Golden Princess Cruise Review by Queen of the Queen
- Sail Date: March 2012
- Destination: Hawaii
We arrived at the pier about 11:00 a.m. After checking in, we were seated and waited for over an hour and a half before we were able to embark on the ship. There were no greeters and we had to find our way to the elevators.
Since it was nearly 1:00 p.m., we immediately went to the Donatello Dining Room for lunch and were impressed with the service and the waiter.
We found our Mini Suite to be a nice size, plenty of storage space, large bathroom, nice size closet and large balcony. Our steward greeted us immediately and served our welcome champagne. We were pleased with the accommodations and the service and were impressed with our first experiences on the ship.
We selected late dining and were disappointed when we were shown to a table in the corner. The area was so poorly lit we were unable to read the menus. Two of the other couples complained and we knew they would not be returning to this table. We did go the second evening and neither couple showed up, since it was a table for eight we told the remaining couple that we would not be returning and would be changing to anytime dining.
The location of the dining rooms was confusing and up till the last day we still had trouble finding them.
We were disappointed in the food selections in the dining room for the remainder of the trip at both lunch and dinner. The food we did order was poor to good quality. The beef and shrimps were excellent but we did not enjoy the other meals.
The Horizon Court Buffet was the biggest disappointment, it was no better than a school cafeteria, with pre made sandwiches in plastic wrap. There was no way to have a fresh sandwich made. The desserts were also mediocre and most meals the best choice was the ice cream.
The International Cafe had the best food for breakfast and lunch and we did enjoy it, however, there was never enough seating in the Piazza for the number of passengers on the ship. Most guests sat down early in the morning and remained in the same seats through the noon time entertainment. We stood a few days and then stopped attending.
We enjoyed the wonderful service in Sabatini's, however, a disappointment when the lobster was so salty, it was inedible. The beef in the Crown Grill was excellent.
The schedule of morning activities was poor, everything of interest, lectures, etc. were scheduled between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and nothing in the afternoon.
The evening entertainment schedule was just as poor, shows were at 7:00 p.m. or 8:45 p.m. and with late dining we were only able to attend two shows and that was because we went before dinner. The Princess Theatre is too small for the number of passengers and in order to sit together, we had to be there by 6:30 p.m., so we found we had to start to dress for dinner by 5:30 p.m., ridiculous with 8:00 p.m. dining. It cut into our relaxing afternoons.
We were disappointed in the Dress Code on Formal evenings. While most passengers looked smart in their tuxedos, suits and dresses, it was disappointing to see guests in tee shirts and shorts dancing in the Piazza. Perhaps Princess could institute a policy of long pants on Formal Evenings in the public areas.
We did have rough seas and the ship did not handle well. We have been in worse storms on Trans Atlantic crossings and never had a ship rock and roll as this one.
No one has control over the weather and it rained the four days in Hawaii. We have been there before and enjoyed ourselves in spite of the weather, however, we did feel bad for first time visitors. We did take one ship tour, in Kauai, and it was very nice.
We enjoyed the friendliness of the crew, staff and dining room servers, there was always a pleasant greeting and the personnel were very helpful.
We did meet many nice passengers and enjoyed ourselves in spite of all the negative things. Depending on the itinerary, we might give Princess another chance.
Nice size balcony with two chairs, foot rests and a table. We were on the deck with a covered balcony and it gave lots of privacy.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
City TourWe had used the same tour guide, Ricky's Tours, last year, however, we followed a different itinerary.View All 10 City Tour Reviews
Although it rained, we did see Banyan Tree Drive, The Rainbow Falls, which were really flowing because of all the rain. We went to Mauna Loa Nut Company and had the best pineapple ice cream! We visited the Akatsuka Orchid Garden and it was very interesting. We went to Richardson Ocean Beach park to see the black sand beach and the waves were really high! I would recommend booking a private tour, since with fewer people is was nice getting in and out of the van quickly.
Hawaii Volcanoes National ParkThis was part of our six hour city tour. We went to the Volcano National Park but it was difficult to see the crater becasue of the fog. The Jaggar Museum was interesting, and we loved walkling through the Thurston Lava Tube. We also saw the Kilauea Iki Crater.View All 110 Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Reviews
Polynesian Cultural CenterWe contacted the Polynesian Cultural Center directly and signed on for the Around the Island Tour and the General Admission, since we had been there before and did not want to stay for the dinner/show. Although it rained all day, we enjoyed all the stops on the tour. We were very pleased with all the stops, however, the bus was an hour late in arriving at the pick up point and so we missed an hour at the Center. We did get to see the Pagent, enjoyable in the rain, and did get to see four villages. We would highly recommend booking this tour directly and not through the ship which is much more expensive for the same experience.View All 31 Polynesian Cultural Center Reviews
Wailua RiverWe booked a tour called The Wailua River and Fern Grotto. There was a boat ride to the Fern Grotto with entertainment of singing and hula dancing. Because of the rain, they had to sing the "Hawaiian Love Song" on the boat. It did clear up by the time we arrived at the Grotto and so we had a pleasant walk. We also visited the Opaekaa Falls and they were really flowing because it had been raining for a few days. We stopped at Ahukini Landing, a beach with lovely views. We prefer private tours, however, we were unable to arrange for one and so took the ships tour. It takes so long to get on and off the bus that it takes away from the pleasure.View All 53 Wailua River Reviews
MauiThis is a tender port and you are let off right in town. Since we have been here before, we did the historical walk recommended by the tourtist office. It is interesting but had to stop because of the pouring rain.View All 496 Maui Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Maui Cruise Port Review