This was our second cruise on the Golden Princess, Was looking forward to a nice relaxing getaway. Embarkation to me at the Port of Los Angeles was horrible. Started out with all the porters offering to take my luggage. I don't normally like to hand my luggage over to anyone and would rather check it in myself. After making it through the army of porters. We were met by a Princess Cruise representative at the entrance to the cruise terminal. We were told we had to have a porter check in our luggage. So back we went and found a porter to take care of our luggage. Not that big of a deal. Next when we went to check in. There was some confusion in regards what line to put us in. We had one of the two deluxe window staterooms located on Deck 15. Our room number was S704. Because there was a S in front of our room number that indicated we were in a suite. So they put us in the line for suite passengers. Again no big deal. the check in clerk ended up having to go get our keys and other documents from another location. LOL... After we checked in we were directed to the waiting terminal. The layout of the terminal was rather odd in my opinion. the gangway to board the ship was located in the center of the terminal. So when loading began (Almost 45 min late) there was passengers coming in from the check in side of the terminal and getting mixed up with the passengers who were called with the rest of there group to get ready to board.
Once on board we went straight to our room and dropped off our carry-on's..We knew there was a main dining room that was open for lunch so we set out to find out which one was open. Each crew member we spoke to tried to direct us to the Horizon Court Buffet. Finally, Spoke up and asked when did Princess change there policy about one of the main dining rooms not being open for lunch. We were than told which one was open. I thought that was pretty sad that the crew members tried to purposely mislead a passenger. Food however in the main dining room was wonderful and so was the service.
Our room, S704 was fantastic with only a few small issues.The room is located on Sun deck 15 which is right outside of the aft elevators. I mention that because it has it's pro's and con's. While there aren't that many passengers that have rooms on Deck 15 aft. sometimes there were issues with noise from passengers waiting on the elevators. Our room was also located just up the hall from the Hearts and Minds wedding chapel. which gets used for meetings. So that caused more traffic.right outside our room. Ok more about our room. We loved the floor to ceiling windows. We would normally prefer a balcony, but heard about rooms S702 and S704. So we decided to give it a try. No regrets. The room was well decorated and clean with upgraded features such as a bar and the fixtures in the bathroom were also upgraded. the only two issue's with the room was the overhead speaker didn't work. so we couldn't hear any announcements and the TV remote didn't work to well. So again over all nothing major to complain about. Our room steward (Frenchy) was attentive and kept the room clean. The only issues with him that we had was we never received our robes that we had requested and he kept his three cleaning carts right outside our room with would bang against the wall every now and than.
The Golden princess looked fantastic and was well kept up in our opinion so Kudos to the crew for maintaining her for as old as she is. The entertainment on board was only so so. The shows were just ok. nothing to brag about. I wish Princess would come up with some new shows. The British Invasion and Motor city are kind of getting old. We enjoyed Comedian Phil Tag.
Food in the Main dining room was fantastic. Our servers Natalia and Marina did a great job and made sure all our needs were met. The Horizon buffet was better than the last time we were on the Golden. The last time on board there weren't enough servers which made getting your drinks and other needs a hassle. I am glad this wasn't a problem this time around. The food was just ok. We decided this time around to try the Crown Grill. It was probably best my could buy. The food and the service was fantastic. Our server just kept on bringing out the goodies for us to try. Boy! I don't think he knew what he was getting himself in to when he kept bring out the food. for us to try. yep we ate it all and a lot more than he expected. LOL
We had Massage appointments at the Lotus Spa. They were wonderful and almost worth the amount we spent. Yeah! services in the spa are expensive. but the facilities were clean and the staff friendly and professional.
Santa Barbra was wonderful. The weather was gorgeous! We had no problems taking a tender ashore. The beaches were fantastic and clean. We enjoyed our walk along State street checking out all the shops. Wish there were more excursions offered besides wine tasting and whale watching. would have loved to do some Kayaking or rollerblading maybe rent a bicycle.
Ensenada, Well lets just say the place hasn't changed at all since the last time I was there 20 years ago with the exception of the cruise port terminal. I guess I will wait another 20 years before I go back. unless the another cruise happens to stop there. I will just stay on board and enjoy what the ship has to offer.
Disembarkation, What a Mess!!! I made the mistake of not reading the disembarkation notice that we received on the second day of the cruise. As a result we didn't get our request in to the customer service desk to have our luggage picked up outside our state room on the last night of the cruise. We weren't the only ones who missed out. Looking at the disembarkation priority list it looks like 85% of the passengers were in the same boat as we were in. We were scheduled to be the last group to leave the ship. Our meeting time was at 11:45. So we had to carry all of our luggage and not leave unattended for the next three hours and 45 minutes. We had to be out of our room at 8 AM. What made things worse was the fact that the crew had to do emergency drills while in port under the supervision of the coast guard. So no wonder the ship was about 45 minutes late on embarkation day. we didn't leave the ship til noon.