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This was a back to back cruise at the end of the Alaska season for the Golden Princess. We left Vancouver for Ketchikan, back to Vancouver, then sailed on to Victoria and San Francisco in a second 3 day cruise. End of season cruises are the best! After spending months on the Alaska run, the crew was heading to Hawaii and then on to Australia and they were in high spirits. The entertainment crew was able to shed their Alaska lumberjack costumes for Hawaiian shirts. Because these were short cruises (4 day and then 3 day) the schedule was packed with activities. It was a delightful experience on this lovely ship. The Golden is an older ship with a passenger capacity under 3000. It has been refurbished and was in really excellent condition even after months on the family-packed Alaska itinerary. It has a lovely atrium around which there are numerous restaurants and bars. The lower floor Vines is a favorite and this one did not disappoint with an excellent selection of wines and superior service. Don't miss the wine and chocolate pairing. This level also has the International Cafe that offers a selection of included sandwiches, soup, salads and desserts in addition to a full bar and coffees. Upstairs is Crooners bar that was always busy and featured a good piano player. From Crooners, one wanders toward the back of the ship to the Explorers Lounge with a stage and frequent entertainment then the Wheelhouse bar for quieter enjoyment and finally on to the Vista Lounge. Centrally located are the Italian Restaurant and Steak House that are available for a small additional charge. Not being red meat fans, we chose the Italian restaurant and found the food and service to be excellent, well worth the extra charge. This ship had a really excellent wine list and we were able to enjoy a favorite bottle of Central California red wine with our dinner at a very reasonable price. For daily dining, we always choose seated dining at a large table. The crew has a talent for seating a together a group of compatible people and this trip was no exception. The food and service were excellent and so was the company. I can't say enough for the entertainment and activities. The entertainment staff went above and beyond. There was daily Zumba and tai chi plus trivia and an ever changing schedule of challenges ranging from Passenger Feud to Moose Racing to an egg drop that challenged passengers to create a device that would prevent a raw egg from breaking when dropped from two stories up to the atrium floor. I came home with a nice Princess water bottle and wine bottle stopper for participating and I had a great time doing it. On both legs the captain sponsored a champagne waterfall in the atrium with ample champagne for the passengers. The pool deck is inviting and was not crowded. This ship has an open pool area and also a covered pool that was more used in the cool and wet Alaska weather we encountered. There was simply too much fun to be had below decks for us to make much use of it. Service was excellent across the board. It always amazes that crew can remember you and your preferences with ever changing passengers. This ship was especially good. Our dining room waiter worked in the anytime dining room for breakfast and lunch and always came over to say hello. The bartenders in Vines and Skywalkers remembered us and our drink preferences and were always ready with beverages and conversation. Our cabin attendants were excellent. Even though we did not select these cruises for the ports and shore excursions, Vancouver proved to be better than we could possibly have expected. We did a Fraser Valley Wine Tour that was really excellent. Who knew? These Canadian wines are not readily available in the US and they are excellent. We also very much enjoyed Granville Island where we did a brief pre-cruise stay. Overall, this was an absolutely terrific week and we look forward to doing it again next year!

Shoulder season is the best!

Golden Princess Cruise Review by Lscruiser

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
This was a back to back cruise at the end of the Alaska season for the Golden Princess. We left Vancouver for Ketchikan, back to Vancouver, then sailed on to Victoria and San Francisco in a second 3 day cruise. End of season cruises are the best! After spending months on the Alaska run, the crew was heading to Hawaii and then on to Australia and they were in high spirits. The entertainment crew was able to shed their Alaska lumberjack costumes for Hawaiian shirts. Because these were short cruises (4 day and then 3 day) the schedule was packed with activities. It was a delightful experience on this lovely ship.

The Golden is an older ship with a passenger capacity under 3000. It has been refurbished and was in really excellent condition even after months on the family-packed Alaska itinerary. It has a lovely atrium around which there are numerous restaurants and bars. The lower floor Vines is a favorite and this one did not disappoint with an excellent selection of wines and superior service. Don't miss the wine and chocolate pairing. This level also has the International Cafe that offers a selection of included sandwiches, soup, salads and desserts in addition to a full bar and coffees. Upstairs is Crooners bar that was always busy and featured a good piano player. From Crooners, one wanders toward the back of the ship to the Explorers Lounge with a stage and frequent entertainment then the Wheelhouse bar for quieter enjoyment and finally on to the Vista Lounge.

Centrally located are the Italian Restaurant and Steak House that are available for a small additional charge. Not being red meat fans, we chose the Italian restaurant and found the food and service to be excellent, well worth the extra charge. This ship had a really excellent wine list and we were able to enjoy a favorite bottle of Central California red wine with our dinner at a very reasonable price.

For daily dining, we always choose seated dining at a large table. The crew has a talent for seating a together a group of compatible people and this trip was no exception. The food and service were excellent and so was the company.

I can't say enough for the entertainment and activities. The entertainment staff went above and beyond. There was daily Zumba and tai chi plus trivia and an ever changing schedule of challenges ranging from Passenger Feud to Moose Racing to an egg drop that challenged passengers to create a device that would prevent a raw egg from breaking when dropped from two stories up to the atrium floor. I came home with a nice Princess water bottle and wine bottle stopper for participating and I had a great time doing it. On both legs the captain sponsored a champagne waterfall in the atrium with ample champagne for the passengers.

The pool deck is inviting and was not crowded. This ship has an open pool area and also a covered pool that was more used in the cool and wet Alaska weather we encountered. There was simply too much fun to be had below decks for us to make much use of it.

Service was excellent across the board. It always amazes that crew can remember you and your preferences with ever changing passengers. This ship was especially good. Our dining room waiter worked in the anytime dining room for breakfast and lunch and always came over to say hello. The bartenders in Vines and Skywalkers remembered us and our drink preferences and were always ready with beverages and conversation. Our cabin attendants were excellent.

Even though we did not select these cruises for the ports and shore excursions, Vancouver proved to be better than we could possibly have expected. We did a Fraser Valley Wine Tour that was really excellent. Who knew? These Canadian wines are not readily available in the US and they are excellent. We also very much enjoyed Granville Island where we did a brief pre-cruise stay.

Overall, this was an absolutely terrific week and we look forward to doing it again next year!
Lscruiser’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BD B525
I switched cabins between these two short cruises from a balcony to a mini-suite because a family member joined me for the 3 night cruise to San Francisco. The balcony was a standard, well appointed cabin. I was cruising solo and there was plenty of storage, a very comfortable bed, ample bathroom space, and a large enough balcony to sit and relax and enjoy the sun. For an older ship, it was in very good condition. The mini-suite had a separate sitting area, couch and coffee table. It was very spacious and allowed two of us to have plenty of space. The two large flat screened televisions seemed like overkill. We appreciate that Princess ships include a mini-fridge and usually remove enough of the for-sale beverages to the counter to fit in our own beverages. It worked out fine.
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