loading, one second please...

Aloha! Princess Cruises Review

Reviewing: Golden Princess Princess Cruises  |  Rating:
eggy By eggy on
Badge: Advisor | Level: 17 | Transportation Expertise:
Image for Aloha! - Princess Cruises review

In November, I went on a 14 night Hawaiian Cruise. It left from San Pedro (Los Angeles), followed by 4 days at sea, then stops at Hilo, Oahu, Kauai, and Maui. Then there were 4 sea days, a stop in Ensenada, Mexico and back to San Pedro.

This was my fourth cruise, and my second with Princess Cruises. Since most schools were in session there were few children on board. There were many Europeans on board, which was surprising because of the long flights which they would need to take.

The food was very good, particularly the dining rooms (or the buffet late in the evenings). There were three formal nights (all on sea days). I took advantage of 'Anytime Dining' and often had dinner at different times with different people.

The entertainment was mixed. I was not wild about the musical revues and talent shows, but I liked the Magician (Gaetano), Acrobat (Uber Rossi), and half of Hypnotist (Kellie Karl) shows. I only gambled in the casino a little bit, and amazingly came out ahead. Seth Shostak, an astronomer from SETI was an 'Enrichment Lecturer' and I went to about eight of his very interesting talks. The seating and lines of site in the large main theater were great. Some people had difficultly finding seats in the early shows, but it was not a problem for me since I tended to eat later.

I enjoyed the 'Movie Under the Stars' a few times - fortunately they provided many blankets (also free popcorn, cookies, and hot beverages from the buffet). I enjoyed the daytime activities, such as Lei Making, Culture Talks, Hula Dancing, and Sarong tying.

The Golden Princess is a huge ship (about 950 feet long and holding about 2600 passengers). The room steward was efficient and courteous. The service in the dining rooms and bars (particularly the Skywalker's Lounge) was great. Sometimes it took a while to be offered coffee or orange juice in the buffet (but you could always get it yourself, if available). The frequent sales efforts (for extras such as cook books, special tours or tastings, etc.) was a little off putting, but I guess you need to expect that if they are trying to keep down the base price of the cruises. The Golden Princess was renovated in early 2009 and is an attractive ship.

One free bonus that we did receive, was a detour of several hundred miles to pick up two distressed sailors and their dogs. This delayed our arrival in Hilo by several hours and made it quite a rush to rent a car to drive up to the rim of the volcano (in the rain and fog). Actually, the weather during most of the trip was fairly warm, but quite overcast. Kauai was disappointing because there did not seem to be much of interest on the side of the island where we stopped. The Baja 1000 Road Race (and Mexican Revolution Day) was happening in Ensenada, and it was sort of a zoo.

I had fun, took Scopolamine and did not get sick until I got home, but I don't think that I am really a cruiser at heart. I plan to do a trans-Panama Canal cruise and then retire.