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I have no idea why we picked this cruise. At the time if seemed like a good idea to take my disabled (wheel chair bound) wife on a cruise to PNG to see where I grew up. Bad move - this cruise was full of the rudest people I have ever met; and, I am ashamed to say they were all Australian. So bad in fact that the crew were visibly upset and stressed due to the behaviour and attitude of some of the passengers. What gives people the right to think that because they are on a cruise they have a license to act like idiots? Age aside. To add insult to injury: the number of able bodied people occupying disabled cabins when those who were truly disabled were trapped in conventional cabins is disgusting. I never ceased to be amazed how these people board ships using wheel chairs and walkers only to have miraculous cures until it is time to disembark. The ship it self also had a few issues that made the cruise less enjoyable than it should. While we have traveled on other ships in the Pacific line and we have found them comfortable and enjoyable, the Golden was a bit of a disaster for disabled people. Examples include the rough stone tile floors in the piazza which while looking good, create problems for wheel chairs; the metal humps at the bulk head safety doors (while we know they are necessary, on other ships they are not so high, intrusive or abrupt). Even the carpets with their deep patterns cause problems not encountered on other ships. The Piazza has too few chairs to accommodate anywhere near the number of passengers wanting to use the area, and while it is visually attractive it is a difficult to get around. On this cruise there was at least one elevator out of action in each bank throughout the ship for the entire cruise. Laundries were out of action, toilets malfunctioned, the a/c in our cabin did not work making it very hot and stuffy while that in our daughters cabin was like an icebox and could not be temperature controlled. So basically the ship is tired and needs a refit. Shore excursions - forget it if you are in a wheel chair. Fisherman's Island in Brisbane for boarding the ship has a raised rail line immediately in front of the gangplank. A lot of thought went into getting wheel chairs over that - Not! The crew tried to lift passengers and wheel chairs over the obstruction. That worked for all people under 80kg, not many of people fit that category these days. The Islands other than Noumea in New Caledonia and Rabaul in New Britiian were inaccessible as expected due to the use of ferry operations. However Rabaul while possible to access was difficult. Noumea though was a surprise. As the cruise was getting to the end the crew did work out how to set the gangplank so that wheel chairs could use it. Also, Noumea has wheel chair taxis and a shiny new wheel chair accessible hop on hop off bus (fantastic!). The bus is inexpensive at approx $12/head for all day. Highly recommend it for a cheap easy way to get around Noumea. The restaurants on the ship - staff were good. In particular our head waiter and mater `d were excellent in helping with wheel chair accessibility. Our cabin steward was also very friendly, helpful and cheerful - even when we left the balcony door open to cool the room and the wind tunnel effect with the cabin door open made a mess of everything. Specialty dining was enjoyable and good value - much better than Luke Mangans expensive nightmare on other ships. As we are getting into the old fart category ourselves we did not do much of the night club routine but it is worth pointing out that if you are heading to the Princess theater on such a cruise plan to get there about an hour early to find a seat. If you are in a wheel chair plan your route carefully as it is not disable friendly. Would I go again on this cruise - No way.

Grumpy old farts

Golden Princess Cruise Review by Cagent

17 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2017
  • Destination: South Pacific
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
I have no idea why we picked this cruise.

At the time if seemed like a good idea to take my disabled (wheel chair bound) wife on a cruise to PNG to see where I grew up.

Bad move - this cruise was full of the rudest people I have ever met; and, I am ashamed to say they were all Australian. So bad in fact that the crew were visibly upset and stressed due to the behaviour and attitude of some of the passengers.

What gives people the right to think that because they are on a cruise they have a license to act like idiots? Age aside.

To add insult to injury: the number of able bodied people occupying disabled cabins when those who were truly disabled were trapped in conventional cabins is disgusting. I never ceased to be amazed how these people board ships using wheel chairs and walkers only to have miraculous cures until it is time to disembark.

The ship it self also had a few issues that made the cruise less enjoyable than it should.

While we have traveled on other ships in the Pacific line and we have found them comfortable and enjoyable, the Golden was a bit of a disaster for disabled people. Examples include the rough stone tile floors in the piazza which while looking good, create problems for wheel chairs; the metal humps at the bulk head safety doors (while we know they are necessary, on other ships they are not so high, intrusive or abrupt). Even the carpets with their deep patterns cause problems not encountered on other ships.

The Piazza has too few chairs to accommodate anywhere near the number of passengers wanting to use the area, and while it is visually attractive it is a difficult to get around.

On this cruise there was at least one elevator out of action in each bank throughout the ship for the entire cruise. Laundries were out of action, toilets malfunctioned, the a/c in our cabin did not work making it very hot and stuffy while that in our daughters cabin was like an icebox and could not be temperature controlled.

So basically the ship is tired and needs a refit.

Shore excursions - forget it if you are in a wheel chair. Fisherman's Island in Brisbane for boarding the ship has a raised rail line immediately in front of the gangplank. A lot of thought went into getting wheel chairs over that - Not!

The crew tried to lift passengers and wheel chairs over the obstruction. That worked for all people under 80kg, not many of people fit that category these days.

The Islands other than Noumea in New Caledonia and Rabaul in New Britiian were inaccessible as expected due to the use of ferry operations. However Rabaul while possible to access was difficult. Noumea though was a surprise. As the cruise was getting to the end the crew did work out how to set the gangplank so that wheel chairs could use it. Also, Noumea has wheel chair taxis and a shiny new wheel chair accessible hop on hop off bus (fantastic!). The bus is inexpensive at approx $12/head for all day. Highly recommend it for a cheap easy way to get around Noumea.

The restaurants on the ship - staff were good. In particular our head waiter and mater `d were excellent in helping with wheel chair accessibility. Our cabin steward was also very friendly, helpful and cheerful - even when we left the balcony door open to cool the room and the wind tunnel effect with the cabin door open made a mess of everything.

Specialty dining was enjoyable and good value - much better than Luke Mangans expensive nightmare on other ships.

As we are getting into the old fart category ourselves we did not do much of the night club routine but it is worth pointing out that if you are heading to the Princess theater on such a cruise plan to get there about an hour early to find a seat. If you are in a wheel chair plan your route carefully as it is not disable friendly.

Would I go again on this cruise - No way.
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BC
Cabin, small and not suitable for wheel chair but with help from cabin steward we made do. Designers of ships really need to consider the bulk of their passengers are aging and getting frail. Beds were bent but mattresses were new immediately prior to the cruise (allegedly).
Balcony was small but serviceable and made up for the lack of space in the cabin with the door open. Lighting is a little poor but serviceable, decor is dated and faded, and the mini-bar fridge is wasted space as there is no ice, nor drinks, nor places to acquire or purchase drinks etc. to put in the fridge.
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews