Golden Princess is due for a refurbishment. Common areas aren’t bad but the cabins need work. The fun part about this ship’s configuration is that there are two separate areas for shows. Occasionally, we were able to see two interesting shows in one evening.
Food: was good, never any issues. My wife is gluten intolerant and this was not a problem because she would order her meals a day ahead (thanks Plamen for your great service), they ware well prepared for this. We didn’t eat often at the buffet, but there seemed to be less choice than the previous Princess cruise that I went on.
Shows: there was a good variety of good shows that we enjoyed.
Wine: Princess no longer offers the wine bottle plan under which you could purchase a number of bottles ahead of time. Also, the price of wine at dinner has increased by a lot since our last cruise with Princess. It is definitely worth bringing bottles on board and paying a corking fee.
Pool and deck: there are several pools one of which is closed in for cooler days. There is plenty of deck space to sit around the pools or away in quieter areas.
Fitness area: the gym was well equiped with several machines of the same type. I rarely had to wait
Washing machines: Golden Princess has rooms with washing machines dryers and irons for use by passengers. A great idea!
Staff: the staff was great in every department, never any issues.
All and all, a pretty good cruise despite the weather that caused the day of cruising in the fiords to be cancelled and the abnormally cooler weather for part of the itinirary.
Getting to and from the port: we took a taxi to the port which went well and cost around $26 AU. Getting out of the port was a different story. They are poorly organized in Melbourne for taxis to bring people into town. After waiting an hour and seeing that taxis were only trickling in, we ended up walking to the tram station which was only a ten minute walk. Tickets for the tram can be purchased at the store/cafe close by for around $15 AU each. This included one day of use of the trams. The trams brings you to Souther Cross station in the CBD.
The cabin was showing its age, especially the carpet which was a little disgusting. This ship is shaped like a christmas tree on the sides which means that you can see onto the balcony of the cabin below you. The balconies on the Caribe deck are quite a bit bigger than the other decks. It was actually the biggest balcony that we have ever had. The rest of the room was standard. We had enough space to place all our close and there was a sitting area between the bed and the balcony door. AC was perfect.
Excursion went good. Christchurch didn't have that much to see.
Was quite enjoyable, we visited two wineries: Mission and Abbey. Both very pleasant. The guide was great, she brought us on small detours to show us particular areas. Only thing was that the tour was in the morning, a bit early for sipping wine!View All 16 Winery Tour Reviews