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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We enjoyed the ports on this cruise however the Golden Princess left a lot to be desired. The entertainment was lacking in both quality and quantity. The food and menu were less than average. The wait staff at our table were basically ... Read More
We enjoyed the ports on this cruise however the Golden Princess left a lot to be desired. The entertainment was lacking in both quality and quantity. The food and menu were less than average. The wait staff at our table were basically incompetent. The ship is tired along with the cruise director who has been in the job way too long (19 years). Basic port / shuttle information was missing, and shuttles were a bit of a joke (lots of very unhappy people). Princess Cruises need to get their act together to keep their current customers. There are many other cruise lines offering better value for money. Having said all of that we will stay with Princess - but not this particular ship or staff. We will not sail again on this ship or any cruise that has this cruise director. Had the cruise director done his job properly this would have been a much more enjoyable cruise. Yes, I am sending a list of suggestions to Princess for them to consider (or throw in the bin). Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Chose this cruise for the port destinations.The cabin we selected was excellent. However that was about the limit of anything good on the ship. Food was average, our experience in the restaurant was poor. So we went up to the buffet, which ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the port destinations.The cabin we selected was excellent. However that was about the limit of anything good on the ship. Food was average, our experience in the restaurant was poor. So we went up to the buffet, which was marginally better. Some crew were fantastic others were new and needed further training. The management and officers were poor and you could tell by the poor organising of activities on board and the many errors in menu selection, program activities etc that the staff appeared tired and needed refreshing . This mainly applies to officers and management. The entertainment was very poor. The shows that were on were very low in quality and many people walked out during performances on many occasions. We have always had a pleasurable experience on Princess in the past, Diamond and Sapphire Princess, but this time they really dropped the bundle. We might as a result never choose Princess again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise as it was a one way trip from Beijing to Australia and it worked well with a land tour of China we had booked. The service was good and overall the meals were great. The ports of call were interesting with stops in ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a one way trip from Beijing to Australia and it worked well with a land tour of China we had booked. The service was good and overall the meals were great. The ports of call were interesting with stops in Osaka, Keelung (Taiwan), Hong Kong, Vietnam - Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City, Bali ( Benoa), Darwin, Brisbane (where we disembarked), then on to Sydney and Melbourne. However, as there were quite a few sea days and we wished to enjoy the outdoor and promenade areas, we felt that the amount of on-going maintenance on the ship was excessive. The sauna was never operational, both Deck 15 spas were closed for maintenance for half the cruise. There was always maintenance on the promenade deck which meant negotiating trip hazards during our walks, avoiding drips during overhead cleaning or painting, not being able to sit on the benches as they had been relaquered. There was a smoking area on the promenade deck which had to be negotiated when walking and this was constantly in use by both passengers and staff and was most UNSATISFACTORY. Carpets were replaced in foyer and stair areas and mirrors were replaced in bathrooms (on our deck at least). We have not rated the ship excursions as we did not participate in these, instead choosing to do ports on our own or with private excursions. The Princess@sea messenger function available on tablets and phones was very handy for keeping in contact with travelling companions, monitoring account activity and finding out what activities were on (although these did not always agree with those listed in the Princess Patter). We chose the Anytime Dining option which meant that most of our evening meals were taken in the Bernini Dining room, unless dining after 7.30 pm when a second room became available. We were given the option of sharing a table or eating on our own. The sharing option meant the we could be seated immediately. The dining room staff were efficient and personable. Some of the tables were too large (those for 10) and we might as well have been at a table for 4 due to the limited conversation over the noise of the restaurant. The Movies Under the Stars was a great option with lounges and blankets provided for the 2 screenings nightly. The golf putting green area looked sadly neglected and shabby. This was our first Princess cruise, and other passengers suggested that we don't base our opinion of the cruise line just from this ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We've become quite addicted to cruising, but this cruise really burst our bubble. Embarkation in Tianjin Port was chaotic at the time we arrived, due to long holdups on the highway from Beijing and buses arriving at the same time - ... Read More
We've become quite addicted to cruising, but this cruise really burst our bubble. Embarkation in Tianjin Port was chaotic at the time we arrived, due to long holdups on the highway from Beijing and buses arriving at the same time - the trip took 4.5 hours. However once inside the terminal building embarkation proceeded smoothly. It probably would have been better to start the cruise at our first port of call, Osaka. There was sickness with coughs and colds on board right from the start, probably from the Beijing smog and many people caught caught the bug twice. The ports were excellent, however there was no port lecturer on board till after Hong Kong, the Captain Circle rep was disembarked early in the cruise, leaving the future cruise rep to wear both hats for the remainder of the trip. The queues at guest services were inordinately long due to the ship being understaffed at the beginning. The food in the MDR was uninspiring with a heavy bias towards seafood. We didn't eat there a lot of the time. However, the menu did improve after new supplies were taken on in Darwin. We loved the International Cafe, but would like to see coffee machines in more than one location. The ship leaked. We spoke to people with leaks on decks 5, 11 and 12. We were at trivia one morning and the Vista lounge was leaking from above in several places. There are no deck chairs on the promenade deck, the the public spaces inside were always crowded. This could have been alleviated if the art people did not rope off the Explorer's Lounge for hours at a time. We love Princess Hapy Hours, but the small size of the Wheelhouse Bar made afternoon happy hours chaotic. Most were getting their drinks "to go", there were not enough placs to sit. There was a constant changeover of staff early on, but things had settled down by the time we reached Australia. The entertainment, apart from just a few acts, was extremely poor, the worst we have encountered. Movies were often repeated. Daily activities in the Patter were poorly co-ordinated, with events overlapping at times. We booked a mini suite this time, and spent more time than normal in the cabin and on the balcony, largely due to the lack of available quiet space. We were lucky to have good seas, new destinations to see, and we met some wonderful fellow cruisers. The captain kept us informed of events each midday, and was very good at informing us of other events such as medical evacuations. There was a pilot on board through the Barrier Reef and his talks were very informative and interesting. Trivia was always fun and the crossing of the Equator Ceremony was well done and not overly drawn out. This is our thrid repositioning cruise but we will not do another one at the end of the Asian season to Australia. The organisation for the transition was not handled well. We have another repositioning cruise booked on the Golden, but given our experiences we have decided to cancel. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Reading other reviews I'm beginning to think I was on a different ship. Maybe we were just lucky but our cabin was beautiful, comfortable and clean. You could get food 24 hours a day and was delicious. Some cruise lines (P and O ... Read More
Reading other reviews I'm beginning to think I was on a different ship. Maybe we were just lucky but our cabin was beautiful, comfortable and clean. You could get food 24 hours a day and was delicious. Some cruise lines (P and O take note) charge for ice cream, fruit juice, and room service, Princess doesn't. I have been on many cruise lines (including Cunard) and Princess is the best. Of course there are little niggles, like long queues at passenger services, and no Australian newspapers, but to complain about no green tea bags - what - bring your own! Embarkation was a bit slow, but it was Beijing. Disembarkation in Sydney was a breeze, five minutes at the most. Couldn't fault the staff. They were all happy and helpful. There were so many activities I only managed to get to the pool once. The theme nights were fun and some passengers went out of their way to make it even more so. Will only ever travel Princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our first cruise with Princess Cruises and we were very disappointed with the ship. It lacked any wow factor, the entertainment was poor and very repetitive, the food choices weren't great but the quality was fine. There ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Princess Cruises and we were very disappointed with the ship. It lacked any wow factor, the entertainment was poor and very repetitive, the food choices weren't great but the quality was fine. There were a lot of frequent Princess cruisers on the ship, who told us not to use the Golden Princess as a benchmark for Princess cruises, but first impressions usually stick so it may be a long time before we consider them again. The ports of call were the main reason for our choice and we weren't disappointed with them, although the tendering process for Nha Trang and Bali could have been better. We weren't particularly impressed that there was a charge for a shuttle into Brisbane as the ship was to big and had to dock at FI Grain Terminal. As with most cruise ships the shore excursions were pricey so we were pleased we had managed to book some private tours prior to embarkation. The entertainment needs a complete overhaul, at times it felt like it was the passengers who were the entertainment team. Lacking professionalism the entertainment team spent most time laughing and carrying on between themselves, and organising 'childish' games. On a positive note, we found the cabin steward and most of the waiting staff to be friendly and accommodating. These are the staff that make the cruise worthwhile. The officers however need to be more communicative with the passengers, not just one update by the captain at 12 noon. We had an inside cabin which was adequate, although the beds seem to have seen better days. It was kept clean and refreshed by our cabin steward always, nothing was too much trouble. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I totally agree with all reviews that have been left so far. We had high expectations of Princess lines...but unfortunately this cruise did not live up to these expectations. The ship itself was fine (except for the area near the Vista ... Read More
I totally agree with all reviews that have been left so far. We had high expectations of Princess lines...but unfortunately this cruise did not live up to these expectations. The ship itself was fine (except for the area near the Vista lounge which always smelt like sewerage) and our inside cabin was as we expected...small but quite adequate, with plenty of wardrobe and storage space. We did experience one sleepless night when staff were working repairing something behind our cabin wall. We had to ring the desk at 12.30am and have staff come to our cabin to investigate. We were told they could not muffle the noise, nor knew how long it would go on for. We were offered to change cabin for the night (by this time 1 am) or were offered earplugs! The food left a lot to be desired and, as mentioned in previous review, it was difficult to fill a plate from the buffet......a lot of recycled food cooked with sauces with fancy names. The entertainment and activities on board were woeful. First night show was champion harmonica players....REALLY???? It didn't get a lot better after that. Limited staff at Customer Service desk led to long lines...we waited for 40 minutes one day. A lot of people were in the line to get laundry tokens because the token machines in the laundromats were not working. We found the ship's shore excursions to be very expensive. We booked a couple, but also booked some privately. The staff we found to be pleasant and friendly in most cases. More friendly at the beginning of the cruise than towards the end of the 25 days. Summing up, having cruised 9 times in the past with P&O, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian, I would have to say that this was my least favourite cruise line and I don't expect that we will cruise with them again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We had a Vista Suite on this Cruise from Beijing to Sydney. We travelled last year on the Diamond Princess from Japan to Sydney and had a wonderful time. Unfortunately the Golden Princess was a not nearly as good as the Diamond. The ... Read More
We had a Vista Suite on this Cruise from Beijing to Sydney. We travelled last year on the Diamond Princess from Japan to Sydney and had a wonderful time. Unfortunately the Golden Princess was a not nearly as good as the Diamond. The Pros The waiter staff in all the food outlets were very good. The waiter staff in Sabatini's were excellent and could not be faulted. A big plus. The food in all venus was of a high and consistant standard and was generally above average. I don't think they repeated a menu during the 25 day cruise. The Cons Unfortunately it was all down hill from there. The ship has seen better days. The promade deck was stained and the decking in places was lifting off. Our balcony had several areas that were badly rusted and had not been repaired. Our cabin looked liked it needed at major facelift. The head boards behind the beds were stained. The lounge was stained and smelt and was difficult to sit on. It looked like it was used as an additional bed. We only sat on it after putting a towel first. The safe was broken and took 3 days to be fixed. Lights wre not working. It took 4 days to get someone to fix the main cabin light. Our cabin steward was lazy, doing only the minium clean. Most days he never made the bed properly, just pulled up the doona over the wrinkled sheets. The laundry was constantly late, with the excuse that there were too many Elite pax who took priority even over full suite pax. The balcony was filthy with paint flakes and lolly wrappers on the floor that were never cleaned during our 25 day trip. We left them there to see if he bothered to clean the balcony. Finally. The entertainment. It was just terrible. Amateur hour at the local club would have been better. Think we will give Princess a miss until they can sent better ships to this part of the world. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My wife and I chose this cruise mainly because of the Asian itinerary as we haven't travelled to those ports before. We also wanted to experience princess. Embarkation went fairly smoothly in Tianjin and soon we were on board and ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise mainly because of the Asian itinerary as we haven't travelled to those ports before. We also wanted to experience princess. Embarkation went fairly smoothly in Tianjin and soon we were on board and to our mini suite. First impressions of the ship were good as was our stateroom. As the cruise got going we observed new carpets being laid in the staircases. We thought the ship was a bit tired in places and could do with a bit of a paint job for eg in some places around the ship. Noticeable was a section of pool tiles missing from the Neptune pool and a person told us these same tiles were missing about 3 years back when he cruised the golden. These are not major things but need to be mentioned. A vile smell was being emitted onto our balcony e719 from downstairs which smelt like sewerage. This was annoying when trying to enjoy a drink on the balcony in the afternoon. Directly below our cabin on deck 7 the smell was even worse. What was extremely disappointing was the entertainment or lack of it. During the 25 days on this cruise we thought only 3 shows were decent. Music and things to do around the ship during the day were a non event and I think the cd has to take some of the blame for this as apparently this operation ( entertainment ) starts and stops with him. On a good note. Thought most of the food was satisfactory to good. Horizon court not much choice, bit small. Paid restaurants good to very good, but I must say the ultimate balcony dining experience was superb. The staff need to be mentioned also. Although a number of the staff were new on this cruise they were all great and did their job admirably. All in all I would rate this cruise reasonable but far from memorable. Probably wouldn't do the golden princess again, however would consider one of there newer ships in the fleet. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was my 8th Princess cruise and probably my worst one. Embarkation was a bit hopeless but that was nothing unusual, Princess contractors and Chinese officialdom are not a good combination. My cabin was clean and the cabin steward, ... Read More
This was my 8th Princess cruise and probably my worst one. Embarkation was a bit hopeless but that was nothing unusual, Princess contractors and Chinese officialdom are not a good combination. My cabin was clean and the cabin steward, Sanny, was excellent as were all other staff on the ship. Some people didn't prefer the CD, Tim Donovan, but I found him OK. Anybody is better than Billy London. The ship was spotless but it does have some issues which I put down to poor or lack of, maintenance. Princess will eventually learn that maintenance does not consist of re-varnishing hand rails or dabbing paint over rust. From my obstructed view cabin I could see 5 easily fixable defects on the bow of the tender outside the window. Chances of these being addressed:- Nil. Compared to a cruise in Feb this year on Dawn Princess (and that ship doesn't get rave reviews) the food on this cruise was mediocre at best. Some dishes were good and others quite poor. It is not rocket science cooking lamb shanks, low and slow till the meat falls off the bone. The majority were uneaten because they were tough and under-cooked. The buffet was similar with some really good food served but there were some dud offerings. Typical Princess entertainment with some good acts and some that were excruciatingly bad, bad enough to sit through to see how bad they could get. As usual some of the staff in The Crew Show were better than the paid acts. Like a lot of things the ports visited are a personal thing and for me they are the alternate to sea days which I prefer. The weather was pretty good and the seas were as flat as a pancake. It could have been a better cruise all up but it is what you make it and I met some fabulous new friends which is what it is all about. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The Captain always concluded his PAs with, “Please enjoy the magnificent Golden Princess.” Sadly we didn’t find the Golden Princess to be magnificent at all but very tired and with problems. For us, this had to be our worst ... Read More
The Captain always concluded his PAs with, “Please enjoy the magnificent Golden Princess.” Sadly we didn’t find the Golden Princess to be magnificent at all but very tired and with problems. For us, this had to be our worst cruise/ship with Princess and we are their Elite members. We booked this cruise mainly for the Asian ports of call. We did enjoy visiting the various Asian ports. As we had cruised before to Darwin and Brisbane, we thought we would stay on board to enjoy the ship all the way back to Sydney. We didn’t expect to end up spending a lot of time in the refuge of our cabin watching movies. Will give more details at the end of this review. Our major disappointment with Golden Princess was its very poor management and operation. Here are a few incidents. Nha Trang - We were on board one of the first few tenders going ashore. After the tender was filled to its full capacity with passengers, an officer started to organize loading heavy metal railings and equipment onto the tender. These blocked one of the two exits and both stair cases leading to the front/rear where most passengers were sitting. When we raised our concerns, the officer just rudely ignored us. Amazingly no other passengers also realized the dangers and voiced in. When the tender started to move, water began to pour in through the front windows. One of the 2 crew members had to climb over and through the railings/equipments to close the windows. The time he had taken and the difficulties he had clearly demonstrated how dangerous it would be in an emergency. We took some photos and put in a written complaint on our return to the ship. Next day we got to meet with the Staff Captain, the Safety & Health Officer, the Customer Service Director and one of her staff. To our utmost surprise, the Safety & Health Officer was one of the two crew members on board the tender. It was not two junior crew members acting on instructions from an officer! He was quickly shut up by the Staff Captain when he started to make weak excuses. The Staff Captain thanked us for reporting the incident and apologized on behalf of the unknown officer who rudely ignored us and made us looking like complete idiots in front of a full load of passengers. Instead of usual procedure to have ALL necessary equipment on board a tender without any passenger to set up the landing first, the safety of passengers was grossly compromised by having loose heavy metal railings and equipment on board and blocking exits. Without doubt, it was a huge operation and safety failure, not by juniors, but by two officers and one was in charge of safety himself! Bali - In the morning, at least 4 tenders and 1 local catamaran filled with passengers had a long wait (30 mins for ours) to unload because (surprise! surprise!) only one side of the pontoon could be used. The other side of the pontoon was blocked by a huge yacht - very poor organization and operation on both the ship and local authorities. To make things more chaotic, one of the tenders as it was drifting struck a reef and needed help! It was a fair walk, with no cover under the hot sun, to the terminal from the pontoon. In the afternoon, again a fair walk under the hot sun from the terminal to the pontoon. An officer came around to ask the ‘slow walkers’ to join the short line but then another officer stopped these ‘slow walkers’ from using the short line because it was for ‘wheel chairs only’! Hong Kong - Passengers were made to wait for nearly an hour after the scheduled arrival time even though the ship had already docked for two hours. There was no public announcement as to why. An officer at the gangway was telling passengers that the ship was not yet cleared hence nobody could go ashore while another officer was wasting her and others valuable time in not seeking help from her colleagues or passengers but just repeatedly telling a non-English speaking passenger that his wife needed to come down now to join the ship’s shore excursion to Macau as all the others had already gone ashore. Thanks to a passenger who volunteered to solve the language barrier, the missing passenger came then shortly afterwards, the gangway was opened. Good job, Princess! Once again as you are well known to seasoned cruisers, 2000+ passengers were held back from going ashore for the sake of the few going on your shore excursion. PROS STAFF - The Golden Princess had just finished its 4-month Asian season. We were very impressed with the excellent service provided by the unusual high % of Chinese and Japanese crew in all departments. They were very friendly, very eager to help, hard working and went really out of their ways to please. Although English is not their mother tongue, they all spoke good English. They didn’t get overly talkative but conversed politely and friendly if we engaged them. Crew members from other countries were also excellent. We had 2nd seating for dinner in the Canaletto Dining Room. Both the maître d and headwaiter, Rafael from Mexico, were the best we had ever had on board a Princess ship. They were friendly to ALL passengers. Unlike some senior serving staff who would only be friendly to passengers of certain nationality or race. Rafael came around to every table every night briefly to check on things and have a friendly little chat. Our cabin steward from India was excellent. He also quickly got to know our habits and always had our cabin serviced before we returned from breakfast or dinner. FOOD - We found the quality of food in both MDR and buffet was quite good. Not once we couldn’t find something we liked. Aside from the MDR and buffet, we also loved that we could grab some goodies from the 24-hr International Café, burger or hot dogs or fries (yum) from Trident Grill, pizza from Prego Pizzeria and soft serve ice cream from Sundaes Ice Cream Bar. BARRIER REEF PILOT – a different one to the usual one on board Princess ships, very informative and interesting talks. CONS ENTERTAINMENT – We totally agreed with other reviews that entertainers in the Theatre, apart from just a couple, were extremely poor. We didn’t participate much in other ship’s activities to avoid getting a 2nd dosage of the coughing bugs and the poor air quality and unhygienic condition of the ship because of: WATER LEAKAGE Our cabin was located in the front of Deck 8. As soon as we boarded the ship, we noticed that water was dripping down from a couple of the fire sprinklers in the corridors. One day we saw a mechanic removing a whole drum of water from one of those ‘crew only’ doors. Shortly after, one of the two entrance doors and the ramp to the Theater on Deck 7 were roped off. When we went to use the Deck 6 port side entrance, we saw water, like heavy rain, coming down from the ceiling in the area between the Cigar Bar and the stairwell. Then wall panels in between Deck 8 and 7 stairwells were taken down and the areas were roped off for over a week. Carpets were noticeably wet. A musty odor lingered in that area throughout the cruise. We used the front set of lifts to go up to Deck 14 for the open decks or the buffet. We found the carpets in between the lifts and doors to the open decks to be extremely stained and again a musty odor in the air. We never saw the water leakage near the starboard side door fixed. It was so unpleasant to walk through that area. From another review, apparently there were leaks on decks 5, 11 and 12 and Vista Lounge. SEWAGE SMELL ON DECK 7 – Amazingly the sewage smell on Deck 7 aft as reported in another review of March 2016 was not fixed. Every evening we had to walk through that area twice to/from the Canaletto Dining Room. An alternative route for us was to walk all the way on Deck 8 and take the lifts down but we would need to walk past all the service trolleys for turning down service with soiled towels and rubbish! PASSENGERS & CREW WITH RESPIRATORY SICKNESS AND DIARRHEA Shortly into the cruise and throughout the cruise, most passengers and some crew had bad coughs, cold and diarrhea. No matter where we went, we always had someone coughing and sneezing near us. Apparently many passengers had to visit the ship’s doctor. We both became sick too. UNUSUAL REPAIRS AND ON GOING MAINTENANCE - phones on a couple of decks were out of order for days - lifts in our area were out of order many times - renovation was carried out in the Lotus Spa pool area. Floor covering with dust & dirt was not hosed down - one of the pools was closed for days because the water filter was installed the wrong way - cabin steward informed us that our laundry was held up because the tagging machine was broken - shower head in our bathroom dropped off by itself - other passengers were upset because token machines in the laundromats were not working. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was a special cruise as I'm a travel agent and completed Princess' Education Program. For me, it was particularly special as it was my first time back to Vietnam since 1971 when I was there for non-tourist reasons as a ... Read More
This was a special cruise as I'm a travel agent and completed Princess' Education Program. For me, it was particularly special as it was my first time back to Vietnam since 1971 when I was there for non-tourist reasons as a young Navy Sailor. It was also a chance to visit Australia, which I missed in 1970-71 due to my father's illness and death as I went home on Emergency Leave in November/December 1970. The itinerary was perfect, although my Partner Paula found it too long to be away from home and was less enthralled with the sea days. As with most cruises, the time in port was way too short. This was particularly true in Ho Chi Minh City where we had to bus for almost two hours each way, which takes a lot out of a nine hour day. Of course, this makes us want to return to many of the places we saw, particularly Vietnam and Hong Kong. We spent three nights in Beijing pre-cruise and opted to do private transfers from the airport and from hotel to port. We did two tours through Viator and they were great. However, traffic in Beijing put a damper on both the tours (long days) and the trip to the port. We left Beijing at 10:30am and didn't get into our cabin until about 4pm. Most of that was traffic jammed highways and a long wait on the bus once we reached the port before we could get off to check in. There were several ports where Princess contributed to the lack of time as the organization for getting people off the ship for tours and/or tenders was really a challenge with long lines and delays. Overall, however, getting on and off was fairly easy. We chose Anytime Dining and often called for reservations for the time of our choice depending on activities on a given day. Some days, such as late port calls, we were unable to do that (one had to call by 5pm) and we found that a few times we had to wait for a bit to get our chosen table for two. The wait was never overly long, however. The food was very good, although I don't feel it measured up to Celebrity Cruises quality. There was an interesting mix of Asian Fusion and Australia/New Zealand concentrations that often limited the choices outside of those areas. The promised "beef on every menu" in promotional material was too often an "Aussie Burger" which included beets and fried egg. That was a disappointment to me as a beef lover. I never went hungry and only ordered from the daily repeat side of the menu once, orher than for ceasar salad; so I guess it wasn't that bad. The Golden is definitely showing signs of age, but overall is a great ship. Our cabin was small but quite adequate. In the future I will be sure to note my need for an extension cord for my sleep apnea machine as there were none available from the ship and our cabin steward gave up his own so that I could use my CPAP. That created some anxiety when it turned out he was leaving the ship on finishing his contract mid-cruise but he was able to come up with a replacement just before he left the ship! Service all around was generally excellent. Another bonus of the cruise was that we paid for onboard expenses in Australian dollars which meant that we got about a 25% discount on posted prices. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Embarkation poor. Disembarkation good. Ships A/C very poor cold on lower decks. 3 attempt to get a/c in the cabin and still not working.(deck 10) Beds of very poor quality and worn out. had overlay put on bed still no good finally got ... Read More
Embarkation poor. Disembarkation good. Ships A/C very poor cold on lower decks. 3 attempt to get a/c in the cabin and still not working.(deck 10) Beds of very poor quality and worn out. had overlay put on bed still no good finally got another mattress .(not new) had same problem on last Princess cruise, Entertainment very poor in 25 days only 3 performances of singers and dancers. All the usual day activities, only a couple of decent movies, Service by the crew was very good and most could not do enough for you. The high ranking officers were all Italian, the Capt like to hear his own voice at midday. Said how busy he had been with a couple of medical evacuations....( what a lot of bull. ) because the top brass were Italian we were served a lot of pasta and fish in sauces(Quite horrible) fish was very dry thought it was some cheap stuff they bought in China (cruise was a relocation from China) Meat and chicken was usually very tough and roast meat was raw. Best selection of fresh fruit of any ship I have been on. Food was plentiful but not quality. Excursions were very expensive and mostly badly organised from the ships end. tours all tended to arrive back at same time and long wait for tender, Brisbane port is a long way from the city and shuttle buses were used. once again shambles. No priority for people who had pre purchase tickets Left ship before 9am did not get to city until 11.30 queueing up. no seats were told we could wait inside but then would have lost place in queue. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This is our first Princess experience, picked for the itinerary. Very disappointed, especially the food and entertainment, it is not unusual to circle the buffet 2-3 times and unable to fill a plate. The saving grace is the serving ... Read More
This is our first Princess experience, picked for the itinerary. Very disappointed, especially the food and entertainment, it is not unusual to circle the buffet 2-3 times and unable to fill a plate. The saving grace is the serving staff, overall very obliging. The organisation for the tender port was chaotic, especially in Bali, we got an L-plater driver who had trouble parking the tender along the terminal, we were stuck in the tender for more than 30 min whilst he tried repeatedly. Needless to say, this created a domino effect of several other tenders being delayed and shore tours coming back late in the afternoon. We are elite on Celebrity, and have also travelled on Royal Caribbean, Cunard and HAL, we feel that Princess should on the minimum be comparable to RC, however, based on Golden Princess, we feel that it is far below par, it will take a lot for us to attempt another Princess. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
25 days from Beijing to Sydney on the Golden Princess was the worst cruise we have ever done.From day one we had cold water in our bathroom complaining didn't work the only way we could get hot water was to leave the shower running ... Read More
25 days from Beijing to Sydney on the Golden Princess was the worst cruise we have ever done.From day one we had cold water in our bathroom complaining didn't work the only way we could get hot water was to leave the shower running for up to 45 minutes and the constant daily charges added to our account for drinks after paying $3000 for a drinks package was annoying to say the least.The food in the Crown Grill was excellent the food elsewhere was very average and the entertainment was nonexistent.Every day there were complaints about cold water water leakes and the food.This was the first trip we have done on the Golden Princess and definitely the last it was very disappointing and a low point in our Asian holiday.If your thinking about the Golden Princess for your next cruise you should look elsewhere this ship needs to be completely refurbished Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
The inside cabin was a bit small compared to other ships we have been on. They could never regulate the air conditioning even though they tried to fix it, they never could. The ship was always cold and most of the passengers were sick ... Read More
The inside cabin was a bit small compared to other ships we have been on. They could never regulate the air conditioning even though they tried to fix it, they never could. The ship was always cold and most of the passengers were sick with sniffles and coughs and the Asian flu. Going from very hot humid weather to freezing cold was ridiculous. The crew and staff were great. The entertainment was mediocre. The food was good as was the service in the dining room. Our waiters were very friendly and went beyond to please us. The ports were excellent. We did most of our excursions off the ship as they were pricey on the ship. These were done prior to boarding. There could have been more activities. The ones offered were okay. The areas where some of the shows were held were small and did not hold very many people. This needs to be planned out better so that more people can attend the entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
Embarkation in Beijing was good,The ship overall was very tired, really in need of a good refit not doing it on the run when you have a ship load of passengers (pulling up and laying carpets) cabin was not the best for cleanliness stains ... Read More
Embarkation in Beijing was good,The ship overall was very tired, really in need of a good refit not doing it on the run when you have a ship load of passengers (pulling up and laying carpets) cabin was not the best for cleanliness stains on carpet,balcony doors that would not open. Dining for us was very much below what we had expected,had cheese roll for dinner twice.The entertainment was very juvenile not what we"re used to on a princess cruise, the cruise director needs to think about the shows he"s putting on and every bar or area you went in the music was so loud you could"nt enjoy it.If this is the sort of offering that princess thinks is ok for the aussie market then i think they will be losing a lot of customers.The staff behind the service counter and the staff overall was good the managers did not seem to care if you made a complaint. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
The itinerary was amazing! We had never been to that part of the world. So, it was a fascinating cruise, except for Darwin. There was not much of anything there to see. The ship is tired! Of all the princess ships we have been on, this was ... Read More
The itinerary was amazing! We had never been to that part of the world. So, it was a fascinating cruise, except for Darwin. There was not much of anything there to see. The ship is tired! Of all the princess ships we have been on, this was our least favorite. The crew was as good as it gets! They are always eager to please. The entertainment was not up to par. The comedian told jokes that were geared for the Aussies. We did not understand them as we are Americans. There was a lack of interesting things to do during the day. We spent more time in our suite on this cruise than any other cruise we have taken. The food in the dining room was not very interesting. Most of what we had was delicious but more variety is needed. I think lamb was on the menu every night. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
BEEN ON OTHER CRUISE COMPANIESO SO WANTED TO TRY IT OUT THE SHIP GAVE AN MIDDLE CLASS FEELING IN COMPARISON TO P&O SHIPS THE OLD RATING OF CRUISE SHIPS WERE TOURIST CLASS***MIDDLE CLASS***FIRST CLASS PASSENGERS SO I RATE ... Read More
BEEN ON OTHER CRUISE COMPANIESO SO WANTED TO TRY IT OUT THE SHIP GAVE AN MIDDLE CLASS FEELING IN COMPARISON TO P&O SHIPS THE OLD RATING OF CRUISE SHIPS WERE TOURIST CLASS***MIDDLE CLASS***FIRST CLASS PASSENGERS SO I RATE GOLDERN PRINCESS AS MIDDLE CLASS EXCEPTING WHEN ON SHORT CRUISES WHICH SEEM TO ATTRACT TOURIST CLASS PEOPLE AND HEAVY DRINKERS ( TO BE CLEAR I AM A TOURIST PERSON MYSELF) BUT CRINGE WHEN I SEE YOBOS CARRING ON WHEN ON THIS SHIP THE SHIPS STAFF SEEM TO BE BETTER TRAINED AND SELECTED FOR THEIR RESPESTED POSITIONS The food court was one of the best we have experienced. THE SHIPS POOLS ARE A1 WELL DESIGNED AND GOOD SIZE THE NIGHT CLUB AT THE REAR OF THE SHIP IS ABSOLUTLY FANTASIC LIKE BEING AT A NIGHT CLUB IN SINGAPORE BUT BE WARNED DONT SAIL ON SHORT CRUISES UNLESS U WANT THE PUB EXPERIENCE ITS A SHAME AS THIS SHIP IS GREAT Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise because of its suitability for our plans; ie we wanted to spend time in Beijing (seeing the Great Wall etc etc) and the Cruise Itinerary would see us right home (through Japan, Taipei, Bali etc) to Melbourne. That it ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its suitability for our plans; ie we wanted to spend time in Beijing (seeing the Great Wall etc etc) and the Cruise Itinerary would see us right home (through Japan, Taipei, Bali etc) to Melbourne. That it did, and while there were many nice things happening on board-some good singers and dancers, a 'second-to-none' crossing of the equator ceremony, some good food and some excellent service (breakfast room upstairs). There were some really good activities such as golf putting and lawn bowls (on a beautiful upstairs green), not-to-mention glorious 'peaceful areas' (such as The Sanctuary)and lovely small pools and spas. Yet much of this ship's operation, these days is slipshod and drastically in need of improvement. A lot of this seems to be because of cost cutting- 'cut the cost, cut the quality.'. For a start, communication in the ship needs to be improved from the top down, starting with 'Princess Patter', the ship's bulletin, which needs to be radically altered to provide necessary information for passengers rather than promote the ship's personnel. There is a dearth of good English, from the Ship's Desk, through to coffee servers etc etc, adding to unnecessary passenger frustration. Intellectually, the ship currently is a disaster, with a poor (almost non-existent) library and none of the stimulating lectures that we saw on the Noordam last year, for instance. A number of On Shore Tours took too long to get off the ship, meaning tours were rushed (and sometimes late back). Some were also far too expensive, with guides whose English and organistational skills were deficient. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Great itinerary sailing from Tianjin to Melbourne however the overall cruise experience was poor. Much of the entertainment was in the Piazza which was too small to view the action plus the noise generated made it impossible to deal ... Read More
Great itinerary sailing from Tianjin to Melbourne however the overall cruise experience was poor. Much of the entertainment was in the Piazza which was too small to view the action plus the noise generated made it impossible to deal with the pursers office. Entertainment in the Piazza that I could see was quite good. The production shows were also good and a significant improvement on a previous Princess cruise. There were a couple of good shows in the theatre but the rest were mostly average with a couple being poor. Around the ship a great pianist A J Clarke boarded in Osaka replacing a pianist was VERY ordinary. AJ was fantastic. The initial houseband was great however they disembarked in Hongkong and the replacement tried hard but were only average. During the day the staples of Bingo and Trivia were offered most days however over 28 days this became tedious. Apart from 1 day entertainment was not offered during the day other than in the Piazza and this was a real oversight. The cruise directors team did try hard and Victoria's effort with the choir was outstanding whilst Ken and Raven's efforts in particular were also great. The Cruise director Tim however did very little to make this a good cruise with his jokes being tired. The restaurant food in general was average. The buffet food was also only average. On a number of days I struggled to find anything that I fancied eating in the buffet. On an upside the service staff were cheery and their service was good. The cabin breakfast was poor with mistakes being often made between what was ordered and delivered. The fact that unlike on other ships we had cruised on Hot Chocolate was not generally available was also a downside Compared with other ships we found our balcony cabin to be small. Our Cabin Steward was however exemplary. The TV system used in the cabin was OLD with a very limited range of channels and no ability to check program details etc or to see details of daily onboard activities. We were pleasantly surprised at the drink prices other than the bottled wines where the prices were very high. The boat presented well however its lack of use of technology onboard was a lowlight particularly as it necessitated taking 30 minutes to remediate an incorrect charge which would not have occurred with better technology. One other issue was that a number of the whirlpools did not operate properly. We did not do any shore excursions particularly due to their very high price . Overall we believed that other cruise lines we have used provided a better experience Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We had great expectations of this cruise as we had not visited this part of the world before. The itinerary suited us as the ship sailed to Melbourne, our home town, so we only had to deal with one long flight. First off the ... Read More
We had great expectations of this cruise as we had not visited this part of the world before. The itinerary suited us as the ship sailed to Melbourne, our home town, so we only had to deal with one long flight. First off the positives: We had an ocean view cabin midship on deck 5. The ride was extremely smooth and the cabin was pretty well insulated against outside noise, although we could hear people coughing in the cabin next door (more about that later). The bed would have to be the most comfortable one we have ever slept in, The mattress and pillows were to die for. The staff were quite friendly and willing to help where and when they could. Now the negatives: While the bed was comfortable, the air conditioning was non existent. We were sailing through the tropics and the temperatures were quite high and the humidity was pretty high as well. We advised the front desk that the aircon was not working very well and they said they would someone to look at it, the next day we were told that the problem had been rectified, however it was no better that before we complained about it. I can only echo what other people have already said about the ship. The entertainment was terrible, the scene was set on the second night when the highlight act was a pair of harmonica players, who in their right mind would book harmonica players as a main act. Another poor act was a Chinese cultural group, these guys were obviously a local amateur community group, not what you would expect to find on a cruise liner. Other acts around the ship were mediocre to poor, one outstanding act however was a group called Playlist (I think), these guys played a wide variety of music, and played it well, something that can't be said for most of the other acts. The ship itself is in need of serious maintenance, There were many instances of leaking roofs, even the main dining room roof was leaking at one stage. The two hot tubs at the rear of the ship were out of action for at least the first 10 days of the cruise. Other hot tubs around the ship were being taken out of service at various times, as was the main pool.Others have mentioned the sewage like stench on deck 7 near the Vista Lounge, it seemed to be worse in the evenings. All of this was bad enough, but we had to deal with what I can only describe as an outbreak of influenza. I know it was influenza as my wife was hospitalised and diagnosed with Type A Influenza in the second week of the cruise. There appeared to be no measures taken by the crew to contain the outbreak, the handwashing stations in the Horizon Court were poorly monitored, at times there was no crew member in attendance. We have only cruised 4 times, but this would without a doubt be the worts cruise experience we've had. I doubt we would sail Princess again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Entertainment was non-existent, two nights out of the whole cruise was good as for the rest forget it. The Cruise Director Tim is shameful really and should get together for the sake of Princess, passengers will drift away to another ... Read More
Entertainment was non-existent, two nights out of the whole cruise was good as for the rest forget it. The Cruise Director Tim is shameful really and should get together for the sake of Princess, passengers will drift away to another cruise line. Food in the dining room was repetitive, lacking taste, no sauces or gravies very dry. The salmon I ordered was so overcooked dry and horrible. We ordered beef tenderloins one night I believe hundreds of people didnt eat the meal it was like stewing steak, again lacking gravy or a sauce. The Curtis Stone specials were Seafood Stew, Pork Belly and Chicken and Leek pie they were just repeated night night after night. The taste of these three dishes leave a lot to be desired. I ordered the chicken and leek pie twice both times there were small chicken bones!!!. The wait staff were incredible, excellent service and do everything to please. I felt sorry for the waiters because people complained to them, it is not their fault after all, mind you the Maitre D in the Caneletto Dining Room didnt want to know he was rude and unwilling to assist when there was a major problem he was nowhere to be seen. Duty Free liquor Day 2 there was no alcohol available for passengers to purchase, at the start of the cruise there was three yes three bottles of gin for purchase one passenger purchased the three. Apparently alcohol was coming on the ship in Brisbane, great we got off in Brisbane so no Duty Free for passengers disembarking. The ports we visited were great an experience and makes one realise how lucky we are to live in Australia. We and many others were very disappointed with Golden Princess, in fact I can longer recommend Princess Cruises to others which I have always done in the past. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise for the ports and to disembark in Melbourne. The entertainment was poor with many walkouts. Activities during the day were repetitive and staff trying to sell you products. Very few lectures, information on ports was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports and to disembark in Melbourne. The entertainment was poor with many walkouts. Activities during the day were repetitive and staff trying to sell you products. Very few lectures, information on ports was very scant. The staff were great and eager to please. The tender process was poorly organised.Ship very tired, requires maintenance. Tiles off around the pool, smell outside lift on deck 7, no lounges on the promenade deck. Most lounges were uncomfortable. Happy hour from 3-4 in one lounge, too early and unmanageable not enough room for passengers to sit and chat. Menu lacked variety and at times food very tough. Library was non existent. Never cruise from Sydney to Melbourne the majority of passengers disembarked in Sydney. Princess sold cheap to anyone, the last three days were horrendous with drunks arguing with staff, swearing at passengers and making the last three days very unpleasant. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Staff amazing, very efficient and eager to please. Balcony cabin, very clean, comfortable and steward very helpful Dining staff were great, created a fabulous dining experience, were very professional, but always smiling a shame ... Read More
Staff amazing, very efficient and eager to please. Balcony cabin, very clean, comfortable and steward very helpful Dining staff were great, created a fabulous dining experience, were very professional, but always smiling a shame there wasn't the usual decorations and celebrations. Entertainment was ordinary not up to an acceptable standard. Activities during the day were non existent, very few lectures or speakers, library with no books or any where to read. Happy hour from 3to 4 in one bar too early and didn't encourage people to mingle as only a few could fit into the bar. Unfortunately from Sydney to Melbourne the majority of passengers disembarked and Princess sold the segment off. This resulted for existing passengers and crew having to put up with some very drunk, rude obnoxious people. They had glass stubbies in the pool, played loud music around the pools and had no regard for fellow passengers and were rude to staff. Read Less
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