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My husband and I, both in our 60's, booked this cruise in Dec. 2009 direct with Princess on the Internet. There was one significant price drop after booking and a quick call to Princess got us the drop with no problem. We flew to Los Angeles two days early and stayed at the Crown Plaza. We used Super Shuttle from airport to hotel. We got this hotel for $65 through Price-line and it was very nice. They have a shuttle to the pier and free parking during the cruise for those who drive to LA. There are several restaurants in the area within walking distance. On Sat. we took the full day tour of LA through Sun Seeker tours. They pick up and deliver you to your hotel. We saw many highlights of the city and enjoyed the tour very much. Embarkation: We arrived at the pier around 11 AM and were quickly checked in. Boarding was delayed a bit due to some inspection of the ship but we were on board by 12:15 and our cabin was ready. Cabin: We had Cabin E728, the last mini suite on the Port side. It has a very nice extended balcony. The cabin has a nice sitting area with a sofa, chair and coffee table. We had an egg crate put on the bed and it was quite comfortable. The closet was large and there was plenty of other storage. The bathroom had a tub with shower and was small but adequate. Our steward, Florante did a great job taking care of everything and always greeted us and asked if everything was okay. Of note: with the weather conditions we made only limited use of our balcony as it was too cold and windy. This cabin was very quiet and near the aft elevators. The Bad: There was only one bad thing about the cruise and that was no fault of Princess. The cruise over and back was very rocky and both of us were sea sick the first day. We missed our CC Meet and Greet and dinner that day. I had been taking motion sick pills but they didn't help. The second morning, not feeling any better, we went to the infirmary and bought what they recommended which worked well the rest of the cruise. The choppy weather also caused us to miss the port of Kauai which was disappointing but not to be helped. Activities: There are many things to do on board if you wish but we didn't do many of them. The port talks by David Cole were excellent. Entertainment: We attended several shows and they were mostly mediocre. The best entertainment to us was Eula and their Hawaiian music and Ray who played a wonderful piano in the mezzanine. Food: We had first seating traditional and thought the food was excellent. Our waiter, Angelo, and his assistant, Rochelle were wonderful. The three couples who shared our table were also great fun to be with and we looked forward to each dinner. We ate a few Breakfasts in the Horizon court and would rate them as average. The International Cafe was excellent as were the pizza station, coffee bar, and burger station. The ice cream stand was okay, soft serve only. Chef's Table: This was our second Chef's Table and there were eight of us partaking. You have appetizers in the kitchen and are then taken to a special table for the rest of the meal. It has been a highlight of our cruise both times. For three hours you are served by the head chef, head waiter and more with wonderful food and presentation. There is also plentiful wine to go with each course. This is a not to be missed! Balcony Breakfast: We were treated to this as a gift from family as we were celebrating both an anniversary and birthday while on board. It was too cold to use the balcony so our waiter set it up in our room. There is more food than you can eat. The waiter sets everything up, opens the champagne and then leaves you to eat. A great way to start the day. Service: As stated, our steward and waiters couldn't have been better. Also the other staff were helpful and we were greeted with a smile and pleasant comment by everyone. Disembarkation: We were off the ship in good time, around 8:45. We then had a rather long wait as all the luggage areas opened up but ours. For some reason, although we were in an early off group, that group's luggage was the last to be unloaded. We used Super Shuttle again for the trip to the airport and that works very well. The airport was another story. The lines for checking in or checking luggage were long and then the TSA line was even longer. Also many of the employees were very harsh and rude. Summary: This was an excellent trip and we hope to take it again sometime. If you don't enjoy sea days you might find it rather long. We either found something to do on board or were happy just reading and relaxing in our room.

Cruising to Hawaii

Golden Princess Cruise Review by Kruising Katt

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2010
  • Destination: Hawaii
My husband and I, both in our 60's, booked this cruise in Dec. 2009 direct with Princess on the Internet. There was one significant price drop after booking and a quick call to Princess got us the drop with no problem.
We flew to Los Angeles two days early and stayed at the Crown Plaza. We used Super Shuttle from airport to hotel. We got this hotel for $65 through Price-line and it was very nice. They have a shuttle to the pier and free parking during the cruise for those who drive to LA. There are several restaurants in the area within walking distance. On Sat. we took the full day tour of LA through Sun Seeker tours. They pick up and deliver you to your hotel. We saw many highlights of the city and enjoyed the tour very much.
Embarkation: We arrived at the pier around 11 AM and were quickly checked in. Boarding was delayed a bit due to some inspection of the ship but we were on board by 12:15 and our cabin was ready.
Cabin: We had Cabin E728, the last mini suite on the Port side. It has a very nice extended balcony. The cabin has a nice sitting area with a sofa, chair and coffee table. We had an egg crate put on the bed and it was quite comfortable. The closet was large and there was plenty of other storage. The bathroom had a tub with shower and was small but adequate. Our steward, Florante did a great job taking care of everything and always greeted us and asked if everything was okay. Of note: with the weather conditions we made only limited use of our balcony as it was too cold and windy. This cabin was very quiet and near the aft elevators.
The Bad: There was only one bad thing about the cruise and that was no fault of Princess. The cruise over and back was very rocky and both of us were sea sick the first day. We missed our CC Meet and Greet and dinner that day. I had been taking motion sick pills but they didn't help. The second morning, not feeling any better, we went to the infirmary and bought what they recommended which worked well the rest of the cruise. The choppy weather also caused us to miss the port of Kauai which was disappointing but not to be helped.
Activities: There are many things to do on board if you wish but we didn't do many of them. The port talks by David Cole were excellent.
Entertainment: We attended several shows and they were mostly mediocre. The best entertainment to us was Eula and their Hawaiian music and Ray who played a wonderful piano in the mezzanine.
Food: We had first seating traditional and thought the food was excellent. Our waiter, Angelo, and his assistant, Rochelle were wonderful. The three couples who shared our table were also great fun to be with and we looked forward to each dinner. We ate a few Breakfasts in the Horizon court and would rate them as average. The International Cafe was excellent as were the pizza station, coffee bar, and burger station. The ice cream stand was okay, soft serve only.
Chef's Table: This was our second Chef's Table and there were eight of us partaking. You have appetizers in the kitchen and are then taken to a special table for the rest of the meal. It has been a highlight of our cruise both times. For three hours you are served by the head chef, head waiter and more with wonderful food and presentation. There is also plentiful wine to go with each course. This is a not to be missed!
Balcony Breakfast: We were treated to this as a gift from family as we were celebrating both an anniversary and birthday while on board. It was too cold to use the balcony so our waiter set it up in our room. There is more food than you can eat. The waiter sets everything up, opens the champagne and then leaves you to eat. A great way to start the day.
Service: As stated, our steward and waiters couldn't have been better. Also the other staff were helpful and we were greeted with a smile and pleasant comment by everyone.
Disembarkation: We were off the ship in good time, around 8:45. We then had a rather long wait as all the luggage areas opened up but ours. For some reason, although we were in an early off group, that group's luggage was the last to be unloaded. We used Super Shuttle again for the trip to the airport and that works very well. The airport was another story. The lines for checking in or checking luggage were long and then the TSA line was even longer. Also many of the employees were very harsh and rude.
Summary: This was an excellent trip and we hope to take it again sometime. If you don't enjoy sea days you might find it rather long. We either found something to do on board or were happy just reading and relaxing in our room.
Kruising Katt’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Cabin Review

Cabin E728
E728 is in a quiet location and close to the aft elevators. There is plenty of
storage space and a large closet. The balcony is extended but can be too cold and windy for comfortable use on sea days. The sofa sitting area makes things much nicer than having just the bed and a chair to sit on like the balcony rooms. The bath is small but adequate. It has a tub with shower.
  Golden Princess Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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  • Hilo
    We rented a car and drove to Volcano National Park. You couldn't drive completely around the rim due to a recent eruption of toxic gases but there is still plenty to see and do. Make sure to walk through the Thurston Lava Tube. We also spent time at the National Botanical Gardens. The drive to get there is beautiful. Be aware the there are a lot of steps going down into the gardens and you must walk back up these steps to get out! We found out too late that there is transportation down and up but you pay extra for that. We also stopped at Akaka Falls and a very interesting cemetery we happened upon. We liked renting cars at all the ports as the price was reasonable and we could go where we wanted and see things on our own time. On comparing things with other cruisers later it usually seemed like we say more than those who booked one or two tours.
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  • Honolulu
    We again rented a car and went out on our own. We drove past Diamond Head and along that shore looking at the scenery. We then took another scenic drive that we'd found in a travel book on the island. We made a stop at Hilo Hattie's and also went to the International Marketplace downtown. This is the island where we would recommend having a GPS to get around as we needed ours. Getting around in the city would be difficult otherwise.
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  • Maui
    We rented a car here and did some scenic driving. The rest of the time we spent walking Front Street in Lahaina and doing some shopping.
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