Ed and Chris
Number of Cruises: 6
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Golden Princess
Sailing Date: February 12th, 2005
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
We took the Southern Caribbean Cruise on the Golden Princess on 2/13/2005. This was our sixth cruise all on Princes, though the first on the Golden Princess. We went with another couple this cruise. Overall we were satisfied with the cruise and princess.
We booked our own air and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Condado in San Juan. It is a fine place for a lay over, the area is nice, it is right on the beach in the resort district. It seemed very safe.
We boarded around 12 noon, it was pretty hassle free. Since it was early I bought some beer and coke to keep in the cabin. Princess allows you to bring on beer, wine and pop.
Our room was an obstructed view outside cabin. We don’t spend much time in the cabin and it was fine, the steward Ben did a great job.
We had second seating dining. We had asked for table of 10 but we were given a table of 4 with our friends. That worked out fine, but dinner is a good opportunity to meet people and we missed that. I think we will do anytime dining next time. We had to rush to some of the shows after dinner
The ship had 2700 passengers, but I don’t know where they were, it was never crowded. The promenade deck is a little smaller and not made of wood and does not go all the way around. I jog so I liked that better as there was less traffic, but for walk or sitting and watching the stars it was not as nice.
There were 2 small pools in the main area. The main area had a 7 foot wave pool. No shallow area, I didn’t like that too much, but I don’t swim much so it was not a big deal. The center pool area is separated from the first and has a retractable top. That was fine when we had rain, but it was too far away from the music and other activities. I didn’t like that at all. That made chair contention in the main area even more difficult.
Horizon court Buffet was always open, I thought breakfast was better than in the past but lunch was not very good,. They had a pizza court and burger court in the pool area. That was great. I especially liked the pineapple pizza. The Exercise room was nothing special. The spa looked like it was bigger
Dinner in the dining room was fine, service and food was good, and there were enough choices, coffee was bad there though. As an aside, we ate one breakfast in the dining room and would not return. Took a long time, and I had to ask 3 or 4 times for coffee. Coffee in the morning should be easy. Lunch was ok, but nothing special,
The shows were just average. They did have a new York comedian. He was great in his first show but he had a short second show it was not much. They had horse races before some of the late shows. You could not get a seat those nights. The casino was fine, and overall there was plenty too do, lots of music and dancing on all the decks.
Our first stop was St. Thomas, we went to Megan’s bay in the morning and back to Charlotte Amalie in the afternoon. That was a mistake, 4 cruise ships in port it was too crowded. Next time we do our shopping around the pier. They have most of the same stores and are cheaper.
St. Kitts next. I didnt like it. We took the southern highlight tour. From what I can gather it is for people who want a little privacy. Long walk into town too. Tours canceled by the hurricane, seems like they should have known that in advance. BTW, everyone books on line and the good tours sell out fast
We went to Grenada next. Grenada was also damaged by Ivan. We took the rainforest hike. It was not much. The tour did go to Grand Anse beach. Very nice.
Aruba was next, we have been to Aruba many times, we took the bus to Palm Beach and hung out by Pelican Pier. I really like Aruba. Had lunch at Carlos and Charlies, that is a great place.
Caracas was canceled at the last minute. We went to Isle of Margarita for a ½ day. Tours started at 7am so we just walked around the flea market on the pier. Nice enough, they had a little beach there
Last day was a day at sea, it was relaxful,, though I would have preferred the sea day at the beginning. I was thinking about home by them
Disembarking was easy. We stayed over at the holiday inn express on the return trip. I recommend the Interpol restaurant on Isle Verde. Reasonably priced and good Cuban and Puerto Rican Food.
Overall a very nice trip. I would go on Princess again.
Our friends who went with us had some complaints about the shows, mainly with the seating. He said Royal Caribbean videos them and replays them the next day, that might be nice