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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose NZ for our first cruise because we wanted to see more of the South Island. The round trip from Melbourne worked out well with same day flights from and back to Perth. Golden Princess is an older ship but very clean and well ... Read More
We chose NZ for our first cruise because we wanted to see more of the South Island. The round trip from Melbourne worked out well with same day flights from and back to Perth. Golden Princess is an older ship but very clean and well maintained with lots of character. The drop-off process for taxis and Uber was quite slow at the Port, we were glad we didn't have a meter running. Embarkation was good and we could go straight to our cabin. The bags were delivered a short time later so all very easy. We had a balcony cabin mid-ships on Aloha deck and it was excellent. I've read previous reviews about it being noisy near the lifts but the sound-proofing must have been very good because we couldn't hear a thing except if we were on the balcony. Our cabin steward Raquel was amazing and always around if we needed anything. She would clean and make the bed each morning and then freshen it up again later in the day, leaving ice in the fridge and chocolates on the pillow. The shower was very small but everything worked well. Power points are US with 2 flat pins so Australians need an adapter. If you're bringing appliances like a hair dryer or straightener they need to work on 110 volts. There are a few bars and drinks are not cheap, around $11-$14 for a glass of wine. You can bring one bottle per person on board for no charge to be consumed in your stateroom, and more but subject to a $15 corkage charge per bottle. A bottle of wine at the bar or dining rooms started at around $41. The drinks package is a ridiculous price at $89 per person! We had (paid) Wifi in our cabin which was convenient but it was so slow that it was almost unusable. So anything more than checking the occasional email is best done when on shore. The Horizon Court buffet was pretty good. We had a couple of delicious curries and often came for dessert or cheese and crackers if we'd eaten at the dining room. The menus at the dining rooms were good but we found the food a little bland, maybe catering to the large number of older people on the cruise (many in their 70s and 80s). Service was very good and we had Any Time Dining and never had to wait for a table. Sometime we shared a larger table and sometimes we chose a table for 2. We did eat at both specialty restaurants, The Crown Grill (steak house) and Sabatini's Italian. Again the service was very good but the food wasn't all that special. We are coffee lovers so gave the free (syrup) coffee at the buffet a miss. A coffee card costs $36 for 15 specialty coffees so that was good value. This can be used at the International Cafe or at the bar near the Horizon Court buffet. Our sea days were nice and relaxing and mostly the weather was kind. On the way back to Melbourne we dodged the tail of a cyclone and another system coming up from the south of NZ so there was a bit more movement for one day and one night. They drained the swimming pools which had been making great waves in the swell. We didn't find it too rough but a few people were feeling a bit unwell. The ports we stopped at in NZ were all great. Dunedin and Tauranga were the stand-outs but we did interesting things at all our stops. The tender service for Akaroa and Gisborne worked well and we never really had to wait long to get off or back on the ship. Entertainment on the ship was a good mix but we didn't make it to any of the shows. The one we thought we'd go to was already full about 20 minutes before the start time! We liked the Wheelhouse bar and there was often a good guitarist playing. Every morning and afternoon there is a 20 question trivia session which was fun if we were on board. Our only gripe was having to dodge the photographers everywhere, they need to accept that some people don't want their photo taken every 5 minutes and don't intend to buy them. They were a bit pushy at times. The Princess Patter (schedule and info for the next day) was delivered to the slot outside our cabin (or sometimes inside if Raquel had been) every evening, usually while we were at dinner. They also have a Princess wifi (this one is free) for information which includes the schedule as well. Overall we found the Golden Princess to be very well run with excellent crew and good facilities. We loved the ship and our first cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to continue to add to our cruise days with Princess to improve our level status. We had 3 wonderful servers at our dining table for 2. Diana, Joel and Plamen made our experience most enjoyable. The destinations on this cruise ... Read More
We wanted to continue to add to our cruise days with Princess to improve our level status. We had 3 wonderful servers at our dining table for 2. Diana, Joel and Plamen made our experience most enjoyable. The destinations on this cruise were wonderful. 1. Although Princess offers dining tables for 2-8, it always requires a meeting with the Maitre'D on the day of embarkation to confirm one. When having that meeting, the MD always makes you feel that the request is an imposition and if they had their way they would stick to larger tables because it is easier for them. We have had bad experiences with the larger tables due to language issues with sharing a table so prefer a table for 2. If you are going to offer a table 2 then support it and don't require people to beg for it. 2. Although we were promised in a phone call prior to sailing that both non-alcoholic beer and wine would be available on board. My wife is a recovering alcoholic and I can't drink alcohol due to a medication I take and it is important to both of us to have both beverages available. That proved not to be the case. There was no NA wine on the ship. There was an extremely limited number of bottles of NA beer and they were scattered all over the ship. We were actually told to go and find which bars had any. No one that we spoke to including Hospitality knew where any bottles were actually stored. Obviously these beverages either are not in enough of a demand or are not a big enough money maker. 3. The room gratuity is stated in all the literature and and on line to be $13.50 US per person per room for a balcony. This cruise was based on Australian dollars. However, Princess, without letting anyone know as far as I am aware, pro rated the gratuity cost to US dollars and in fact were charging $18.77 in Australian dollars instead of $13.50. I believe the costs of drinks were also increased on this cruise to be of equal value to those charged on other ships in US dollars. We made sure that we reduced the rate of gratuity charged to our room and made sure that we tipped the people that served us well were individually tipped as appropriate. Most cruisers are unaware of the fact that they can have the automatic room gratuity reduced or eliminated merely by visiting the on board main desk. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Primary complaint was the quality and menu of main course items in Horizons Buffet. Many Mexican and Indian style dishes that were not appealing to the eye or palet. Also, most hot dishes were only warm - not good enough. Only has ... Read More
Primary complaint was the quality and menu of main course items in Horizons Buffet. Many Mexican and Indian style dishes that were not appealing to the eye or palet. Also, most hot dishes were only warm - not good enough. Only has Horizon to dine at for lunch when in port as no dining room lunches available. Dining room menus good. Only issue is the evening Princess Favourites where previously there was always a steak option - No longer available. Seems that Princess is cutting back on offerings. Crown Grill and Sabatinis very good but query if justifies all of the additional charge. Drinks are expensive compared with on shore restaurant prices for beers and wines. Spirits pricing reasonable. Tried to buy a bucket of beer but no buckets. This happened more than once and to other passengers as well. Itinerary good but not enough time in Auckland - only 0800 to 1500. Embarkation and disembarkation excellent with short delays only each time. Internet expensive given the speed as you pay for minutes used not usage. Some of the public area seating very tired as is some of the public area decoration. Overall a good cruise but the above issues did take the gloss off the trip. As this is the only Princess ship operating out of Melbourne there are no options to travel on another Princess ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise based on several friends were also attending. I get severe sea sickness and always avoided cruises. When we arrived at the port, I was overcome with the size of the ship, and how I would be with another 3000 people. ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on several friends were also attending. I get severe sea sickness and always avoided cruises. When we arrived at the port, I was overcome with the size of the ship, and how I would be with another 3000 people. The staff assisting us at embarkation were friendly, knowledgeable and made us feel welcome. The ship was impressive, so many different areas to meet friends or take some time to yourself. I never felt there were too many people, the ship has an amazing capacity to allow one to find their space to do what ever suits their mood. I met new friends, ate good food, was pampered in the Lotus spa, danced the night away in several bars and had a smile form day 1. Needless to say I wasn't sick. This ship had a little rough weather and I was fine. I'm looking forward our next cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our 21st Princess cruise and our second Club Class experience. For the four-day cruise from Adelaide to Melbourne, we booked the window suite F301. Usually, we travel in mini-suites and to have a full suite, although without ... Read More
This was our 21st Princess cruise and our second Club Class experience. For the four-day cruise from Adelaide to Melbourne, we booked the window suite F301. Usually, we travel in mini-suites and to have a full suite, although without a balcony was a nice change. There were many little additions that were included in the suite that are not available in a mini-suite. The extra mini-bar set-up is one. There is also the additional space such as a larger sitting area, a separate shower and bath, with the shower having a proper door instead of the shower curtain. The bed also felt a little larger than the mini-suite bed. There was a back-lit magnifying mirror in the bathroom, additional toiletries in the bathroom such as cotton wool, cotton buds, bath salts and separate shampoo and conditioner. We had breakfast in Crown Grill three mornings out of the four and the service was excellent. Each breakfast was cooked to order as you could tell that everything was made fresh instead of pre-made food. The room attendant 'Laurence' was excellent. He actually made the bed everyday by stripping the bed and remaking it, which is what I like. What was a real disappointment was the service in Club Class dinning room. At every meal, there were mistakes made with our food order. The service was at times very slow and the waiters did not work very efficiently with the head waiter. I'm not sure if this is a problem with the head waiter or the the waiting staff. On our first night, we were served someone else's food. When we brought this to the waiter's attention, they apologised and immediately took it away and served it to another couple. I found the serving staff at club class dining room to be less than 'C Grade' level of competency. The princess theater seats seemed to be all leaning forward and very worn. Our suite had many blown light globes that required replacement which did not happen until the very last evening. There were also water leaks in the corridors. Adelaide as a embarkation port is really poor as it is very difficult to get to from the airport. It seems to be miles away from the city and as such, a really long way from the airport and the city. The two ports that we visited were absolutely fantastic. Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln were exceptional. We did Princess tour - Kangaroo Island in a Day and absolutely loved it. Although it was a long day in a bus, touring, the wildlife encountered and vistas visited, were an excellent combination. I highly recommend this tour. In Port Lincoln we did a tour with Explore Eyre designed specifically for cruise ships, and it was called - Tasting Eyre. My goodness, I cannot speak highly enough of this tour. It was the absolute highlight of the cruise because of Paul our guide and all the vistas we visited and mostly, the Koalas we saw in the bush. It was almost unreal in its entirety. I will do this tour again and again, if I visit Port Lincoln again. Disembarkation in Melbourne is always great because we live in Melbourne and we can just walk off the ship and take public transport to our home within just over an hour. Also, the disembarkation process in Melbourne is very efficient. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Decided on this itinerary due to timing and departure port. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. Used self help and found it a great options, would definitely choose again if available. The ship looked beautiful on the ... Read More
Decided on this itinerary due to timing and departure port. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. Used self help and found it a great options, would definitely choose again if available. The ship looked beautiful on the surface. But there were more leaks than I care to mention, from the Horizon Buffet, Explorers Lounge, Berlini’s Restaurant and walkways, to name a few, and they weren’t a drop here or there. There was soaked carpets, tables moved, buckets catching drips, quiet disappointing. Our stateroom has the alternate bedding under one bed, which after 7 cruises I have never seen this before. (We used the single beds and bunks, bedding for the use of queen was under the bed). The mirror in the bathroom was missing some of the reflective surface making it look old and dirty. The exhaust in the bathroom did not work meaning it was very difficult to get dressed in there. Horizon’s Buffet food selection was like a scene from Forest Gump....fish a different way every meal time, and the rest of the variety was not much better. Dining in the Anytime Restaurant was disappointing. Staff were very friendly and accommodating for our large group of 16 but again the selection of food was lacking. Also the food was good but not of the standard I have been used to on Princess Cruises. Also with the beverage waiters, outside the main dining areas you were lucky to find them. We found ourselves having to go to the bar ourselves for drinks and the bartenders were very slow. The Cruise staff were a lot of fun and offerered the usual bingo, trivia, deck parties etc and one could do as little or as much as one wanted. The dancers and singers on board were very skilled but the two shows I attended were more like end of year dance school concerts than shows on would have expected. Individual songs with costumes but no storyline to the whole show. Due to the size of our group and having 5 children with us we organised our own tour in Adelaide. We were disappointed on Kangaroo Island that no tours went to the caves and spent time swimming in the beautiful water instead of a tour. Port Lincoln was lovely and the local council ran a free shuttle into the city. The ship does not advise you of this. Also do not try to speak to someone at Princess post cruise as there staff on the phones only handle pre cruise, all post cruise is handled via email. Also a little thing but not towel animals were made in our room and no bar staff entertained you whilst making cocktails with flips and tricks etc. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our second cruise on Golden Princess, we had a great time on the ship dressing up as pirates with our friends on the first day enjoying positive comments from other travelers and ship staff. We were lucky enough to experience both ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Golden Princess, we had a great time on the ship dressing up as pirates with our friends on the first day enjoying positive comments from other travelers and ship staff. We were lucky enough to experience both the Crown Grill and Sabatini's on this cruise and were very impressed with quality of the food and the service. The waiter staff at all eating area's are to be commended on the friendly service that they all provided. Bonn our waiter at Horizon Court was very funny and did a fantastic job looking after us all. The shows and entertainment on the ship were great, and we enjoyed our stops at Adelaide , Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln. Our room attendant Jeffrey catered to our every whim and was exceptional, our room was always spotless. The bigger TV's in the state rooms are a lot better. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and will be back soon to continue cruising on the princess once again. Thanks, Donnella and Rick Bennett Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Why would you choose anyone other than Princess Cruiseline to cruise with? The food, staff, beds, entertainment etc etc is second to none. We will only cruise with Princess as they make you feel like family. I have read quite a few reviews ... Read More
Why would you choose anyone other than Princess Cruiseline to cruise with? The food, staff, beds, entertainment etc etc is second to none. We will only cruise with Princess as they make you feel like family. I have read quite a few reviews on the Golden Princess on this site and seriously, first world problems. Some people just look for things to complain about instead of just having an enjoyable and relaxing holiday with a cruise company that gives its all to their passengers. Our cabin was very comfortable. Bed was amazing. Huge ship with lots of passengers but never felt crowded.The food in the the dining rooms was always amazing as were our two dedicated wait staff, Lucio and Melissa. I love how there are so many different nationalities in the staff. You hear lot's of their own stories which are usually very interesting. Alex from the entertainment staff was excellent. Very witty young man. Well done Princess. We will be back sooner rather than later. Thank You :) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose the Golden because we thought this ship had a 5 star rating. As a family we had travelled many times in the past with wonderful memories. Well we were very surprised once on board this ship. You could see without question ... Read More
We chose the Golden because we thought this ship had a 5 star rating. As a family we had travelled many times in the past with wonderful memories. Well we were very surprised once on board this ship. You could see without question their standards had dropped. This ship rates as a 3.5 and wow you could understand why. Once in our very neat Mini suite stateroom, which was not cheap, found layers of dirt on the tables, benches and bedside tables which you could see had not been wiped for some time and the carpet had visible stains and food particles, bottle tops in the corners of the room and the walls in the sitting area had dried sticky food - drink substance to look at. We were all horrified, what the!!!! No Steward in site. No answer at the reception. So out came our Detol hand sanitizers and away we went using their tissues cleaning this expensive suite. We did explain to our steward of our findings and he said if you need anything just let me know. Oh dear. The ship is very worn with buckets catching the leaks on many decks and desperately in need of repair which I am sure won't be happening any time soon. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ There is nothing better than home cooked meals and that my future cruisers is what you will get day after day after day. Forget about the previous cruises having on offer the unbelievable food and menus, that is a past memory. The food was substandard and yes stock standard compared to our previous princess cruises. No wow factor here. However the only saviour of the cruise was the well dined at Crown grill which was truly sensational We dined there 4 times!!!!!! The booking agent should disclose the average age on board as this impacts on the type of actives and tours available. Our average was 70 - 80 plus! You work so hard during the year to allow yourself and family to holiday to enjoy those special extras to be pampared and spoiled which you don't mind paying for however, when met with this experience this is so disappointing and not fair and no refund. There should be an insurance policy for this situation however I would imagine many would fall under the same and the company would be no longer. In brief, please do your research prior to booking no matter how many cruises you have experienced. We need more cruise lines in play in Australia so it can be competitive which gives us many more options. Princess has most certainly taken a backward step and no longer the leading cruise line. We can now understand why Princess is selling the Golden ship to P & O. Not good enough guys!!!!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Travelled with my daughter and her family. This cruise was chosen to fit in with Australian summer school holidays. The kids (7 and 9) absolutely loved being in the Kids Club and were well taken care for much of the day and even between ... Read More
Travelled with my daughter and her family. This cruise was chosen to fit in with Australian summer school holidays. The kids (7 and 9) absolutely loved being in the Kids Club and were well taken care for much of the day and even between 7 and 10 pm at night. This gave Mum and Dad lots of free time to themselves and they were able to relax and unwind. The kids also loved having all their favourite foods available at any time - burgers, pizza, ice cream. The service and food on board were both excellent. A wide range of entertainment was available. The excursions offered by Princess were far too expensive for a group of 5 however and it was much cheaper to find your own options ashore. We were disappointed not to see Milford Sound due to weather conditions, also Gisborne had to be cancelled due to strong ocean swell meaning it was dangerous to take tenders ashore. Fortunately using tenders at Akaroa was fine. The tragic loss of a young passenger overboard shortly before return to Melbourne affected everyone and put a dampener on things, although the entertainment staff did their best to keep everyone's spirits up. I would definitely recommend this cruise to families and all those who like to dine, party and shop, but perhaps not so much if you prefer less crowds or a quieter style of cruise without casinos, bingo, etc. or if you would prefer more of a cultural focus on the places visited. Read Less
Golden Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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