Let’s begin by clarifying the Part II in my title:
This was a 4 Day West Coast Getaway and the second 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.
Disembarkation/Embarkation: My friend and I were “In Transit” Passengers for the second leg of our three back to back cruises. Although it was clear to us that we were In Transit Passengers, it was not so clear to the crew and staff. On the final day of our first back to back cruise the room steward set out the suitcase mat for packing on the bed, suggesting that he thought we were going home. Moreover, with just hours to go on our final day we had not received our In Transit Documents. Thus, we placed a call to the Passenger Services Desk and asked where our documents were? Within the hour these documents were delivered to the stateroom. After thoroughly reading the documentation the following was to occur: We were to meet other In Transit Passengers at the Crown Grill at 11:00 AM. We then would be escorted off the ship with the group and that is exactly what occurred. We went with our guide and group, passed through customs, walked out of the building along the front and back in through the main entrance within 15 minutes. It was a breeze.
Cabin: We remained in our forward Aloha Deck balcony stateroom. It was wonderful not to have the usual first day unpacking routine. We were greeted by our room steward, Romeo and told him we had decided not to go home. He laughed. As a matter of fact, as we were traversing the hallway on Aloha Deck many other room stewards were so amazed to see us still on board. We got lots of hearty welcomes.
Dining: We continued to have 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). Our private table for just the two of us remained the same in the Canaletto Dining Room. Roland and Laura were so pleased to see us back for dinner. Here we would like to point out that while having done back to back sailings on longer cruises we did not run into what I will describe here. That is, on back to back sailings on short cruises, such as 3 day and 4 day getaway cruises, you are seeing the same menu every 3 or 4 days. Because of this, we decided to try something new that the Golden Princess had recently started. Starting at 6:00 PM, the Trident Grill changes into a BBQ, we tried the Chili, which was atomic, but very good. We also tried the Pulled Pork which was outstanding. YUM!
Because the 3 day and 4 day getaways did not allow for a formal Captain’s Circle Party the Golden Princess sent 2 Free Drink vouchers to our stateroom. We decided to see if we could use the voucher for a pseudo milkshake drink on deck 5 called a “Choco-Banana” it tastes just like a frozen banana and is great without alcohol. People kept asking what we were drinking because it looked very scrumptious and so outstanding.
Entertainment: Our comment here remains the same as in our previous Part 1 Review. 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. There was a new comedian, Steve White, we were not impressed. We also saw the magician/comedian James Michael. We had seen him a few years earlier on the Sapphire Princess, he was okay then and his routine was exactly the same now, the only thing that was different, was that his number of tattoos had increased. We got to know Gavin Chandler, the Cruise Director quite well over these back to back sailings and spoke to him at length many times. He’s a great guy and is a pleasure to be sailing with him as Cruise Director.
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 within 15 minutes. It was great.
Overall Opinion of the Cruise: Since this is part II of our review for our back to back to back sailings, one thing to note is a definite difference in the demographics between the 3 day voyage from Monday-Thursday, and this 4 day sailing Thursday–Monday. The passengers on the mid-week sailing were older, and less family oriented. The passengers on the weekend 4-day sailing were younger and had many more families traveling together. The room stewards really had their hands full with all the children running about in the passageways and I noted the extra sheets and towels on the stewards’ carts. They were busy. In part 3 of our series of reviewing these cruises we will continue discussing the demographics of our final 4 days onboard.