To start off, we don't go to the shows, lectures, activities (except maybe bingo), the casino, nor do we drink (except a margarita every couple of cruises). We did this cruise because it was going to be too long in between our May 2013 cruise and our October 2014 cruise. Plus, it was something different.
We drove to the Los Angeles port for the first time (we usually take a shuttle). Parking was easy and we didn't have any luggage to give to the porters since it was such a short cruise. Once inside the terminal, we received the standard health form (but had to fill it upstairs as there were no pens available and I didn't carry one). The escalator to get upstairs to go through security was broken so we hauled our luggage up the stairs. Good exercise, which we can always use. We got through security, walked right up to check in and then over to our embarkation lounge to sit for about 40 minutes. We got to our room before noon. Our cabin steward greeted us shortly after and explained about the muster drill. We really liked our cabin steward. He was very friendly and did a nice job changing our room over. (Small thing but our cabin steward forgot to give us washrags on two occasions throughout the cruise. Still, no big deal and we didn't say anything except to ask for the washrags.) The ship left Los Angeles 45 minutes late. Don't know why and that's okay. We went to the Crown Grill for dinner and it was once again awesome! We were there a year ago on the same ship and it was just as good. I had the lobster tail and my DH had the ribeye.
The first port was Santa Barbara. Tendering was easy. We had no excursion so we went to a few places we had planned, took a long walk down the waterfront, wandered around Stearns Wharf and then back on a tender to the ship. The weather ended up being very nice. The ship left as planned for our next port, which was Ensenada. We had nothing we wanted to see there so we took a long walk around the ship and read on our balcony. Again, the weather was pleasant. About 8 people were late getting back to the ship. I watched the scene play out from our balcony as they trickled in 2 at a time. They were first time cruisers to Princess (I could see their cruise cards) and actually very sorry for being late. Security were very nice to them. We had dinner in the buffet that night. After that, we watched Man of Steel on M.U.T.S. This was really our first time watching movie on M.U.T.S. where it wasn't raining, cold and windy. This time it was just cool and a little windy and very enjoyable and the blankets kept us nice and warm.
The third day was a sea day. Cooler and a little windy. We took an even longer walk and read on our balcony.
One of my favorite things to eat is the cheesecake that Princess makes. It's not the kind I've ever gotten in the MDR, which is thin, but is thick and fluffy and available in the buffet. I first experienced it on the Sapphire in May and hoped they had it on the Golden. I was not disappointed. I had it several times in different flavors. It will be worth the extra pounds I'm sure to have gained.
We arrived at the port in Los Angeles 1/2 hour early. Disembarkation was on time and the easiest I’ve ever experienced.
Overall, it was yet again a very nice cruise. The food was good, the service good, the staff nice and our room comfortable. I'm not sure when the ship is scheduled for another dry dock but she is showing signs of more than normal wear, like the carpet, for example. And that turtle that the artist Wyland painted in one of the pools is hardly recognizable. I've been told that during the next dry dock they plan to put in a separate dessert section next to the buffet like they have on the Sapphire. I hope this is true as it was a nice addition even though it took away some seating. This is our second cruise on the Golden Princess and we enjoyed it very much. The one negative for me (and no offense to smokers) was some lack of respect for the smoking policy on balconies. I could not only smell smoke but I saw a lady (at one of the sailaways) waving her cigarette around for all to see like she didn't care. Still, the lack of smoke smell on the balcony was much better. Thank you Princess for letting us escape completely, even for a few days.