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Haven

Back from the Golden 7/25-8/1

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Just returned from the Golden Princess' Southern Caribbean tour. In fact, I'm still rocking a bit! Had a very relaxing time and enjoyed Princess' hospitality. Here are some of my impressions of the major elements...

 

Passengers: Lots of families, real mix of ages. Kids were abundant but well behaved. No chair hogs on this cruise! Everyone I met was very nice and quite friendly. Never had a problem getting a pool lounge or table at the buffet. Did hang out mostly at the Terrace pool so it was generally quiet and peaceful as it's adults only.

 

Cabin: We were on the Plaza deck. Spacious, well appointed and well attended by our cabin steward. Anything we asked for we received with a smile. I was very pleased. Was very quiet, except in the morning when we docked. We were directly above the gangway and were awaken each morning by the 'gentle' grinding of the gangway being deployed.

 

Crew: Overall I'd give the crew a B- rating. The dining room staff (we had traditional in the Cantenello Room) was fabulous. They were professional and engaging and took good care of our table. I found the waiters by the pool and in the Horizon to be very nice too. I did find that the waiters in the bar areas were less friendly. I found no need for additional tipping.

 

Food: I agree with most that the food was okie dokie. Nothing to really get excited about, but certainly edible and plentiful. The wait staff was most accommodating and tried hard to make the dinner fulfilling. We had traditional seating and enjoyed our table mates and wait staff very much. I do have to say that I found the coffee just fine and looked forward to my morning cup in the Horizon Court each morning.

 

Tea was great and if you get a chance you should check it out at least once.

 

Formal Nights: More suits than tuxes, more cocktail dresses than long formals, but from what I could tell, for the most part everyone looked very nice on these two nights. Those who didn't want to dress up stayed away from the dining rooms. In the corridors there was a mix of very casual, formal, and smart casual milling around. Bring a shawl or sweater and carry it everywhere. That ship is FREEZING!

 

Entertainment: When I sailed the Grand several years ago, I was blown away by the awesome entertainment. I was expecting the same on the Golden, but found this was the most disappointing part of the cruise. Other than the band Tenacity and Sarge (both were excellent) I found the live entertainment lacking. The band in the Explorers Lounge was horrible. Just Kidding was their name, but we named them, You've got to be kidding. The production shows were mildly entertaining, mediocre at best. Didn't go into the Wheelhouse because of the smoke, but I guess smokers need their spot too. The Newlywed Game was the funniest, Princess Idol not bad. I'd suggest that you be prepared to create your own entertainment if you like to stay up late. I am definitely a take matters into my own hands kind of girl, so I still managed to have a phenomenal time. I did enjoy the wine tasting seminar very much.

 

The Captain's Circle Cocktail Party: Not a problem to skip! You aren't missing a thing. It was held in the Vista Lounge where we all sat and listened to a sales pitch about future sailings and then watched as Captain Ditel took photos with the longest cruisers. I don't know about you, but any cocktail party where my guests all sit and don't interact I consider a failure!

 

Excursions: Can't speak to this as my only goal was to rest, relax and enjoy the ship. We went out each day for an hour or two and came back to the ship. It was great to have staff/passenger ratio reduced so greatly all afternoon! I definitely felt pampered during the day.

 

Big Tip: In your carry-on pack two casual outfits, a swimsuit, and one formal outfit with all of your toiletries...just in case. My friend's luggage showed up the morning we disembarked. Princess did express clean her one outfit and lingerie everyday, but it did take a bit of the shine off her trip. But attitude is everything and not even this could ruin our trip.

 

Happy to answer any questions.

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Thanks for the review. We leave in about 6 1/2 weeks. How was the embarkation process for you and what time did you get there?

 

Becky

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Due to a serious of crazy airline fobiles, we didn't arrive at the ship until about 10:15 pm. Therefore, embarkation was a breeze! No lines, no wait, instant service. Wouldn't suggest cutting it that close. We were nearly 2 hours late sailing as there were thirty other folks who had airline issues and were late arriving.

 

Disembarkation was relatively painless as well. We were Red 3 and were off the ship by 8:30 am.

 

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the info. I can't beleive you didn't get there until 10:15. I would have been going nuts. Was there bad weather or something that held up the planes?

 

Becky

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Thanks for the great review. We enjoyed the 7/4 sailing and found it to be about the same. With that said, we are also ready to go back!

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