Thursday, February 23, 2012

Departing LA on Golden Princess

Well our 2 day vacation in LA has come to an end and now our cruise has finally started.

Embarkation, as usual for Princess, was a flawless, easy and organized event.  Just for the fun of it I took note of our arrival time inside the Port Terminal (11:47 am) and the time we arrived in our cabin (12:28 pm), by my count just under 45 minutes.  This may sound like a significant amount of time but when you consider the line to register had well over 200 people ahead of us when we walked into the terminal and our boarding number was 13 and they were just calling group 6 when we arrived in the waiting room I would say it was a fantastic display of effeciency and organization.  Congratualtions Princess on a job well done.

Now is probably the best time to introduce myself as a cruiser and the type of person I am, so you can evaluate my comments and give them the weight you feel they deserve.

We have cruised 3 times in "modern" cruise history.  3 years ago we were on a 10 day Caribbean Princess Cruise, last year a 7 day Carnival Pride Cruise and now this 14 day Golden Princess cruise to Hawaii.  My wife and I are  both in our late 50s and travel on different types of vacations not limited to just cruising.  One other very important point... we cruise for the enjoyment, comfort and experience.  We are not on the cruise to find fault with anything and thus we can not tell you if there is or is not any curled carpet in any of the corners of the public rooms.  Quite honestly, we were far to busy having fun to take the time to notice.

This is not to say there were no issues, only that we took them as part of the experience and did not allow them to deter us from our quest to escape completely.

We found the ship to be in absolutely fantastic shape, however, I heard that she is scheduled for drydock soon and assume one thing they will be doing is painting her exterior.  Unfortunately there is some significant rust showing on the exterior of her hull but I can only imagine it is a never ending job trying to fight back the rust with all the salt air.  On this same note, I did notice that every time Golden Princess stopped a team of painters were on deck with rollers and brushes hard at work, accompanied with their ever present smile and warm wishes.

While I will be addressing specifics such as our feelings about the food, entertainment, and our cabin maintenance later in this review, allow me to sum it up in general terms now.  Of all the holidays we have taken so are, and this includes many all inclusive holidays, biking tours in the valleys of France and "Old time" cruising on the ships of the 70s and 80s, this was the best vacation thus far in our life.

The Ship, Her crew, Her Entertainment Staff (EVERY ONE OF THEM) and the Hotel Staff were beyond all our expectations.  And... we boarded Golden Princess with some fairly high expectations.  Golden Princess easily exceeded each and every one of them.  Princess you should be very proud of this ship and her crew, every member we encountered was a true professional and always made us feel welcome.


So we are finally on board, our luggage was waiting for us in our cabin, can you believe that?  And we are ready to depart the Port of LA as we sail to Hawaii.  I would normally show photos of the different parts of the ship we discovered during this departure but I will be giving a 3D tour of the ship in upcoming posts so will show our cabin and balcony then.

Here are the photos we took as Golden Princess slipped from her Pier and sailed out of the Port of LA.

Next post:  The Welcome Aboard Show held on our first evening.

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