Jump to content
TracieABD

Review of Golden Princess 7-11-09

Recommended Posts

Embarkation: We were a little early to the pier, and were through the line in about 4 minutes.

We had a 30 minute wait before they began letting people on the boat, but we were in the first group of people that were allowed to embark, and the process went surprisingly smoothly. The pier staff was friendly and helpful, and we were pleasantly surprised at the ease of the process.

Weather: What can I say? In a word, remarkable. We had sun and blue skies, and warm days. We had planned for cloudy, damp and cold, but we hit the longest warm streak that most Alaskans could remember. Last year at this time, they had 22 consecutive days of rain. This year they had about 7 weeks of sun. We were so grateful that we were able to enjoy such beautiful weather is such a beautiful place. It was a bit overcast in the Tracy Arm Fjord, but we were told that this was a good thing, as it makes the ice look so much bluer.

On the Ship:

Once on the ship, we stopped at the purser’s desk to sign up for the UST. We were the first on the list. We then proceeded to our mini-suite to drop off our bags and to start a load of laundry.

Next we found the dining room, and initially we were told that seated lunch was only for B2B passengers, but the hostess relented and we were seated in the empty dining room. The wait staff were completely pleasant and helpful. The maitre d helped us to register for the Chefs Table. Our assistant waiter purchased our coffee cards for us (we had a two for one coupon- Thanks, Deb!).

We then began to explore the ship. This was my DH’s first cruise, so he was amazed at how big the ship really is.

Cabin: Our cabin was very nice. We had a mini on the Dolphin Deck (D-321). Yes, there was a little wear and tear in the cabin, but the carpet was in pretty good shape. Our cabin steward, Henry, was wonderful. No request went unfulfilled. I am always cold, so he brought us an extra duvet, lap blankets. Our ice bucket was never empty, and all supplies were continuously stocked. He learned our names and was always polite and attentive without being the slightest bit intrusive. He made our experience on Princess just that much nicer. We could not have asked for more professional room steward.

Florist: My husband had flowers in the room to commemorate an anniversary, and the arrangement was lovely and very fresh. The florist used a variety of flowers and used extra measures to assure that they would remain fresh throughout the cruise. The price of the flowers were comparable to land florist, and the smell of the flowers added to our stateroom.

Spa: I decided to try the spa, even though there have been several negative threads about the services in the spa. I booked five treatments that took just under 3 hours to complete. Chix, the esthetician, was very professional and knowledgeable, and was very competent. I felt the price was also comparable to an upscale spa on land. The only sales pitch that I received was for an exfoliater, and when I politely refused, there was no additional pressure.

Anniversary: As I stated a bit earlier, we were celebrating an anniversary. My husband registered it on the personalize, and throughout the cruise we were congratulated and feed numerous cakes! This was just one additional way that we were made to feel valued by Princess.

Dining: The food is very good, and consistently prepared. We feel it is a bit under seasoned. Then again, if our noses aren’t running and we are not chugging shots of Mylanta, the food is under-seasoned. We had early traditional dining and were initially seated at a table for 8. By the second night, we were moved to a table for 4 with 2 of our original tablemates, and we felt that this was more manageable. We also really liked our serving staff at the second table. My only true complaint about the food was getting a really rare steak. I wonder if this is going to become more of a trend, as it is stateside, due to e-coli and other similar issues.

Specialty Dining: We ate at the Crown Grille one evening. The food was very good, and the staff accommodating. Honestly, my steaks in the MDR were just as good as those in the Crown Grille. One word of warning, my husband has the whole Maine lobster and they presented it with the “butter” (the greenish innards stuff—yuck). The molten lava cake was TDF (to die for)!

Chef’s Dinner: We decided to enter the lottery for the Chef’s Dinner. (Warning: there is a $75 pp upcharge, but we felt that it was well worth it). Due to H1N1 and Noro, we all had to sign a waiver assuring the staff that we are germ free). We met the Maitre ‘D in the IC, and were walked to Deck 6 to don white lab coats. We paraded through the MDR (lots of very curious looks from the diners). Upon entry to the galley, we were instructed to wash our hands. Most used the same precision as a surgical scrub! We toured the galley, which was fascinating. Chef Norbert was our personal tour guide, and patiently explained the process of feeding 4000 people at least three times a day. We were led to a corner of the galley and plied with Champagne and appetizers. The apps included coconut shrimp with a chili sauce, caviar, and a crab and scallop ceviche. Next we moved to our table in the

Deck 5 MDR. The table presentation was lovely, with special linens and flower arraignments. Dinner was a porcini risotto, a strawberry sorbet with cracked pepper and vodka (on request), filet mignon, scallops, lobster tail and shrimp. The vegetables were divine, and the entire meal presentation was cooked table side, as they do in the finest French restaurants. Wine was served throughout the meal, and the wait staff was very generous with refills as needed. After the main course, we were served a cambert with a port wine reduction. Dessert was a delicious chocolate mousse and small pastries. We were presented with signed cookbooks (one per couple). The chef attended to the dinner throughout and was accompanied by two other team leader chefs. The maitre‘d was very attentive, and we wanted for nothing.

Ultimate Ship’s Tour: We registered for the lottery on the first day, and were notified of selection on Thursday afternoon. The tour commenced on Friday morning from the Princess theater/ we were greeted by the Cruise Director and staff, the production line captain, a couple of dancers and the production crew. We were allowed to see backstage, and in the dressing rooms. Next, we traveled to the bow of the ship where they store the anchors and the tie-on lines. The staff captain was our host for this leg of the journey. Next we were able to see a bit more of the galley, where were had beverages and pastry. Friday is pastry buffet on Deck 14, so we actually were able to watch the pastry staff in operation. We got to see the laundry facilities (a real source of fascination for me) and the print shop and photo lab. We made our way to the Bridge and were greeted by the Captain and his senior staff. This was, in part, due to the fact that it was pretty foggy, and they had to have 6 people in the bridge to watch for hazards. We concluded the tour in the medical center with a truly charming ships physician. Later that evening we receive robes, chef’s jackets, many photographs, and stationary in our stateroom. We did have a small snafu with the spelling of our name, but I will forever refer to my husband with this new name, as it is much more fun sounding than our real name!:D

I know that this is quite long. I will post about our excursions in a separate thread.

Edited by TracieABD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review! I enjoyed reading it.

 

I don't care for the green tamale in lobsters either...although some consider it a delicacy.

 

Looking forward to reading about your excursions.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting your reveiw.....Sounds great! :D

 

 

17 more days (not that I'm anxious ;))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Norbet is a great chef and we enjoyed his chefs table in the past. I think he is the only German Executive chef with princess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds like a great trip. How did debarkation go?

In a word, it was chaotic. This was really the only downer of the whole trip (other than getting off the ship in Victoria- see my other thread).

We opted for self-debarkation, and were asked to gather in the Explorers Lounge. The ship was late docking, and the lounge became crowded with anxious passengers. Finally, we were allowed to start lining up, but this occured at the same time that the passengers that booked disembarkation with Princess were being moved in the opposite direction. There was no order, and no princess employees present. When we finally made it out of the lounge and into the line, the process moved a bit more quickly. By the time we reached the line on the 7th Deck to the point that we were off the pier only took about 8 minutes. This included going through security, down the gangplank, down the stairs/escalator, through customs and out the door.

I really hope that Princess works to find a better set of solutions to getting their passengers off of the ship. It was the only real snag in the trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What time did they actually let people start leaving the ship on that last morning?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What time did they actually let people start leaving the ship on that last morning?

We were asked to be in the Explorers Lounge at 7:30. We were allowed to line up at a bit past 8am

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks Tracie, glad you had a great time. :D

Keith-

It was your live post from the Golden that got me hooked on the boards. Thank you for setting a really great example. :)

TL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Keith-

It was your live post from the Golden that got me hooked on the boards. Thank you for setting a really great example. :)

TL

 

You are quite welcome, I just wish they wouldn't go by so fast. :eek:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are leaving on the Golden this Saturday and naturally we are getting pretty excited. Especially me.First time to Alaska. My wife really wanted to do the 9 day again out of Brooklyn on the Caribbean Princess, but I talked her into Alaska. I think she will be pleasantly surprised. Her expectations are much lower than mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My husband really wanted to do Alaska. I was much more resolved in doing Europe or the Panama Canal. I am so glad that he "won" the discussion. Alaska was possibly the most beautiful place I have ever seen. You just couldn't get a bad view!

I hope that you have a balcony or a window. If not plan to spend a fair amount of time on the decks. The scenery is breathtaking.

Good luck and bon voyage!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tracie, We have a balcony on the Caribe deck. 9x9 balcony and we do plan on spending many hours out there. I am actually glad my wife is not expecting that much. This way she will be shocked at the beauty. Sounds like you really enjoyed Alaska so much.You still have the excitement in your system from just being there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for posting your reveiw.....Sounds great! :D

 

 

17 more days (not that I'm anxious ;))

 

17 days, 8hrs, 23 mins and counting;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 days, 8hrs, 23 mins and counting;)

For those of you who have Alaska in your near future, I wish for you the beautiful weather that we experienced! The days were long and sunny, and the nights were cool and comfortable.

 

BTW- I posted info about our excursions separately. I think that this link has slipped to page 3. This may help with some of your port days.

Edited by TracieABD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for your review -- I really enjoyed reading it. You guys sure packed a lot into a 7-day cruise! I'm glad you had such a good time; now it's time to start planning the next one. . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You said you had cabin # D321. We have that same cabin in October. You also said the cabin had some some wear and tear. What kind of wear and tear did you find? Also, how was the mattress? Thanks so much...we are looking forward to this cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wear and tear was not really significant. Couple of little spots on the couch. A slightly chipped tile in the the bathroom. Other than that, the cabin was fully functional. Lovely, really.

The bed was comfy enough. I have to add the caviat that my husband and I enjoy a hard mattress, and those soft things make us feel like we are drowning. There was an egg crate or two on the bed when we got to the room and we had a quick debate on whether to keep it or ditch it. We decided to keep it, but it made the bed a bit soft for my taste.

 

We LOVED our cabin steward- Henry! I hope that he is with the ship on that floor/set of rooms when you go. He was just terrific!

 

I am sure that you will have a great time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tracie,

 

Thanks so much for your reply. We look forward to the cruise in October. It is a beautiful ship and I know we will love it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×