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Just returned from the Golden Princess Mexican Riviera Cruise and thought I would post a few comments. Some of these will be critical, so prepare yourselves.

 

1) Alternative Dining is really a mess on this ship. We've never had problems on other ships, but here it was very unorganized. The lines were very long on the first few nights. If you called to make reservations you got put on hold and then the line would disconnect. On one evening the line was so long, our group was taken up to the Preferred Dining Room by the Maitre'd. It got better later in the cruise, but the early days were rough.

 

2) Service in Anytime Dining was very disappointing. Again, we haven't had that problem before, but it was very poor on the Golden. Not a single waiter even bothered to introduce himself. He just handed us the menus and walked away. When we tried to make special requests to one waiter, he acted very put out. We had our two year old granddaughter and had to request the children's menu every time. I admit that I questioned the complaint of an earlier posting on Golden's service. After seeing it first hand, I apologize for doubting and add my voice to this issue. All in all, I think it is a problem at the management or supervisory level rather than the workers themselves. Something in the training seems to be missing big time here.

 

3) Service in other areas of the ship was fine. Our room steward was great and the wait staff in the Horizon Court seemed very helpful and friendly. So were the bar staff.

 

4) The Golden is due for a major facelift. We were on the Grand and it seemed in better shape than the Golden. The lower public decks are fine, but the upper decks are showing some age.

 

5) The food was fine and they've greatly improved their burger out at the pool deck. For the first time, the buns didn't seem a week old. Cookies are still way over-cooked, though. Any housewife in America can outcook these Cordon Bleu trained chefs when it comes to cookies.

 

6) The best part of the cruise: every evening in the Horizon Court they offer homemade ice creams. They were very, very good. Did I say they were good? They were very, very good!

 

7) Embarkation and disembarkation were fine. Fast and efficient.

 

Overall, any cruise is a good cruise and cruising with Princess has always been a good experience for us. I'm not sure we will ever cruise the Grand Class again, though. I just don't like the layout and I miss being able to sit in a lounge chair on the Promenade Deck.

 

We're off on a church mission for 3 years, so no cruising for awhile. We will miss it, but hope nothing changes for the worse while we're gone.

 

:D

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. On one evening the line was so long, our group was taken up to the Preferred Dining Room by the Maitre'd.

 

While I'm not the most experienced Princess cruiser here by a long shot, I've been on 4 different Princess ships and never heard of a "Preferred Dining Room". Just curious what this is.

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While I'm not the most experienced Princess cruiser here by a long shot, I've been on 4 different Princess ships and never heard of a "Preferred Dining Room". Just curious what this is.

Me either. They said they were taken up to it. They probably were taken from the lower Anytime Dining (Bernini) to the upstairs Anytime Dining (Donatello). Or they could have been taken to the Traditional Dining Room (Canaletto).

 

Sounds like the Anytime Dining was overwhelmed. We are Late Traditional Diners and many times have dined in a dining room with lots of empty tables.

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with traditional. We just got off the Golden 5/3 and had late traditional dining. Part of cruising for us is to have our waiter/asst. "know" our wants and needs and accommodate us each evening. The service on the Golden was the best we have had on five previous Princess ships. We attempted anytime dining two years ago and sure wished we hadn't chosen that option. Fortunately around the 3rd night we found a table and waiters that we enjoyed and got a standing reservation for 8:15 pm for the rest of the cruise -- so why not go traditional? (As an aside during conversations with our waiter we asked if he got moved around between anytime and traditional and he stated not any longer as Princess prefers the "long time/more experienced" waiters placed in traditional).

 

Can't stand waiting for a restaurant seat here in the U.S. and certainly don't want to wait while on a cruise ship. No more anytime for us.

 

We thoroughly enjoyed our Golden cruise -- thought the service was excellent wherever you were. One day after getting a couple pieces of pizza, glass of ice, and soda can and on my way back to the aft adult pool, I had "two" people ask if they could carry it for me. Never had that happen before.

 

Anyway, just my 2 cents worth...

 

Jo in AZ

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We're Traditional Dining fans after a similar experience on the Golden in January. A few days into the cruise we were able to switch to traditional dining and it was wonderful (as always!)

 

For our next cruise we are on a waiting list for traditional dining--originally 123 on the waiting list, but I just checked and we're 3. Yeah!

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We're Traditional Dining fans after a similar experience on the Golden in January. A few days into the cruise we were able to switch to traditional dining and it was wonderful (as always!)

 

For our next cruise we are on a waiting list for traditional dining--originally 123 on the waiting list, but I just checked and we're 3. Yeah!

 

Just returned from the Golden Princess Mexican Riviera Cruise and thought I would post a few comments. Some of these will be critical, so prepare yourselves.

 

1) Alternative Dining is really a mess on this ship. We've never had problems on other ships, but here it was very unorganized. The lines were very long on the first few nights. If you called to make reservations you got put on hold and then the line would disconnect. On one evening the line was so long, our group was taken up to the Preferred Dining Room by the Maitre'd. It got better later in the cruise, but the early days were rough.

 

2) Service in Anytime Dining was very disappointing. Again, we haven't had that problem before, but it was very poor on the Golden. Not a single waiter even bothered to introduce himself. He just handed us the menus and walked away. When we tried to make special requests to one waiter, he acted very put out. We had our two year old granddaughter and had to request the children's menu every time. I admit that I questioned the complaint of an earlier posting on Golden's service. After seeing it first hand, I apologize for doubting and add my voice to this issue. All in all, I think it is a problem at the management or supervisory level rather than the workers themselves. Something in the training seems to be missing big time here.

 

3) Service in other areas of the ship was fine. Our room steward was great and the wait staff in the Horizon Court seemed very helpful and friendly. So were the bar staff.

 

4) The Golden is due for a major facelift. We were on the Grand and it seemed in better shape than the Golden. The lower public decks are fine, but the upper decks are showing some age.

 

5) The food was fine and they've greatly improved their burger out at the pool deck. For the first time, the buns didn't seem a week old. Cookies are still way over-cooked, though. Any housewife in America can outcook these Cordon Bleu trained chefs when it comes to cookies.

 

6) The best part of the cruise: every evening in the Horizon Court they offer homemade ice creams. They were very, very good. Did I say they were good? They were very, very good!

 

7) Embarkation and disembarkation were fine. Fast and efficient.

 

Overall, any cruise is a good cruise and cruising with Princess has always been a good experience for us. I'm not sure we will ever cruise the Grand Class again, though. I just don't like the layout and I miss being able to sit in a lounge chair on the Promenade Deck.

 

We're off on a church mission for 3 years, so no cruising for awhile. We will miss it, but hope nothing changes for the worse while we're gone.

 

:D

We were on the Golden April 26-May3, we had anytime dining and had no problem at all, never waited, even on formal nights, waiters were very friendly, went out of their way, asking us if we liked our choice of dinner, could they bring us something different etc. etc..... I have to agree the upper decks are showing wear, the cookies were overcooked, but I thought the overall food in the Horizon Court was great! The service was wonderful, and the Golden is still a beautiful ship and we had a wonderful cruise!

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We were on the Golden April 26-May3, we had anytime dining and had no problem at all, never waited, even on formal nights, waiters were very friendly, went out of their way, asking us if we liked our choice of dinner, could they bring us something different etc. etc..... I have to agree the upper decks are showing wear, the cookies were overcooked, but I thought the overall food in the Horizon Court was great! The service was wonderful, and the Golden is still a beautiful ship and we had a wonderful cruise!

 

We also had a very positive experience with anytime dining on the Golden on our April 12-19 cruise. We never had to wait and had really great service.

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We also had a very positive experience with anytime dining on the Golden on our April 12-19 cruise. We never had to wait and had really great service.

 

We were on the Golden for the next cruise, April 19 - 26 and had our first experience with anytime dining. We loved it! We loved the flexibility of choosing when we wanted to eat. We also loved meeting new people each night, even if some tables were more fun than others. We never made reservations. A couple of nights when we were there at peak time, we were given beepers which always went off as soon as we started playing in the casino. We chose the anytime dining room near the casino because we knew that would be a great place to wait if we had to...not everyone's choice, but it worked well for us. One night we had a trainee assistant waiter who confused our soup orders, but it was nothing more than a grin and a shrug to me.

 

This was only our second Princess cruise, the first being on the Caribbean Princess. I much preferred the layout of the Golden. The public areas never felt crowded. We never had trouble getting lounge chairs, but we're not big into pool activities. I thought the ship was in beautiful shape. Like all ships, they're constantly repairing and upgrading. I would recommend the Golden and anytime dining to anyone!!:D

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:)

Just returned from the Golden Princess Mexican Riviera Cruise and thought I would post a few comments. Some of these will be critical, so prepare yourselves.

 

1) Alternative Dining is really a mess on this ship. We've never had problems on other ships, but here it was very unorganized. The lines were very long on the first few nights. If you called to make reservations you got put on hold and then the line would disconnect. On one evening the line was so long, our group was taken up to the Preferred Dining Room by the Maitre'd. It got better later in the cruise, but the early days were rough.

 

2) Service in Anytime Dining was very disappointing. Again, we haven't had that problem before, but it was very poor on the Golden. Not a single waiter even bothered to introduce himself. He just handed us the menus and walked away. When we tried to make special requests to one waiter, he acted very put out. We had our two year old granddaughter and had to request the children's menu every time. I admit that I questioned the complaint of an earlier posting on Golden's service. After seeing it first hand, I apologize for doubting and add my voice to this issue. All in all, I think it is a problem at the management or supervisory level rather than the workers themselves. Something in the training seems to be missing big time here.

 

I have been really perplexed at some of the recent comments on anytime dining on The Golden. We were onboard in the middle of February and it couldn't have run any smoother. We never waited for a table the whole week.:confused:

 

I think your last sentence sums it up and there must have been a change in the supervision of the anytime dining rooms in the last couple of months as all of the staff we encountered were very happy and efficient people.

 

Mike:)

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If "Anytime" dining is so great, why is there always a wait list for Traditional???

 

Only a theory - because only one of the three dining rooms on the Golden is set aside for traditional (at least that's how it was on my cruise back in 2002). My guess is that while more guests overall may prefer anytime to traditional, more guests sign up for traditional than can be easily accommodated in only one dining room. :o Hope that comes out right.

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While I'm not the most experienced Princess cruiser here by a long shot, I've been on 4 different Princess ships and never heard of a "Preferred Dining Room". Just curious what this is.

 

 

Sorry about that. What I meant to say was the "Traditional Dining Room".

 

I suppose that could be a freudian slip in that now the "traditional" may be preferred in my mind.

 

My main point was to state that we have not had these problems with Anytime Dining on other Princess ships. It was only on Golden. I can't speak for those that didn't see the problem, but I am surprised. It seemed to be the major topic of discussion up on deck.

 

Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable cruise.

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We prefer anytime dining because of the flexibility. There's nothing I hate more than being on an all day tour and have to rush around to get ready for an early seating dinner - and I don't like late seating because then you're eating a lot of food late at night, getting sleepy, etc.

 

We recognize a trade-off in service because anytime wait staff can't possibly know your preferences (unless you go for the standing table/time reservation). For us, the flexibility is worth that trade-off.

 

We found our service to be at least adequate if not very good in the Bernini Dining Room.

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We cruised 3 times last year and one time this year on The Golden Princess. Our anytime dining experience has been nothing short of fantastic. We always sit at a share table and get to meet new people every night. The service has always been very good. We will stick with anytime dining till our luck runs out.

 

Cricketdog

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Sorry your experience with 'Anytime' Dining was not a good one.

 

Next time..if you want great individual service....try 'Traditional' dining. We have always had Traditional...always had a great staff and had our every needs addressed and given the best service possible. We cruised last fall on the Golden and the service was wonderful.

 

ITA...the food in the dining rooms on the Golden was very good, close to excellent for us. Enjoyed every meal we had. Never tried the burgers..we love to eat in the main dining rooms for most of our meals. However, we did eat a few quick breakfasts in Horizon Court before leaving for port on an excursion. The buffet can be a bit hectic, to say the least, with folks walking this way and that around the food stations. I really didn't enjoy that busy aspect..but it was a buffet...and that was expected....so no problems really there for us.

 

As for the over all look of the Golden, I thought she was beautiful and well kept. Every time I was walking anywhere on the ship...I always saw the crew cleaning and doing maintenance on her.

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If "Anytime" dining is so great, why is there always a wait list for Traditional???

One possible reason is they only allocate 1/3 of the dining facilities to Traditional on the Grand class ships.

 

But... that said.....We have sailed them and had empty tables during Late Traditional. A lot might have to do with the itinerary. Some might attract more Anytimers..... ;)

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I was just on the Golden and had wanted early traditional but was too far back on the waitlist. But thanks to this board, someone suggested signing up for a particular time when we arrived.

 

At 1:30 embarkation day, we went to Sabatinni's and signed up for anytime dining at 5:45 each evening with a 15 min. leeway, and requested the same table, guests and waitstaff. We were accommodated very nicely and ate each evening at 6:00 with two other mother/daughters at a table for six.

 

At that 1:30 time (and there was a line forming behind us) we were moved to another table where we chose the nights we wanted to go to the two speciality restaurants and it was nice because we saw the week's menus and decided what would work for us.

 

I chose dining in Donatello because in order to make an 8:00 show, we would finish eating at 7:30 and then go straight to the theatre which is also on the 6th floor and have time to freshen up and get great seats without dealing with the stairs or elevators. :)

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We just got off the Golden this morning.

 

Had anytime dining, and I have to agree that the line ups were long. We finally sent someone down and put our name on the list and kept the pager with us.

 

We ate in the Donatello dinning room and because we needed a table for 8, it was a longer wait. Our first 2 nights the waitress and assistant were'nt the best. We thought we'd try the next night, and couldn't believe that we got the same table again:rolleyes: We then went to the Bernini resturant and had a fantastic time.

 

We ate in the Desert Rose last night and it was by far the best meal of the cruise. All 8 of us commented that the food was great on the ship. Even the Horizon Court was good. A good selection and always fresh. Other than the slowness of our waitress the first couple of night, I don't have any complaints about the cruise. Even that wasn't enough to ruin the cruise.

 

We bought a couple of more "FCC"

 

We love Princess. I actually thought the ship looked in pretty good shape. Having "2600" people on board all time must keep them busy.

 

In fact they were replacing all the carpet around the main pool this morning.

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I was just on the Golden and had wanted early traditional but was too far back on the waitlist. But thanks to this board, someone suggested signing up for a particular time when we arrived.

 

At 1:30 embarkation day, we went to Sabatinni's and signed up for anytime dining at 5:45 each evening with a 15 min. leeway, and requested the same table, guests and waitstaff. We were accommodated very nicely and ate each evening at 6:00 with two other mother/daughters at a table for six. :)

 

We have done this exact thing for our past 3 cruises and it works like a charm. It lets ups keep the same wait staff, time and table. It is the first thing I will do on every future cruise.

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We love Princess. I actually thought the ship looked in pretty good shape. Having "2600" people on board all time must keep them busy.

 

In fact they were replacing all the carpet around the main pool this morning.

I have to agree with Karen – I really found nothing that would make anyone think Golden Princess needs a “facelift.” She looked in pretty darn good shape to me, especially since they are running 2600 people through her every week. I didn’t notice any wear and tear – anywhere.

 

As for dining, I had friends on board who had Anytime Dining and were well taken care of – they had absolutely no complaints about the experience and didn’t even mention having to wait in line. They did go to the dining room about 8:00, so that might be the difference?

 

I stuck with Traditional and I had a top-notch experience in the dining room. The wait staff was excellent – the Assistant Waiter had only been in the dining room two weeks – and the food was among the best of my Princess cruises.

 

I sometimes read these boards and think that I will have to go looking for another cruise line. Then I board a Princess ship. If anything, this last week on Golden Princess reinforces my desire to continue to sail Princess exclusively. Even with the crappy disembarkation this morning, overall the cruise was excellent.

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We were on the Golden last week (4/26-5/3) and loved anytime dining. We ate at different times all week, depending on what activities we wanted to do. We eat out fairly often at home so we're used to a short wait. We always asked for a table for 2 and never waited more than 20 minutes. They give you a pager so you can go get a drink or play the slots or wander through one of the boutiques. I think some people forget that there are 2 anytime dining rooms since a few times we'd head to Donatello and see a line, then go down one deck to Bernini and have no line.

 

The food was great all week as was the service. A few times we ended up with a waiter we'd had earlier in the week and they would always remember us. They were all very friendly and always introduced themselves. I think I had to ask for more water once, but that was about the only glitch. Different people certainly have different expectations. I expect people to be human and do the best they can do and I forgive minor faults.

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We were on the Golden Mexican Riviera cruise from April 19- 26th. We had anytime dining and were TOTALLY impressed with the wait staff at every meal. Each one of them introduced themselves and were attentive to our needs. We used to love the traditional seatings but have come to like the anytime dining.

We were normally at the restaurant at 5:30 or 6:00 each evening and seated right away. It was wonderful to meet so many new table mates that became friends over the week and for the future.

 

We all thought the condition of the Golden was in very good shape especially considering the fact that THOUSANDS of people are in the ship every day and week. Can anyone imagine what their own house would look like with that many people occupying it daily??? Unfortunately, Princess can not constantly replace furnishings and carpeting without having to raise the prices of their cruises to cover such a cost.

 

If anyone who's reading this is scheduled for a future Golden Princess cruise, I can guarantee you'll have a wonderful time if you just don't "sweat the small stuff". Enjoy!!!!!!!!!

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