Golden Princess Cruise Review by shardock
- Sail Date: April 2012
- Destination: Hawaii
- Cabin Type: Balcony
The Horizon Court is very small with a cafeteria single-file line in. At 1PM they would close the other side of the court and we had 75 people lined up outside the door to the pool waiting to get in. The dining rooms are located in the middle of the ship with stairs up and down to get anywhere. There are blind corridors where you have to go up stairs and back down again. The ship is of very poor design and I felt sorry for the people with mobility issues. As I understand it from the "future sales" coordinator, all the Princess ships are designed the same way, what a shame.
The Princess theater is way too small and it has stairs going up and then back down to the seats. We had to be in the theater 1 hour ahead of showtime in order to get a seat and then they often would be full 40 minutes before showtime. The theater entertainment ran from really good to not so good with the production shows high energy but not up to cruise standards.
The Piazza in the center of the ship is way too small with about 20 seats. People sit there all day and read, play cards and eat food that they get from the International Cafe which is located there. When there is entertainment in the Piazza you either have to stand or sit on the staircase. They should utilize the lounges more during the day when there is no one there and there is plenty of seating.
I guess one of the worse things was the daytime activities. Other than the Naturalist who was great we were offered Bible study, make a Mother's Day card (the average age of the passengers was around 70 so most of our mothers have passed away), book review, needle pushers, grandparents get together, sports car enthusiasts get together, lei making (every day), ping pong, antiques lovers get together, Red Hat ladies meet for tea, etc. While there is nothing wrong with these activities, they don't appeal to the majority of the 2,600 passengers on board. We watched a lot of TV in our cabin which should never happen on a cruise. They had a lot of movies under the stars on their big screen by the pool. This was during the day and at night, unfortunately, it was too cold to watch comfortably even with 3 blankets. Sea days are always one of our favorite things but on this cruise it was very boring.
Our cabin was on the Aloha deck under the Horizon Court and from 4:30 - 5:00AM until after midnight you could hear the food/dish carts rolling around. It did not disturb our sleep but if you were a light sleeper, it certainly would.
Compared to Royal Caribbean or Celebrity, Princess doesn't hold a candle to them in any way. Everyone on the cruise we ran into (and everyone was talking) said the same thing. The only people who were pleased were those who had never been on any other cruise line before so they had nothing to compare it to. One couple who shared a ride with us back to LAX said it was their first cruise with Princess and that they would never sail with them again. Unfortunately, that is our exact feelings. We will never sail Princess again. AND, for those of you who do not know this, Carnival owns Princess, Holland America and Costa cruise lines - and it shows!
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
EnsenadaFun. Everyone spoke excellent English. It is a typical tourist town and yes, we were safe. Do not be afraid to get off the ship & enjoy this little town.View All 437 Ensenada Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Ensenada Cruise Port Review
Hawaii Volcanoes National ParkIt was good especially the Lava Tube and the Lava Lake. The bus driver gave us commentary during the bus ride but we were on our own at the volcano and I wish we had had a guide to explain things to us. Other groups had guides who were very informative from the commentary I overheard.View All 110 Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Reviews
City TourVery interesting.View All 30 City Tour Reviews
Pearl HarborWhat can I say about the US Arizona. It was very moving and everyone should see it.View All 138 Pearl Harbor Reviews
Pearl HarborWhat can I say about Pearl Harbor; everyone should see it.View All 138 Pearl Harbor Reviews
Wailua RiverThe river cruise was OK with a brief stop at the Fern Grotto.View All 53 Wailua River Reviews
Waimea CanyonThe canyon is very pretty. Our lunch stop was wonderful at a really pretty restaurant - great food. The drive around Kauai was good.View All 99 Waimea Canyon Reviews
SnorkelingWe booked the snorkel trip because it was to the Molokini crater located 3 miles out to sea. How many times do you ever get to snorkel in a volcano crater? On the dock we were told we were not going to the crater because the seas were too rough in the channel even though it looked calm to us. We went instead to 2 other locations, the first where there were about 10 or so green sea turtles which was neat but very few fish & the reef was dead. At the second location there were a few more fish but the reef was not healthy. The water was VERY cold. The boat crew was great & the food was very good. It was no one's fault but it was a disappointment.View All 30 Snorkeling Reviews