The Golden Princess is not so golden any more. I took my son and daughter-in-law for their first time cruise to Alaska and I was very disappointed. I had sailed the Golden several years ago and it is getting very old. First I booked the cruise over a year ago and I booked a mini-suite because there was 3 traveling so I wanted more room. When I was looking online for which cruise line to travel with, I liked the mini-suite and the extras you got with it. Unfortunately none of the extras were given to us. Free bottle of wine on arrival, we got two glasses of champagne, fruit in your room, upon request, every afternoon, never received, said it wasn't included, robes to wear for the entire cruise, had to ask for them and was told they were not for mini-suites, but gave them to us, priority embarkation and disembarkation, never received and told we didn't get it. I brought the paper that I had printed but it didn't make a difference, the Pursers Office didn't care because it had been changed to only two glasses of champagne on arrival.
The food in the Horizon Court, (buffet), was cold/cool when served. Nice variety but not good. Last cruise, when in the dining room you could order a steak, steak is not included, have to go to Sabatini's if you want steak and pay for it. The International Cafe was very good for pastries but had to pay for Starbucks coffee. The pizza was delicious but hamburgers and hot dogs left a lot to be desired.
The room had a fold out couch that had wooden slats to hold the mattress and the mattress was exactly 1" thick. It was painful to sleep on it, since I have metal in my back, neck, knee and a spinal cord implant. The balcony was filthy. When the steward was asked about cleaning it, he stated that passengers up above us throw things and he couldn't help that. There were many toothpicks, papers and dirt on the balcony floor but nothing was done about it. All the metal was rusty and dirty. The room itself, we decided not to walk on the carpet because it was disgusting and didn't want to catch a disease.
Our steward was rude several times to me. Not a good relationship there. I feel that forcing you to pay for the gratuities up front causes the staff to not try as hard as when gratuities were paid at the end of the cruises and by how staff performed.
The entertainment, the comedian, and illusionist were wonderful. The Princess dancers and singers left a lot to be desired. Old and ill fitting costumes, talent not up to par.
Our last stop Victoria, we were 45 minutes late because of fog. I understand fog cannot be controlled but when we were allowed to disembark, it was a 1 hour and 30 minute wait to get off of the ship. Victoria is only a 3 hour stop so many passengers decided to not get off the ship, since it was dark and only 1 hour and 30 minutes to look around. They need to figure out how to speed up the passport disembarkation lines.
Unfortunately I will probably not be sailing Princess again because of the mini-suite mess, food, disembarkation in Victoria and just a general all around sub par trip.