Let me start by saying we did the inside passage round trip out of Seattle on the Golden Princess. There were four of us. My husband, our best friend, Sharon, my Mom and me. Our cruise was scheduled to leave on Saturday, July 4th. We went out on Wednesday, July 1st. We spent time in Seattle as we had never been there (Sharon had though). I will list Seattle as port #1 as I want to write some things on it. It is a very pretty city and we did enjoy our time there and wish we had more.
Although we did not fly in on Saturday, we did rent a car. We did it through the airport. So we returned it back to the airport. We did take the Princess transfer from the airport to the port. It was sooo easy. They were right by the baggage claim and had a flat bed ready for all our suitcases. They took us right to our check in area. After a little mix up we were off to our bus. We were then taken to the ship. I can understand were people were saying it was a mess at the peir. It has a small drop of pick up area. The buses are allowed in first (which was us). Then everyone else. The only problem I saw was there is just a small drop off pick up area. People were dropping of and picking up all at the same time. However, It was moving along smothly. We got off the bus and got in line, we were in line, thru security, had our ship cards and on the ship in less then 30 minutes. We went to our rooms, dropped off our stuff and went up to eat by 12 or 12:30. Then walked around exploring the ship.
My only complaint is the beds were BAD!! For a ship that just came out of dry dock I sure was disappointed that they did not put new mattress on it. Shame on you Princess. We did get the egg crete everyone was talking about. It did help some, but they really need to replace them and NOW!!! Would it keep me from sailing her again, probably not. I also think they have over priced the photos at $25 each for the formals and $15 -$19 for some of the other ones. I read on some of the cruises they ran specials like buy 3 get one free. They did not run anything on ours. So I did cut back on how many I bought.
We did enjoy the International Cafe it was GREAT!! We loved it and ate there alot. We did The Ultimate ship Tour and loved it. I agree with some of the posters on it being $150.00pp is a little high, but it was fun and enjoyable. I don't understand why they do not allow photos though. I have seen people posting photos of when they had a tour of the bridge. So maybe Princess should rethink the "no photos". I would of liked to scrapbook all of the different places. We did not get to go to the funnel like some others that have done it, not sure why we didn't. My husband and a friend (he is a CCer as well) did the Chef's table and enjoyed it!! They said it is well worth the $75pp. If they would do something other then seafood I think more would want to do it. That is why two of us didn't do it. Plus I am not a drinker so maybe they could adjust the price and not serve the wine??? Just an idea.
We did find the entertainment on this cruise a little disappointing then on others. We did not see what we normally get when in the caribbean. We are use to having something every night in the main theater. The comedian Rodney Johnson was funny, so we saw him both nights. They really only had two big shows and we missed the second one.
The port books everyone is talking about are as you are getting ready to get on. We did use them and got some good deals. But one word about them. You HAVE TO have the book with you in port to get some of the "deals". No one has said or I haven't read that. So Sharon missed out of a couple things in Juneau. Also, on the FREE coin or bracelet charms you can only get ONE free set per cabin. We were treated by nasty sale reps in Juneau on these two things. I want to let those who plan to get them know. BUT the rest of them were nice and friendly and we did have FUN with the hunt.
Our last night and heading home. We did an excursion The Best of Seattle. We toured Seattle and then they took us back to the airport. Best money I have spent. Our flight didn't leave till 5pm. And it was better then sitting at the airport all day. The tour also includes tickets to the Space Needle. I would do this again as well. The only thing I didn't like is I wish we had more time at the Space Needle. We also got time at Farmers Market. They ask to see what time everyone's flights left and we had a 3pm one on ours so we had to be at the airport by 1pm. Everyone else were 4pm and later. I do wish they would of maybe put the flights together as they did have several buses going.