Golden Princess Cruise Review by dvora5
- Sail Date: October 2017
- Destination: Australia & New Zealand
- Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin 703 Aloha deck was carefully chosen for it's closeness to public toilets, buffet and the Terrace pool and sitting areas away from the main action of the ship. We were also looking forward to the pizza and burger bars on deck open long hours.
Well the embarkation was horrid. Lots of grumpy irritable workers. Health cards handed out but nothing to write with. Had to share a pen with 8 kind people but ask the workers for help and they were dismissive. Everyone seemed grumpy especially the photographers so we just walked around them.
It was great how we were allowed to go straight to our room and meet our lovely thoughtful steward Dennis. Our air conditioning was warm and the fridge broken but Dennis brought us a big bucket of ice every day and that was terrific. We were able to leave the door open for the first two nights but then the warm weather had me glad I had brought my own small electric fan put over the ice so we could sleep at night.
Our bags arrived very quickly and that was great. Tons of storage space and a lovely walk in wardrobe but the usual very small bathroom with no air vent to stop the bathroom fogging up.
The bed and pillows were much too soft and although the doona was lovely it was too hot to use on a Queensland tour.
So first day on a cruise everyone was lining up at the Front Service Desk. Mostly elderly and people on sticks and in wheelchairs. the front desk had very few staff and the four that were there were incredibly irritable, dismissive, unhelpful and sometimes downright rude. They stayed that way for most of the trip. the queues were long and slow. Very annoying and exhausting standing around. sort like waiting for the tenders up to 2 hours wait. Tired legs and frustrated loosing so much holiday time waiting around.
The shore excursion people in comparison were lovely. Shame their trips were so expensive and awful. Mainly we just got driven around. I can highly recommend you ring taxis after deciding where you want to go and arrange your own adventures. Will never do shore excursions again in Australia from a cruise.
Now food. I like my food plain and the amount of different sauces put on the food in the buffet is ridiculous. It's like they drown it in spices and sauces so you can't taste the actually item much. The food pretty much stays the same. sometimes there was something lovely but mostly same old same. However the Char Grill was spectacular. The service brilliant, the surroundings wonderful, the menu interesting and you get the food exactly how you ask for it. The prices are much cheaper than for the same on shore. Simply delicious. The main dining rooms included were very nice but hard to get in to for early dining as with so many fun activities from 7 on, most people wanted to finish dinner before 7.
Entertainment. Jo Little and the ships dancers and singers were terrific but the seats in the Princess theatre were antique and soooo uncomfortable... and the theatre is too small for the number on board so unless you were there a minimum half hour early you would miss out on a seat.
The outdoor movies, popcorn, ice cream, lounges all wonderful and you can lie in a hottub and watch as well. Felt decadent. All the hot tubs and many pools were fantastic though very cold after day 3. The first two days the pools were almost hot and wonderful but cold after that. The trivia's were mostly fun as were the games in the Explorers Theatres. Laughed lots. Piazza music lovely but stupidly the Service Desk is right opposite so it was very hard to make yourself heard and for service desk people to be heard. Maybe that's why they were always so irritable and nasty. The wait to get that service was sooooo long they should put chairs in line.
Probably the most annoying things were slow lifts meaning long waits and not being allowed to plan your day 24 hours ahead as you had to wait for the Princess Patter with the next day's activities until 10 p.m ish. When you ask to pick one up at Service Desk the answer is no, wait your turn like everyone else. No where else are they kept on the ship which is ridiculous if you leave yours in the room or lose it. such nonsense. Never had that on a cruise before. If they worry about the cost of printing then just print off on normal paper instead of glossy pricey paper.
Overall not a bad trip thanks to some fun activities and the wonderful restaurants ( not the buffet except for their great desserts.) o and fabulous outdoor seating unlike Celebrity Solstice where people had to almost fight to get a seat in the fresh air to eat.
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