An Alaskan cruise is often called a "cruise of a lifetime" as it is something so many people have on their to do list and I was lucky enough to do a 7 night inside passage cruise from Seattle on the Golden Princess.
The service and facilities onboard the Golden Princess could not be faulted. The cabin was of a good size and the "anytime dining" onboard was perfect as it allowed me to dine when I felt like. The specialty dining restaurant Sabatini's was also excellent and was a true dining experience and you did not feel rushed at all like you can often feel when you dine onboard a cruise ship.
The ports we visited were Juneau (fantastic for whale watching tours), Kechikan, Skagway, Victoria and scenic cruising in Tracey Arm Fjord. You need to allow a lot of extra money in the travel budget to do tours in these ports as you can not spend a day exploring on your own. And because it is a cruise of a lifetime you want to make the most of the experience by experiencing all that an Alaskan cruise has to offer.
Overall I give an Alaskan cruise a 4/5 rating and I was very happy with my 7 nights on the Golden Princess
This was our first cruise. We were very happy overall with the cruise. The only issue we had was with the pressure selling and sales hype. We attended a shopping session on day 1 thinking they would be telling us about the ports etc that we were to visit but not so it was to sell a book of
vouchers, it was incredible to see the hype and clamouring from passengers to buy these for and exorbitant fee(we felt). We were speaking to a couple a few days later and they said they couldn't understand why they bought one. Also all the ports we called at were built and we felt owned by the cruise companies. but all in all it was a lovely trip. The staff were delightful and very helpful.
I really enjoyed the cruise that I went on. I went with two other ladies and we had so much fun and we laughed and we got on as well. This was the first time that I went on a cruise and I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was more then what I had expected it to be. The food was so nice and there was a
variety of the food. The entertainment was so good and I didn't know what to expect before I went on but it was sensational. The staff were very nice and helpful and so happy. There was so much that was going on the cruise that you did what you wanted when you wanted to do it. The ports that we stopped at was really something else and the swimming was so clear and refreshing. At Vanuatu we went to the Cascade Waterfalls and that was beautiful and we went for a swim and it was magical. Afterwards we went shopping and there so a few duty free shops that the price was good. The only let down was that the staff on the cruise ship don't tell you about the duty free shopping where you can buy your alcohol and other products and then you have already brought it on the ship. I suppose I could of brought it from the duty free shops in Vanautu and then I could of just cancelled my other order from the ship. But these are the things that you learn for next time. I definitely will be going on another cruise in two years time.
Unfortunately we were unaware this was a seniors cruise. We are a couple in our late 50s and the majority of the passengers on this cruise were well over 70 and many in wheelchairs on walkers and walking sticks. Please don't misunderstand me. I have nothing against these people at all but it did
govern the mood of the ship. We were looking for fun on our cruise to NZ but had difficulty finding people to have fun with. Unless you were prepared to sit out in the cold you were lucky to get a seat inside. The weather was not kind either. We missed out on 3 ports including Fiordland which was to be the highlight of our trip. 5 days straight cruising home was a bit boring to say the least. We did enjoy the food in the Horizon Court. There was always plenty of choice of fresh fruit and the scones at afternoon tea were nice. The Crown grill which has a cover charge of $25 and overpriced wine was not of a high standard. My husband's comment about his t-bone steak was " mine are better on the bbq at home". That said we would recommend this cruise to older people who are looking for a well catered holday
My family and I travelled on the Golden Princess in January 2016.
Our party consisted of myself my husband in our sixties our daughter and son in in their forties and three grandchildren 16, 14 & 9 years old.
They was plenty for all age groups and the 9 year old really enjoyed her club and did a program called 'junior chef at sea' which she and a small group decorated a cake with the help of the chef. She received a certificate and hat and apron, this was only $25 Aud. So was well worth it.
The older boys did not attend the program's choosing to be with the adults or in the pool.
Speaking for myself and my husband we found the food amazing, we had anytime dining and booked everyday at 5.30 and there was always a table for us. We mostly ate together and they always put us on the same big table.
Food in the Horizon Court , breakfast and lunch was also very good.
Staff were very helpful and even when busy, always a table somewhere at the Horizon Court.
Drinks were readily available and plates cleaned away quickly.
Our cabin steward was super polite and efficient.
In all as a couple we have been on 5 cruises and this has to be one of the favourites.
great quick cruise with five of my besties who all had a ball. the ship is very stable & big! all staff were friendly except the queue for the customer service desk was too long so it was difficult to get help onboard without wasting time. would go another cruise no worries. my first cruise was a 3
night comedy cruise which I would highly recommend. haven't laughed so much. sydney is a great harbour to leave from, it's so picturesque! the cabins on the golden princess were small but alright for 2 people, a bit squishy for 4 people but all you do in there is sleep & shower, which is also very small but adequate. next cruise I'd get a balcony or window if I was on a longer cruise. the included food is great. lots of options & needless to say the endless alcohol /cocktails are really good (even though they're not included). the golden princess had 1 big outside pool, 1 big indoor pool, 1 smaller outdoor pool & 1 pool/spa/sauna/steam room for adults only. lots of options. the best was the disco at the back of the ship & it was really pumping! the disco floor is amazing...dazzling block lights really add to the effect.
Loved the cruise. Unfortunately, the scenic cruising in and around Wineglass Bay didn't take place due to extreme weather, but I didn't mind. I thought the Itinerary could have been better so that we arrived Friday night at Hobart so that people could take in the Salamanca Market on the Saturday.
Arriving Saturday night gave us Sunday with very little shops open. Maybe straight to Hobart arriving Friday night, all day Saturday in Hobart, Port Arthur Sunday, Wineglass bay on the way home then Phillip Island. I'm sure there is a reason for the order of the Itinerary, but such a shame to be in Hobart on a Sunday. Our Cabin Steward, Joseph was top notch. Our room was always clean and tidy yet we never saw him in there! We'll be back on Princess.
As first time Cruisers, my wife and I were a little apprehensive at first. The service by Cruisesalefinder for a start was hassle free and excellent. We got a great phone call a fortnight out letting us know we'd been upgraded too, very fortunate.
It lived up to all the hype my parents had put on the cruise experience, just fantastic. We both really needed to relax, and even though it was just a four day trial we both got plenty of time to unwind. We really enjoyed the entertainment we chose to see, and the service and food was fabulous. We felt pampered, and they put a lot of effort into recognising a special anniversary we had too.
Would highly recommend Princess as a cruise line, great value and top service all round!
This was supposed to be a positioning cruise but it appeared to be more like a renovation cruise. The ship was apparently heading to California for a long awaited update. However Princess decided to start the work during the 31 day cruise. The most serious issues for us were the problems we
experienced with our cabin toilet which generally failed to flush for the first five days and at various times later in the cruise. Princess did offer some compensation but it was clearly a fairly widespread issue on this cruise. Not only inconvenient but also a potential health hazard. More generally the works going on included repainting public areas and taking the main pool out of use for three (sea) days, also for repainting. This together with the rather tired appearance of the ship spoiled what would otherwise have been an excellent and really good value cruise. We hope the ship will look much smarter when it comes to be based in Melbourne later this year.
On the positive side, we enjoyed the ports of call, particularly in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico which each came as a very pleasant surprise. We avoided the Princess tours which were generally criticised by other passengers as being too expensive and had no difficulty finding ways to independently entertain ourselves in each port..
An area that particularly impressed was the overall standard of the food and we were surprised at the consistent criticism of other passengers. The steakhouse experience was excellent and generally the dining room meals were fine. Also the pizzas were pretty good. Sometimes food in the buffet could have been hotter but this is a normal criticism of buffets. Also the chefs there were brilliant at assisting my wife who had particular dietary requirements.
Entertainment on cruise ships is very much a matter of personal taste and our view on this cruise was that it was varied - some acts very good, some terrible. We have to say that the Cruise Director did not appeal to us and did not seem to add much value to the cruise. Other members of his staff seemed to offer far more (especially Jamie) and they organised a good range of activities.
Embarkation in Buenos Aires was a little tedious and disembarkation was no better in Los Angeles, not helped by a late arrival and delays in delivering the luggage.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable cruise but could have been even better if only Princess would pay more attention to detail (lots of little things - eg playing a movie without turning the disco music off).
The Golden Princess is part of Princess' Grand-Class. She is 951 feet long, 118 feet wide and rises 17 decks above the waves to carry the full roster of more than 2,600 passengers. Her inaugural cruise was in May 2001 and she was christened by Merlisa George, Miss U.S. Virgin Islands.
There is a stateroom for all preferences on the Golden Princess, with a total of 1,318 guest cabins. 230 of these are various suites and mini-suites, great for families or those who like to enjoy some extra space and amenities like a mini-bar setup, fresh flowers and even a hot tub in some suites.
Balcony, oceanview and inside cabins are also available with plenty of space to pack away luggage, spread out and retreat from shipboard life.
Four pools, nine whirlpools, a gym and spa, shuffleboard court, putting green, art gallery, library and many fun organised activities keep guests active and entertained during sea days on the Golden Princess.
In the evening, the excitement ramps up even more with a theatre and show lounge, a range of bars, the casino and even a spot for watching movies under the stars.
The choice of Traditional or Anytime dining means you can eat in the manner to which you're accustomed, even on your cruise holiday. The three main dining rooms give an intimate atmosphere to your meals, and if you would rather a casual affair, there's always the buffet, the pizzeria and hot dogs by the pool.
Specialty restaurants and balcony dining can make it a special night out.