Our most recent cruise was aboard the Princess Cruise Lines’ ship the Golden. Our itinerary included the tropical Southern Caribbean. This overview is one article in a series of our Golden Princess Southern Caribbean cruise review. First, let me start by explaining why we chose this particular cruise.
We had a very special birthday to celebrate. This celebration was to include our children (in their mid to late 20’s) as well as our parents (up to 85 years old). We wanted a cruise line that would cater to the activity needs of our kids and still be elegant enough to be enjoyable to our parents.
Princess Cruise Lines seemed to be a natural fit. The date for our cruise was somewhat fixed in that the birth date had to be among the cruise dates. Our preference was to take a Southern Caribbean Cruise which included Aruba, St. Thomas and St. Kitts. It just so happened that the magnificent Golden Princess was sailing that itinerary on the required dates.
Our cruise started from the port of San Juan, Puerto Rico. It meant a rather lengthy flight with one stop-over to reach San Juan. The flight segments however were very smooth and uneventful. From the airport, we had a short bus ride to the cruise terminal.
There were the usual line-ups to clear customs and check-in with Princess in the terminal. This seemed to pass quickly enough considering some of the other cruises we have enjoyed.
The Golden Princess had its inaugural cruise in May of 2001. That meant that she was 5 years old at the time of our cruise. Having been on a newer cruise ship, her age was somewhat evident to us but her majesty overshadowed her age.
The cruise was a very smooth sail when compared to other Caribbean cruises we have been on. With so many stops on a one week cruise, the distances between ports made for a mostly leisurely run.
The ports of call were all interesting. Some were still rebuilding after hurricane damage. We are normally ‘beach babies’ wanting to enjoy the sun and surf as often as possible, but on this cruise we went to a beach only twice and one of those times was right at the cruise port. Our ports of call included San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Grenada, Isla Margarita, and Aruba.
We found this cruise to be rather ‘aggressive’ in that we were in port so quickly and so often that we never really saw the entire ship. Of course we mad a point to try to see all of the common areas but obviously missed a few.
The weather, although overcast with light rain a couple of days, was great. Mid to high 80’s every day is what we went on a sunny vacation for.
The staterooms we chose were balcony rooms. All were on the same side of the ship with two groups of three attached balconies. This was great. With the doors between balconies open, we could congregate as we would at a cottage or resort.
The birthday celebration was wonderful as well. Room service delivered veggies and dip, fruit trays, cheese trays nachos and dip and beverages to our stateroom. There was ample room on our balcony for the eleven of us to sit and enjoy all of this food.
In all, this cruise ship was not the most elegant that we have been on, but it did have all of the amenities and activities required to suit our broad age range. It certainly sold the kids on cruising vacations.
For more specific reviews on the components of our Golden Princess cruise including the trip to the cruise port including embarkation, stateroom, food, dining options, activities and ports-of-call, check our Caribbean Cruises Articles map at http://www.a1-discount-cruises.com often.