Princess LineGolden ReviewEastern Caribbean Lynne Tesch
Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Golden Princess
Sailing Date: February 4th, 2006
Itinerary: NOT FOUND
Princess Cruise Line
Golden Cruise Review
This was my husband's and my first cruise experience. In preparation, I read many reviews written by cruise passengers and we certainly benefited from other's experiences. Thank you to all who have taken the time.
Sat., Feb. 4 - We flew out of Philadelphia at 9:50 am and landed in San Juan around 3 pm. The flight was very rough. We had read horror stories about the SJ airport, but to our delight, it has been renovated and is very efficient. In no time we claimed our luggage and were in the bus headed to the ship. Embarkation was a breeze. By all means, do your paperwork ahead of time, on line, from the comfort of your home. Princess personnel were very helpful in directing passengers to their rooms. We had Baja 607, a starboard balcony cabin. It was fabulous! The balcony was a wonderful treat. Plenty of storage, both hanging and shelf. We found both the pillows and the bed very comfortable. I had requested an egg crate mattress and two bath robes on line, but they were not there. Put a post-it note on our room sign for our room steward to please supply the mattress, robes, and forms for ordering breakfast from room service. There was an exotic flower arrangement, a bucket of champagne, and a platter of guacamole and chips, which had been sent by a family member as a bon voyage. What fun! Instead of going to Horizon buffet for lunch we had a feast on the balcony as we looked out onto San Juan. We explored the ship and then went to muster at 8 pm. ended up talking to another couple who invited us to join them and another couple for dinner. We accepted and had a great time. Loved the any time dining option. Never did we have to wait for a table. After dinner we met our Cruise Critic group who we had been communicating with for months, for a sail away party. Very fun. Nice to put faces with names.
Sun. Feb.5 - St. Thomas - Woke to a beautiful day, had room service breakfast on the balcony, and left the ship for our first excursion, a catamaran sail to St. John with snorkeling. Met a couple from Ohio while waiting for the cat and struck up an instant friendship. While on the sail, met another couple from Mass., and the six of us became great friends. We got together throughout the voyage on numerous occasions. We would have had a great time on this cruise no matter what, but these two couples added so much to our cruise experience. Don't think I have ever laughed so much. The excursion was great! Discovered all three couples had signed up for the same excursion the next day.
Mon., Feb 6 - St. Kitts - The Nevis sail was too early to have a room service breakfast, so we went to the buffet. It was fine. I'm just not a buffet kind of girl. Love good service, and that's exactly what we got on the Golden. The excursion was great! A little cold in the morning, but a beautiful afternoon. Back on the ship, had sandwiches from room service which were great. Got dressed for formal night and visited the casino. Did well at black jack and had fun. Most of the dealers were very nice. Dinner was very good, and then back to the casino. Left with $100 profit.
Tues., Feb 7 - Grenada - Decided to see the town since we didn't see St. Thomas or St. Kitts except from the water. The constant hawking of wares and services drove us away. We took a water taxi to the beach and spent a few hours there. Still a lot of soliciting. There is a lot of evidence of damage. If this island is on a future itinerary, we will stay on the ship.
Wed., Feb 8 - Isa Margarita - This is the one island we had to use the tenders to get to shore. We were surprised at the beauty of this island. there were many stalls set up selling beautiful jewelry, mostly mother of pearl, and crafts. Lots of fun to see. Spent a little time on the beach looking for shells, then back to the boat as we had an early sail away.
Thurs., Feb 9 - Aruba - We exchanged our catamaran/snorkel excursion for a beginner scuba dive. What fun! First had a lesson in a pool and then in 25' of ocean. A little scary, my husband did much better than I. We are going to get certified before our next cruise, it was that fun. Rushed back to our room to get changed and see a little of Aruba before setting sail. Really liked it and bought some beautiful jewelry. This was the second formal night and the three couples met at Desert Rose for dinner. Definitely the best meal all week.
Fri., Feb 10 - Day-at-sea - Spent the whole day at the pool. We had such nice weather all week. High 80s. Dinner and then the casino. Left with $200 profit. Yeah!
Sat., Feb 11 - San Juan - Made an early morning call to our airline and learned the Nor'easter caused our flight to Philly to be canceled. The earliest flight we could reserve was for Monday. Uh oh! Went to the buffet for breakfast and met up with our Ohio friends. They produced a half bottle of wine they had not finished the night before and four glasses. Insisted we toast the end to a beautiful cruise. So there we were drinking wine at 9 in the morning. Disembarkation was a breeze. We immediately jumped in a taxi and asked to be taken to the most reasonable hotel near the airport. The driver took us to Howard Johnson's.There was no room to be had. And they were overwhelmed with other hotels calling looking for rooms. They took my cell phone #, stored our luggage for free and promised they would call if they had a cancellation. We took a walk on the beach and 40 minutes later they called and said we had a room. Yeah! What a relief! We checked in and decided to enjoy our two extra days in paradise! Rented a car and explored 250 miles of Puerto Rico. Had a wonderful time! The flight home was uneventful except we met some very nice people. Upon our return, we learned that most of the 100+ people who were in our cruise group ended up spending two nights in the airport. Eighteen flew to Miami and rented a van and drove back to Delaware. They said it was a nightmare. Comparatively, we made out great.
Tips we appreciated the most:
1: Take insulated cups with lids and straws
2: Room service breakfast - you can write in what you want even if it is not on the menu.
We wrote in pancakes, omlettes and French toast on different mornings.
3: Say "hi" to everyone you meet.
Hope this helps anyone! Enjoy your cruise. We cannot wait to go again.