Figured I might as well cross the Pacific, as I hadn't done that. Relaxing in that there were so many sea days with only 8 ports. I'd been to most of the ports but looked forward to seeing different things at each place.
Had a deluxe balcony which was overkill on this sailing - New Zealand, especially south island, was cool-cold, rough seas & rain, then crossing the Equator it was too hot. Last week I could use the balcony, but could have saved the money!
Pay attention to cruises over Easter - in the Caribbean it means LOTS of kids, but not on this one, A positive. However, we spent Easter Sunday and Monday on French Polynesia, Tahiti & Moorea, which observes both days as national holidays so 99% of the places are CLOSED! Only grocery stores, tour buses and snorkeling boats are open. Stores closed, restaurants closed, museums closed. You get it. Wish the cruise line could have managed to redo the itinerary so we could DO something there!
The GOLDEN PRINCESS will be converted to P&O later this year and it shows. However, everyone knew that was the case so the edges of shabbiness was not unexpected. Still, the ship was maintained and clean. 95% crew was remarkable. Captain was visible throughout the cruise. PJ, the Cruise Director, and his assistants made the whole cruise a fun time.
Entertainment quite good especially the Production shows. Other entertainers provided variety. Comedians, except for 1, were very funny. Enrichment lecturers wonderful. Idiotic games played were a great way to spend a cold or rainy day inside - dumb but loads of fun for everyone!
BON APPETIT excursion in Hilo was a highlight - having a progressive brunch at 3 different people's houses was a great way to get a feel for the reality of living in Hawaii. Also enjoyed the Wine trail in Auckland (I'd been there before so wanted to get out of the City for a bit).
When I said it was a relaxing cruise, I meant the cruise itself, because on one end or another, someone is going to have a LOOOOONG flight and that's not so relaxing. But you know that when you book a trans-Pacific! Am glad I did it.
Plenty of room. Great bedding. Same as every Princess cabin but that's a comfort as you know what to expect. Believe it or not, a bar or soap is not standard & you have to ask for one!
Thankfully the wildlife cruise provided heavy and warm coats - it was freezing and raining! Interesting seeing the birds and the rocks close up.View All 14 Otago Harbor Wildlife Cruise Reviews
Michael Nutt with Tours By Locals showed us the Christchurch area, including stopping by tiny church, farms, art gallery on the way (most spectacular drive "over the hill"), saw the Arts center & local place for lunch, mosque of the shooting, parks, art installation of the 185 chairs from 2011 earthquake, cardboard cathedral. Lovely day in beautiful place.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Interesting way to see how Maori used to live (and eat - Hangi cooked in pits in thermal springs), performances wonderful.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Hunting Lodge Winery provided bite to go with each of their excellent wines. Second one, Soljans was more like regular public wine visit and tasting. Decent, but Hunting Lodge much better.View All undefined undefined Reviews
With whole island shut down (except for groceries and tours) saw pretty scenery
Short day in Honolulu, but don't know why. GRAND PRINCESS stayed until late so passengers could actually have time to do something in Honolulu - we left at 4.
WOW! Nice brunch at 3 private homes with amazing views. 2 had the owners talk about their homes and their histories. Fabulous excursion!View All 6 Culinary Tour Reviews
Beach stop was AWFUL but experience with stingrays & sharks was fun. Moorea actually looks like what you expect Tahiti to be!View All 8 Lagoon Excursion Reviews