We are rather new to cruising and found this Hawaii adventure worth the cost even though there were unfortunately many cold and cloudy days at sea.
First off we did fly out of Arizona EARLY on embarkation day. Arrived @ the LAX at 8:00 a.m. and boy were we surprised when we went to get our luggage. Princess representative greeted us(we purchased Princess transfer to and from the port) immediately and assisted us with our luggage and explained the process clearly. Because we were there so early we were bused to the Sheraton hotel near the airport. Totally pleased with the greeter, very nice and informative. We were given drink and snacks. We were also partially checked in while @ the hotel. We left the hotel around 12:30pm due to the ship having issues with their previous disembarkation of the last trip.
I must say that it was a great bus ride however I have to agree with previous posters that their process to board us was long and I must of had my paperwork and ID checked 5 times before we boarded the Golden. Too long!
We had a balcony room on Caribe deck and had an excellent stewardess names Alona. Any special request we needed was met with a smile and completed. She kept our room nice and clean.
For breakfast and lunch we only ate at the buffet and it had plenty of food to chose from. We had anytime dining and mostly ate @ Bernini's and since we would sit anywhere with anyone we never waited more than 2 minutes. Excellent service by all. We liked doing anytime and will do it again. Met some really nice people and waiters. The food on a scale of 1 to 10 IMHO was a 7. It was just a bit bland even by my standards and I don't like spicy food. It was evident because ground pepper was offered constantly with every dish except dessert. Oh, and the desserts...FANTASTIC.
My DH and I totally thought that there was enough entertainment and we would plan dinner around 2 shows. Granted they are only 30 minutes long but I thought that was perfect! The staff worked very hard to make everyone happy, entertained and INVOLVED. Our favorite was the comedian Steve Caouette was fantastically talented. Also the ventriloquist Dan Horn was exceptional as well.
We only took one tour with Princess to Kauai' - the Movie tour and it was done very well and was an enjoyable day! It was worth the cost.
Disembarkation was a bit slow but organized.
Bottom line: We will go with Princess again and in spite of the cold weather days we did escape completely and were sad to have to go back to reality.
Service was a 9 all through the ship (I don't give 10's easily).