This was our second time on Golden (May 2012-Hawaii) and fourth on Princess line. We've also been on five other lines. Overall experience was about the same with a couple of glaring differences. The food was better this time around (different chef? different supplier?) with better presentation. However, with the exception of one night, the anytime dining in Bernini was inexcusable. Maybe it's just me but I don't think I should ever have to ask for my ice tea at dinner to be refilled. The water glass was always replenished quickly and the servers would actually move the empty ice tea glass to get to the water glass. Bread baskets would not be refilled, either. One night the waiters wouldn't even wait for everyone to finish their course before bringing out the next one. As a result, some at our table of eight were still eating appetizer when the main course was served to others. It felt as if we were being rushed to finish and leave. I know when a company needs to reduce costs the first thing to suffer is the personnel. That being said, at least make sure to keep the competent staff around. (This is where I'll give a shout out to Robin in the Donatello as being a superior waiter.) We did room service for breakfast on the in-port days which was always delivered on time by a very personable server. A few other meals in the Horizon Court (food adequate, service good) and pizza and burgers once (still the best pizza at sea). International Cafe had sausage quiche that was really good.
Cabin steward Julio seemed to always be there when we needed him and invisible when we didn't...perfect! Since the one size fits all robe doesn't fit me, he was able to secure a plush robe that did. THANKS Julio!
"Sarge" was the headline entertainer the first three nights and his comedy was only superseded by his musical talent. Alexander Great was OK but not a spectacular illusionist. Production shows were the same as last year...average.
We got lucky with weather-sunny and 72-80 every port. Locals didn't want us to leave and take the bright skies with us.
Embarkation was a little funky. Going out the main door to the gangway they wanted us to make sure we out BOTH doors, but as soon as you got outside, it became one line again. Go figure. Debarkation was smooth, painless and the easiest I've ever been through.