Tendering from the Golden Princess
is well known for their Alaskan cruise itineraries. The Golden Princess is one of the ships in the Grand Class of the Princess fleet. Like its sister ships, the Golden Princess features a wide variety of activities on board, as well as a plethora of shore excursions while in Alaska. The service is impeccable and the rooms are wonderful, regardless of the category you choose. A cruise aboard the Golden Princess is a fine way to see Alaska.
The Golden Princess offers Anytime Dining, which means that passengers do not have a set dining time. Even so, try to go to the same dining room every night and request the same table. The staff for each table stays the same. The servers get to know their "regulars" during the cruise, which makes for even better service.
Don't bother dining at the specialty restaurants. Both Sabatini's and the southwestern restaurant are disappointing, and not worth the cover charge. The dining rooms have much better food than what is offered at either of these restaurants.
Make sure to catch a movie on the Movies Under the Stars outdoor theater. Chaise lounges, blankets, soft drinks and popcorn are offered to guests as they watch recent releases on a one million dollar plasma screen television. It is like you are at the drive in movie theater in the middle of the ocean. It gets cold in Alaska at night, so make sure you bring warm clothes for Movies Under the Stars.
Pros and Cons
A big complaint with the Golden Princess is that the Internet access is spotty at best. Since passengers pay per minute to access the Internet, they are paying a lot to wait for a page to load. Some Captains Circle members get some free minutes for the Internet, but it is certainly not high speed. If you need to access the Internet, try to wait until you get to port and bring your laptop.
The service on the Golden Princess is absolutely phenomenal. The staff is required to speak English only while on board, which makes it very easy to communicate with them. Crew members virtually bend over backwards to make sure that passengers are happy. Don't forget to fill out your comment cards for staffers that really impressed you so that they get rewarded after the cruise!
Another "pro" is that the Golden Princess recently returned from a massive dry dock refurbishment, which took just three weeks. A lot of amenities seen on the same class of ship are brand new: a piazza-style atrium, the Crown Grill and a seafood restaurant. Many hallways and rooms were renovated as well. This gives the Golden Princess a brand new feel.
Unfortunately, a cruise to Alaska on the Golden Princess is relatively expensive. While it is worth the extra cost for a balcony stateroom when visiting Alaska, there are certainly less expensive cruise lines with the same itinerary.
The Golden Princess is a fantastic cruise ship with an amazing staff. The food is excellent and the service is wonderful. The shore excursions offered by Princess in Alaska have something for everyone, whether they are looking for an adventurous activity or something laid back and relaxing. The staterooms are very well appointed, especially since it just underwent renovations. The youth program for ages 2 through 17 is excellent, with activities that will keep kids busy and happy all day long while their parents can enjoy their cruise. Overall, the Golden Princess Alaskan Cruise is definitely a great choice for a vacation.
Candice "Candy" Cain began writing professionally in 1994. She is star of the developmental reality series, "Wedding Lane with Candy Cain." She has been published in several magazines and writes her own blog covering destination weddings. Cain has a Bachelor of Arts in dramatic literature from the George Washington University.