CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Princess Cruises Golden Princess by Markus1 Eastern Caribbean February 14, 2004

This was my first cruise with Princess and it won't be the last. I've tried Carnival, NCL, Celebrity (Galaxy), and Holland America (Zuiderdam). This was the best thus far.

Boarding was a dream. It took all of 10 minutes. From the moment you are on the ship, the service was impeccable.

My room was C-424, a suite. Well laid out and the room steward, Nestor kept it clean. Room service was always on time. Had dinner and breakfast on the balcony at least once. Wonderful Jacuzzi tub and shower. My only complaint was the bed being too hard and no stereo, CD, VHS, or DVD player in any of the rooms.

We cruised the Eastern Caribbean. If you get a chance, book a tour with Thunder Hawk. He does eco-tours on St. Thomas and St. John. We met him on St. John and its like going on a hike with a sober Peter O'Toole. Very knowledgeable and funny guy. Although I found liquor to be cheaper on St. Martin, the US Government allows up to 5 liters as long as one bottle is made in the USVI. The ship runs specials for duty free merchandise but it was still cheaper on the island.

On St. Martin, we headed to Friar's Beach. This is a small beach with 2 little restaurants/bars. It was beautiful but the Euro exchange can hurt on the French side of the island. They take the dollar but the Euro is king at the moment on that side. Better deals can be had on the Dutch side for liquor and Cubans.

Princess Cays was a nice beach but Holland America's island is nicer. But, at Princess Cays, restrooms, food, and bars are only feet from the lounge chairs and beach. The water was gin clear.

The entertainment on the ship runs the gamut. No matter your age, you will find something you like, from a classical quartet, to standards, to disco, to house music spun by a DJ. They have it all. The shows are good too!

I loved the 5 pools. Each one has their own personality. So, if one is noisy or too sedate, go to another and you will find what you are looking for. The lap pool has a strong current that will make you work.

Tried the spa. Lisa provided an Asian inspired message and facial. Worth every penny. Also tried Sabatini's. It was good but the Chilean Sea Bass I had was not up to par. Poorly filleted, lots of bones, and fishy. Two other tablemates ordered it and were equally disappointed. Also tried the Mexican restaurant. It was actually good but I understand it will be changed to a steak restaurant shortly. If you like Margaritas, this ship isn't for you. No matter what bar I tried, all you get is sweet and sour mix with a dishrag squeeze of Tequila. As for dinning, the open seating worked very well. I had to wait only 10 minutes for a table for 2 or you could go right in if you didn't mind sitting with others.

Celebrity in my opinion is neck and neck with Princess but this cruise tipped the scale towards Princess. Everything was as close to perfect as possible.

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