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This was a cruise of firsts! It was our first time on Golden Princess, our first time in a suite (hence, the title), and our first try at a two-day 'taster' cruise. And we thoroughly enjoyed every moment! Pre-cruise: We spent a few days in Melbourne having a good look at the city. We had previously visited but usually too briefly to check out the highlights. This time we were able to sample some of the renowned food experiences, and got to see some of the unique features of this interesting and historical city. The highlight for us was a visit to St Kilda breakwater to see the fairy penguins close up—a memorable wildlife experience, and one just minutes from the city centre. Embarkation: We were able to catch the tram from our accommodation in St Kilda to the pier. We arrived a little early and enjoyed a coffee at a nearby restaurant overlooking the ship. Embarkation went very smoothly, and thanks to priority boarding we were onboard by 11 am. Well done to the Princess staff for their hard work allowing for such a quick turnaround! The ship: As customary, we made our way to the suite to check it out and then did our quick tour of the ship. We were both very impressed by the appearance and cleanliness of the Golden, and settled in quickly with a coffee in the Piazza, accompanied by some pleasant welcoming music from a fine pianist and violinist. Its layout was similar to the Sapphire and Emerald, with the bridge to the Sky deck with an enclosed escalator being a distinctive feature. Although we understood the ship was at capacity, we never felt crowded in, and could always find room in the public areas. The pools did appear very busy, but we hadn't intended using them so that wasn't a concern. We went to MUTS the first night of the cruise and were able to find a recliner easily and enjoyed the movie without too much external noise, which considering the number of families on board was quite commendable, we thought. Food & dining: We ate at Horizon Court for lunch on embarkation day and again for breakfast on disembarkation day, and found the range of food good on both occasions. Although very busy, we had no trouble finding a table. We ate in the MDR on both nights with the standard Princess menus, with the highlights being the twice baked goats cheese soufflé (a favourite of ours) and the Norman Love dessert. We also witnessed the bombe Alaska parade on the final night, again a first after a number of cruises. The highlight of the food and dining, though, was our breakfast at Sabatinis, one of the perks of being in a suite. We had read many positive reviews about this on CC and were not disappointed. Entertainment: The cruise was a little too short to enjoy much of a variety of entertainment, but as mentioned we did enjoy MUTS on the first night (La La Land), and especially enjoyed the live music provided in the Piazza area. Stateroom: We certainly were not disappointed with our first taste of a suite. The extra space was great, the balcony recliners were comfortable, and the bathtub with jets was well used! We were a little miffed that the promised embarkation specialty meal didn't eventuate. It was explained when we rang to book the meal that cruises under six days don't include this complimentary meal, even though the Princess Suite eflyer made no mention of this (this has since been updated, I notice). Disembarkation: Disembarkation at Sydney was very smooth. Being a short cruise, passengers were expected to care for their own baggage, although a request could be made for passenger services to take larger bags, if needed.

A short but suite cruise!

Golden Princess Cruise Review by ETdreamer

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was a cruise of firsts! It was our first time on Golden Princess, our first time in a suite (hence, the title), and our first try at a two-day 'taster' cruise. And we thoroughly enjoyed every moment!

Pre-cruise: We spent a few days in Melbourne having a good look at the city. We had previously visited but usually too briefly to check out the highlights. This time we were able to sample some of the renowned food experiences, and got to see some of the unique features of this interesting and historical city. The highlight for us was a visit to St Kilda breakwater to see the fairy penguins close up—a memorable wildlife experience, and one just minutes from the city centre.

Embarkation: We were able to catch the tram from our accommodation in St Kilda to the pier. We arrived a little early and enjoyed a coffee at a nearby restaurant overlooking the ship. Embarkation went very smoothly, and thanks to priority boarding we were onboard by 11 am. Well done to the Princess staff for their hard work allowing for such a quick turnaround!

The ship: As customary, we made our way to the suite to check it out and then did our quick tour of the ship. We were both very impressed by the appearance and cleanliness of the Golden, and settled in quickly with a coffee in the Piazza, accompanied by some pleasant welcoming music from a fine pianist and violinist. Its layout was similar to the Sapphire and Emerald, with the bridge to the Sky deck with an enclosed escalator being a distinctive feature. Although we understood the ship was at capacity, we never felt crowded in, and could always find room in the public areas. The pools did appear very busy, but we hadn't intended using them so that wasn't a concern. We went to MUTS the first night of the cruise and were able to find a recliner easily and enjoyed the movie without too much external noise, which considering the number of families on board was quite commendable, we thought.

Food & dining: We ate at Horizon Court for lunch on embarkation day and again for breakfast on disembarkation day, and found the range of food good on both occasions. Although very busy, we had no trouble finding a table. We ate in the MDR on both nights with the standard Princess menus, with the highlights being the twice baked goats cheese soufflé (a favourite of ours) and the Norman Love dessert. We also witnessed the bombe Alaska parade on the final night, again a first after a number of cruises. The highlight of the food and dining, though, was our breakfast at Sabatinis, one of the perks of being in a suite. We had read many positive reviews about this on CC and were not disappointed.

Entertainment: The cruise was a little too short to enjoy much of a variety of entertainment, but as mentioned we did enjoy MUTS on the first night (La La Land), and especially enjoyed the live music provided in the Piazza area.

Stateroom: We certainly were not disappointed with our first taste of a suite. The extra space was great, the balcony recliners were comfortable, and the bathtub with jets was well used! We were a little miffed that the promised embarkation specialty meal didn't eventuate. It was explained when we rang to book the meal that cruises under six days don't include this complimentary meal, even though the Princess Suite eflyer made no mention of this (this has since been updated, I notice).

Disembarkation: Disembarkation at Sydney was very smooth. Being a short cruise, passengers were expected to care for their own baggage, although a request could be made for passenger services to take larger bags, if needed.
PrincessCruises3, Social Team, Princess Cruises has responded
Hi ETdreamer, we're happy to hear that you enjoyed the suite life while onboard Golden Princess! The Baked Alaska parade is definitely a fun sight to see. We hope to see you onboard again soon!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
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Cabin Review

Penthouse Suite with Balcony
Cabin S4 C401
We certainly were not disappointed with our first taste of a suite. The extra space was great, the balcony recliners were comfortable, and the bathtub with jets was well used. Our steward, Jeffrey, was very efficient and happy, but as usual also discreet. We enjoyed the welcome champagne, fruit platter, and canapés as well.
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