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Old March 27th, 2008, 10:50 PM
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Default Golden Princess - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly? Help!

Hello Everyone - this is my first time on any type of Message Board and I have never cruised before, but my in-laws are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in 2009 and want to take the family on a cruise to Hawaii in January 2009 (11 of us ranging in ages 13 to 70). They have been on 3 or 4 cruises so far, but not Hawaii. I have been doing tonnes of research (Internet and library), and there is so much information and alot of it conflicting you don't what to think. I think my head might explode (hehehe)! We are looking at the Golden Princess cruise departing Los Angeles on January 21, 2009. Can anyone tell me what state the Golden Princess is in? From what I can tell it was launched in 2001, but nowhere can I see whether the ship has undergone any interior refurbishment. I called Princess and they said it was refurbished in November 2006, but couldn't give me any details on what that entailed (weird I thought), but then I read posts that said that it is dated and in disrepair and needs to be refurbished. Because I have never cruised before, I have visions of everything being luxurious, but then I wonder by what I have read. We are also looking at the 15 day cruise on the Zaandam from HAL, but Los Angeles is easier for us to get to instead of San Diego where HAL sails from.

Also, anyone know what the Pacific Ocean is like to cross in January (i.e. is it rough and what type of temperature to expect on the open sea)?

Thanks for all your help?
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Old March 28th, 2008, 07:17 PM
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I have been on the Golden twice. Enjoyed both cruises. I did not find the ship in need of any drastic repairs.

Ships crew were great. We had the same mini-suite on both cruises and many of the staff were the same.

They have upgraded all the bedding and now have the Lotus Spa stuff in all the bathrooms. I have no idea what they did in the referb of 11.06.

We did the Hawaii cruise on the Island Princess out of LA in November. A little rough out of LA for two days, but after that clear sailing. I don't think there will be much difference in the November/January weather.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 11:05 PM
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Excellent news....I was a bit worried that it would look like how a 2 or 3 Star Hotel would be!!!

If anyone else reading this post has recently been on the Golden Princess, I would greatly appreciate your feedback as well about the interior!!

How did you find the temperature when you were crossing the Pacific to Hawaii in November....was it sunbathing weather or more like a sweater and pants weather?
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Old March 29th, 2008, 12:45 PM
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I cruised to Hawaii on the Diamond Princess in early February. It is usally quite cool out on deck the first few days and can be rough (which we experienced). I spoke to a friend who crossed after us and they reported the cooler weather but said they had smooth seas. So you can't predict how the seas will be. Princess is constantly upgrading their ships with carpeting, painting, new bedding, etc.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMAC
How did you find the temperature when you were crossing the Pacific to Hawaii in November....was it sunbathing weather or more like a sweater and pants weather?
The first two days out of LA were cool, but you can go to the indoor pool. It has a transparent bubble top so you get the sun.

After that it warmed up. A day or two in HI were breezy and I wore a light jacket. The trip back was a lot warmer than going over.

I do not remember the exact temps.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 04:02 PM
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Only my opinion but why would anybody pick a Transpacific crossing for a first cruise. It could be very rough. I would try a 7 Day Caribbean first.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimt
Only my opinion but why would anybody pick a Transpacific crossing for a first cruise. It could be very rough. I would try a 7 Day Caribbean first.
Hello jimt,

Yes, the majority of people going on this Cruise are "First Timers" (9 of 11), and you are right, I personally probably wouldn't pick a TransPacific route the first time out....but, my wonderful in-laws are celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2009 and they have cruised 3 or 4 times before to other destinations and they LOVE sea days. So this time they want to take a Cruise with lots of sea days and with a departure point on the West Coast of North America so there is little pre and post travel.

I am a bit concerned about crossing the ocean, only because I really do not know what to expect, but in some other posts I have read, they say it shouldn't be too bad, at least not like crossing the Atlantic Ocean. In this post also, Irish Shark mentions that it was a little rough for two days when leaving port, but that was it. If it were rough seas for the entire trip across the ocean, it certainly would not be pleasant!

Do you really think it will be that rough? If so, we would need pass this information along and have them take this into consideration when making the final plans.
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Old March 30th, 2008, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lannp
I cruised to Hawaii on the Diamond Princess in early February. It is usally quite cool out on deck the first few days and can be rough (which we experienced). I spoke to a friend who crossed after us and they reported the cooler weather but said they had smooth seas. So you can't predict how the seas will be. Princess is constantly upgrading their ships with carpeting, painting, new bedding, etc.
Hi lannp,

Thank you for your feedback. It is muchly appreciated. Since I have never cruised before, can you let me know what your meaning of "rough" is? I keep thinking of these HUGE waves and the boat rocking and rolling back and forth. Probably from watching too much TV and movies like "The Big Storm"!!
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Old March 30th, 2008, 12:24 PM
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I've done 5 transatlantics and I'm not bothered by movement. So Yes I did notice there was some rolling but not enough to hinder activities for most people. There were people who were ill the first few days from what I heard but there were also lots of people around so I'd say it was certainly the minority.
I've never seen that movie but it was not that rough that you had to worry about abandoning ship.
I personally love sea days as well.
My question to you would be are you bothered by motion sickness? Do you get carsick? With the patch, sea-bands, pills, etc. there are lots of things you can use.
Also location is a big factor. People think you should pick a cabin high up for the view which unfortunately is where there is more motion. Just remember low and center. Pick a cabin that is mid-ships and go for lower decks.
I had a mini-suite on the Diamond and the Grand on deck 8 (Emerald) toward the aft and I didn't notice much motion.
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Old March 30th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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We did the 15 day Hawaii cruise on Diamond Princess in October. I have only ever done Caribbean (and one Alaska). The Pacific crossing was rougher than Caribbean, cool and breezy for the first two days out of LA. However, I am prone to motion sickness, which I experienced on the last "sea day" in Alaska, and didn't get this in the Pacific. That being said, the "aloha bags " were spread out around the ship and many people were not well. But the waves are 5-6 feet, not 20-30 feet.
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