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We choose this 13 night cruise to New Zealand as it was a great price for a club class mini-suite and as we normally sail Celebrity, we decided to give it a go. Had read lots of reviews, many negative but arrived with our glass half full! Embarkation was fantastic - we were on the ship within ten minutes after arriving at the port in Melbourne. We were pleasantly surprised as there were quite a few people waiting to board. Disembarkation was equally as good back in Melbourne. But in Tauranga, they closed the off gangplank to allow people to get back onto the ship, despite having another gangplank open....but we were in port for another 6 hours and had to ask how we could get off! We had to squeeze past all the people who were coming back on and put up with their glares. A bit silly. First impressions of the ship were really good, looked in good condition and lots of venues. Our cabin, mini suite was very spacious and plenty of storage space which is terrific when you are on a 13 night cruise. Only downside, shower over bath which makes it difficult to shower plus could not control the temperature of the water, either too hot or too cold. We indulged in Club Class dining our first evening and found it to be a roped off section of one of the main dining rooms. Everyone was casually dressed but we felt the maitre d looked down on us. We did do main room dining with friends on two occasions and found that the service was just as good here and supposedly we got two extra courses offered to us at dinner that the main dining room does not have on that evening. Can only recall twice when this happened. We did dine in Crown Grill which was quite tasty but I suggest you book before you get on board as it was more expensive to go to here when attending without a prebooked table. We went here with a double birthday party of ten people but had to sit on two tables which was disappointing. Sabatinis was ok. Not Italian food lovers so cannot really comment. The Buffet was average with not many food choices. Guess we are spoilt in the buffet on Celebrity. The majority of the passengers were over 70 plus age group and felt the majority of the entertainment was geared around them. A duo (cello and piano) was stationed in the Atrium most days and this made it hard to get seats around this area for eating or drinking at the International Cafe. Also, long waits for lifts. Waited one day for over 7 minutes and decided to walk the up from the 5th deck to the 9th as the queue was getting bigger. On formal night, the photographer was taking photos outside Deck 7 lifts which made it hard to get in and out of the lifts. Not a good move as this is a main entertainment deck. Just felt overall that the ship was crowded and we have been on other cruises with more passengers. Hand sanitizers were few on the ship and it was very hit or miss who used them. Was disappointed there was no hand sanitizer upon entering or exiting the casino, a major place to spread germs. Service on board was excellent, especially our room attendant and the two guys in the Vines Bar, Adimas and Peter. Customer service desk was a bit hit or miss. We have never visited a customer service desk so many times in our 7 cruises. Husband's card kept failing and the lady next to us one day had mentioned she had been down 7 times to reactive. We were charged for drinks when we had a drinks package and often the comments received by passengers were in the lines of "Our systems are down or unavailable at the moment". We were charged for a dinner we had paid for but was also given to us complimentary but let it go as it was way too hard to explain to the service desk staff. Shore excursions were great but the train was overpriced in Dunedin. Make sure you arrive early to get a good seat. Internet - purchase prior to getting on board 640 minutes as husband needed to stay in contact with work. Was $260 when we paid for it but was only charged $199 on our folio. Followed everyones advice to disconnect as soon as finished. It was slow downloading and as we normally get unlimited on Celebrity was disappointed at the price and quality. Worse part of this cruise was the fact that 6 out of the 8 people who went to dinner all ended up with a very nasty flu type virus along with many, many other passengers. Husband stayed in the cabin for 3 days before arriving back in Melbourne. Another guest was in bed for 5 days. Took the shine off the trip. Upon speaking to other passengers, this ship is not normally indicative of Princess. It was refurbished last year but many areas and facilities were under maintenance. I would like to go on another cruise with them as I don't think we saw them at their best. Husband is not so inclined. Would prefer to give 3.5 stars but cannot do so on here. I felt it would be best suited to older people than us young 60s! Glass is 3/8ths full.

First time with Princess - picked the wrong cruiseship for 1st cruise with them

Golden Princess Cruise Review by Jules&Ted

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Australia & New Zealand
  • Cabin Type: Premium Club Class Mini-Suite with Balcony
We choose this 13 night cruise to New Zealand as it was a great price for a club class mini-suite and as we normally sail Celebrity, we decided to give it a go. Had read lots of reviews, many negative but arrived with our glass half full!

Embarkation was fantastic - we were on the ship within ten minutes after arriving at the port in Melbourne. We were pleasantly surprised as there were quite a few people waiting to board. Disembarkation was equally as good back in Melbourne. But in Tauranga, they closed the off gangplank to allow people to get back onto the ship, despite having another gangplank open....but we were in port for another 6 hours and had to ask how we could get off! We had to squeeze past all the people who were coming back on and put up with their glares. A bit silly.

First impressions of the ship were really good, looked in good condition and lots of venues. Our cabin, mini suite was very spacious and plenty of storage space which is terrific when you are on a 13 night cruise. Only downside, shower over bath which makes it difficult to shower plus could not control the temperature of the water, either too hot or too cold.

We indulged in Club Class dining our first evening and found it to be a roped off section of one of the main dining rooms. Everyone was casually dressed but we felt the maitre d looked down on us. We did do main room dining with friends on two occasions and found that the service was just as good here and supposedly we got two extra courses offered to us at dinner that the main dining room does not have on that evening. Can only recall twice when this happened. We did dine in Crown Grill which was quite tasty but I suggest you book before you get on board as it was more expensive to go to here when attending without a prebooked table. We went here with a double birthday party of ten people but had to sit on two tables which was disappointing. Sabatinis was ok. Not Italian food lovers so cannot really comment. The Buffet was average with not many food choices. Guess we are spoilt in the buffet on Celebrity.

The majority of the passengers were over 70 plus age group and felt the majority of the entertainment was geared around them. A duo (cello and piano) was stationed in the Atrium most days and this made it hard to get seats around this area for eating or drinking at the International Cafe. Also, long waits for lifts. Waited one day for over 7 minutes and decided to walk the up from the 5th deck to the 9th as the queue was getting bigger. On formal night, the photographer was taking photos outside Deck 7 lifts which made it hard to get in and out of the lifts. Not a good move as this is a main entertainment deck. Just felt overall that the ship was crowded and we have been on other cruises with more passengers.

Hand sanitizers were few on the ship and it was very hit or miss who used them. Was disappointed there was no hand sanitizer upon entering or exiting the casino, a major place to spread germs.

Service on board was excellent, especially our room attendant and the two guys in the Vines Bar, Adimas and Peter. Customer service desk was a bit hit or miss. We have never visited a customer service desk so many times in our 7 cruises. Husband's card kept failing and the lady next to us one day had mentioned she had been down 7 times to reactive. We were charged for drinks when we had a drinks package and often the comments received by passengers were in the lines of "Our systems are down or unavailable at the moment". We were charged for a dinner we had paid for but was also given to us complimentary but let it go as it was way too hard to explain to the service desk staff.

Shore excursions were great but the train was overpriced in Dunedin. Make sure you arrive early to get a good seat.

Internet - purchase prior to getting on board 640 minutes as husband needed to stay in contact with work. Was $260 when we paid for it but was only charged $199 on our folio. Followed everyones advice to disconnect as soon as finished. It was slow downloading and as we normally get unlimited on Celebrity was disappointed at the price and quality.

Worse part of this cruise was the fact that 6 out of the 8 people who went to dinner all ended up with a very nasty flu type virus along with many, many other passengers. Husband stayed in the cabin for 3 days before arriving back in Melbourne. Another guest was in bed for 5 days. Took the shine off the trip.

Upon speaking to other passengers, this ship is not normally indicative of Princess. It was refurbished last year but many areas and facilities were under maintenance. I would like to go on another cruise with them as I don't think we saw them at their best. Husband is not so inclined. Would prefer to give 3.5 stars but cannot do so on here. I felt it would be best suited to older people than us young 60s!

Glass is 3/8ths full.
Jules&Ted’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Premium Club Class Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin M1 D329
Lovely balcony cabin (but with limited cover), heaps of space for storage and hanging space. A desk and plenty of drawers and open spaces to stow luggage etc. Two large TVs. Only downside was shower over bath.
Dolphin Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews