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29 Night Transpacific Cruise from Vancouver

29 Night Transpacific Cruise from Vancouver

Golden Princess
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    San Francisco
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    Bora Bora
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    Tahiti (Papeete)
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    Pago Pago
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    Marlborough Sounds
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    Sydney (Australia)

Golden Princess

Golden Princess - Princess Cruises


Lots of options for dining, drinking and swimming, and a high ratio of balcony cabins


Some of the decor is not as modern as other ships in the region

Bottom Line

A great all-rounder for passengers of all ages

Cruise Reviews

1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
First time to Alaska and this was the way to do it. With the combination of sea and land we were able to maximize our trip of a life time. A MUST is a balcony cabin as you can see whales and the glaciers, you do not have to run to a side ... Read More
First time to Alaska and this was the way to do it. With the combination of sea and land we were able to maximize our trip of a life time. A MUST is a balcony cabin as you can see whales and the glaciers, you do not have to run to a side on deck the ship rotates so you have a direct view of the glacier. Balcony has two (2) chairs and a table. We used the Princess planner for our excursions and air reservations. This is a good practice to protect you if your ship may leave and going through Princess it puts the responsibility on Princess to get you to the ship. We had a handicap cabin with a rented scooter (Scootaround) and had plenty of room to move round and enjoy ourself. TV had morning show that looped so you could see the activities on the ship and showed the excursions in port. Also, in the evening they read a bedtime story with the ships mascot Captain Stanley. Was even good for the big kids in us. Found that the excursion pre cruise were the best price. The land side was the glass domed passenger car and the 9:5 hour train ride to Denali. On our way the we saw 9 moose and 2 bears. The views were breath taking and your pictures will not do it justice. Yes, we will go again it is a must!!, Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
After three years of battling brain cancer, my mom and I took this cruise as a celebration. Cruises are an excellent way for me to travel because I am able to easily rest when my energy gets low. This was my first time to cruise the ... Read More
After three years of battling brain cancer, my mom and I took this cruise as a celebration. Cruises are an excellent way for me to travel because I am able to easily rest when my energy gets low. This was my first time to cruise the Princess line and I was incredibly pleased. In the past, I have cruised mostly Norwegian, with a few Royal Caribbean cruises sprinkled in. EMBARKATION AND DISEMBARKATION- 5 stars Both embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and efficient. My mom and I traveled with several bags (Total of four large bags, and two smaller carry-ons and two “under the seat” carry-ons.” Two of my bags were necessary because they carried medical equipment. One of the carry-ons was solely for souvenirs (we purchased this one onboard, an expandable duffle, for around $35USD). For embarkation from Vancouver, we took a taxi from our hotel to the port terminal around 10:30am, our taxi was directed and pulled up right to the porters for the Golden Princess, where our bags were dropped. A short walk from there took us to the cruise check in, which involved only a short wait. After that we went through customs quickly. Passengers were then lead to a waiting area until the ship was ready for boarding. My mom and I waited only about 5-10 minutes before we were allowed to board. Once onboard, we found our cabin was already prepared and accessible. This has not been my experience with other lines. Also, our bags were delivered to our room more quickly than typical on other lines I have cruised. Disembarkation from Whittier was also smooth and efficient. Princess divided the passengers into over a dozen groups assigned locations in which to wait. This was nice, because we were able to wait while sitting and exit quickly rather than standing in long lines. Bags were collected between 7pm and 10pm the evening before and were easy to locate once off the ship. It was then a very short walk to buses, vans, etc. Also, carts were available to assist with moving luggage. We used the Anchorage Cruise Transfer (ACT) Buses and found them to be very helpful. The bus driver also pointed out sites and provided information during the drive, which made it feel more like a tour than a transfer. SHIP- 5 stars The ship is in good condition and is of reasonable size. No areas were filled to capacity with two exceptions. First, I observed that the Princess Theater was only filled to capacity twice during the cruise. The first time was during a presentation of the onboard "naturalist," Sandy Schempp, on Alaskan wildlife. The second was for the first showing (8:00pm) of the production show "Born to Dance." Ample space was available for all other shows, including the juggler/comedian on Embarkation Day, the "British Invasion" production show, and the "Voice of the Ocean" show. Second, the beautiful Piazza was extremely crowded during certain Alaska enrichment events, primarily "Puppies in the Piazza," where puppies were brought on board to interact with passengers--a clear hit with families with children. The ship is clean with laundry facilities on several deck (these can get crowded as well). Decks were adequately supplied with lounge chairs--I never had a issue securing a chair, and offered wonderful views of Alaska scenery. Dining areas were less crowded than typical on a cruise ship. The buffet, Horizon Court, is located on both the Port and Starboard sides of the ship, with indoor and covered outdoor seating. I never had trouble finding a table with a window view. Likewise, I found that I was always able to get a window view when eating in the Bernini Restaurant. My mom and I booked “anytime” dining, which allowed us to eat in Bernini between 5:00pm and 9:00pm, or Donatello for breakfast, lunch, or dinner between 7:15 and 9:30pm. We found Donatello to be more crowded, but only ate there for breakfast and lunch. There are several bars to suit every personality. Mom and I enjoyed either Piña Coladas or cappuccino in the Promenade Lounge and Bar almost every day. This lounge overlooked the Piazza and often you could hear live music within the lounge from coming from the Piazza. Lounge chairs & couches in all the common areas were comfortable. Once concern is that the Internet on Princess was incredibly slow. Princess even recognizes this. I believe it ran slower than other cruise lines I’ve experienced, but it is hard to say. I was not pleased with the internet desk. I had pre-purchased an internet package, and they were unhelpful in explaining how to access it. I eventually figured it out myself. CABIN- 5 Stars I was very pleased with our Cabin. I booked an Obstructed View to save money, but was pleasantly surprised to discover that our cabin, E517, was only partially obstructed, in between two life boats, leaving a decent, but not full, view of the incredible Alaskan coastline. The cabin was also on the Starboard (right) side of the ship. I found this side to have the more beautiful view. If your cruise views College Fjord, all but one glacier is best viewed from the Port (left) side. However, there are plenty of spaces on the ship to view the coastline if you have an obstructed view or an interior cabin. As for cabin size, it was set up very spaciously. My mom and I never felt crowded. We had a two twin bed set-up. With ample space between beds, and between the desk and left bed. A desk is located to the left of the beds, near the window. Two chairs are provided, one for the desk and a one for the window. Both were comfortable. The cabin is also equipped with a small refrigerator! The television was also sizable. The closet was surprisingly spacious with plenty of hangers and a cabinet with drawers and a safe. Plenty of other drawers are located near bedsides, and the desk. My mom and I each had onboard outfits, two formal night outfits, and clothing for shore excursions, including coats & jackets, and standard clothing (pajamas, hats, shoes etc.), as well as toiletries and hair products. We didn’t even have to use all of the cabinet space. The closet was also large enough to hold all of our suitcases so that we did not have to use space under our beds, which would have been large enough for suitcases should we have needed to use them. The bathroom was clean and spacious for a cruise cabin bathroom. Our cabin was kept clean. Mom and I found that our cabin was routinely cleaned with towels replaced. Because I nap everyday and have to take medicine at certain times, we returned to the cabin often. We always found the beds made up, towels refreshed, and trash emptied—an impressive task for our cabin steward. DINING- 5 stars Dining on the Golden Princess was the best I have had in my cruising experiences. Particularly dinners in the restaurants were phenomenal. We opted to forgo specialty dinning because dining in the main restaurants was so good. Particularly remarkable were the Cod (on the first evening) and the Beef Wellington (on the final formal night). Desserts were exceptional, particularly chocolate desserts, which Princess specializes in. Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets in the Horizon lounge did not disappoint. Breakfast includes a selection of breads, eggs, cereals and fruits. Although not widely advertised, they provide made-to-order omelets. If you have difficulty finding how to place a order, ask many of the servers stationed in your buffet area. Servers bring coffee, juices and tea so that you do not have to wait in line for beverages. For lunch and dinner, the selection was wide and delicious. There is a special area displaying desserts. We had afternoon tea in the Horizon court one day, which included sandwiches and pastries. The International Court on deck 6 provides both sweet and savory snacks at no cost. I sampled shrimp and a sugar-free pastry which were very good. Due to my restricted diet we did not try the ice cream parlor, the pizza, or the grill (hotdogs, hamburgers, etc), but they all smelled very good and passengers seemed pleased. Room service was also fast and tasty. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES- 5 Stars We found the entertainment and activities to be exceptional. Particularly unique to other lines, Princess offers an enrichment series, called North to Alaska. This series had multiple lectures by an on board naturalist. Lectures included talks on Alaskan wildlife, vegetation, and marine life. The naturalist also was available to point out marine life and wildlife visible from the ship, and glaciers in College Fjord. We saw whale, sea otters, bald eagles, puffin, and various birds. During the cruise throughout Glacier Bay National Park, three park rangers boarded the cruise to provide information through the PA system on the glaciers. They also set up a “Ranger’s station” onboard the ship, which included information on glacier bay, including guides, photo books, and gifts for sale. The enrichment series also included presentations by lumberjacks and Iditarod winners, and a folk harmonica group to name a few. We did not make used of any of the many pools or hot tubs, which include both indoor and outdoor, as well as kids and adult-only pools. We did observe many people enjoying the pool facilities. We toured the Spa and it appeared standard for cruise lines, but we did not purchase any services. We loved the games, including trivia and other games. They were always entertaining and a great way to meet other passengers. We played BINGO once, and it was standard for what is to be expected on a cruise ship. I came out even in the Casino, which was small and did not have a wide selection of slot machines. SERVICE- 4 Stars Service overall was adequate and exceptional for our room steward and the Mater D at Bernini, Greg. I would say that for all over areas service was average for what would be expected for a cruise. I found in other cruises, I got to know staff better than on this particular cruise. Nonetheless, I have no specific service complaints. PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS-5 Stars Of course, in Alaska, the best can be seen from the ship itself. Snowcapped mountains arising from the sea, glaciers and wildlife seen from your window constitute breathtaking experiences that are unparalleled anywhere else on the globe. This cannot be understated. Our itinerary stopped in Ketchikan, where we attended a Lumberjack show and Totem Bight Park; Juneau, where we took an independent pedi-cab tour, a whale watching tour and Mendenhall Glacier; and Skagway, where we took the White Pass Train tour. All ports allowed ample time for shopping and stores were easy to find and within walking distance. Our various tours were all excellent and unique enough to give us a full Alaskan experience. Our tours, except for the independent pedi-cab tour in Juneau, were pre-booked online through the Princess website. Princess offered a talk early on in the cruise about ports, which provided helpful information and confirmed that we had made good choices for our excursions. TIPS 1. Bring a power strip. There are limited outlets in the cabin. I required two plugs just for medical equipment, and my mom and I also needed to charge our phones. Princess allows power strips to be brought onboard. We found one power strip satisfied our outlet needs. 2. Book E517 if you go with an “obstructed window.” E517 is not fully obstructed, but you can get it at an obstructed price. It offered a beautiful view of the Alaskan coastline. 3. Do not feel pressured to book a balcony. Although the balconies are nice. Alaska can get cold. Window cabins are spacious and offer wonderful views. Even for those in interior or obstructed windows, the ship offers ample deck and indoor window space to admire the beautiful views of Alaska. Certain shore excursions (e.g. whale watching, White Pass Train in Skagway) offer incredible views as well. So, you can save money and still get wonderful viewing opportunities. 4. Book the Sanctuary on Glacier Bay Day. If your itinerary includes a cruise around Glacier Bay, book a spot at the “Sanctuary,” which is an adult-only covered area which provides lounge chairs, and blankets. My mom and I did this and it was perfect. We got 360 views of Glacier Bay. The package was $60 per person, and included access to the Sanctuary (with reserved lounge chairs) from breakfast through late afternoon, which buffet breakfast including bloody Mary’s and Samosas, lunch buffet, two free ship photographer pictures with a large glacier in the background, ear warmers, and a coffee tumbler. The package would have been worth the price just for the views (especially if you do not have a window view or balcony). Be sure to book early to get the best lounge chairs. 5. Bring sunscreen and sunglasses. During our cruise we experienced both cold and warm weather. The weather varies. Even on chilly mornings, when we were on deck, I found myself slightly burned and needing sunglasses. Otherwise, be sure to dress in layers, especially when going on shore. Remember to bring a light rain jacket. 6. Pre-purchase water bottles. I purchased three packages of 12 water bottles on the Princess website before the cruise. This helped because we found ourselves feeling dehydrated on the cruise many times, whether it was the weather or our activity, we drank lots of water. It helped to have an ample supply of bottles in our room, which we kept in the refrigerator, so that we did not have to bring water down from the buffet or order from room service. We were also able to take bottles on our excursions. The order was reasonable in price. 7. Log out of Account after using Internet-If you fail to do so, you will run your package down. This happened to me. It is not enough to merely close out your window on your phone, Princess requires you to actively log off the Internet. Overall, the Cruise was as close to perfect as it could be and I would definitely do it again. I believe I will now primarily cruise on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose the Golden Princess for our Alaska Land/Cruise tour because it was small enough to traverse the glaciers yet large enough to include the Piazza for smaller events, and Skywalkers for daytime relaxation and indoor views from ... Read More
We chose the Golden Princess for our Alaska Land/Cruise tour because it was small enough to traverse the glaciers yet large enough to include the Piazza for smaller events, and Skywalkers for daytime relaxation and indoor views from ship-front. The number of passengers onboard was perfect—not too many but enough to justify the better shows and venues. We will be looking for its sister ships in the future. A note regarding its condition, since many reported it is showing its age: new carpeting has been installed in all common areas and it seemed individual cabins were also receiving new carpet—I noticed several being done on Caribe deck. In general, the ship look well-maintained and clean. We ate at Horizons buffet and the Bernini dining room (anytime dining, though usually made a reservation at 8am for that night). Food quality was better than we’ve had on other recent Princess (and a Royal Caribbean) cruises. Baked goods and desserts were excellent, as usual, coffee was mediocre, and only one (crab leg dinner) in main dining room disappointed. Dining-room staff was attentive and quick. Horizons staff was always there to take beverage orders as soon as we arrived at table—a great improvement over the past. I do wish, though, it was not so difficult to locate an empty table during peak dining times (not a fan of cold food after walking around and around to find a table or companions who are holding a table). Staff was overall friendly and helpful. Even Guest Services staff were patient, friendly and knowledgeable—it seemed all queries were handled quickly and satisfactorily and everyone left the desk with a smile. We liked the messenger feature on the Princess app—made it easy to stay in touch with group members, however a notification would be nice to ensure prompt retrieval. Entertainment was an improvement over the recent past, too. Enjoyed magic/comedian performer, The Voice, British Invasion and Born to Dance shows. The daytime Alaska-related presentations in the theater were very good, too. What a nice touch to have a covered, almost-indoor pool, too. Our traveling companions were able to use the pool and whirlpool tub even though we were in Alaska! We really enjoyed our time onboard Golden Princess. Excursions were generally good, as was the land tour (especially loved the McKinley Express train and the Denali Princess Lodge)— but that’s another story... Read Less
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