Golden Princess Cruise Review to South Pacific

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Experience
2-3 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Vote
1

3 out of 5

Not so Golden

Sail Date: March 08, 2016

Reviewed: 8 months ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Suite

Our holiday didn't start off on a good note as Princess Cruises had 'upgraded' us to a room in a lousy position. We had chosen a mini suite right at the back so we wouldn't have much traffic past our door. We were given a mini suite in a high traffic area and there was nothing they could do about it as the ship was completely booked.

The cruise terminal was hot and airless with over 1000 people lined up waiting to check in.

We didn't enjoy the ship as everything was always so crowded and a lot of fellow passengers were downright rude. The piazza was crowded from sun up with the same people who sat in the same place all day until dinner time. Some of the shows were good, especially the staff "talent" show on the last night.

The menu in the dining room always had a fabulous selection and the Crown Grill restaurant was spectacular. Didn't really enjoy Sabatini's restaurant as much due to it being way too fancy and not really traditional Italian as expected.

The Gastro outbreak wasn't a pleasant experience. We were not informed of the outbreak until about 100 people were sick and they didn't really start any procedures to contain it until then. People handling food and putting their hands into bowls of chips etc, did nothing to stop the spread.

The ports were all nice but I would suggest researching the currency and exchange rates, and getting money changed before leaving Australia. Also make sure to have small denominations of $ as they don't always have the correct change to give back. Using Australian currency as suggested in the information provided isn't a good idea as the locals have trouble getting it exchanged and the currency converters don't take coins so they are stuck with Australian coins.

Every staff member we encountered was fabulous. Always friendly, helpful and happy. They would go out of their way to assist. These people were the highlight of our cruise. The cruise director, Tim Donovan was hilarious and a really genuine bloke.   

Cabin / Stateroom
Mini Suite. Right outside the creaking door the stewards use for coming and going with cleaning trolleys, room service delivery etc. Also in the main thorough fare for traffic to and from lifts. The entire deck 9 (Dolphin) balconies are completely exposed to everyone above, including passengers looking over the rail on the top deck. Don't let the cruise line book your room. If you have the room you really want don't allow any so called upgrades.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
One of the hottest days in Melbourne and I don't think the air conditioner was working in the cruise terminal. Over 1000 people in a massive line waiting to check in with no water available. We didn't buy any before hand as it cant go through security..
Ship Quality

There was a nasty stink outside the aft lifts and vista lounge. Smelled like a blocked drain. One of the staff said 'it's been like it for ages.'
The rest of the ship was really nice and clean.
Destinations and Excursions
Onboard Activities
Entertainment
Service and Staff
All staff we encountered were always friendly, happy and helpful. Assistant cruise director Corey put on an amazing performance at the staff talent show.
Food and Dining
The Crown Grill was fabulous. Everything cooked to perfection.
Melbourne, Australia
Awesome little licensed restaurant at the tram terminal 2 minutes walk from the dock. Café Grumento was a great place to have a meal and a few drinks while waiting for embarkation. Great friendly staff and awesome food :)
Mare Isle, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia
Mystery Island, Vanuatu
Beautiful little island but way too small for 2600 passengers to be visiting.
Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Champagne Bay, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Tip

The all inclusive drinks card was a great deal. Don't pre buy it though as it was $5 per day cheaper when purchased on board.



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