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Charles Vassel

Age: 69

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: 8

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Golden Princess

Sailing Date: 2012-03-14

Itinerary: LA to Hawaii roundtrip

This was a two-week anniversary cruise to Hawaii. The trip was pleasant, but four and a half days on the ship before our first port seemed a little too long. The weather in Hawaii was perfect and our excursions were good. The trip to Hawaii was fairly smooth sailing but the returned trip found the ship being tossed about by the rough ocean. Anyone wanting to kick back, relax, and enjoy the ship's activities this is your cruise.

We mostly ate in the Horizon Court Buffet. The food was good; some items great, others poor. They can screw up rice fifty different ways. Lots of pasta and potatoes. Best ham, egg, and cheese biscuits I've ever had. Tons of desserts - some good, some bad. They can do some really bad things to chocolate. Just off the Calypso Reef pool they had very good cheeseburgers at the Trident Grill, and very bad pizza at the Prego Pizzeria. Never heard a bad thing said about Sabatini's (the Italian restaurant) but heard some complaints about the Crown Grill steak restaurant. Room service was fast and good.

Our cabin was smaller than what we've had on other ships. Also, the bathroom and shower were smaller. THE BED WAS THE WORST WE HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED ON A CRUISE SHIP. It bowed in the middle, which was quite plain to see. Our stateroom attendant finally located plywood and placed under the mattress, which helped a little. Can't believe Princess would have beds like this one.

There are activities from morning until midnight, or later. We don't attend but the art auctions seem to be non-stop. They have movies, bands, pianists, and others to entertain. This is a long voyage (5 p.m. Wed to first port at 7 a.m. Monday) so they had something for everyone. I noticed a large number of people reading, knitting, or doing crossword puzzles during the days. The biggest disappointment for many people was the small size of the theater. Come early or don't see the shows in the theater. My wife and I took a book, arrived an hour early, and read until the show started. One evening the cruise director was going up and down the aisles "making" people move from seats or to other aisles to allow late comers to get a seat together. The theater shows were okay but didn't compare with what we've seen on other ships. Due to the rough ocean one show was cancelled to keep the dancers from being injured. They have a number of smaller venues (Promenade Deck, Wheelhouse Bar, and the Explorers Lounge) where various acts kept people entertained. My wife and I enjoyed the Piazza (main lobby) pianist and string quartet. Spent hours reading which is my favorite form of entertain.

If Sean O'Shea is doing his show make certain to attend. He is extremely talented. Don't bother to get off the ship in Ensenada, Mexico. The ship warned passengers about the problems they might encounter if they went into town. The port has one building with a number of small vendors - if you must get off just take a few pictures in their small plaza and get back on the ship. Think of a building about the size of a CVS or Walgreen's with seven hundred to a thousand people pushing and pulling. We got off the ship took pictures and got back on the ship and hit the Sundaes Ice Cream bar.

Our trip was as alway; very relaxing. We don't get overly excited about the embarkation (which went very smoothly compared to many places) or the debarkation (which was smooth when compared to places like Galveston) nor were we blown away by the ships activities. It was just another lovely and relaxing trip. I was in Hawaii many years ago but this was my wife's first trip - we both enjoyed ourselves. Great trip. Nice Ship. Good food. Okay activities and entertainment.

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