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  1. Tribute to Golden Princess (2001-2020) (credit: Bernard Spragg, 2016) With news of the extended cancellations released by Princess on April 14, 2020, it is all but certain that Golden Princess will effectively no longer be a part of the Princess Cruises fleet. Her round-trip Alaska sailings from Los Angeles this summer were noted in the press release as being cancelled, but her final voyage, a farewell transpacific from Vancouver to Tokyo to Singapore, has also fallen victim. Cruisers in the roll call have confirmed the cancellation. Lastly, her deck plan has also been scrubbed from the website. With the pandemic, it is possible that her conversion into Pacific Adventure for P&O Cruises Australia may be postponed, but I personally believe that she will be shed from the fleet anyways, in order to reduce overall expenditure. But regardless of what happens, let us take a look back at what has felt like a short, 19-year history, of the ship with the company. ====================================== In January 1998, P&O (Princess' former parent company) announced the order of two Grand-class vessels for Princess, scheduled for delivery in 2001, one of which would become Golden Princess. In May 2001, Golden Princess debuted in Southampton. Were you part of her inaugural season? Share with us some of the quirks you were excited about! Some of the ship's notable features upon her public launch were the "AOL Internet Cafe," the Princess "Wedding Cam", the "F/X Digital Photo Center", and "Voyage of Discovery" game and simulator center. Anyone also remember the Desert Rose specialty restaurant? (It was Southwestern-themed.) Her inaugural voyage was on May 16, 2001. Her inaugural season featured 12-day Mediterranean voyages between Barcelona and Istanbul, with Caribbean voyages from Fort Lauderdale, FL beginning on October 13, 2001. (credit: FK GOHLEN, 2001) In April 2002, Golden Princess was christened by Merlisa George, Miss US Virgin Islands 2002, in St. Thomas. (credit: Princess Cruises, 2002) For the summer of 2002, in the wake of 9/11, Princess modified the ship's Mediterranean itineraries, rerouting the ship from all port calls in Turkey. She embarked on a fall transatlantic in September from Venice to New York that was quite the ride. She performed her first season of Canada/New England fall foliage cruises that fall. She spent her summer of 2003 in Europe again, with her sister, Grand Princess, sailing between Barcelona and Venice. For the summer of 2004 until summer 2005, Princess doubled down on its commitment to the Caribbean, sending Golden to San Juan for 7-day cruises. It was also announced in the same year that Princess would bring the poolside movie theater (now colloquially known as MUTS) to all ships, including Golden. [discussion] For the summer of 2005, Princess sent Golden to Southampton for British Isles and new Western Europe itineraries (e.g. "Western Europe Capitals"). For the summer of 2006, besides Southampton sailings, Golden also visited the Southeastern Med, including the Greek Isles and a unique 12-day sailing visiting Egypt. In December 2006, Princess introduced a new port into its history: New Orleans! Golden helped roll out the red carpet with three Western Caribbean sailings. Later that winter season ('06-'07), she began sailing around Cape Horn and South America for the very first time. For the summer of 2007, Golden homeported in Seattle, sailing to Alaska for the first time, a deployment that would continue for the next few years. This succeeded her debut in San Francisco in April and preceded her debut in Los Angeles in the fall for Mexican Riviera sailings. In the fall of 2008, she began Hawaii trips from Los Angeles, a deployment pattern that would continue for the next four years. In the spring of 2009, Princess allowed fans to follow along Golden's 3-week dry dock in Victoria, B.C., in which she received her MUTS screen, the new Piazza-style atrium, the International Cafe, the Sanctuary, and the Crown Grill. In the summer of 2009, Golden displayed a copy of the Declaration of Independence in Juneau, AK. In February 2011, Gavin MacLeod was feted on Golden for an extravagant 80th birthday bash. 2013 was, unfortunately, not the brightest year in the ship's history: she made the news for wastewater violations in Glacier Bay committed in 2011 and a CDC sanitation violation in February 2013. In the fall of 2013, Golden was deployed for short 3-/4-day cruises from Los Angeles, a first for Princess. That winter season, she returned to sail around Cape Horn. The rotation was repeated the following year. In the summer of 2015, Golden performed round-trip Alaska sailings from San Francisco for the first time. The summer also marked Princess' debut for its "North to Alaska!" program. For the southern hemisphere's summer season ('15-'16), Golden debuted in Melbourne, Australia, marking her debut in the South Pacific and becoming the biggest ship homeported in Melbourne. In the summer of 2016, Golden was deployed to China for her first time, sailing cruises from Tianjin. She returned to Melbourne that fall. For 2017, Golden performed unique itineraries, and did not homeport in North America for the entire year. Most notably, she sailed a 75-day Circle Pacific cruise from May. In the summer of 2018, Golden returned to Alaska, sailing from Vancouver/Whittier and Los Angeles. She returned to Melbourne that fall and returned to Alaska for Vancouver-Whittier runs in 2019. For 2019-2020, she performed her very last active season, homed in Melbourne. She was to sail to Los Angeles in April 2020 and perform 14-day Alaska trips, before making her farewell transpacific to Vancouver, Tokyo, and finally, Singapore, for her dry dock. ====================================== Over the years, many of us have had the pleasure to interact with the thousands of people making Golden the ship and home that it has been thus far, for 19 years. Golden's departure comes just three years after the departure of Dawn Princess, in 2017. Were you lucky enough to cruise one of Golden's long cruises or exotic itineraries? Along with the bevy of awe-inspiring destinations we've been able to cruise to on Golden, let us honor the many crew members who have made our experiences what they were, as none of our cruises would be possible without them. In a tribute, even if it's a brief distraction from the perils of our circumstances, let's reminisce on all the things, big and small, and share some of our memorable experiences that we've been so lucky to encounter through our sailings on the ship. Many of us also had sailings booked for the last few months it was scheduled to operate in the fleet and I'd love to hear what you were hoping to look forward to, either forming new memories or returning to see old faces and places you've cherished over the years. And lastly, if you, a loved one, or even a friend(s) you've made from Golden Princess, are currently suffering from complications from the coronavirus, my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Here's to hoping sunnier days for all of us will come soon. I leave you all with a link to one of my favorite recollections of one's experiences on Golden Princess, courtesy of PescadoAmarillo. I conclude with Dionne Warwick's rendition of The Love Boat's theme for the show's final season:
  2. I have not been on Ruby. Star, golden, grand same
  3. Yep, I'm pretty sure that the main theaters on ships like the Caribbean Princess have about 1000 seats, over 3000 pax, that leaves 1000 that can't see a show assuming everyone wants to attend. Princess had many complaints so they started doing 3 shows a night but they were only about 30-35 minutes long which is a joke. Our last cruise on Caribbean Princess was back in summer of 2018. We have sailed on her 8 times starting when she was brand new and watched the ship down through the years suffer from lack of engine problems, maintenance and issues with cleanliness. Furniture and carpeting were in bad condition and finally on our last cruise on her the food was not much better than Golden Corral. We will never sail on her again unless there is a complete re-do of her. We were very impressed with the rejuvenation program that Celebrity instituted on their ships, Princess if they have some money should look at what Celebrity did.
  4. There is one more passenger deck on the Caribbean Princess (500 extra passengers) compared to Grand, Golden, Star, Diamond and Sapphire Princess. I have not been on Caribbean Princess. Honestly - I have avoided these ships after having a very negative (very crowded) Crown Princess cruise. I hated the lines to get to the show, the crowding in the atrium and lines for dinner. I have no desire to sail on the Caribbean Princess. I have avoided her for many years and probably will continue on unless there is an itinerary that I can't get elsewhere. If your only experience is Coral and Island Princess - you will probably find the Caribbean Princess crowded. It is all about space ratio. It may feel less crowded in warmer locations compared to cooler locations.
  5. With the cancellation of the Alaska season's it looks like the Golden Princess will not return to North America.
  6. I am confused as to what the policy for cancellation is for this cruise. So far Princess has not canceled this cruise even though I understand Canada will not allow us to dock. If I cancel (I have Princess platinum insurance) do I just get a FCC? If Princess cancels, do I get the total cruise payment back? We could really use the cash back at this stage. Thank you for all your help.
  7. I just received the deposits for two cabins I booked for the April 8th Golden Princess cruise but not the balance which was on a different card. Hopefully I will get that soon as it should have been processed at the same time.
  8. The Golden Princess is currently in Akaroa harbour in New Zealand. Passengers are not permitted to go ashore because there are three suspected coronavirus cases on board who have been isolated to their cabins. The ship left Melbourne on March 10th and so far has visited the fiords and Port Chalmers (for Dunedin). The three passengers flew into Melbourne from Los Angeles to board the ship and were in close proximity to someone who tested positive. One of the three has symptoms of respiratory illness, but the other two do not. I hope all three people test negative and there isn't another quarantine/isolation event.
  9. Aww people, we haven't been on Princess for 20 years because we have been sailing with another, ahem. line. So I had no idea Grand Princess is AP. Why not GP? Is that Golden Princess?
  10. The ships originally had 1000 cabins (2000 pax double occupancy) and the Island refit increased her to 1107 cabins (2214 pax double capacity), so about a 10% increase in passengers on any given voyage. As many have said it has impacted all the public spaces and dining areas as they were built based around the original pax #s, and had some public space emilinated to fit the additional cabins. That said, I always felt Island/Coral were quite a bit overbuilt for the number of guests and rarely felt crowded in their original state (which was a good thing). Having sailed Caribbean Princess as well as her older siblings Grand and Golden I agree with many people who have the similar feelings about the Caribbean Princess - too many additional guests (about 500 more than her older siblings), with no additional public space, so she feels overcrowded almost everywhere you go. Emerald, Ruby and Crown, while similar in passenger numbers to Caribbean, marginally fixed the problem by improving passenger flow and enlarging/moving several key venues like the Wheelhouse bar. Still more crowded than the original Grand triplets, but not as bad as Caribbean . There was a "cabin-stuffing" craze that started a few years ago across all the Carnival Corp Brands where they were chopping up perfectly good ships to increase cabins while decreasing public space - HAL Veendam and Rotterdam suffered the same fate as Island Princess as did the HAL Vista Class vessels (though the effect there was less dramatic). It seems to have come from the top and been mandated to the individual brands and then subsided to some degree. I am assuming it was determined that the reduced average fares (due to unfavorable passenger reception of the changes) on the "Frankenships" as I call them, does not justify doing any more of these projects.
  11. I'm thinking about taking a 14 night Alaska cruise from LA in May on the Golden. I know the ship is not getting MedallionNet since it is going to P&O later this year, but do they have the larger flat screen TVs with on demand programming? We had that on our last cruise on the Caribbean Princess and loved it. My husband is disabled, and requires plenty of downtime throughout the day. He really enjoyed being able to start a movie anytime he wanted to without having to look at a guide and coordinating when he needed to be available to start a program he was interested in. If anyone has been on board recently please let me know. We'll likely be booking an outside cabin if that makes a difference. Thanks!
  12. I was wondering if anyone has been on the Golden recently that could tell me if the extra barrel chair is the room? I know they took them out and am hoping they placed them back.
  13. Our only cruise on the Golden was last August. It was very special for as everything was GOLDEN. We celebrated our Golden anniversary, Princesses GOLDEN going to Alaska, on the Golden Princess. She is very special ship to us. Sure will continue being special for others in her new roll. Mike
  14. Thanks for the looks back at the Golden. We were supposed to be on her right now on the Trans-Pacific from Sydney to LA. We had been planning this cruise for over a year so are very disappointed not to get the opportunity to cruise on the Golden. We have been on the Star, which has the same design as the Golden, and most of the other ships in the Grand class. That is our favorite class of Princess ships. Can't wait to get back on a Princess ship--hope it is safe to travel soon!
  15. We just booked a Golden Princess Cruise to Alaska. As part of our booking the premium beverage package was included. I understand that the price of each alcoholic beverage is limited to $12 with this package. I was very excited knowing that the Robert Mondavi Cabernet has been $12 a glass on our recent Princess Cruises. However, after doing further research on the internet I have discovered that it is $16 a glass on the Golden Princess. Would anyone happen to have recent pictures of the drink menus (including prices) in Crooners or the Vines Bar on the Golden Princess?
  16. There is no such thing as "Australian Princess" unlike P&O Australia.... Main ships were the Golden and Majestic ( plus others ) .....and now the Sapphire to replace the Golden.....which is due August 2020 Basically they were using the off season ships from Asia and Alaska to offer cruises in Australia ... If something goes ahead good if it does not fine...... Looking at it Australia would be a good starting point of the cruise line..... plenty of coast line so lots of sea days and it is all one country..... so logically it would be easy to do out and back cruises in Australia than other parts of the world... Please note the above is the rambling of some old bloke whom is stuck in an apartment and want to go on a holiday.... even a drive would be nice.... Cheers Don
  17. I've been trying to find some reviews for cabin E731 on the Star Princess but was unable to find anything on these boards. I did find this in the cabin reviews "The balcony is longer and the view is the best. A little loud at times but not really." Not sure what that means ... noise from the ship, from the entertainment below, from being so close to the wake? We are kind of early to bed people and were never bothered when staying in E729 (a mini suite just around the corner from E731). E731 is not one of the mini suites on the Emerald deck port or starboard but a true aft facing balcony cabin. Does anyone have any information on this cabin on one of the Grand class ships (Grand, Golden, Star) they would be willing to share ... especially with respect to the balcony and if there is any noticeable noise from the stage below? thanks
  18. Crossing the Tasman Sea Nov 2019... only a little rough have had much worst ( 4.5 m seas and 96 knt winds over the deck ) Taken form Skywalkers on the Golden Princess hope the video works ( also turn volume up ) Cheers Don Tasman sea.wmv
  19. We had our Golden Princess Alaska from LA canceled - we were bummed, it was going to be a special cruise for us. We booked the Sun Princess for next August when we were on the Star in January. We were extremely disappointed in the offerings from LA next year. We have our fingers crossed that as things shake out, perhaps they will reconsider only offering only four cruises from LA on their oldest ship. Our main issue is not the age, but the balcony design. We have become very used to booking Carib balconies on Grand Class ships. We may wait for better choices in 2022 -- besides that the ship isn't to our taste, the itinerary, time of year and price are all worse than what we had on the Golden. ☹️
  20. Favorite memory.... the crew particularly seeing them on another cruise and the way they welcome us like friends.... Favorite cruise..... the first one..... rough seas missed ports... great food and excellent service.... In an aft suite on the Golden for 13 nights to Zealand....... Did we like cruising after that.... we were hooked after two days...... Things learned from that cruise...... relax and enjoy... if you want something ask... and be nice to the crew.... We dined at Sabatini's 11 nights... the wait staff all want a turn to service us.... we were treated like royalty It always bring a smile to our faces thinking about the first cruise and all the ones after.... We have most thing happen a small fire on board, person over board ( lucky a false alarm ), non working toilets, more rough sea and missed port..... but we had always had a great time. Cheers Don
  21. Has anyone stayed in a suite on the Golden Princess Sun deck (15)? Because this is the only grand class ship with cabins on the Sun deck, I cannot find much information about these cabins. Any feedback would be appreciated.
  22. Celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary aboard Golden Princess. We weren’t expecting much, considering that it was a short, inexpensive cruise, but it turned out to be one of our most memorable cruises ever.
  23. Our first ever cruise was on the Golden - the 2006 12 day Mediterranean that included Egypt. It was a wonderful cruise and hooked us. We have cruised on the Golden a number of times, Mexico and Hawaii that I can remember without looking up past cruises. Cindy
  24. It's obviously an older ship but it seems like I've been reading more and more negative things about smells, worn look, etc. and since it is being sold off soon, I'm somewhat hesitant to book though there is a 3 Day pacific coastal over the summer that could work well with my schedule. For those of you who have been on the ship the last few months, what are your general thoughts about the conditions, cleanness of room, food, etc. I'm not as concerned about entertainment.
  25. Does it fold out like most common ones for houses, or flip seat so the sleeper lays arm-to-arm? Degree of uncomfortable-ness? My mom had a flip-seat on the Zaandam and it was pretty comfortable...
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