Christmas New Years 2012: Golden Princess Cruise Review by Runbarb55

Golden Princess 5
Member Since 2010
220 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Christmas New Years 2012

Sail Date: December 2012
Destination: Hawaii
Embarkation: Los Angeles
It was exciting to go on our first holiday cruise to include Christmas and New Years. After a short wait in the preferred lounge we embarked on our holiday. Our room was ready and our bags arrived before the muster drill. At the muster drill we were packed in a very small space like sardines. In 7 cruises I have never seen anything like it. One lady almost fainted. You really had no space to open and try on your life jacket. It was very uncomfortable. Our room steward was great and brought all the little extras we requested the first night.

We met up with other cruise critic people at the sail away party on the Lido deck. it was very cold and windy. At 5:30 went went to our dining room for dinner. We were the only two people at a table for 6. The food was good and our waiters were real pros.

The first two days at sea were very cold and windy. There were lots of things to do for all ages. I had heard that there were about 400 people under the age of 18 More on board but at this point I really didn't notice them.

The third sea day the weather was considerably warmer and people were hanging out at the pool. I know this because it turned out that our cabin was directly below the Lido pool and ice cream shop. All day and long after midnight we heard chairs being dragged over the tile floor above us. We started complaining the next day. This cabin was not the one we were supposed to have but there was a mix up on our reservation and this was the only mid ship cabin left. Now we know why it was available. After the first port ,when we got back to the ship, We were moved to our new room. Same bb category but very forward. It was bouncy but at least we didn't have the grating chair noise.

This was Christmas eve on the ship and it was lovely.

The final stop was Ensenada. What an armpit that was. There was only about an hour until it got dark but I will never get off the ship there again. There is nothing but beggers and junk. I was very depressing.

This last bit will be my over impression of the Golden and the cruise. The Golden is looking a little sad. I think it is going in soon for a redo. The crew as a whole were wonderful. Our second cabin steward and I didn't hit it off well and he did the bare minimum needed for his job, His tip reflected that. Most of the meals were very good. Stay away from the fish tacos. The weather is usually cool coming and going, we honestly could not use our balcony. The sea was a bit choppy going to Hawaii and many people had some problems. The ship was decorated and everything was very christmasy and hawaiian.

About halfway through the cruise packs of teens started hanging out by the elevators and on the stairs. I have never been on a ship before where there was food on the floor in the halls on the stairs and in all the public spaces.There were children playing hide and seek around the Piazza. They were pushing all the buttons in the elevators and were throwing stuff everywhere. The children knocked down some elderly people and were a real pain. At the new years party they took up all the dance floor and it was very difficult for some of the older couples to dance. I don't know where the parents were but the way the children were making out with each other they should keep a closer eye on them. I did not see this and it may be untrue but I heard one of the tweens almost drowned. The unruly children were discussed at every meal from Hilo on. I would think twice before booking a cruise when I knew it was a school break. They really disrupted things. There were some charming young adults that we met and their parents should take a bow. I was worried about the youngsters when I booked but the smaller children were under someones wing at all times. Much running in the halls and many people had their door Christmas decorations stolen, including me. They also stole my birthday balloons.

We had really good zumba on the cruise. I heard the new years parties were very nice. The trivia was fun and the crew talent show was a hoot. I even got hypnotized.

The only other thing was the captain circle party was way too crowded. They had only one party instead of two. We were lucky to get a drink and never got a bite to eat. Less

Published 01/07/13

Cabin review: BBa423 Balcony

A423 standard balcony, covered, could look down at all the other balconies. Very noisy hallway and you will hear all kinds of chairs being dragged around above you. This noise goes way into the night. do not book this cabin if fingernails on the chalkboard bother you. Mid ship L234 very close to the front, quiet but can get very rough.

Read All Balcony (BB) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

The first port of call was Hilo. we opted to do this port on our own. We walked into the old town and found it charming and I bought a Hawaii long dress for 5.00. it started to really rain while in Hilo. We went to the tourism office and found that there was a bus we could take and it was free to seniors. We rode the bus to the mall to look for a Hawaiian Christmas tie. We the walked over to Hilo Hatties which is a shop linked to the ship somehow and they have a free shuttle to the port. I found their prices to be much higher than in old town Hilo. We ended up taking the public bus back to the port.
Read 445 Hilo Reviews

On Honolulu , we had reservations for Pearl harbor. If you go, get reservations and your life will be a lot easier. We took the public bus and it was fine but took a good hour. The cabs were not that much and so much quicker. Lots to see and do.
Read 506 Honolulu Reviews

The next port was Kauai and we ended up renting a car at the last minute from the port for a great price. We drove to the canyon and then to the beach and it was a great day.
Read 409 Kauai Reviews


The next day we were in port at Maui. We took a ship excursion to two snorkel sites. We used the ship tour because Maui was a tender port and we knew if necessary the ship would wait for us. The excursion was ok but the ship was a mess. The crew were nice but when we got to the crater to snorkel you could see our boat was not as nice as the other boats. I noticed a few companies I had tried to book with but the ship schedule did not work. They cost less and had fewer people and really nice boats. Princess should find and new excursion company.

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