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Cruise Diva's CRUISE DIARY
~ Golden Princess Canada & New England ~

Part Five


A memorable demonstration of culinary arts—the galley staff participates in ScholarShip@Sea

Back in New York, we were somewhat delayed by U.S. Customs, but our departure moved much more swiftly than check-in just one week prior. Ruled by Immigration and Customs officials, Princess, like other cruise lines, has little control over timing; however, after clearance, passengers with early flights were called.

Once documents were checked, porters were on hand to assist with luggage, and I was on my transfer bus to the airport.

Something Special

I had the opportunity to sail both on Grand Princess and Golden Princess within just a few weeks. My first impression upon boarding Golden Princess was that her decor appeared a bit bolder and richer than her predecessor. After a week, the similarities were more obvious than their differences. Golden Princess has a clear edge on Fiesta Deck with a warmer and more inviting Promenade Bar and her atrium's twin sweeping staircases are more convenient and improve passenger flow.

Whether you pick Grand Princess, Golden Princess, their grand-class fleet mates, Star Princess and Caribbean Princess, or any other vessel in the fleet, you will find Princess Cruises' hallmark amenities and trademark Big ship choice, Small ship feel. In particular, grand-class ships offer an abundance of options—three formal restaurants and seven other dining venues in addition to 24-hour room service; three show rooms offering large scale production and intimate cabaret style entertainment; a dozen lounges; state of the art fitness center and spa; and some of the largest casinos at sea. A future enhancement of the dining experience is being planned for Golden Princess... Desert Rose's southwestern fare will be replaced by Sterling Steakhouse.

Must-see tv is the "Morning Show" with your Cruise Director's description of daily activities, entertainment, and even the drink-of-the-day. If you are busy at the scheduled time and miss a tour talk or even the debarkation instructions, those are repeated on television as well. When it became apparent that there were many baseball fans on our cruise, the first game of the World Series was shown on a big screen in Explorer's Lounge as well as in Player's, the sports bar—a nice touch.

A very detailed tour and port information package was placed in staterooms prior to embarkation. In addition to descriptions of the ship's shore excursions and a booking form, the packet included a sheet for each port with an overview, port highlights, a map, and other important facts about the availability of shuttles and private transportation. Very useful, especially for those going ashore independently.

Princess fosters an onboard culture of hospitality and friendliness, resulting in a high level of personalized service. Gratuities for stateroom stewards, waiters, and assistant waiters are automatically added to onboard accounts on a daily basis at the rate of $10.00 per person—a convenience for passengers and the service staff likes the system.

If you go...

What You WILL Find:

  • Pleasant, soothing interior spaces
  • Tropical swimming pool environments
  • Personal Choice—tailor your cruise to suit your lifestyle
  • Activities and entertainment for all ages that appeal to a wide range of interests, including the innovative ScholarShip@Sea
  • Five freshwater pools, two for adults only and one with retractable magrodome
  • Delicious meals, creatively presented
  • Service by a professional, attentive staff
  • Numerous triple and quad staterooms suitable for families
  • Attention to accessibility for the physically challenged (28 wheelchair staterooms and a wheelchair lift for the Calypso Pool)
  • Duty free shops with a broad assortment of merchandise
  • Internet availability in the Business Center
  • A chapel for weddings at sea, renewal of vows, and religious celebrations
  • Large, well-equipped areas for children and teenagers and age-appropriate youth programs
  • Virtual reality and gaming center
  • Self-service passenger laundry rooms with ironing facilities
  • Family two-way radio rentals
  • Coca-Cola Unlimited Soda Fountain Package for children and adults, which provide unlimited soft drinks throughout the cruise for a one-time, flat fee
  • A Future Cruise Consultant who will book your next cruise (pay only a nominal deposit and receive a shipboard credit)
  • Photo processing service
  • Fresh flowers for any occasion
  • Lotus Spa and Salon operated by Steiner Leisure

What You WON'T Find:

  • Butlers for suite accommodations
  • Wine stewards
  • Excessive PA announcements, particularly in staterooms

Fast Stats from the Bridge

  • 108,865 gross registered tons
  • 950 feet long
  • 118 feet wide
  • 211 feet above the keel
  • 27 feet draft
  • Cruising speed 21 knots
  • Top speed 23.4 knots
  • 1,301 staterooms
  • 711 balconies & an entire deck of mini-suites
  • 2,600 guests, double occupancy
  • 3,300 maximum guest capacity (all berths)

Bon Voyage!

Back to --> Golden Princess Cruise Diary Review, Index

Part One -- Embark in New York and spend a day at sea

Part Two -- Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John, New Brunswick

Part Three -- Bar Harbor, Maine and Boston Massachusetts

Part Four -- Newport, Rhode Island

Illustrations for Cruise Diary: Courtesy of Princess Cruises & © Author's Collection

Cruise Line Profile - Princess Cruises

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