Golden Princess Cruise Review by BlueNM: Alaska was Trip of a Lifetime!
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Alaska was Trip of a Lifetime!
This was our first time to cruise with four of us going. Princess made it easy, but of course, I poured over all the CC comments and was aware of what to avoid and/or enjoy the advised advantages! Thanks to all of you for your comments and warnings!
Seattle: Stayed and the Mayflower Hotel. We loved the older and beautiful architecture, and the hotel has all the modern conveniences. Also, it is close to Pikes, the rail, and other downtown attractions. We received the package with the breakfast and shuttle service, and they met us on the dot at 11:00 to take us to the pier. Concierge service and front desk were all AWESOME, and we felt we were in a European hotel!
Embarkation: Got to the pier at about 11:30. Lines were very long, unlike others on CC saying to go then. However, the staff directed us with efficiency and got us on as quickly as possible considering the l-o-n-g lines. Our baggage followed us shortly.
Rooms: Some have said that the showers More were very small. We had absolutely no problems, including our 6'+ sons who stayed in an inside cabin. Also loved the large closet and cubby-holes by it where the safe was conveniently located. I would highly recommend getting a balcony on the Carib deck. Though it is partially covered, it was the largest of all the balconies on the ship and accommodated the four of us very well. (Note: The deck below us -- Dolphin Deck -- had NO covering at all and no privacy from us above.) Weather/Packing Tips: The weather was GREAT while we were there, and I think the time to go is definitely early June. We checked the 10-Day forecast sites before going, and they were right-on! It said mid-50's with one low-60's, so we did not have to take the heavy coats. Be sure and layer, though. Also, grab some blankets from the evening Movie-Under-The-Stars, and we kept them in our room to wrap up in when out on the deck.
Food: We did not care for the buffet, except maybe breakfast. We had anytime dining and did not have to wait hardly at all. The Italian night was the best, and avoid the Steak-Wellington. At lunch, some of us had the sirloin burgers, and they were the best HBs we had ever had. Staff was superb and selections were varied and delicious, though sometimes hit-and-miss when you are guessing at something you have never eaten. (Though I considered the title of one dessert, the "menage-a-trois" rather vulgar. . . .) The ice-cream by the pool was great, as well as the pizza and HB/Hot Dog place which we opted for on the 1st dress up night. The second dress-up night was fun, though one of my sons had to go back and get on a long-sleeved shirt before they would let him sit. (Note: Thankfully, no jackets are required.)
Disembarkation: BEWARE!!!!! We opted for the "Princess Transfers" at $24 per person, rather than the "Independent Arrangements", thinking we would have the better of the service. WRONG! For a total of $96, we stepped out with our luggage, had to walk PAST the taxis to the end of the pier pick-up buses. Then we had to wait in line to get on the bus, with the bus driver complaining about our 2-each bags (what do you expect for a week-long cruise? . . .), and then were herded on the bus. Then, at the airport, we were NOT dropped off at the airline doors, but w-a-y down at their drop off. We had to haul our baggage uphill, as we watched the taxis drive by and their smiling passengers. Found out later, we would have saved a LOT had we taken the taxi, and not been EXHAUSTED before checking in at the airport. BAD! BAD! BAD!, and I reported to Princess and have heard nothing back.
Overall, though, the trip was great, the staff was superb, and we had a great time. Princess, though, needs to realize there is lots of competition out there, and they need to take care of details. We may try a different line next time to compare. Less
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Cabin review: BAC330 Balcony
We stayed in room C330, which was a balcony in mid-ship. It was wonderful and Nilo was our steward. He was great and very accommodating -- he did absolutely everything we needed and requested. This was the Caribe deck and it had the largest balconies on the ship and were partially covered. There was a table and four chairs, and our group sat out and really enjoyed particularly the scenic cruising day. I would recommend this deck highly! Our sons staying in room B412 -- and inside cabin close to mid-ship on the Baja Deck. They had very poor room service . . . the bed was not made, safe did not work, and cabin was not prepared for luggage, towels, etc. It took several calls, and six hours later after complaining and talking to the "Supervisor" Gil, it was finally made right. However, there were no apologies, and sons were treated rather like "second-class passengers." It was not until I told them we had a balcony room and expected a higher level of service, that my sons were finally satisfied. However, steward was not attentive throughout cruise after that. May be one of two reasons why we may not cruise with Princess again. (See Disembarkation comments above.)