Page 1 of 17 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 163

Thread: Holiday Aloha on the Golden Princess 12/22/10 to 1/5/11

  1. #1
    CLF Navigator cruisin' chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    The SFV, CA
    Posts
    34,836

    Holiday Aloha on the Golden Princess 12/22/10 to 1/5/11

    Our last cruise was the Hawaiian round trip out of Los Angeles five years ago on the Island Princess, and ever since, we’ve discussed how we would love to do this cruise again. Since then, the 15th day and the port of Kona were dropped from the itinerary. Unfortunately, when we sailed in 2005, Kona was the one port we had to miss due to high waves that caused the Captain to decide not to tender there. Even then, we wanted to repeat this cruise. All those sea days on a Princess ship and Hawaii to boot adds up to a great vacation.


    After the rough years that my husband has had since then, including his mother’s terminal illness, he certainly has needed a fantastic vacation. But he needed to feel ready himself; until then, he felt he wouldn’t be able to enjoy himself.


    A couple of months ago, he asked me if I thought there would be available cabins for this year’s holiday cruise to Hawaii. I didn’t think so as back in 2003, we had tried to book this cruise and it was already sold out some months before. In the meantime, we'd decided to go with an Alaskan cruise the next year on one of the new ships. After that cruise, we booked the Island Princess 13 months prior to its 12/22/05 sailing date.



    Even though I thought it would be fruitless, hubby suggested we could check it the late December 2010 sailing out anyway. I went on the Princess website and checked the avails for the Golden Princess, 12/22/10 sailing. All of the inside categories were waitlisted.
    Patty, Family & So. Calif. Guide
    Jubilee - Mex Riv. 1/94, Sensation - W. Car. 11/94, Holiday (the preggers cruise) - Baja Calif. 3/97, Holiday - Baja Calif. 7/99, Paradise - E. Carib. 3/01, Ecstacy - Baja 6/02, Star Princess - Mex. Riv. 2/03, Sapphire Princess - Alaska 8/04, Island Princess - Hawaii 12/05-1/06, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/10-1/11, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/12-1/13

  2. #2
    CLF Navigator cruisin' chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    The SFV, CA
    Posts
    34,836
    By then, I was thinking we’ll have to wait to go in 2011. After all, there were going to be two Princess ships doing the Hawaiian run. But we decided to check out the obstructed oceanview categories for this year’s date. Just about every category in this type of cabin was waitlisted, except one.


    It was around 10pm by then, so first thing in the morning, I called and asked if there were any cabins available. Sure enough, E421 was. I had the Princess website up on the computer, with the deck plan page for the Golden on the screen. I clicked on the Emerald deck and saw that the cabin was midship (my desired location as this itinerary tends to have rough seas the first couple of days, and I tend to suffer from motion sickness). It also appeared from the deck plan that the lifeboats were to each side of the cabin, but not directly in front of it. But an obstruction wouldn't be a dealbreaker.



    We said we’ll go for this one, but please waitlist us for the inside cabins too.


    Days later, I got a phone call that an inside cabin became available. As I didn’t have the computer on, I asked where it was. Far forward. I said no thanks. Later on, I read the email that was sent at the same time, asking if we’re interested. I noticed that the price was higher than what we were paying for E421. Hubby suggested we keep the cabin we had, so after getting another email about an available inside, I called and said we’ll stick with what we have.



    In the meantime, I had gone on the Cruise Personalizer on the Princess website and entered in our passport and other info for the three of us. My daughter and I had recently renewed our passports and hubby did so last year, so we were fine on that point. As this was our fourth cruise with Princess and we were still under 50 days, we would still be Gold. I told our daughter that she would be in the teen group now. Definitely she was happy about that. I also went on the websites for the four Hawaiian ports and ordered brochures.


    Hubby had said he just wanted to relax and not even bother with shore excursions. Which was fine with me. I just wanted to go on the cruise. (We did three excursions the last time, all booked through Princess.) So I didn’t bother to really look at what was available on the Princess website.


    I did check a few times to see what other cabins were available just for the sake of curiosity. There were still window suites – at a cost of about $5,000 per person. Was even less interested when I realized these were close to the cigar bar.
    Patty, Family & So. Calif. Guide
    Jubilee - Mex Riv. 1/94, Sensation - W. Car. 11/94, Holiday (the preggers cruise) - Baja Calif. 3/97, Holiday - Baja Calif. 7/99, Paradise - E. Carib. 3/01, Ecstacy - Baja 6/02, Star Princess - Mex. Riv. 2/03, Sapphire Princess - Alaska 8/04, Island Princess - Hawaii 12/05-1/06, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/10-1/11, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/12-1/13

  3. #3
    CLF Navigator cruisin' chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    The SFV, CA
    Posts
    34,836
    Had a little drama between the girl and her father. Both had different ideas about what to do in port. Did a bit of mediating, showing the girl the brochures and having her putting post its by attractions interesting to her. Then we sat down with hubby (who had already vetoed the zoo and a return to Sea Life Park) and we discussed some places that would be interested for all three of us. He liked some of her ideas and agreed to consider them. We were happy campers.


    I took to the Internet to check out some of these spots to see how practical it would be to get to them (we wouldn’t be renting a car). A couple of places weren’t open on the day we would be in that port, so I was glad I had checked them out prior to the cruise. I told the girl she could do some research when she had time, but she had homework as well as the play she was performing in to keep her too busy to check out Hawaii.


    I had started printing out luggage tags and discussed with hubby the various options for reinforcing the paper. Hubby decided to paste the new tag over the ones to our previous cruise. I bought a package of plastic inserts (the type you use with a lanyard) and cut the Princess paper tags to fit inside.







    I also printed out our travel summaries and e-tickets. We were all considering what we wanted to wear and what we needed to shop for. And putting aside items and clothing to pack.



    Then hubby asked about excursions. I pointed out that probably any decent ones were already booked (while grumbling inside about his changing his mind at the last minute). He went along with that reasoning.
    Patty, Family & So. Calif. Guide
    Jubilee - Mex Riv. 1/94, Sensation - W. Car. 11/94, Holiday (the preggers cruise) - Baja Calif. 3/97, Holiday - Baja Calif. 7/99, Paradise - E. Carib. 3/01, Ecstacy - Baja 6/02, Star Princess - Mex. Riv. 2/03, Sapphire Princess - Alaska 8/04, Island Princess - Hawaii 12/05-1/06, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/10-1/11, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/12-1/13

  4. #4
    CLF Navigator cruisin' chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    The SFV, CA
    Posts
    34,836
    I continue to do what research I was doing, including copying and pasting to a word document addresses of post offices and internet cafes, as well as phone numbers of taxi companies for each port. I also checked out local transportation sites. I saw that there was a shuttle bus on Maui as well as a city bus for Hilo. I also researched the trolley system for Honolulu. I didn’t want to print out all that info, especially when I still didn’t know where we would in these ports. Later on, while on the islands, I regretted not having the printed tables of info.


    We didn’t have flights nor hotels to be concerned about. But we needed to decide on how to get to the Port of LA. We live about 50 miles from there, but we wanted to bring more things than would fit in either of our car trunks. And hubby didn’t feel his ancient van would be too reliable (there’s only two seats in it – he uses it for transporting large items or items for gardening, etc.).


    I called a few shuttle companies to get a price on a vehicle with a lot of trunk space. We also wanted to avoid sharing a vehicle and having to travel all around to do so. The least expensive exclusive van was with Prime Time Shuttle so I made reservations for a pick up from our house on the 22nd at 10am, a time selected because I knew that there was a major construction project going on the 405 freeway. I also booked the return for the 5th.


    Finally the time came to pack and do any last minute errands (going online to put a vacation hold on our mail, etc.). There was a fly in the ointment when my daughter showed me her thumb the night before the cruise. It had started hurting and now it looked like a spider bite on the really bad end of the spectrum. If I had seen it earlier in the day, I would have taken her to Urgent Care. By the time I saw it, the Urgent Care Center was closed or would be soon. I applied some antiseptic, hoping it would heal on its own.


    Spent that last night trying to fall asleep, despite the level of excitement building inside. There was still some rain forecasted for, so I was extra glad that I had scheduled the 10 am pickup.
    Patty, Family & So. Calif. Guide
    Jubilee - Mex Riv. 1/94, Sensation - W. Car. 11/94, Holiday (the preggers cruise) - Baja Calif. 3/97, Holiday - Baja Calif. 7/99, Paradise - E. Carib. 3/01, Ecstacy - Baja 6/02, Star Princess - Mex. Riv. 2/03, Sapphire Princess - Alaska 8/04, Island Princess - Hawaii 12/05-1/06, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/10-1/11, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/12-1/13

  5. #5
    CLF Navigator cruisin' chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    The SFV, CA
    Posts
    34,836
    Wednesday, 12/22/10: Getting Onboard

    This morning, in our entryway were two large suitcases, a garment bag, some carry ons and backpacks, and two plastic crates (one for our beverages, the other for the music and stand and other stuff), and a guitar.




    I was taking along a little friend, Lady Moo Cow Latta, and she was more than ready for her first cruise.



    At 10 am. Hubby suggested I call the shuttle service to make sure the driver was on his way to the right location. I had explained to the reservations clerk that the driver shouldn’t use GPS as it’ll take him or her to the wrong place – by a half mile. I did give her specific directions to her and requested she add them to our booking. In the past, we’ve had contractors or even visitors go to the wrong place, even when we have emphasize this – either people forget or are not given the info.


    On the phone, I was told the driver was waiting for us “at the harbor.” I said no, the driver was supposed to be at our house. I pointed out that I was holding the email confirmation that had the right info. She put me on hold and then came back and said she talked to her supervisor. She asked what time did our ship sail. I ignored that question as I wanted to be on my way to the port, not waiting all day and risk other problems happening to keep us off that ship. And stressing out the whole time.
    Patty, Family & So. Calif. Guide
    Jubilee - Mex Riv. 1/94, Sensation - W. Car. 11/94, Holiday (the preggers cruise) - Baja Calif. 3/97, Holiday - Baja Calif. 7/99, Paradise - E. Carib. 3/01, Ecstacy - Baja 6/02, Star Princess - Mex. Riv. 2/03, Sapphire Princess - Alaska 8/04, Island Princess - Hawaii 12/05-1/06, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/10-1/11, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/12-1/13

  6. #6
    CLF Navigator cruisin' chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    The SFV, CA
    Posts
    34,836
    She said there weren’t any vans in our area. She also asked how many of us were in my party. I said that we have quite a bit of luggage, thus, the reason for the van. More consulting with her supervisor. She said they found a van that can get here by 10:50.


    Around 11 am, a van arrived. The driver said this was actually a bigger vehicle than the one we had reserved, that his schedule was changed around to pick us up. As far as I was concerned, that was the company’s problem as it was one of their employees who had screwed up. We didn’t blame the driver. He actually hauled ass to get us to the World Cruise Center where the cruiseships sail from in San Pedro. Luckily, he didn’t get pulled over for HOV violations (crossing the solid line separating the carpool lane from the rest of the freeway; if you don’t change lanes where there’s a dotted line, you can get socked with a fine of over $700).


    We arrived at the berth a little after noon. While he was unloading our luggage, he pointed out the shuttle pickup island to my husband so we can get our ride home in two weeks.
    We walked inside the terminal and were immediately directed to a counter to fill out a health survey, asking if we had been sick recently. While I was filling it out, the girl was giving me a look as she had just finished recovering from a sinus infection the week before. I told her not to say anything; after all, she wasn’t contagious anymore. She also has hay fever, so she’ll be taking antihistamine during the cruise, just like me. After that, we got into the checkout line for the non-platinum/elite/suite passengers. Unlike last time, when we were able to just walk up to a clerk, there was a bit of a wait. When we looked out the window, we can see it pouring outside.


    Finally we reached the front of the line and were checked in. We schlepped our carry-ons over to the security area and put our stuff on the conveyor belt to be scanned. Then we were directed to the outside walkway, got our embarkation photo taken and finally crossed that bridge onto the ship. After getting our photos to be embedded onto our cabin cards, we were directed into an elevator.
    Patty, Family & So. Calif. Guide
    Jubilee - Mex Riv. 1/94, Sensation - W. Car. 11/94, Holiday (the preggers cruise) - Baja Calif. 3/97, Holiday - Baja Calif. 7/99, Paradise - E. Carib. 3/01, Ecstacy - Baja 6/02, Star Princess - Mex. Riv. 2/03, Sapphire Princess - Alaska 8/04, Island Princess - Hawaii 12/05-1/06, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/10-1/11, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/12-1/13

  7. #7
    CLF Navigator cruisin' chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    The SFV, CA
    Posts
    34,836
    The Golden Princess
    Built in 2001, the Golden Princess has 13 decks (if you count the Gala deck as the first one). At 109,000 gross tons and 951 feet in length, the total capacity for passengers is 2,600.
    The decks are referred to its name and number. Thus, there’s Gala, Deck 4, which has the infirmary and gangways to use in the ports.



    Deck 5, the Plaza Deck has (from forward to aft): passenger cabins, The Princess Fine Arts Gallery, The Piazza (the lowest level of the grand atrium) which contains The International Café, the Lobby Bar, the Library/Internet Café, Vines Confectionary, The Vines Bar. Midship is the Bernini Dining Room, which is used for anytime dining.


    Bernini Dining Room:






    Some Leaning Tower of Pisa decoration:






    Deck 6, the Fiesta deck has lowest level of the Princess Theater, Players Cigar Bar, passenger cabins (these are the window suites), the Crown Grill (specialty restaurant), Captain’s Circle office, Future cruise Sales office, the video arcade, the Shore Excursions Desk, the Hawaiian activities Desk, Passenger Services desk, the Essence and Calypso Cove stores, the Donatello dining room (midship), and the Canaletto dining room (aft) which is for traditional dining.


    Deck 7, the Promenade Deck: the upper level of Princess Theater, Grand Casino, the Promenade Galleria (contains the Meridian Bay and Facets shops, the Promenade Lounge & Bar), the Explorers Lounge, the Wheelhouse Bar, the Photo Gallery, Sabatini’s (specialty restaurant), and in the aft, the Vista Lounge.


    Deck 8, the Emerald Deck: just passenger cabins, including ours.


    Deck 9, the Dolphin Deck, 10, the Caribe Deck, Deck 11, the Baja Deck and 12, the Aloha Deck are also passenger cabin only decks.


    Decks 8, 9, 10 11, and 12 all have a self-service laundry room, with washers, dryers, ironing boards with irons, change machines, and laundry soap vending machines.


    Deck 14, Lido: passenger cabins, the outside pool area with the Trident Grill, Mermaid’s Tail Bar, Prego Pizzeria, the Neptune Reef and Pool, two hot tubs, Sundaes Ice Cream Bar, the covered Calypso Reef and pool, the Calypso Bar, the Horizon Court, which is the buffet that is divided into four rooms, the Outrigger Bar, the Horizon Terrace, which is an outside eating area. There is a retractable roof over the Calypso pool area which is opened when the weather is nice. I never saw it open on this cruise.
    Patty, Family & So. Calif. Guide
    Jubilee - Mex Riv. 1/94, Sensation - W. Car. 11/94, Holiday (the preggers cruise) - Baja Calif. 3/97, Holiday - Baja Calif. 7/99, Paradise - E. Carib. 3/01, Ecstacy - Baja 6/02, Star Princess - Mex. Riv. 2/03, Sapphire Princess - Alaska 8/04, Island Princess - Hawaii 12/05-1/06, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/10-1/11, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/12-1/13

  8. #8
    CLF Navigator cruisin' chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    The SFV, CA
    Posts
    34,836
    Deck 15, the Sun Deck: the Fitness Center with Gym and Aerobics studio, the Lotus spa with steam rooms, saunas, massage area, lap pool, beauty salon, the Youth center (with the Pelicans and Shockwaves rooms), Remix Teen Center, Tradewinds Bar, the Movies Under The Stars screen (you can see the movies from this deck and the Lido deck). In the separate aft section are the Deluxe Oceanview and Suite with balcony cabins, the Hearts and Minds Wedding Chapel, Golf Simulator.

    MUTS Screen:


    MUTS as seen from the Sun Deck:


    Deck 16, the Sports Deck: In the forward section: the Sanctuary, the top decks for the teen and youth centers with a splash pool and teen hot tub. In the aft section: the Princess Links, the Oasis Bar with hot tubs, shuffleboard, and a chess area (with oversized chess pieces).
    Deck 17, the Sky Deck: just an aft section with a Sports Court, the Skywalker (horizontal escalator walkway), the Skywalkers Nightclub.






    The way to Skywalkers.




    Patty, Family & So. Calif. Guide
    Jubilee - Mex Riv. 1/94, Sensation - W. Car. 11/94, Holiday (the preggers cruise) - Baja Calif. 3/97, Holiday - Baja Calif. 7/99, Paradise - E. Carib. 3/01, Ecstacy - Baja 6/02, Star Princess - Mex. Riv. 2/03, Sapphire Princess - Alaska 8/04, Island Princess - Hawaii 12/05-1/06, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/10-1/11, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/12-1/13

  9. #9
    Almighty Cruiser
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    79,440
    Good start, Patti!

    I'm happy to hear that the transportation snafu didn't hold you up for very long.

  10. #10
    CLF Navigator cruisin' chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    The SFV, CA
    Posts
    34,836
    Thanks. Actually, that company screwed up on both pickups. And the compensation they have offered so far isn't that great considering that they sent the driver to pick me up at our house--when I was in San Pedro! But more on that later.
    Patty, Family & So. Calif. Guide
    Jubilee - Mex Riv. 1/94, Sensation - W. Car. 11/94, Holiday (the preggers cruise) - Baja Calif. 3/97, Holiday - Baja Calif. 7/99, Paradise - E. Carib. 3/01, Ecstacy - Baja 6/02, Star Princess - Mex. Riv. 2/03, Sapphire Princess - Alaska 8/04, Island Princess - Hawaii 12/05-1/06, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/10-1/11, Golden Princess - Hawaii 12/12-1/13

Page 1 of 17 1234511 ... LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •