Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Cruise Lines "P - Z" > Princess Cruises
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Princess Cruises
Read thousands of Princess Cruise Reviews from real cruisers and compare the best Princess Cruise Deals

NEW! Find Your PRINCESS Roll Call

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old July 29th, 2012, 11:58 PM
SJSU Dale's Avatar
SJSU Dale SJSU Dale is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Marysville, WA
Posts: 29
Default Review -- Golden Princess to Alaska, July 14-21, 2012

It’s been just over a week since we returned from our Alaska Cruise on the Golden Princess and I am finally in a place to dash off a quick review of our trip. I have been majorly suffering from PCDD (Post-Cruise Depression Disorder) and am just now able to revisit those seven glorious days. Let me preface this review by saying that I have been a long-time (4+ years) lurker on these boards and have read many fine and detailed cruise reviews. This will, I fear, not be one of those. The cruise party was comprised of yours truly, my DW, MIL and FIL, SIL and her paramour, and, lastly, my BIL. Damn – that’s a lot if IL’s, isn’t it? The only IL missing from the trip was Kim Jong and I understand he don’t get around much anymore.

The vacation actually started at our house when FIL, MIL and BIL showed up on Saturday morning about 9:45. SIL and her boyfriend (let’s call him, umm, “Tony”) were making their own way to the ship and would meet us onboard. Sonny’s A-1 Limousine Service was scheduled to pick us up at ten o’clock for the trip down to the cruise terminal in Seattle. We have utilized Sonny several times in the past to get to the terminal and have never been less that pleased with his service. Sonny himself arrived early, (on past occasions it has been one of his drivers) loaded all seventeen of our bags, satchels and roll-on coolers into the large black SUV, and we were on the road before the clock had struck ten. Sonny completed the hour-long trip through medium-heavy Seattle traffic in approximately 37 minutes. We almost rear-ended two vehicles and he actually flipped someone off! The trip validated my DW's decision to pack me an extra pair of boxers because “you just never know…” Oh. My. God. The good news is that the trip to the cruise terminal allowed me to cross “Formula 1 Racing” off my bucket list! Anyway, I kinda got the idea Sonny had a couple more trips scheduled that morning. FIL tipped him (perhaps out of gratitude that we had survived?) and Sonny burned rubber out of the passenger drop-off area.

Check-in at the terminal was a breeze. The IL’s went to one agent and the wifey and I went to another. When we reunited I learned that the IL’s had somehow been handed a priority boarding pass! Something about their six Princess cruises trumping our 5 Princess Cruises or some such nonsense. Anyway, since my DW and I had none, they decided to accompany us over to the “Ellis Island” seating section where some 75 hearty super-duper-early passengers had already amassed. We dutifully took our place behind them on the comfortable folding metal chairs and proceeded to wait. Being a typical American, after a torturous minute or two of waiting, I asked to see the priority boarding pass. I noticed it said nothing about the number of passengers allowed to board early and made an executive decision. (Allow me a moment to put on my fire-retardant suit.) After a brief selling job, I enticed the IL’s to follow me as we meandered over to the priority boarding area! This was the life… Now I know how the 1% feel! We were gonna be among the first peeps on the ship! Woo hoo! Then the parade of wheelchairs started. Oh well, you can’t really begrudge folks with limited mobility the right to board first, especially when you just wrangled your way onto your IL’s priority boarding pass, right? In an odd reversal of the old faith-healing gambit, however, I noticed several passengers who had only moments before been jogging past me in the terminal, now wedged tightly into wheelchairs while two out-of-breath little Filipino guys pushed each one up the boarding ramp. Oh well, gotta conserve that energy for dashing to the Princess Theater later and reserving rows of seats for the Welcome Aboard show. Once safely aboard, we went to our room, stashed our hand luggage, and headed down to the Main Dining Room for our embarkation lunch.

I will post the actual cruise details in my next posting. It should be considerably more concise since I started drinking once aboard and, between that and early-onset old-timers, can’t remember much of the next seven days.
__________________
~~ Dale & Liz ~~

"and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by"

Golden Princess - Alaska 08/09
Sapphire Princess - Coastal 05/10
Golden Princess - Alaska 08/10
Sapphire Princess - Coastal 05/11
Golden Princess - Alaska 07/12
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old July 30th, 2012, 01:50 AM
Pam in CA's Avatar
Pam in CA Pam in CA is offline
30,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Aliso Viejo, CA
Posts: 37,244
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJSU Dale View Post
The only IL missing from the trip was Kim Jong and I understand he don’t get around much anymore...

In an odd reversal of the old faith-healing gambit, however, I noticed several passengers who had only moments before been jogging past me in the terminal, now wedged tightly into wheelchairs...
Kim Jong was busy getting married, I understand.

While I know your reference to the wheelchair passengers was meant to be lighthearted, some people are able to walk but are unable to walk distances or stand in line. My daughter is one of them. She has a nerve disorder called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) and standing can trigger intense pain that's kind of like a root canal without anesthetic. She has a handicapped placard and when she parks in a handicap space, gets strange looks because she doesn't appear to have trouble walking. But they don't see the agony she goes through and will have for the rest of her life along with the drugs she has to take to make it bearable. Sorry, didn't mean to give a discourse but appearances can be deceiving.
__________________
-- Pam Email (to be my friend on Facebook, email me. ) PLEASE identify yourself with your Cruise Critic name.



Boston. Strong.

* Me ziplining across Victoria Falls: https://plus.google.com/photos/10147...83463276981969
* Safari photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/1014740...eat=directlink

Upcoming:
Royal Princess -- Copenhagen > NY 9/10/14
Crown Princess -- 10/18/14 BVE
Grand Princess -- LA > HI > LA 2/17/15
OAT African Safari -- 10/5/15
Pacific Princess 50th Anniversary cruise -- 12/3/15
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old July 30th, 2012, 06:13 AM
erewhon erewhon is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10,360
Default

Thanks for writing your review.
Looking forward to the next report.
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old July 30th, 2012, 08:53 AM
TracieABD's Avatar
TracieABD TracieABD is online now
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 6,379
Default

Nice start...
Keep it coming.
__________________
Grand Princess- Alaska 7/20/14
NCL Spirit- Western Med. 1/14/14
HAL Zuiderdam- Western Caribbean 12/27/13
Star Princess- South America 1/30/13
Ruby Princess- Caribbean 12/23/11
Victoria Anna- Yangtze River Cruise 7/10/11
Caribbean Princess- Canada/New England 10/02/10
HAL Rotterdam- Alaska 07/10/10
Golden Princess- Alaska 07/11/09
Crown Princess-Baltic 07/09/2008
Several Princess Cruises to Bahamas July 1980s and 1990s




Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old August 1st, 2012, 01:58 AM
SJSU Dale's Avatar
SJSU Dale SJSU Dale is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Marysville, WA
Posts: 29
Default REVIEW -- Golden Princess to Alaska, July 14-21, 2012

I don’t know about you, but it just doesn’t seem like a cruise until you sit down for that embarkation day lunch in the Main Dining Room! Luckily, the masses still herd into the Horizon Court on embarkation day as they are directed to do by most (all?) shipboard personnel. Oh, well… We met in the dining room and shared it with no more than ten other tables of diners. A lot has been written about the so-called “decline” in food quality aboard Princess ships. Well, I certainly did not notice it on our cruise. I’m not necessarily a “foodie,” but I enjoy good food and this was it!

After our lunch, we went back to the cabin to find the rest of our luggage in the hall. I made a quick trip to the purser’s desk to remove the autotips (hit me with your best shot – I work customer service at Walmart and I’ve heard it all.) I was concerned about getting a guilt trip from the desk personnel, so I affected a British accent and all went well! I hurried back to our cabin (a mid-ship Baja balcony) to check the bathroom tile grout for mold. I noticed some discoloration, but scrubbing it with Lotus Spa eucalyptus shower gel and my DW’s toothbrush revealed it was just some minor staining and NOT grout mold! That mystery solved, I rinsed her toothbrush and we set about unpacking our bags. We had brought aboard two huge suitcases of clothes, various personal bags and camera bags, a couple of backpacks, my C-PAP machine bag and a large rolling cooler. We each brought two bottles of wine (no rule-breakers here), about a dozen Diet Cokes for me (can I use brand names in this forum?) and a large refilled bottle of, ahem, “water” for me to mix with my Diet Cokes. Unpacking kept us occupied until the requisite muster drill which I actually attended this year. By the time we got to muster drill, the Explorers Lounge was full and they had stopped even trying to scan cruise cards. We endured the drill and I silently giggled at the two or three folks who always seem to try on their life vests before it’s time. This time there was even a freakin’ tool who kept blowing his life vest whistle! I mean, did this idiot realize how many other mouth breathers have had that whistle in their mouths? After my DW pointed this out to me – I mean him – I went back to our cabin and rinsed my mouth out with my – ahem – water.

We skipped the Sailaway Party and instead raced around the ship doing the treasure hunt for little stamps on our entry forms, getting them completed and turned in just in time for the drawing in the Atrium. Of course you can’t just get the Lotus Spa stamp, you have to endure the gauntlet of dubiously-licensed “health professionals” telling you about their services and special “one-day-only deals.” The wife and I lost (like we do every year) although my FIL won a copy of the Reflections DVD in the drawing. My DW bought the Ultimate Drink Card and More Super Kid’s Edition Sticker (nothing but the best for my baby) while I abstained since my drink needs were largely covered by the contents of our rolling cooler.

We had early traditional dining on this cruise so it was time to go get ready for dinner. I always dress pretty grubby for first night in the MDR and then grouse loudly about my missing luggage. It works every time! We met our waiters, Alfredo and Carlos, who took excellent care of us throughout the cruise. The 5:30 traditional was in the Donatello Dining Room. Our party of seven nearly filled a table for eight so we had our own table every night. The early dining time allows the wife and I to eat Hobbit-style (first dinner, second dinner, Elevensies) in the MDR, Horizon Court and International Café, respectively. My DW can eat and eat and never gain a pound. I, on the other hand, need only glance at my second goat cheese soufflé and buttons start popping off my 3XL shirt.

After dinner, we hit the casino where we played our nightly ten bucks. I won about thirty bucks (as I usually do the first night or two) but my DW was not so lucky. After casino time we hit up the Welcome Aboard Show in the Princess Theater hosted by our Cruise Director Frank Castiglione. Yawn. As I’ve said before, he’s no David Cole. Don’t get me wrong – he’s a nice enough guy – his act just seems kinda tired and his smile seems very forced. He reminds me of a guy who used to MC the variety show at Harveys Lake Tahoe back in the 70’s. I think that was pre-explosion Harveys if I recall correctly. Either way, I didn’t much care for that guy either. The comedian, Rollin’ Jay Moore did a five-minute teaser set and seemed very funny so we decided to catch him later in the week. We made a brief stop at Karaoke in the Explorer’s Lounge where I wowed the crown with La Bamba and then headed back to our room for a Diet Coke and – ahem – “water” and some much needed shuteye.
__________________
~~ Dale & Liz ~~

"and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by"

Golden Princess - Alaska 08/09
Sapphire Princess - Coastal 05/10
Golden Princess - Alaska 08/10
Sapphire Princess - Coastal 05/11
Golden Princess - Alaska 07/12
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old August 1st, 2012, 02:06 AM
caribill caribill is offline
20,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: League City, TX
Posts: 28,320
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJSU Dale View Post
I made a quick trip to the purser’s desk to remove the autotips (hit me with your best shot – I work customer service at Walmart and I’ve heard it all.)
No shots, but, why?
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old August 1st, 2012, 09:15 AM
jmcross's Avatar
jmcross jmcross is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: south of Boston
Posts: 415
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJSU Dale View Post
I hurried back to our cabin (a mid-ship Baja balcony) to check the bathroom tile grout for mold. I noticed some discoloration, but scrubbing it with Lotus Spa eucalyptus shower gel and my DW’s toothbrush revealed it was just some minor staining and NOT grout mold! That mystery solved, I rinsed her toothbrush and we set about unpacking our bags.
I hope your wife wasn't going to use that same toothbrush to brush her teeth AFTER you scrubbed the grout!
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old August 1st, 2012, 11:23 AM
Woobstr112G's Avatar
Woobstr112G Woobstr112G is offline
20,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Palmdale, Ca
Posts: 23,844
Default

Enjoyed readig your posts so far. Looking forward to reading more.....

Bob
__________________
Future: Caribbean Princess Iceland/Norway T/A 09/15
Royal Princess Med/Trans Atlantic 10/13- 18 Days Inaugural Crossing
Sapphire Princess Hawaii R/T From LA 03/13 - 14 Days
Ruby Princess Med/Trans Atlantic 10/11 - 18 Days
Golden Princess Hawaii R/T From LA 02/11 -14 Days
Ruby Princess Med/Trans Atlantic 10/09 - 18 Days
Diamond Princess AUS/NZ 01/09 - 12 Days
Emerald Princess Med/Trans Atlantic 10/08 - 18 Days
Celebrity Constellation British Isles/Norway 07/06 - 14 Days
Celebrity Summit Alaska Repo 05/05 -14 Days
Celebrity Summit Panama Canal 10/02 - 14 Days
RCCL Rhapsody OTS Alaska 09/01 - 7 Days
RCCL Splendour OTS Baltic/Northern Europe 09/99 - 12 Days
HAL Veendam Eastern Caribbean 07/96 - 7 Days
Carnival Holiday Western Caribbean 07/93 - 7 Days

187 Days At Sea: 112 Days Princess , 42 Days Celebrity. 19 Days RCCL, 7 Days HAL, 7 Days Carnival.....

My Cruise Pictures on Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25882507@N08/


Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old August 2nd, 2012, 12:04 AM
SJSU Dale's Avatar
SJSU Dale SJSU Dale is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Marysville, WA
Posts: 29
Default Exciting, yet Lengthy Review -- Golden Princess, July 14-21, 2012

The cruise we were on was the one that goes to Tracy Arm Fjord instead of Glacier Bay. I tell myself that I prefer this itinerary but the truth is it’s usually one or two hundred dollars cheaper per person so it’s the one we buy. Next year we are tentatively planning to do the 7-day NB and the 7-day SB back-to-back, one of which will finally include that elusive trip to Glacier Bay!

Because I know folks on this board like to know such things, I will tell you that our Captain was some Italian guy, and the Maitre d’ was also of the Italian persuasion. The Executive Chef was Joel Directo, which might sound Italian but he was actually Filipino. In honor of Mr. Directo’s heritage I will state publicly that I Mahal Kita him and his food! I took about 300 pictures on the cruise, some 285 of which were of various beautiful food dishes and if I figure out how to post pictures by the time I’m done writing the world’s most drawn-out review, I might include a few.

As previously stated, we were in a Baja balcony room, cabin B437 right by the mid-ship elevators. At the start of the cruise I loudly proclaimed that I would only use the stairs in order to maintain my girlish figure. This resolution lasted until my first morning on the ship as I slogged up six flights of misery, all the while balancing my four little plates of pastries from the IC. On previous cruises we had had inside rooms on the Plaza deck, right around the corner from the art gallery and mere steps from paradise (also known as “The International Café”) but this trip the wife noticed that balcony guarantees had fallen in price to just $100 more than our Plaza deck room’s booking price and wisely snapped up one of them for us. Folks say we will never want to go back to insides, but if insides are the only way we can afford to cruise in the future we will suffer with them. That said, the balconies are nice, especially the mid-ship fully covered Baja balconies which are ideal for the Alaska itinerary. I quit smoking several months ago and have been easing the withdrawal with electronic cigarettes. I had great fun on the cruise, hanging over my balcony inhaling my e-cig and blowing out the odorless vapor as my distant neighbors mean-mugged me and shouted terms of derision in my general direction.

The wife is a late sleeper, so most mornings I would awake and hike all the way up to the Horizon Court for what I like to call “First Breakfast.” On Sunday, our first sea day this was the case, after which I attended the Shopping Spotlight Show in the Princess Theater. The show was hosted by Ben the shopping guy, a native of Boston I think he said, and one of three American staff members on the ship. I sat close and shouted out an answer at the appropriate time, for which I was rewarded with a delightful Del Sol color-changing t-shirt. Size XS. Oh well. Down to the IC for the aforementioned plates of chocolate croissants, etc. and back up the K-2 stairs to wake my DW for bingo. En route to bingo I decided to hit the coffee bar next to the IC to trade in my coffee cards. I still had three old partial cards from past cruises – two of them with one punch remaining on each (why on earth had I left a single punch on a coffee card?) and one with seven punches remaining. The MIL had earlier gone down and traded her old Jack of Java with nine punches remaining for a new ship-specific card so I knew the drill. But, when I presented my three cards and requested them to combine them on a new card for me, I was told, “No – we don’t do that. Just present your old cards and we’ll punch them one at a time as you buy your mochas.” Harumph! So I handed over one of my single-punch cards (it was like saying goodbye to an old and dear friend) and began caffeinating for the day.

Bingo was cruel. Both sessions of first sea-day bingo were cruel. Cruel to the tune of $120 that is! Thirty bucks for the six-pack times two suckers, umm, I mean players, times two sessions. We have a love/hate relationship with cruise ship bingo. I won two jackpots on our first cruise on the Golden several years ago and my DW won one and we have been giving them back their money (and much, much more) ever since, trying to recapture our earlier glory. The joke was on them, however, since I estimate that it was during the second bingo session that my DW officially passed the cost/benefit point of her ultimate drink card sticker. You see, during the previous 24 hours she had stopped at every single bar on the ship (some of them numerous times) and ordered a variety of mocktails to the point that the card had already paid for itself. I know what you’re thinking – I probably had her slip me one or two of her No-jitos so I could add some of my bottled “water” and drink it myself -- but the truth is that this did not (ok, rarely) happen. In between bingo sessions we hit the Trident Grill. My DW had a “wimpy chicken sandwich” (her words not mine) consisting of two paper-thin hunks of chicken breast on a bun, followed by a delicious hot dog. I had a double cheeseburger with fries. God, it was so good…

After bingo we got all dressed up for formal night but took so long getting ready that we had to go straight to dinner, thus missing all the formal photo opportunities. Whew – dodged a bullet there as my DW loves to buy pictures of us. Dinner was delightful – they all were, really. DW had the grapefruit and kiwi (kiwi was too crunchy she said), won-ton soup, and the beef tenderloins. All were excellent except for the not-so-ripe kiwi issue. I started out with my usual two shrimp cocktails, followed by the crab meat quiche (my DW stole this from me so I ordered another one) and then the sautéed shrimp with shellfish cream. A well-known fact about me: if there is seafood on the menu, there is seafood in Dale. After dinner we tried to get into the comedian’s show (British Invasion had been scheduled but was cancelled due to issues setting up while the ship pitched and rolled – did I forget to mention that?) but it was packed so we dropped our usual ten bucks each in the casino and meandered to the Explorers Lounge for Princess Pop Star Heat #1. We met the in-laws there and we listened to the competition as I awaited my turn as the final singer (placement in the rotation is as important in Karaoke as it is in baseball) doing Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful.” I dedicated it to my Darling Wife of two years, everybody swooned, and I went on as one of the three finalists. It helps that I totally nailed the song – I don’t think I’ve ever sung better and I have sung a lot in my life. We called it a night at that point and headed off to slumber…
__________________
~~ Dale & Liz ~~

"and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by"

Golden Princess - Alaska 08/09
Sapphire Princess - Coastal 05/10
Golden Princess - Alaska 08/10
Sapphire Princess - Coastal 05/11
Golden Princess - Alaska 07/12
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old August 2nd, 2012, 08:31 AM
libtrek libtrek is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: In Michigan's thumb
Posts: 810
Default Lovin' it

I think we could travel with you. Do love folks with a sense of humor.
__________________
Carnival Valor 1/18/15 and 1/25/15
Carnival Dream 1/11/14 and 1/18/14
Princess Sapphire 6/13
Carnival Spirit 6/11
Carnival Legend 1/11
Holland Ryndam 8/10
Carnival Victory 1/09, 1/10, 1/12, 1/20/13 and 1/27/13
Crown Princess 5/08
Carnival Glory 1/07
Carnival Miracle 1/06
Carnival Triumph 1/04
Carnival Destiny 1/03, 1/05 & 1/08
Carnival Fascination 1/01
Celebrity Century 1/98
RC Song of America 1/96
Carnival Fascination 12/94
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old August 2nd, 2012, 10:40 AM
boaterette boaterette is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: so. cal.
Posts: 3,382
Default

I am enjoying your review. The humor is funny.
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old August 2nd, 2012, 12:07 PM
hydrodriver831's Avatar
hydrodriver831 hydrodriver831 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Snohomish, Washington
Posts: 453
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by libtrek View Post
I think we could travel with you. Do love folks with a sense of humor.
Never a dull moment on a cruise with Dale!!!

jmcross: I don't believe he ever told her during the cruise......
__________________
Mike and Candi


Stardancer Feb 1985 (Mexican Riviera)
Mercury Sep 2005 (Northwest)
Mercury Aug 2007 (Alaska)
Golden Princess Sep 2008 (Coastal)
Golden Princess Aug 2009 (Alaska)
Sapphire Princess May 2010 (Coastal)
Golden Princess Aug 2010 (Alaska)
Sapphire Princess May 2011 (Coastal)
Golden Princess June 2011 (Alaska)
Golden Princess July 2012 (Alaska)
Golden Princess May 2013 (Alaska)
Golden Princess June 2014 (Alaska)
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old August 2nd, 2012, 01:14 PM
pacwind3 pacwind3 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Vancouver WA
Posts: 66
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrodriver831 View Post
Never a dull moment on a cruise with Dale!!!
Oh I agree there. Dale, you are just cracking me up. I'm now hoping I get to cruise with you some day.
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old August 2nd, 2012, 04:16 PM
Babewho Babewho is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 44
Default Great review!

Thanks for the informative and entertaining review! My sister and brother-in-law are going to be on the Golden in September, so I forwarded the link for your review to them. I have to wait until Sept. 2013 for my Alaskan cruise, but have the fun is the anticipation!

Are you a San Jose State alum (just wondering from your screen name)? My son graduated from SJSU about 10 years ago.

Last edited by Babewho; August 2nd, 2012 at 04:17 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old August 2nd, 2012, 05:37 PM
PathfinderEss's Avatar
PathfinderEss PathfinderEss is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Orange County, Calif
Posts: 16,134
Default

Really enjoying your review, thanks for taking the time to write and post it.
__________________
<img src=http://www.hollandamerica.com/images/5starMariner.gif border=0 alt= />
Melodie

Admiral-1-cruise
Holland America-42-cruises
Carnival-1-cruise
Celebrity-4-cruises
Crystal-1-cruise
Princess-3-cruises
Royal Caribbean-2-cruises
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old August 2nd, 2012, 07:04 PM
cardqb's Avatar
cardqb cardqb is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Central California
Posts: 312
Default

Enjoying the review! Nice and refreshing with the sense of humor.
__________________


Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old August 3rd, 2012, 03:15 AM
SJSU Dale's Avatar
SJSU Dale SJSU Dale is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Marysville, WA
Posts: 29
Default Comment on this review or God will kill a kitten.

One of the problems with writing “The Review that Would Not End” some two weeks after the fact is faulty memory, a problem that seems to get worse since I’m now 39+ (plus, plus, etc.) Anyway… I said all that to say this: I forgot the escargot! Yup, Alfredo mentioned the escargot as an “off-menu” offering on the first formal night and I snapped it up! I think I ate it after the two shrimp cocktails as kind of a “post-appetizer appetizer!” Let me tell you, those bottom-feeding little poop-eating snails make an excellent delivery vehicle for garlic and butter. My MIL, BIL and “Tony” (my SIL’s paramour) also ordered and scarfed the slimy little suckers. Yum!

Monday, July 16 dawned early for me and, as usual, not-so-early for the wifey. This was the day we were scheduled to arrive in Juneau about noon and stay until about ten that evening. While my DW slept I left the cabin and, after waiting what must’ve been 45 seconds or more for the elevator, bounded up the two flights of stairs to the Horizon Court for first breakfast. I must’ve been hungry since I can’t find photographic evidence of whatever it was I ate that morning (I usually take pics of my food – don’t ask me why.) I seem to recall British Sausage (some suspect animal parts ground up, seasoned and shoved into a casing, then boiled for an indeterminate amount of time) and scrambled eggs. You know the ones that go right through you in no time at all. I believe I added two slices of cantaloupe to convince myself that I was, indeed, eating healthy on this trip. I washed this all down with two of the world’s smallest glasses of orange juice and then headed down to the Promenade deck to look for whales and smoke my electronic cigarette on the non-smoking side of the ship -- just for fun.

I was on the Promenade deck when I first heard him speaking somewhere in the distance, droning on about how if I were just on the other side of the ship I would right now be seeing “more seals than we have seen on any trip thus far this year.” It was naturalist Michael Modzelewski or, as I call him, Michael Monotoneski – a staple of Princess cruises who always seems to be on the Golden whenever we cruise in Alaska. Some people absolutely love him and I am ready for them. Flame away! I actually enjoyed him for a day or two during my first Alaska cruise until I realized that every day we were seeing something better than any had seen thus far this year and how every pass near the glacier was closer than any ship had gotten this season and so on and so on and so on. Others I know have cruised with him and they too had these unique and special experiences on all of their respective cruises! I moved over to the other side of the ship (pocketing my electronic cigarette) and didn’t see a blessed seal, only to be told that now, on the other side of the ship a humpback whale was breaching at that very moment! According to Mr. Monotoneski that made it official: we had now seen “more whales on the approach into Juneau than any other cruise thus far this year.” Shaking my head in disgust, I dove into a waiting elevator and went back upstairs to wake my DW.

She was already awake. We had been sleeping with the balcony door cracked to hear the lapping of the waves against the ship (those that could be heard over the slight wheezing of my C-PAP machine, that is) and through this opening she had heard Michael’s commentary wafting down from the bridge above. She came out of the bathroom and uttered the six words that will strike fear into the heart of any man: “there’s something wrong with the toilet.” Seems that she had taken her morning constitutional and then realized that the toilet would not flush. Human nature being what it is, I couldn’t just call it in – I had to go take a look. At that moment, some 24 months and 27 days after we exchanged our holy vows, I can tell you that the honeymoon officially ended. How something like that emerged from my 120-pound-soaking-wet Missus is totally beyond me. I pushed the button a couple of times and nothing, not a trickle, nada. I was in such shock that she had to call maintenance to report the problem. Within minutes a maintenance engineer appeared and asked to take a look at our toilet. Seconds later he emerged, backing slowly out of the cabin (murmuring in Latin, I believe) before saying he thought he could fix it from the small room in the hallway. Within five minutes, no lie, we were flushing away! It was time to meet up with the IL’s and go into Juneau.

We took the blue bus to Mendenhall Glacier, buying our tickets from one of the booths near the dock. The normal price is eight dollars each way but my FIL played one little booth off another until our party of seven was traveling for six dollars each way. The guy in the booth next to him was yelling five bucks by the time we were through, but money was already changing hands and you gotta cut negotiations somewhere. After arriving at the bus stop, we hiked up to Nugget Falls (maybe a mile hike each way) and got some wonderful pictures of the beautiful blue Mendenhall Glacier. After our return we browsed through the shopping district where we bought a Rie Munoz poster from one store and a tanzanite ring and necklace from another. Yeah – we’re consumers. The ring had to be sized down to a size 5 so we agreed to return to pick it up after our early traditional dinner on the ship. My DW had the surf and turf (and promptly gave me her shrimp) and I had the tasty cod. Calamari steak was also on the menu so we ordered one for the table and tried it out. I guess they cut it off the side of the squid? It was tasty enough with a consistency similar to a scallop.

We returned to our room after dinner and got ready to go pick up the jewelry and had a disturbing realization: we had left the Rie Munoz poster somewhere! I seemed to recall laying it on the counter in the jewelry store (I always get a little nervous when she spends our money) and must’ve left it sitting there. Surely someone had picked it up and was now decorating their cruise ship cabin with it. Oh well… We skedaddled back into town and went into the jewelry store where we picked up the perfectly-sized ring and matching necklace and I hopefully asked if someone had found a cardboard tube with a poster rolled up in it. I’ll be damned if they didn’t have it behind the counter! Woot! Woot! (What does “woot” mean, anyway? When I was growing up it was always “woo hoo!”) We thanked the honest jewelers (is that an oxymoron or what?) and headed back to the ship where we made our combined twenty dollar donation to the casino en route to the late “adults only” show of the comedian Rollin’ Jay Moore in the Vista Lounge. This guy was &#!@(&*! hilarious and so ^%#$@! funny that my )(^*%#$! started hurting from laughing so #+%^&$@! much. My DW kept throwing back the mocktails and me – I carried-in a couple of Diet Cokes and, ahem, water. Yeah, I got no shame. Back to our cabin to sleep it off…

Note: In retrospect, I think I figured out what plugged the toilet. I disposed of two used condoms in there and they must’ve plugged it up. Next time I’ll have to find some other place to throw them…
__________________
~~ Dale & Liz ~~

"and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by"

Golden Princess - Alaska 08/09
Sapphire Princess - Coastal 05/10
Golden Princess - Alaska 08/10
Sapphire Princess - Coastal 05/11
Golden Princess - Alaska 07/12
Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old August 3rd, 2012, 05:10 AM
Assateague Island Princes Assateague Island Princes is online now
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bethlehem, PA
Posts: 4,489
Default

OMG - that last post was priceless! Keep up the good work as I continue to clean the dripping coffee off my computer monitor, while DH is muttering "What are you doing up so early and why in the world are you cleaning at this time of day?"
Reply With Quote

  #19  
Old August 3rd, 2012, 12:22 PM
SJSU Dale's Avatar
SJSU Dale SJSU Dale is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Marysville, WA
Posts: 29
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babewho View Post
Thanks for the informative and entertaining review! My sister and brother-in-law are going to be on the Golden in September, so I forwarded the link for your review to them. I have to wait until Sept. 2013 for my Alaskan cruise, but have the fun is the anticipation!

Are you a San Jose State alum (just wondering from your screen name)? My son graduated from SJSU about 10 years ago.
Yup! San Jose State Spartan for life! BA in History 1998 and MA in History 2000.
__________________
~~ Dale & Liz ~~

"and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by"

Golden Princess - Alaska 08/09
Sapphire Princess - Coastal 05/10
Golden Princess - Alaska 08/10
Sapphire Princess - Coastal 05/11
Golden Princess - Alaska 07/12
Reply With Quote

  #20  
Old August 3rd, 2012, 02:55 PM
Working 2 Cruise's Avatar
Working 2 Cruise Working 2 Cruise is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,023
Default

Wonderful review! Please do not stop!
__________________
Nina

Next:

Crown Princess - November 29, 2014 - 7 days to Mexico
Royal Princess - December 10, 2015 - 10 days (maybe 20) Caribbean
Ruby Princess - January 9, 2016 - 5th cruise to Hawaii!

Past:

2008 - Monarch of the Seas - 4 days
2009 - Carnival Paradise - 4 days
2010 - Sapphire Princess - 7 days - Mexico
2011 - Golden Princess - 14 days - Hawaii
2011 - Golden Princess - 14 days - Hawaii
2012 - Golden Princess - 14 days - Hawaii
2012 - Sapphire Princess - 14 days - Hawaii
2012 - Carnival Splendor - 7 days - Mexico
2013 - Sapphire Princess - 7 days - California Coastal
2014 - Sapphire Princess - 4 days - Getaway
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:30 PM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.
Cookie ConsentCookie Policy