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  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 7th, 2003, 03:12 PM
Ty S
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Default Grand or Golden Princess

I've been doing alot of research on cruise lines, I had four in mind for a vacation next year. After the great advice I received on the boards, I have narrowed the cruise lines down to two with Princess being on of them.

I heard so many great things about Star Princess but it doesn't go to any of the destinations I want to go to. So now I am crossed between the Grand and Golden Princess.

Has anyone cruised on either of these ships? Tell me about your experience.

Thank you
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old August 7th, 2003, 03:39 PM
BigAft
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Default Re: Grand or Golden Princess

TyS

We have cruised the Grand twice and the Golden once. The same route. We happen to like St.Thomas and St. Maarten as stops.

They are of course, sister ships, so the only difference is the staff. Both were excellent, food excellent, both had many outstanding features.

We loved Frankie as the Asst. Cruise Director, brings a lot of fun to a cruise. I think he is on the Golden at this time.

Bottom line, you could not go wrong with either one. Pick the date that best suits your needs.
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Old August 7th, 2003, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Grand or Golden Princess

Ty,

What is it that attracts you to these behomoths?

After a twelve-day "Venetian Explorer" cruise aboard MV Grand Princess and a dozen other Princess cruises, I have concluded that the ships of this class have a very poor layout. I enjoyed the cruise, but MV Sun Princess, MV Dawn Princess, MV Royal Princess and MV Tahitian Princess all seem to function much more smoothly. I would choose any of these smaller vessels or the new MV Coral Princess and MV [i] Island Princess [i] over MV Grand Princess or MV Golden Princess instead.

MV Grand Princess and MV Golden Princess may offer more simultaneous options than the smaller vessels, but I'm not sure that additional options are worth much when the problem is that there's more that you would like to do than you can possibly do in the first place. The large vessels also may offer three shows each night whereas the smaller vessels offer only one or two -- but you have time to see just one each night, so the shows repeat on successive nights so you can see all of them. Thus, the illusion of real choice evaporates.

Norm.
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Old August 7th, 2003, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: Grand or Golden Princess

We were on the Star (sister ship to Grand and Golden) and were very skeptical about the size. We loved the ship and the layout. I assume Grand and Golden will be run with the same professional kind of staff and with similar policies. I have close friends that were on the Grand and the Golden and they were highly impressed.
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Old August 7th, 2003, 08:13 PM
Kathy & Dave
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Default Re: Grand or Golden Princess

We have been on the Grand, Golden and Coral Princess Ships. Our favorite is the Golden. The Grand is almost the same, with a few exceptions. Golden is newer than the Grand. The Coral is the newest of the 3, but there were things we didn't like about the Coral. The pools were too deep (over 6 feet with no low end), no disco, the aft pool is the kiddie pool, not adults pool like on Golden and Grand. Alot of people complain about the layout, it didn't bother us at all. We just learned where to catch the stairs or elevators to get where we wanted to go. There are diagrams everywhere. It's hard to get lost.

We are going on the Golden again in October and the Sun in March. Maybe someday, we'll have tried them all! There isn't enough difference between the Golden and Grand to let that be a deciding factor. If you narrow it down to these ships, choose the one with the itinerary that interests you most. The food, crew and entertainment were great. Princess is very good at getting you on the ship quickly. We never waited more than 30-45 minutes from the time we got to the pier until the time we were checking out our cabin.

The biggest thing is to relax and enjoy your vacation and not let the little things bother you!

Kathy
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Old August 7th, 2003, 09:11 PM
uncmarts
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Default Re: Grand or Golden Princess

I have been on the MV Golden Princess and enjoyed everything about it. Of course if you look for something to complain about, I'm sure you'll find it.

This ship has everthing you could possibly desire in a cruise ship. Whatever you decide, have a great vacation.
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Old August 8th, 2003, 11:58 AM
Ty S
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Default Re: Re: Grand or Golden Princess

Norm,

I guess the real reason for my attraction to these two boats is basically for the itineraries. After some research, I think St. Tomas, St. Marteen, St. Kitts and maybe Barbados are some places I would like to visit. So, I have found that the Grand and Golden may cruise to those destinations around the time I would like to go.

I could be wrong Norm because I am new to this, so that is why I need and appreciate everyone's comments.

~Ty~
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Old August 8th, 2003, 12:23 PM
Sascol
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Default Re: Grand or Golden Princess

We've sailed on both. Being that the two are basically identical to eachother, you can't go wrong either way. If both of your options are for the same ininerary, I'd go w/ the Golden only because it is a few years newer.

Everyone has their own opinions, but we loved the layout, the food and the activities on these two ships. We're in our 30's and have cruised 7 times....just in case knowing our background helps.
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Old August 8th, 2003, 12:37 PM
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Default Re: Grand or Golden Princess

If you focus on the negatives, there is no ship in the world that will suit your tastes. IMO, the Grand Princess exceeded my expectations greatly, partly because those who are critical of this class of ship do their best to paint as dismal a picture as possible. I have no difficulties recommending the Grand-class ships to almost anyone. If I couldn't live with a few imperfections, I wouldn't have stayed married to the same person for so many years. And neither would my wife.

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  #10 (permalink)  
Old August 10th, 2003, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: Grand or Golden Princess

We've been on Grand & Golden & being sister ships, they're almost identical. When we went, Golden had a much better internet cafe, but I heard Grand was going to upgrade. We also had Frankie on Golden as Assistant Cruise Director & thought he was a hoot. That was one of the first times I realized what a difference the cruise director & staff could make.

Anway, I think you can't go wrong with either of these ships. We had Mini-suite on Golden and oceanview on Grand & enjoyed each cruise in different ways for different reasons.

Have fun whatever ship, wherever you go.
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Old August 11th, 2003, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Grand or Golden Princess

Ty,

I guess the real reason for my attraction to these two boats is basically for the itineraries. After some research, I think St. Tomas, St. Marteen, St. Kitts and maybe Barbados are some places I would like to visit. So, I have found that the Grand and Golden may cruise to those destinations around the time I would like to go.

St. Kitts is interesting and Barbados is great. I can't comment on Sint Maarten, as it's one of the few Caribbean ports to which I have not been. I also highly recommend Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad, Granada, Antigua, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. There are very few Eastern Caribbean and Southern Caribbean itineriaries that don't call at St. Thomas due to the extra duty-free allowance for goods purchased in the U. S. Virgin Islands, so don't let that port of call be the deciding factor. By your fourth or fifth cruise, you probably will be wishing the ship were not calling there.

Based upon what you have said, I recommend checking out the ten day "Eastern Caribbbean Islander" and "Southern Caribbean Medley" from Fort Lauderdale if there's any way that you can swing a ten-day cruise. I think that the "Eastern Caribbean Islander" hits all of the ports that you naed, plus St. Vincent and a fantastic barbecue and beach party on Princess Cays. You also will have a couple more days at sea -- which really are the best part of a cruise!

It's your cruise and your cash to pay for it, though, so it's your call!

Norm.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old August 12th, 2003, 01:22 PM
Ty S
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Default Re: Grand or Golden Princess

Thanks again everyone for you opinions.

Norm,

Tell me more about the other ports in the caribbean you've been to. You mentioned Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad, Granada, Antigua, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. I noticed that Grand Cayman and Cozumel are on some of the 3 and 4 day itineraries, tell me more about them.

Also if anyone else has any info, advice or experiences, tell me about them.

Thanks,
~Ty~
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Old August 12th, 2003, 03:20 PM
BigAft
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Default Re: Re: Grand or Golden Princess

Having been to Aruba, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Curacao in addition to St.Thomas and St.Maarten, we very much enjoy the stops at St.Thomas and St.Maarten.

This cruise has two sea days upfront which makes its great to unwind before stopping at a port. St.Thomas has excellent shopping and day trips, St.Maarten also has great shopping is the only island you can race the America's Cup yachts.

Just my opinion, but the other islands do not have the charm, shops, etc as the other two. The seven days with two islands and Princess Cays, is the most relaxing and cost effective vacation we have ever had.

Larry
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Old August 18th, 2003, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Re: Grand or Golden Princess

Kathy & Dave,

No Disco on Coral? Was there an alternative for dancing - or just the Wheel house lounge? We've been on Golden, Grand, Sun and Sea. We want to do the Canal cruise. Is that where you went on the Coral? If so, how was it? Any info on Coral helpful. Thanks much.

GoodToGo
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