Ahoy maties! We’re logging on here direct from our mini suite on the Golden Princess on the second day of a two-week round-trip cruise from Los Angeles to Hawaii. It has taken this long to get oriented on this 109,000-ton, 2,600-passenger behemoth—even though this is our second time around with her (we actually sailed on the inaugural a dozen years ago).
Like some things in life, the second time around is often better, and we dare say she is quite the ship. So far the crew, save for a bartender who could improve his people skills, has proved exceptional, and we’ve run into quite a few.
It’s been a bit too chilly for pool time, but the four choices sure look inviting. We have made it to the big fitness center, which is well stocked, and to the outdoor, highly-visible steam rooms (not favored by this writer who prefers steaming in the buff).
And of course we starting our foray into the eight different dining venues, two of which carry a supplemental charge of $25 a person (we are doing one of those, Sabatini’s, tonight). We signed up for Princess’s dine anytime program, so with the exception of one dining room, Canelletto, we can go where ever we want and when. And while it’s too early to tell, so far so good.
We have also done our ‘research’ on the bars, our favor on the cruise thus far being Skywalkers Nightclub, where, as ‘Elite’ members of the cruise line’s Captain Circle repeat passenger program, we get to go for hors d’oeuvres and drinks from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily (it doesn’t open to the public until 10 p.m.). More about the truly remarkable perks this rewards for loyalty program in a future post. We’re talking good stuff.
The food has been commendable so far--with dinner in Donatello topping the list up to now, but remember we are off to Sabatini’s, a fleet signature restaurant, tonight.
It’s been smooth sailing with just minor glitches such as embarrassingly undrinkable coffee in the Horizon Court that comes from an eerie-looking black liquid. However you can purchase freshly-brewed joe or espresso and cappuccinos, a la profit center-style cruising. But ice cream is now free, except for a milk shake that runs $2.50, however a large bottle of water costs $3.50 plus .53 cent tip to hand it to you (we drink lots of it).
Come back to learn more and for our review of Sabatini’s.