Originally posted by cruizinallthetime:
Hi Ya'll...I am usually a Carnival girl and have booked our 08 Alaska Cruise on the Carnival Spirit.
A friend of mine recommended the Golden Princess for an Alaskan Cruise. The 2008 Alaskan Cruise Prices are not out yet, but I wanted some feedback in case the prices are comparable.
So...how is the Golden Princess? Would love all honest opinions as this would be our first Princess cruise.
Hi there! I went on my first European cruise on the Golden Princess and absolutely loved it. The service was impecable, food amazing, rooms small but decent, and I loved having a balcony. The turn down service at night in our room was awesome...we got a chocolate on the pillow! The only thing that was hectic was getting off the boat and finding our own luggage in the "pile" at Southampton. Other than that I had no complaints what-so-ever. I'm trying to decide myself between Carnival (I want to try another cruise line...maybe) or Princess as I was so happy with them in '05. Good luck with what you decide!
PS-it was really amazing coming back from our shore excursions and seeing that HUGE ship at port...gave me a thrill each time!
1st cruise: June 2005: Western European Capitals: Golden Princess
2nd cruise: 2008: Somewhere in Europe
well, as if your decision wasn't tough enough, let me throw this at ya': I just spent 15 beautiful days on Island Princess and if I was going to book an Alaskan cruise tomorrow I would book either Island Princess or Coral Princess; not that there is anything in the world wrong with Golden Princess, but Island (and twin sister Coral) have just about everything Golden does and a lot less passengers. And while I didn't take measurements to verify it, I feel there is more open deck space for outside viewing--very important on Alaska cruises.
And the Horizon Court buffet is up high and all the way forward and makes a great observation lounge if the weather is being inhospitable.
Any Princess ship will give you a great cruise experience; but from what I've seen, I'd go with Island Princess or Coral Princess.
fmattox - thanks for that glowing review. I wish I could say that is was Princess. Our group opted out for Celebrity Infinity. I am trying to be "very happy" about it. (See my Celebrity Infinity thread under Celebrity).
We did receive excellent rooms 272 sq feet with 41 sq ft balcony for $10.00 over the regular balcony rate. Everyone is booked on it, so it looks like it's a GO!
Thanks for all the help - I am definitely going to try Princess...just not for Alaska
I've cruised 4 times, all of which are on Princess (Coral, Diamond, Sapphire, Golden) so I'm not sure how it compares to the others. I was just on the Golden Princess this month (10d Mexican Riviera) and have yet to do an Alaskan itinerary.
After all that, my overall impressions of the Golden is 8 out of 10. I remember being WOWd on my first cruise on the Sapphire in 2004. Didn't feel that on the Golden.
Comparing the Golden with the Diamond, Sapphire and Coral, the dinner menus to me were ok, entertainent was ok and a bit dated, my bed was ok. Gosh, the internet service was just horrible. 75 cents a minute and it takes 4 minutes to load gmail! This was a lot better in the other 3 ships. Wonder what is up with the Golden on this one.
However, the service is always great at Princess which I thought was most consistent. I would cruise with Princess again. Have fun in your Alaska cruise, can't go wrong with them overall!
Just got off the Golden to Alaska. Great cruise with good service.
Menus were the same "Princess" menus that you find on all of the ships. We will be glad when the new menus hit the entire fleet. Food was generally good but, except for the Desert Rose, the beef was poor quality.
Production shows were great with some wonderfully talented dancers.
Beds were the worst ever. The ship is beginning to look dated and could use a stay in dry dock to freshen it up a bit.
Agree that the internet service was poor and felt it was more than the location of the ship. Interesting that so few people were in the Internet Cafe but then again there were only 500 repeat cruisers on this cruise and only 19 Elite so very few had any "free" internet.
We felt Princess does Alaska much better than HAL did.
Star Princess - Dec. 2007-Rome- TA
Crown Princess- May 2008 TA & Baltics
Pacific Princess-Nov. 2008-Holy Land & Egypt
Diamond Princess- Apr. 2009 Asia- Bangkok to Whittier
Sea Princess-2005 Canada/New England
Diamond Princess- 2005 Mexican Riviera
Star Princess- 2004 x2 Med. Venice to Barcelona/ Barcelona to Rome
Dawn Princess - 2004 x3- Southern Caribbean
Grand Princess- 2003 x2 W.Caribbean/ 2004 Panama
Sun Princess- 2003 Mexico
Tahitian Princess- 2003 Tahiti & Cook Islands
Royal Princess- 2003 x2- British Isles / Norwegian Fjords & Iceland
Island Princess- 2003 Panama Canal / 2007 Hawaii
Sky Princess- 2000 China & Orient
Sitmar's Fairwind - 1979 x2- Caribbean/Panama Canal
HAL-Amsterdam- 2004 Alaska
HAL Ryndam - 2001 x 2- S. America
Viking Spirit/Pride -2006 Budapest to Amsterdam
Chris, I may not be too popular in this forum with the post I'm making but you'll also enjoy the Infinity. Princess does a great job, as you can see they have a very loyal following. Celebrity is considered one of the premium lines among mainstream cruiselines. Infinity is a smaller ship by todays standards at under 2000 pax (so some of the benefits of f-mattox recommendation are there). I get very good reports from her, as I do from the Princess ships listed above on this thread.
Please don't go into planning for your next cruise feeling down because your group chose Celebrity. Enjoy every minute of it and when you get back, plan your next cruise on Princess if you'd like.
Just to add to what you said, Neil;
We spoke to many people on our Hawaii cruise who have sailed with Celebrity (and on Infinity) and they all raved about it--not one negative comment--and this from some very experienced Princess veterans. So much so that I've got Celebrity on my radar now.
No Neil, it's not blasphemy; it's honesty. With all the experience represented in these threads, honesty is the best policy (I just made that up). I've tried to fudge a couple of times and was quickly called to task.
And Penny understands; she's been on lots of cruise lines and I know she wouldn't begrudge me the chance to do the same.
Don't forget, I'm meeting her on Carnival!