etc. We had young kid with us...and they went to the Fun Zone in the evening. A few nights we paid extra for them to stay until 11:00 pm. Other than that if there was something one of us really wanted to see or do later...the other went back with the kids. It worked out great. I just think that there are some sacrifices you have to make if you have kids with you. Maybe I sound like an old-fogey here...sorry to offend anyone. But it was just interesting to see young kids all over the ship at ALL hours. Did it ruin my experience? Not at all. Just an observation icon_smile.gif.

 

*Formal Nights: On the first night it seemed that pax dressed to the nines. Everyone...especially the little passengers....looked fantastic. I think 90% of the people stuck to the dress codes. I saw quite a few tuxes and a majority of men in dark suits. I also saw some gorgous gowns on the ladies. The second formal night was a different story. I saw lots of people dressed VERY casually that evening. Again...it did not ruin the experience for me but it was a little disappointing.

 

*Weather: We were blessed with gorgous sunny weather for nearly the entire week.

 

*Ports: We loved the itinerary. St. Martin and St. Thomas were lovely. I'll post more about them on the Ports of Call board. Princess Cays was great...except trying to tender back. I don't know what happened but the line to get the tender at 1:30 pm and onward was ridiculous. We stood there for 40 minutes (at least) waiting to get back to the ship. The ship ended up leaving MUCH later than what they anticipated. I don't get what happened as we did not experience this last year on the Grand?

 

Overall this was a fantastic cruise. We booked again for next Easter on the Grand (out of Galveston). We met some of the nicest people on board. I want to give a shout out to our cruise critic buddies who made this a truly special vacation.....Chris and Brenda!!! Chris and Gail!!! Rob and Margarette!!! Linda, Larry and Tommy!!!! Bob and Karen (and Grandma Choo Choo)!!!! Patti and Jim!!! Bill and April!!! We LOVED meeting you all. Especially the SeaBuffet horse syndicate. You guys were some of the coolest, craziest, sweetest people we have had the honor to meet. I'd LOVE to cruise with all of you in the future icon_smile.gif. We also met SO MANY other people who made this voyage special...cruising is a unique opportunity to make friends...take advantage of it icon_smile.gif.

 

My advice to future cruisers....GO OVER TO THE ROLL CALL BOARD and make some friends. You won't regret it!

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We were on the same cruise. I agree with your observations. Being first-timers, we didn't know what to expect, however we had an "absolutely fantastic" time, to quote Lisa of the entertainment staff.

 

We thought Graham Seymour was hilarious. My daughter and I met him at the ice cream counter and he was very nice. We enjoyed all of the shows. Did you happen to catch the adorable couple, Hazel and Joe tearing up the dance floor? We especially enjoyed island night and the champagne fountain party.

 

My kids are in their 20's, and there didn't seem to be many their age. There were more kids 18 and younger. I was impressed by the organized activities for the younger children.

 

Someone told us the lines would be long from Princess Cays so we left at 1:00 and had no wait. Disembarking at Ft. Lauderdale was a different story. We had to wait over one hour for the bus to the airport.

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I have to echo everything that Amy has said. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly in spite of the fact that the Caribbean Princess occupied Princess' usual terminal and we were relegated to another berth across the harbor. And, oh, that shrimp creole...mmmmmmmmmm.

 

The ship did look a little worn, especially after getting off the brand-new Caribbean Princess. The staff, though, was pure Princess. It almost seemed like someone was there with whatever you wanted even if you only thought you might want something.

 

As an example of phenomenal service, we had to leave the dining room on the last night to make the horse races. Our dining room waitress searched us out and offered to have dessert sent to our room since they'd been slow to serve and we'd had to leave. Not that we could have eaten another bite, mind you. That's service!

 

Not only was it a great cruise, but the CC group on board really was a great bunch. I can't believe it was just a week ago that we suffered ignominious defeat to a hyperactive British stripling. Oh well, at least we were Best Dressed!

 

Just completed:

Caribbean Princess Apr 3/04

Golden Princess Apr 10/04

Coming up:

Tahitian Princess Oct 14/04

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Amy & Randy, Rob, et al ...

 

It is indeed hard to believe that all of this was only a week ago. The only thing that could possibly have improved the week-long experience is if the children of the winning horse race syndicate had taken up Graham Seymour's offer for free snorkeling lessons near the ship's propellers early the next morning.

 

We've said it before, but it bears repeating: It was an honor and a privilege to have served with you all on this fine vessel.

 

Italian officers on deck! CIAO !!!

 

Bob & Karen

 

Ship_at_island.gif

"Ohhh these moments we’re left with --

May you always remember

These moments are shared, by few

And those harbor lights, lord, they’re coming into view

We’ll bid our farewells much too soon

So drink it up, this one’s for you -

Honey, it’s been a lovely cruise."

-- James W. Buffett

 

Carnival Triumph, April '02

Carnival Sensation, January '04

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=00bfff&cdt=2004;4;10;17;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500

(Golden Princess, 4/10/04 - "Grown People Acting Like Children!")

 

4/10/04 Golden Princess Rogue's gallery: http://community.webshots.com/album/126040133QEaDiP

 

Cruise pix at: http://community.webshots.com/user/mageesworld

 

e-mail: bobandkarenny@yahoo.com

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Mom I found you!!! LookyLou...so sneaky.

 

Anyway, to echo my mothers post, icon_wink.gif, I had an "absolutely fantastic" time. Graham Seymour was incredible, the best cruise director one could ever ask for. I had no idea what to expect on this trip and it met almost all of my ideas of what a cruise "should" be like. There was a lack of people my age (22), but I made do and made friends with the cruise staff! (Stephen and Brian...loved them!)

 

The cruise was one of the best experiences of my life and I have sent in my resume to Princess Cruises, in the hopes that they have some openings for entertainment staff members! icon_smile.gif

 

PHOTOS: http://community.webshots.com/user/allie311

 

*alicia*

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Princess 311

So enjoyed your pics. We sailed on the ship/date however, never saw any of those beautiful sunsets/sunrises! thanks

Also, I enjoyed all of the pics around the ship . . . it keeps the fun memory of the week close at heart . . . especially when some of the pics had my family members in them (around the pool & carribean party!)

Laurie

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Great review, great pics, awesome sunsets....really brought back some memories of our Golden sailing

 

Thanks!

 

Happy Cruising

 

Chris

 

www.LifeIsCruising.com

 

Next up:

Caribbean Princess 06/26/04

Star Princess 10/24/04

Diamond Princess 12/22/04

Carnival Miracle 03/13/05

 

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Very informative and helpful. Thanks for taking the time to write so thoroughly. Mary & I are on this ship in 2 weeks and your information really helps!

 

Also, thanks to all of you for sharing your pictures.

 

<FONT SIZE="5"><FONT COLOR="#000000">Bill & Mary</FONT></FONT>

<FONT SIZE="3"><FONT COLOR="#FF0000">Golden Princess: May 9, 2004</FONT></FONT>

(A 25th Anniversary First Cruise.... Everyone has to start Somewhere!)

Leaving ON:

<FONT SIZE="4"><span style="border:blue double 5px;"><span style="background-color:#000066;"><tt><FONT COLOR="#33CCFF">~ 5/9/04 at 11:00p.m. {No Countdown Clock: You Figure It Out} ~</span></span></FONT></FONT></tt></p>

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