Let’s begin by clarifying that this is Part III in our 3 part series of Back, to Back to Back Cruises.
At the end of this review I will give a very brief synopsis of an additional 3 Day Golden Princess Cruise that we sailed, on 12/1/13.
This cruise however, was a 4 Day West Coast Getaway and the third in this 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. It was also a Halloween voyage, which we had never done before and that was a real kick.
Disembarkation/Embarkation: My friend and I were “In Transit” Passengers for the third leg of our three back to back cruises. Unlike the second cruise in the series, on the final day of the voyage this time, the Passenger Services provided the documentation for In Transit in a timely manner and our room steward knew we were getting back onto the ship. I am convinced he thought we were never leaving. The next morning we were again to meet other In Transit Passengers at the Crown Grill at 11:00 AM. We then were escorted off the ship with the group and that is exactly what occurred. We took a slight detour out to our car to leave a few items that we did not need for the last four days. Then walked back up the broken escalator and joined the other In Transit passengers waiting to re-board the ship.
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. Again, 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 and as mentioned previously, 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. By this time, we were so burned out by the same repeat menus it started to get as redundant as our three part reviews. Even the food items that were our very favorites that we were so jazzed to have been able to order for three times in less than ten days, did not taste as good. Bummer! Point of irony, here we are on a Mexican cruise to a Mexican Port, mariachis playing, people drinking marguerites and no ability whatsoever to eat Mexican food on the ship. Note to Princess, Chili Verde would be a nice addition to any of your menus. I would even settle for a Taco
Once again there was no Captain’s Circle Party and we got another set of 2 Free Drink vouchers to our stateroom. Our favorite “Choco-Banana” caught the eye of passengers because it looked very scrumptious and so outstanding. And it was!
Entertainment: We would like to mention how much we enjoyed Troy Thirdgill. His comedy was down to earth, funny and we really, really enjoyed him. We had an opportunity to speak to him on the last evening of the cruise and what a lovely man he is, warm and kind. If you see him listed on any Princess Patter, make sure to go see him, you won’t be disappointed.
Disembarkation: We waited a short time in the Elite disembarkation area and were off the ship in record time. The funny thing about leaving the port, was that the parking lot attendant was so used to seeing people with three or four days to pay for, that when our tally of 11 days showed up on her computer, she nearly jumped out of the booth. We all had a good laugh after we explained why.
Overall Opinion of the Cruise: Since this is part III of our review for our back to back to back sailings, one thing to note is a definite difference in the demographics between the 4 day sailing Thursday–Monday as opposed to the 4 day sailing from Monday to Friday. It was dramatic. On the weekend, the 4 day had large families and overall were younger, while the 4 day mid-week returned to a higher age group with less children
Addendum: As mentioned above, a month later we took another 3 day Get Away. Not only were we looking at the same menus, the same TV shows, the same movies, but the only option for something new on the TV was the news. It felt as if we were in our own version of the movie Ground Hogs Day. Having said that, what really stands out is that 30 days later, the ship seemed to age even more dramatically. These short cruises are really wreaking havoc on the Golden Princess..