Stayed in Seattle for four days prior to cruise. Stayed at Hotel Five. Great location and enjoyed the stay a lot! No laundry facilities on premises so I ended up doing laundry on ship...
First let me say that Alaska is breathtaking and majestic and all positive adjectives you can use to describe its grandeur! The Golden Princess, however, left a lot to be desired. At the top of the negative list was the food - previously frozen and tasteless. Even mussels were frozen! One would expect having fresh seafood from the salmon capital of the world; but no, the salmon served was North Atlantic salmon, frozen, which made it tough and dry. All beef entrees featured tasteless, tough meat, as well. Sides were odd and sparse.Shrimp cocktail tasted like it had been soaking in water. Caesar salad was previously frozen, as well. Dessert was definitely the highlight of the dining experience.
One of the biggest disappointments was when we were told on Day 6 that our port of call in More
Victoria was canceled due to "technical difficulties". What does that mean exactly? The ship was moving at a good pace and all the computers/tvs, etc. were operational. So this cancellation meant we were captive on the boat from the extremely short visit in Ketchikan which sailed away at noon on Thursday until we disembarked on Saturday morning. The ship is already struggling with things to do, but this change in plans really threw them for a loop. To their benefit, they did schedule two entertainment options for the evening, but they were repeat performances from previous nights. VIctoria was high on everyone's list of ports and the cruise line offered a $25 refund, per se, to each person on their cruise accounts. Not at all enough, in my opinion.
As I said, the cruise caters to a much older crowd...MUCH older. String quartet music was always playing somewhere. And what did they play? Music from The Titanic! ha The live performances were okay, not great. The pianist, Billy Reid, was terrific. The comedian performed one evening and he was very funny! But if you weren't losing your money in the casino, or watching the same movies over and over in your stateroom, there really wasn't anything interesting or entertaining to do.
The float through Glacier Bay was spectacular and the captain was very accommodating in turning the boat so that all cruisers could take in the spectacular sights. We were never late arriving in ports as other cruisers had reported in other posts. But the cancellation in Victoria had been mentioned in previous cruise reviews so it sparked my interest when it happened to us. No one could give us a decent explanation for the elimination of the visit. We docked, and some folks left the ship, but the rest of us hung over the railings, anxiously looking at what could have been a delightful evening.
I must say that the crew was extremely pleasant, and our stateroom steward was very conscientious and attentive to all of our needs. The people at the excursion desk deserved combat pay for the endless hours of cruisers who didn't have a clue and wanted them to explain every last detail of what the excursion would provide.That desk was very helpful and patient with everyone we saw.
Lastly, disembarkation was a joke! They had provided options for leaving the ship based on personal needs to get to Sea-Tac, or wherever cruisers were going. We were assigned an early EZ checkout where we carried our own luggage off the ship. Over and over we were told that you MUST have the checkout tickets, and you MUST NOT report to your assigned area earlier than the given time. We followed the rules only to find out that our group (200) had left the ship 30 minutes before the assigned time. We sat in the location with people who we later found out were reporting an hour, or two, early for their disembarking! And when we finally got in line to leave, no one had tickets, and the crew was not even asking to see anything but your cruise card! If you're going to have rules, FOLLOW THEM yourself, Princess. Less
We received a text on the day of embarkation that we had been upgraded. Initially I was confused because our room changed from deck 11 down to deck 10. The upgrade was in balcony size. We went from the standard balcony to the deluxe balcony which was huge! Rooms were spacious but the upgrade was in balcony size not the room size. We had little to no noise in this room location. It was near the laundry facilities, and equidistant from the elevators mid-ship. The seas were rough and there was some movement but it was all over the ship, not just our area. Great room!