We chose the Golden Princess for our Alaska Land/Cruise tour because it was small enough to traverse the glaciers yet large enough to include the Piazza for smaller events, and Skywalkers for daytime relaxation and indoor views from ship-front. The number of passengers onboard was perfect—not too many but enough to justify the better shows and venues. We will be looking for its sister ships in the future.
A note regarding its condition, since many reported it is showing its age: new carpeting has been installed in all common areas and it seemed individual cabins were also receiving new carpet—I noticed several being done on Caribe deck. In general, the ship look well-maintained and clean.
We ate at Horizons buffet and the Bernini dining room (anytime dining, though usually made a reservation at 8am for that night). Food quality was better than we’ve had on other recent Princess (and a Royal Caribbean) cruises. Baked goods and desserts were excellent, as usual, coffee was mediocre, and only one (crab leg dinner) in main dining room disappointed. Dining-room staff was attentive and quick. Horizons staff was always there to take beverage orders as soon as we arrived at table—a great improvement over the past. I do wish, though, it was not so difficult to locate an empty table during peak dining times (not a fan of cold food after walking around and around to find a table or companions who are holding a table).
Staff was overall friendly and helpful. Even Guest Services staff were patient, friendly and knowledgeable—it seemed all queries were handled quickly and satisfactorily and everyone left the desk with a smile.
We liked the messenger feature on the Princess app—made it easy to stay in touch with group members, however a notification would be nice to ensure prompt retrieval.
Entertainment was an improvement over the recent past, too. Enjoyed magic/comedian performer, The Voice, British Invasion and Born to Dance shows. The daytime Alaska-related presentations in the theater were very good, too.
What a nice touch to have a covered, almost-indoor pool, too. Our traveling companions were able to use the pool and whirlpool tub even though we were in Alaska!
We really enjoyed our time onboard Golden Princess. Excursions were generally good, as was the land tour (especially loved the McKinley Express train and the Denali Princess Lodge)— but that’s another story...
Extra-depth balcony. Front port-side cabin. Front location did not seem to be affected by ship motion. Generally clean, though could use new carpet and headboard fabric. Good, comfortable bed.
Good guide, sensitive to guest physical limitations. Pretty comprehensive tour.
Guides were respectful of marine life and informative. Humpback whales and sea lions were plentiful. For the price, would have appreciated lunch included.