Golden Princess Cruise Review by Cruisedancer!
- Sail Date: April 2017
- Destination: South Pacific
- Cabin Type: Premium Balcony
I am 57 years old, and was joined by my husband and no children. This was my 4th cruise but a first with Princess. Previously, 2 x RCI, 1 x MSC. Two of the cruises, joined by my teenage daughters.
At Embarkation, we lined up and waited, the process took one reasonable hour. Disembarkation was quick and smooth.
We were in a group of 12, all coupes, made up of family and friends, I also had other separate friends on board. Most of us from Victoria, it was a plus to catch our cruise ship in Melbourne. Our group mixed between 2 tables at dinner each night 7:45pm, which was fun and staff were good about this. Some nights we did boy and girl table which was also alot of fun. Staff were lovely but had to sell drinks and specialty coffees. Some maitre'd' staff were ineffective and unnecessary but looked busy overseeing all that ran smoothly.
In my view, too many elderly passengers, not a good balance,
there were some families as it was school holidays, but love the fact that elderly are cruising. Ship on the inside does not give the feel of LUXURY, looks old, tired, feels cramped in areas on sea days and it is not well layed out. The "Piazza" is not large enough and does not cope. When activities are hosted, people have to stand on the staircases, sit on decorative garden edging and crowd balconies upstairs to watch. No seats available for coffee and snacks regularly at the International Cafe. Art Auction or sale is a very big thing on this ship, so art was always spilling outside the Art Gallery area and making the ship even more cramped, for example the Explorer's Lounge and other needed areas would be filled with framed art on tripods. The art talks in the Explorer's lounge is fine, but the Art needs to stay in the same place, ie Art Gallery.
Our balcony state room was tight, the creaky floorboards were fixed on our voyage, but creaking throughout the room could still be heard, especially during the night. Balcony was generous, once again not a clever layout.
Sewerage could be smelt at the entrance on the "Vista Lounge", on last 4 days of the cruise it disappeared.
Disco was poorly or not attended, poor position and very small. DJ did not understand his job. BUT none of this was a problem as the WHOLE ship was in bed by 10;45pm!!!. Bars close early or by midnight. We enjoyed dancing in the Wheel House bar and up on deck. Even some of the elderly were looking for dance and would join in, that was great!
Air conditioning was poor and could not cope in cramped areas such as Princess Theatre, lifts, and when in port. Players bar would show football games but the signal would be lost in the middle of games. Good to see Happy hours at the Wheel house bar was always very appreciated. Better entertainment and activites required for sea days.
We enjoyed spanish at sea with Yris, dancing with Armando, my husband joined in golf activities, putting into cups or chipping in a small pool. We participated and watched other various activities and I felt that something was lacking on sea days.
Evening shows are average, 3 were good. Have to get to a show 30 mins before the start to get a seat if in a group. Highlight shows were:- Aussie comedian Steve Allison, first night of Forever Diamond and first night of Mercury Rising. Pearson and Harvey, was the worst show ever seen in my life! and so we did not go to the second.
Speciality coffee has an after taste as they use long life milk. Very disappointing and unacceptable as we embarked at Melbourne and expect good coffee. The ship needs a second International Cafe as it was very busy and more stations to get water, free tea and drip coffee.
Photographers very pushy with same lame tacky poses. My husband and I did not want individual photos and we could tell the photograhers were not happy. We just wanted a couple's photo done with our own comfortable poses and same problems arose in group photos with our friends and at dinner. I think it's about selling photo packages and commission.
Staff were all polite and helpful throughout the ship and voyage, however, I felt I saw unnecessary staff in many areas being ineffective. Some staff seemed to be just onboard to sell Art, photograpy, jewellery and clothes outside the speciality shops which became to much for me and my group. Barman at International cafe was not interested in passing on our suggestion of using fresh milk in the future for speciality coffee.
Speciality shops were nice and appropriate. But on days at sea, the ship looked like it had $2 shops spilling out everywhere at times, which made it difficult to walk past. It gave the ship a tacky and cheap feel.. I suggest the cheap items should be sold in a neat little purpose shop instead. I feel if there was less selling of rubbish on the ship, less staff would be needed, hence free up ship room, saving ship and passenger money and bring on a better cruise experience.
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