Terri and Daniel Brown
Occupation:OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner
Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Golden Princess
Sailing Date: January 17th, 2004
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
This cruise was my second and Dan's first. I had to practically beg Dan to go on this cruise. Princess was everything we expected and more. The crew made us feel like royalty and very comfortable.
Arrival in Florida - We stayed at the Ramada Inn -- word to the wise - DON'T - Very dirty, doors didn't lock; only a trickle of water for our shower, beds smelled, were horrible. Food was expensive and awful. The morning of the cruise, we took a hotel shuttle to the port.
Port Arrival - We arrived at the Port 2 hours before embarkation. This was okay in that we were practically first in line and that we were able to meet many people that had cruised before. Everyone was sooooo upbeat; we were excited to be experiencing everything.
At 11:00 am we started the embarkation process and were in our stateroom by 11:20am.
We stayed on the Emerald Deck at the front of the ship and stayed in a balcony room. The room seemed larger than we expected plenty of closet storage, small bathroom. TV had up to date movies, small refrigerator, table, queen bed, and 2 night stands. The balcony had 2 deck chairs, dining table and 2 dining chairs. Our cabin steward kept our room very neat and clean. Clean deck towels were provided 2 times a day. We highly recommend a balcony room - If we didn't feel like being around alot of people, we would go to our room, have drinks, lunch or whatever. Sometimes we just wanted to read and relax---- this was the place to do it.
The ship was immaculate and beautiful, the crew was very friendly. Ages of the passengers were mostly in their 40's. Although, we did see plenty of younger families and older cruisers. I honestly don't remember how many pools were on board, but we spent most of our time in the 'adult only' end of the ship. I think this was on deck 12 at the back of the ship, wonderful for reading and relaxing. The other pools were fun and exciting for those that like to party...and we did do some of that. The cruise director had plenty of activities booked... so much to do. He made you feel like he's known you for such a long time.
Things to do
After we left our cabin on the first day, I booked a spa treatment at the Lotus Spa - manicure, pedicure, and massage for the next morning. It was absolutely the best thing I could have done. The massage was completely relaxing. The manicure/pedicure area overlooked the ocean, relaxing music, wonderful aromas, friendly crew....I was in heaven and so relaxed.
We also experienced a wine tasting at $7.50 per person, well worth it. Dan took a cooking class, he loved it. We experienced a couple of shows in the Princess Theatre, very enjoyable. All activities were listed in the Princess Patter. There was just so much to do, we couldn't do everything we wanted. The lounge acts were funny; the lounges also had terrific dancing and entertainment.
Anytime dining is the way to go. We usually dined in the evening at Donatello’s; smart casual, except for formal nights. Women dressed in anything from sundresses and sandals to long dresses and shoes. Men were in khakis and open neck shirts to pants and sport coats. Five new entrees every night as well as the regular menu….5 courses! I couldn’t begin to eat all the food. For the most part everything was very good. And you could have as much as you wanted…..we couldn’t eat all 5 courses, can’t imagine asking for more. The wait staff was exceptional, anticipated our every need.
Daytime dining was usually in the 24 hour Horizon Court. The food was very good, especially for buffet style dining. The wait staff was younger, and probably not as refined as the more formal dining area, but it didn’t detract from the experience. The views were amazing! What a way to dine!
St Maarten/St Martin
We took an island tour by bus, very enjoyable. After the tour we walked the streets, shopped, had a drink on the beautiful beach and walked back to the ship…overall nice experience.
Didn’t know about the jewelry until the tour activities director on the ship kept giving pointers about the best jewelry buys on the island. What deals you can get on jewelry!
We took a 3 hour snorkeling trip, well worth the money - $65.00 each. The water was a little cooler than I expected, but still very nice. We saw so many stingrays, and they were quite friendly too. We were with a nice, fun group of people. They served rum punch, sodas, snack foods, and fun music. Highly recommended.
Owned by Princess. BBQ, snorkeling, souvenirs, nice island. Unfortunately it started off as a very cloudy day, and cleared up about 1 hour before we had to leave. Next time, I’ll probably stay on the ship, get a spa treatment – usually discounted on Port days, and relax or participate in one of the ship board activities.
Not too bad, we waited about 45 minutes to leave the ship. Had no problem finding our luggage. Princess had busses for those of us that had airplanes to catch. We got to the airport about 4 hours before our flight, had lunch, and wished we were back on the ship.
Wonderful, highly recommended. Dan is now hooked and has already started booking our next Princess Cruise. This time we are taking our entire family. I can’t believe how wonderful it was. Next time we are going 2 days early so that we can relax before the cruise and enjoy everyday of the trip without being worn out from getting there. We will definitely stay at a nicer hotel before hand though.