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  1. Hi hope the Sun, Sea and Grand all remain. With the Golden and Star moving to P&O Aus. A few of the smaller ships (along with the Coral and Island) would be nice to have in the fleet. All three since their last refits have a lot of years left. I do hope Princess goes back to standardizing their ships, make sure they all have Int'l Cafe, Alfado's, Crown Grill and Sabitinis (sp?). Mixing in the new resturants on the larger ships too but make sure these basics are included. Also, but back free steam rooms in the gyms on the Royal Class. They are cheap to operate and men and woman prefer they own verses sharing. Maybe they can use some of the down time (yes it costs a little money) to fix the errors on the Royal class (also lack of a Piano Bar on the Sky).
  2. I liked the Sea, first ship I was on for a longer cruise (3 weeks). Haven't been on the Pacific but was on a sister ship, it was fine for a port intensive Med cruise, ship amenities didn't matter. Don't care about the Grand, I did like the Golden though.
  3. It would be nice... now that the Golden has gone... and that the Sapphire which was said to replace it.. has gone back to the US...... but we will get whatever is left over... here in Australia
  4. I was wondering if anyone else on this trip got sick? I did the land tour first and then the cruise. I came down sick five days after this tour started. Chills, fever, lethargy, cough. Stayed sick for over a month with this. Anyone else? I'm curious. Thinking it was COVID. Wondering if anyone else had symptoms. On a side note, Day 1 I started feeling bad I stayed in my cabin. I wasn't wanting to infect anyone no matter what I had.
  5. 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:
  6. Actually our last cruise on the Golden in the Crown Grill one night in December 2019.. Staff were wonderful... calm seas.... Steak was perfect, so were the prawns to begin with and tasting plate for dessert Along with a great bottle of shiraz .. Compliments of our TA... Just every thing came together..... Will remember it.... as might be the last great dinner on Princess... well is was the last on the Golden anyway... Cheers Don
  7. We have been on the Golden (RIP) 3X to Alaska and the Crown 1X which all left from Seattle. We love this class of ships because of Skywalker's- a fabulous viewing area. We were on the Coral once for a full PC transit and wanted this ship so we could go through the old/ original locks. However, we did not care for the ship much for a few reasons. The buffet in the front of the ship was difficult to see out of as the windows were dirty and foggy (lots of humidity). The food was average. There are no aft balconies, however, there are viewing decks in their place. Our first cruise and first trip to Alaska was on the Celebrity Galaxy which was RT from Vancouver, BC. We loved departing from there and it was not too difficult as we lived in Oregon at the time.
  8. We disembark and climb up the stairway, through security, and make our way to our cabin. It’s been a wonderful day and I’m sad to leave this beautiful and remote island, but its good to be back in our lovely cabin. I change out of my swimsuit, take a quick shower and get ready to find something to eat. We make our way to the dining room for afternoon tea. We are warmly greeted by staff who already recognise us, and we are soon sitting with a most welcome cup of hot tea. There are delicious sandwiches and cakes to savour, and my favourite fruit scones, jam and cream. Of course, to be a true English cream tea there should be clotted cream which is very special, and made by heating the cream until it forms a thick golden skin. However, the cream is still delicious and quite adequate, and the scones are warm and freshly baked. What more could you want? It’s nearly time for us to join in with trivia, where we are fortunate enough to play with a number of lovely people. It’s fun, and we don't take it too seriously. In fact we just enjoy meeting different people and chatting, and there are lots of teams, so we don't often win, but we learn a little, forget a little and chat a lot. Most days we linger after the Trivia ends, just getting to know these lovely trivia mates. We pop back to the cabin to watch sailaway from Dravuni.
  9. Grand class aft balcony cabins there are only a few due the aft cabins are made up of the grand suite, owners suites and penthouse and vista suites Yes deck 10 has the smallest balcony ( distance front to back ) About the noise and vibration, we do not find it an issue,,,, a personal thing Also same cabin layout on the Sapphire and Diamond as grand class ship Another point the Golden has now gone to P&O ( not happy ) For us we travel aft suite on grand class and love it... but that it us. Cheers Don
  10. But princess DOES have the International Cafe, on most ships, which is open 24hrs. Some people might associate this with a buffet. That said I DO remember when the Horizon court had at least one section open 24hrs a day. Went there several nights after leaving Skywalkers to indulge in a Prime Rib pre-bedtime snack (around 2-230 am) on my very first Princess cruise which was on the Golden back in 2001!
  11. It was announced last year that the Golden and Star were being transferred to P&O so nothing new. The Grand had its Skywalkers night club removed several years ago because its supports were metal and had metal fatigue. It was cheaper to remove it than rebuild it. The Golden and Star Skywalkers was made from composite material much like modern commercial aircraft. We are scheduled to be on the Sun Princess in July 2021 for the first time. Hopefully the ship will still be in the Princess fleet at that time and the ship will indeed sail. Our second cruise back in early 2000's was on the Elation and almost convinced us to never sail again as it was a tub and should have been scrapped at that time. Two years later our first Princess cruise was on the Grand and as they say the rest is history.
  12. Golden Princess, New Yrs 2007, out of New Orleans, for the following reasons: 1. Our first ever cruise. My parents were with us and the kids were 8 and 10, still full of wide eyed excitement. Well, so were all the adults, frankly! 2. This was all before Cruise Critic came into my life, so had no visions in my head of food, activities, the sheer size of the ship. Everything I knew about cruising came from having watched first run episodes of the Love Boat back in the day. Nothing beats the wonderment of stepping onto a cruise ship for the very first time, having seen no YouTube videos, no Instagram pictures, etc. Will never be able to experience that feeling again. Now, I do so much research beforehand, I could probably walk onto most ships blindfolded and find my way around, LOL. Definitely something to be said for going in without any knowledge. 3. This was about 16 months after the devastation of hurricane Katrina and cruise ships were just starting to sail again from New Orleans. The devastation in certain parts of the city was still evident, but it was good to see the economy rising up and tourists like us returning. In fact, princess was using large tents for the check in process as the port had not been rebuilt. 4. The most fortuitous part of this was that our first ever cruise happened to be on a Princess ship. We became spoiled for any other line and will be elite after one more week (which was supposed to have happened this coming Christmas 😔; fingers crossed for Dec 2021!)
  13. Grand class ships = (2600 passengers) (Grand, Golden/Star,) Modified Grand class ships = Rivera deck added to Crown, Ruby, Emerald, Caribbean ( 3082 passengers) Royal class ships = Rivera deck and Marina deck added to original Grand class ships (3560 passengers) https://www.princess.com/news/backgrounders_and_fact_sheets/factsheet/Princess-Cruises-Fleet-Overview.html You are correct, it's the cruising that is the enjoyment of being at sea. Looking forward to the resumption of cruising.
  14. Well, since we are on the Princess board........ Golden and Star were already announced to be transferred to P&O Australia. Golden end of 2020 Alaska season and the Star at the end of the 2021 Alaska season. Golden is already done in the Princess fleet and I'm willing to bet Star does not return either. If any other ships are removed from service with Princess the most likely candidates would be Sun and Sea due to their age and size. Given the recent deployment announcements this month for fall and winter 2021/22 with Pacific to Tahiti and Grand from LA to Hawaii and Mexico/Sea of Cortez, I'd be surprised if either of them were headed out of the fleet. If Sun/Sea were to leave along with Golden/Star, that would leave Princess with 16 ships once Discovery enters service. That would be a net decrease of 2 vessels from their pre-Covid fleet size of 18 vessels by end of 2021.
  15. Personally, we love the Regal! (However, we also loved the Golden) 😢
  16. With the cancellation of the Alaska season's it looks like the Golden Princess will not return to North America.
  17. Star! Love the original Grand Class and the covered pool area. Like the new Royal class, verses the Crown/Caribbean better space, but the original Grand (Star and now departing Golden) are some of my favs.
  18. I would be surprised if even one person ( on this board ) would say the Royal over the Star for Alaska Lot's of traditionalists who prefer the 'golden days' of the smaller ships with the full promenade deck for viewing in Alaska
  19. Is it income like a sale or just a transfer entry like the Golden & Star? (So glad I sailed on both last year)
  20. There's no chance that the Regal is going anywhere! It's a brand new ship. Sea Princess is certainly fit for the bin, as is the Grand Princess. I could never understand why they got rid of Golden & Star Princess, but kept the Grand. It's had it's day and I would never sail on it again.
  21. Elevatorman: Not quite sure why you are quoting a post but not adding any comment (2x). Nicole: I am booked on a cruise with the Grand for next summer. It is still showing up as a sailing on the Grand, although I received an email that says all Grand itineraries from Southampton will be replaced with the Regal. They are still showing bookings available on the Grand when I know that it is not accurate. There is a void of when the Grand will leave Europe and return to Los Angeles. The Grand WILL do (hopefully) cruises from San Pedro (LA) in 2022. I have 2 booked. As others have said...so much is up in the air right now. I have friends who are booked for Hawaii in November (on the Star). Not sure that is going to happen either. As for the beds, yes, they are wonderful. As for cabins, you will see that there are a few who love the Window Suites on the Grand (also on the Caribbean Princess and Golden Princess). These need to be booked almost as soon as the itinerary is announced. As for shows, yes, it gets to be pretty crowded with no reservation system. Take a good book and get there early. As for the adult only pool near the spa area. Great pool, but could be very cold. Welcome to Princess. I've sailed Celebrity and found them to be very similar to Princess. I prefer smaller ships.
  22. Just my 2 cents here, but I wager that Princess won't proceed with the 28-day Tahiti sailings for the '21-'22 deployment season. These are some of the reasons for my thoughts: - In January of this year, news already came out from Bora Bora, one of the most popular Pacific island destinations, that they were aiming to basically ban large cruise ships that are the norm today, beginning in 2022, which would apply to this deployment season. [Link 1] [Link 2] - At the onset of the coronavirus outbreak (not yet declared a major pandemic), the islands had already begun taking precautions to protect their residents and closed their ports/prevented ships from docking or debarking (such as Emerald Princess' February 1, 2020 28-day voyage). Similar actions were more widely reported in the Caribbean (Jamaica, Mexico). This isn't to say that the islands' hospital infrastructure won't improve by then, but it does show that the islands are rightfully worried about any devastating outbreaks among their residents. The Emerald trip ultimately had a more Hawaii-intensive trip, but that would take out the allure of the trip for some, especially when Princess markets it and in contrast to their existing 15-day West Coast-Hawaii trips. - Adding onto the point above, the measles outbreaks in Tonga and Samoa already placed the islands in high gear and were also part of the reason why some ships weren't stopping (I believe this also applies to Emerald's Feb. 1, 2020 voyage). Large-scale tourism to the islands will be sacrificed to maintain safety here. - Princess will have the same amount of ships by fall 2021 (Golden v Enchanted, Star v Discovery), but much less flexibility with their deployments, considering these new ships' sizes. With Golden and Star gone from the West Coast, something else has to give in their existing deployments. I predict Emerald or Crown will be the main ship making Panama Canal transits in the '21-'22 season, but if either of them did some 28-day trips, they would be sacrificing some Panama Canal trips. If Princess were to try to have Caribbean Princess fill-in for these now-sacrificed Canal trips, then they would be sacrificing something else in the Caribbean (such as the frequency of their 7-day jaunts, which seems to be their meat and potatoes in Princess' primary market). So it might not be as black and white as I've painted the situation, but I'm not so sure Princess is going to differ from their traditionally large breadth of Caribbean offerings. In reference to the first point I brought up about the big cruise ships, this is also why I think Pacific Princess is specifically homeported in Tahiti for '21-'22 to fill the niche of the Pacific islands. - Lastly, some health officials and analysts have suggested cruises that are shorter and include less stops will be better for reducing the likelihood of cruise passengers and destinations' residents from getting sick. This might be more applicable for the upcoming '20-'21 season, but I still think the philosophy might carry through, at least, for '21-'22. The best counterargument to this will be what Princess has done for the Australia seasons, which often includes long circumnavigation sailings and island sailings. We'll see what they do for Australia for '21-'22. I will happily eat my words, though, if they do bring it back, because I know they have a big fan base and it would be nice to keep those experiences going for the future.
  23. It just makes no sense to me that Grand wouldn't be on the list of ships to scrap. Her sisters Star and Golden are more desirable due to having retained Skywalkers, the thermal suite on Star, and they are both newer. So why would Grand be kept? She has no advantages over those ships. Regal, on the other hand -- it makes absolutely no sense that she would be released from the fleet. I doubt that Pacific will be released. Many love that small ship and her special itineraries, which sell out easily even at a greater price per day.
  24. 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.
  25. Updated list Previously sold Costa neoClassica sold to Bahamas Paradise Costa neoRiviera sold to AIDA (group Co.) Costa Atlantica - sold to Carnival-China JV Costa Mediterranea - sold to Carnival-China JV P&O Aus Pacific Aria - sold to CMV, early departure P&O Aus Pacific Dawn-sold to CMV, early departure Confirmed Costa Victoria - sold for scrap P&O Oceana sold to Greek buyer-Chinese interests HAL Maasdam HAL Veendam HAL Rotterdam sold to Fred Olsen HAL Amsterdam sold to Fred Olsen Costa neoRomantica - sold to Celestyal Cruises Golden Princess - internal transfer to P&O Australia Star Princess - internal transfer to P&O Australia Very Likely Carnival Fascination - sold for scrap Carnival Inspiration - sold for scrap Carnival Elation - sold for scrap Carnival Imagination - sold for scrap Carnival Ecstasy - sold for scrap Carnival Fantasy- sold for scrap
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