Saturday, September 28, 2019

Golden Princess Repositioning Cruise Wrap-Up

It has been a whole year since we did a short repositioning cruise between Vancouver and some US port. Last time hubby and I told each other they just aren’t worth it. Too short to pack (and unpack) for, services from crew members suffer because they have more of a laisse-faire attitude, and Vancouver is a cruise port difficult to navigate when multiple ships are in port. This time was no different. But this short cruise on the Golden Princess was our best way to see our favorite bartender before he heads to Australia so it was a must-do for us. While I’m certainly glad we were able to spend as much with him as we could, I also know if not for him and a couple other crew we knew it would have been not nearly as enjoyable. We had highs, lows, and some new learnings. You can decide for yourself which category things fall into.

*The Golden Princess is about to be a Princess no more as she will be heading to P&O. (Near the end of next year, I think.) Since the ship isn’t going to be staying in the Princess family, you won’t find the updated MedallionNet WiFi. It’s the same old slow minutes. This cruise it was even shut down for almost 24 hours. (I know, I know, first world problems.)
I know for a fact the crew still had access but passengers did not. Of course, the Internet Manager wouldn’t tell anyone that – just told everyone the entire system was down - but as you know we have folks working on the ship who tell us everything.

*No MedallionNet and no upcoming Ocean Medallion means you’ll find the old mailboxes still outside the cabins.
*No upgrading of food venues also meant the International CafĂ© hasn’t changed out their sandwich and salad menu like the Royal Princess did in the last few weeks. Same things we’ve seen for years and tasty either way.
*We had a mini suite cabin somewhat midship on Dolphin deck. The balcony was almost completely uncovered and those above could see us when we were out there.

*While we had two TVs we only had one TV controller to share between the two. You can imagine who was the one in charge of it.
*We I am always interested in where the mini bar items come from. In the past we’ve had Diet Coke from several places around the world. This batch was from Canada and was in French.
*We again found inconsistencies in the level of service the cabin steward provided. Whether it was having to wait for four hours for the cabin to get cleaned, not delivering ice as asked, or the lack of bathroom cleanliness, it’s something we’ve unfortunately seen before. If we had told him we were staying on until Australia I'm sure the service would have been better. And again like in the past, the smoking on the balcony thing was dealt with nonchalantly.

*The tablet Bingo is super-popular. I haven't checked prices in a while, but I did this time.
*Starting this sailing, the Platinum/Elite/Suite Lounge was moved to the Vista Lounge because of the high number of qualifying guests. The time has also been shifted to 4:15-6:15pm. For those interested, here’s the drink list.
*We were excited to see the Royal Princess with us in Victoria, but unfortunately they couldn’t dock. They basically did some paperwork showing they visited a foreign port and then went on their way. We also had other Princess ships following us on our way down to San Francisco. We'll meet up with both the Royal and Coral Princess in Los Angeles on Sunday.

*Since this was a short three day cruise, most people were assigned walk-off disembarkation. Us included. With hubby’s limitations we never do walk-off but decided to just go with it. Since we were heading straight to our hotel to drop off our luggage and then to the San Francisco Giants game we figured it might work out better.

Would I sail another three day cruise? Nope. Another sailing on the Golden? Maybe. Still sail on Princess Cruises? You betcha. We love we can visit our friends in their cruise ship homes. Best part of cruising, I think.

One more thing to note…all these opinions are my own and probably things others may not notice. As much as we cruise we can see nuisances in how things are done fleet-wide. Some ships and some departments do things better and some do things worse. But it doesn’t keep us from coming back again and again.
The view out our balcony this morning. Geez, I should be a photographer.