This was our 2nd cruise on Princess. Our first was on the Dawn. We have also been on the Celebrity Millenium.
Our overall experience on the Golden was excellent. The ship was big and beautiful. The trickiest part was learning the way to the dining room, and after a day or so we didn't have too much trouble with that.
Embarkation: We got to the ship at about 11:30 AM. We had express check in. There was only 1 Express line open at that time, but the lines were pretty short. The line to go through the security scanner was short until I went through it. My husband got held up on the other side for about 20 minutes as they tried to clear out the line upstairs from early arrivals. This may have been due to a delay in the disembarkation process. Once onboard we were directed to the elevator to go up to our room.
Cabin: We had a mini suite in the middle of the ship on the Dolphin deck. Our room was very clean and about what we had expected. We liked the set up on the Princess Dawn a little better. The bathroom on the Golden was small in comparison. Design and decor were lacking in the bathroom. The balcony was exposed to balconies above. We would prefer a private balcony, but it wasn't a real problem.
Entertainment: Overall I would say the entertainment was fair. The comedians were the biggest disappointment for us. The Broadway shows were a little better. The best show for me was when the Cruise Director and his staff put on a little revue. The talent show on the last night by the passengers was also a lot of fun.
Food: The food was very good. We had the Early Traditional Seating. The first night we ate in the Personal Choice Dining because there had been a mix up. That was straightened out by the 2nd night. I enjoyed the Cruisemates at the table in Personal choice, but I didn't care for the atmosphere in the dining room. Wait staff was busy changing tables, rolling in bigger tabletops and it was just noisy in general. I was glad to go back to traditional seating. There was some confusion in getting us back into the traditional seating, but I believe it was just a misunderstanding between me and the Maitre De. I do believe he did his best to accommodate my request.
Specialty Restaurant: Sabatini's We ate one meal at this restaurant. The service was excellent. The food seemed to be never ending. The best part was sampling a little bit of almost everything. I would say some things were outstanding and others just average. We would definitely dine there again.
Horizon Court: The food at the Horizon court was just fair. We did enjoy the salad at lunch time, but ate in the main dining room for breakfast and evening meals. I didn't like the set up and traffic flow at the buffet. It was very confusing and difficult to get to things at busy times. They need to create some kind of organized traffic flow pattern.
We really did have a wonderful time even with the little annoyances, and would go on this ship in the future. The layout isn't the best, but it really didn't interfere with our enjoyment. We were satisfied with the service on Princess, but we still think that Celebrity does a better job in that department.