This was my DH's 1st time cruisng and my 1st time on a long cruise (4-day Bahama cruise). Embarkation went very smoothly although we did sit in the waiting room for quite awhile but not knowing what time we could board we were over early as we were very excited! We boarded quickly and very efficiently and we were shown to the elevators and told which floor to go to. We weren't in our room too long before our room steward Marco, introduced himself and gave us the "lay of the land" Loved the balcony on the Caribe deck. Had read on the write-ups here on cruise critic that these were the largest and you were right. Half covered which was nice as we could sit under cover and not get dressed and no one could see us. Worked out really well as our friends were almost above us and we sure didn't want them to see us all the time lol. Anyhow we went exploring and lunch at the buffet. Lots of food, lots of variety. I can't see where even the pickiest of eaters would have a problem with the food....come on now there has to be something there that you like!!!
We had early dining with our group of 10 of us and our waiters Robert and Roy were just wonderful. Upon seeing that we were all friends and yacked away at supper time and took awhile to eat, they suggested we come in at 5:30pm so we wouldn't be rushed. Worked out great to as we had a special needs food person so she got hers at the same time as we got ours. The food was good...I enjoyed having the "permanent left side of the menu" that you could order from if you didn't like the choice of meals that night. They always had a standard salad and main course. The desserts were to die for and we really enjoyed them every night!!! Any wine left over (which was rare lol) was put away with your name and table # on it so you got it the next night. That was very nice as sometimes we ordered a 2nd bottle and would have it the next night. They did not like it if you didn't order a main course though...my husband tried to just order the pate and the soup as he was so full and the waiter brought him a plate of pasta also as he didn't think he would be full enough...we laughed at that one. No way you could lose weight on this cruise.
Lots of entertainment if you wished to take part. The "British Invasion" was debuted the night before we disembarked and is a great show. The band "Indigo" that appeared mostly in the Explorer's lounge was a really wonderful and versatile band. Tried to listen to them as much as possible.
Lots of activities during the day if you wanted to partake such as scavenger hunts, trivia pursuit each day, etc.
Lots of lounge chairs and there were chair hogs but not too many that I saw. It was very windy most of the cruise on the open pool area but was nice in the closed area. I was surprised that they did not close the pools a couple of days as it was very rocky....a family of kids were actually using their boogie boards to surf the pool as it was very wavy and they had a ball doing this. Very fun to watch on a pool.
Whomever says you won't feel the boat because of stabilizers should have been on our cruise. Lots of high wave days and one day the "barf bags" were up and around taped on the walls. Yay for my ear patch..never got sick and almost never got queasy.
The only thing I found that was negative about this cruise was there were so many scooters, wheelchairs, etc. that a lot of times either they or we were waiting for the elevators for quite awhile. I have never seen so many of these in 1 spot as I did on the Golden. I head there were over 350 disabled using some type of aide. The scooters took up a lot of room in the elevator and there were a lot of times of waiting.
Cannot say enough about the staff...all were just wonderful. I have seen at resorts where the staff will answer a question and then turn around and talk to one of their own people and are sullen and you know they are talking about you or complaining. I didnt' see this once....everyone was very friendly and helpful and so nice to deal with!!
WE enjoyed the 4 days over to Hawaii as we were excited and newbies to sailing and Hawaii and looking forward to getting there. I guess we found the 4 days back a bit longer. We didn't get off in Encenada.
We would definitely go again and would we do that cruise again...yes we would as it was very relaxing.