We had a fantastic experience with food and service on the Golden Princess. Embarkation (being Platinum) was a dream. We were onboard within 10 minutes of arriving.
We did have an awful problem disembarking. Princess really needs to review their procedures.
Since the ship left Ft. Lauderdale, we made our own private plane reservations. We did NOT book the ship's transportation or transfers. We paid $10 cab fare to/from the ship and the airport.
All our preboarding information was entered online thru the Princess web site.
The problem is that Princess does not pay any attention to INDEPENDENT TRAVEL when they distribute the luggage stickers for customs/immigration.
We received a purple luggage sticker (because we were on the Baja Deck). They paid NO attention to the fact that we had a 9:55AM flight even though they had that information well in advance of our boarding.
We went to the purser's desk to get a new RED luggage sticker and we were assigned RED 5. They asked to see our tickets, so I assume that saw a very tight airline booking. RED 5 means that RED 1 thru 4 must depart before RED 5 is called. All the folks with RED 1-4 had arranged Princess transfers (Princess transportation). Independent travel was ignored as well as our Platinum status.
I think that being a Platnium Princess Circle member, that we should have been considered for our early flight (which we barely made since the ship was released after 8:30AM).
Platinum Status and plane schedules should be considered for independent travelers. Princess needs to review their policy. I don't know what would have happened if we had missed our flight.