Let’s begin by clarifying the part I in my title:
This 3 Day West Coast Getaway was the first in a series of 3 back to back to back cruises which my friend and I took. The price was outstanding, practically free and impossible to pass up.
Embarkation: I would like to say that embarkation was quick and easy as it usually is, however this time it was not. The Star Princess and Golden Princess were both in port at the same time and a combination of not enough customs officials as well as newbies in training delayed the process of clearing passengers off the ship in a timely manner. None the less we were able to board and headed straight for our cabin.
Cabin: We were in a forward Aloha Deck balcony stateroom. In the past we were hesitant to book a forward cabin, however the ship never exceeded 11 knots and the sailing was smooth like glass. Our room steward, Romeo was excellent. He always responded to our needs and kept the stateroom spotless.
Dining: We had fixed seating as always (I can wait on line and make reservations for dinner at home; I don’t need to be saddled with that chore while on vacation). We had a private table for just the two of us and it was in the perfect spot in the Canaletto Dining Room. Roland our waiter and Laura the junior waiter were outstanding. On our first evening at dinner we were greeted with welcoming smiles and they kept our dinner courses moving along at a comfortable pace for my friend and me. This being our 14th Princess cruise it was fun to be remembered by wait staff that we had on previous sailings, who also wanted to attend to our needs. The food was outstanding and as soon as we saw that John Convery was the executive chef we were even more excited as in our opinion he is the best there is at sea. The dining room staff who attended to our needs were made aware that we were staying onboard for multiple sailings and we were able to keep our same table. The process was seamless.
Entertainment: Our comment here would be, the bands heard playing in the Wheelhouse Bar and the Explorers Lounge were weak at best and did not entice us to stop and listen and did not seem up to the Princess standard. Having said that, the comedians, Alfred and Seymour, were dynamite and very lively. A word of warning don’t arrive late or try to leave early as they will definitely have their way with you in good fun of course. The only production show we went to was the British Invasion and boy were we sorry. To title it "The British Invasion” without actually researching the bands that were part of The British Invasion seems a bit silly and disappointing.
Disembarkation: For my friend and me, it was seamless due to the fact that we were Passengers In Transit for back to back sailings. The ship was cleared of disembarking passengers very quickly as the Golden Princess was the only passenger ship in port with multiple customs officers to process. We were off the ship and back on the ship within 15 minutes. It was great.
Overall Opinion of the Cruise and Condition of the Ship: The staff and food were above average in all areas. Welcoming, friendly and requests were always met with grace and consideration. However, as I stood in line or waited for my friend I often noticed ceiling panels loose, carpet pulling away on side carpeted baseboards, paint that needed refreshing in the Piazza area and stains in the Photo area where there is always a lot of foot traffic. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and will travel on Princess again, as Princess Cruises is our home away from home. Golden Princess however, is showing signs of needing renovation. Can someone say "Dry Dock” Please?