Hello, just returned form our 4th cruise( second with Princess , twice before with Carnival) on the Golden Princess. Had a great time. Weaather was a bit rough first two days out, so our cabin choice did matter!! We had been "upgraded " to a cabin forward on the Lido deck( 14th deck) .Being that high up and forward you will definatley feel the motion more than on a lower more mid ship deck. We did have 15 ft seas so motion was felt everywhere, but it was much better on lower decks.
We used Princess air and transfers. Won't do that again. We were flown in the day before( as we are west coast Canadians) and put up at the Marriott North. The hotel was fine, but sort of in the middle of nowhere,we arrived late so had to have a over priced hotel dinner( didn't want to wander around and look for somewhere else at 9 at night) Trnasfers were late, we were supposed to be out of room and in lobby by 12, buses didn't arrive till 2:30! Thats 2 1/2 hours of sitting around with about two hundred others.They didn't tell us much except the buses were " coming" so you didn't want to wander away! The doorman said a taxi was 35 dollars to port, and since we had paid for transfers we just stuck it out! .
The embarkation process was easy and fast, except there was a long line for embarkation pictures, whcih we just skipped. Our cabin was lovely , clean as a whistle and other thatn the motion issue well located for access to pools and buffet. We never encountered any noise issues at all. Elevators seemed fine to us, they were prompt and there seemed to be manyof them. We often just used stairs anyways.
The Food: Good to very good. We do consider ship board food to be " banquet food" since they are coooking and serving at ousand meals at once. With that in mind we enjoyed most of our choices form the dining rooms, with a few exceptions.
The Cheesecake is EXCELLANT' ditto the Onion soup !
The menu has an "always available side" that had a nasty tough steak on it, and the caesar salad was alawys too soggy( may-be some like it that way?)
The Horison Court buffet is excellant. There is alswys something good there, and yes there were a few duds, but there was so many choices that if you couldn't find anything you liked then we decdided you are just too darn finicky!
Pizzza...The BEST! The pool side hamburgers , fries and onion rings , very tasty, and a nice change form " fancy stuff" . The food being availbale form the buffet 24 hrs is really nice, when we returned to the ship we could grab a snack to tide us over till dinner .
Personal Choice dining . We loved it. Never waited for more than ten minutes and that was only once. We dined early ( before 7 or so) so alwys just walked in. We were flexible about table size( if you demand a table for two you will have more waits if you go at peak times(7:15 till 8:15) . We sat at big talbe s and had fun, we did get a table for two once night when I was a bit under the weather,and knew I wasn't fit for anyones company! LOL We won't go back to traditional.Ours servers were nice enough and we really aren't the type that insist our waiter know what drink we want without asking, nor do we care to have a " relationship with our servers" . Service was fine. On Lobster night our waiter brought extras to the table without being asked!!
The shows were pretty good, especially" Lights Camera and Action" . We also recommend getting to the passanger talent show( called Criuse Ship Idol) early as it fills up quickly!! We have done the Eastern Caribbean before, so not being " shoppers " we basically spent the days at the beaches. We did get our liqour in St Marten, $12:95 for a big bottle of Baileys and $7.95 for a big bottle of Rum! We went to Orient Beach and loved it, walk down the beach a bit to get a good deal on a lounge chair and umbrella, some places throw in a free drink! Taxis are all over the placre son't worry about not having one to return to ship! On St Thomas we made a big mistake and went to MAgen Bay Beach. Boring. Crowded. We should have gone to Coki, or taken the ferry to StJohns, oh well next time!! Princess Cays was one of our favorites. Decent snorkling, wear water shoes or flippers as under the water is rocky ,(corrally). Nice beach great views, fine beach type lunch provided ( bbq) .
All in all we'd give this cruise a 8 out of 10. Points lost for some less than steller menu items, and because we did have a hard time finding lounge chairs no matter where we went on the ship!!!! ( Ship was full)