On May 11, 2010 I ventured down to San Francisco on a warm sunny day and visited the Golden Princess. The recent refurbishment of this ship definitely shines through in every turn. Overall I was very impressed with her open space and refreshing décor of light browns and creams. It gave me a very nice sense of calm and peacefulness.
The main pool, Neptune’s Reef & Pool, found on deck 14 mid-ship, had a lot of room surrounding it, giving ample space for guests to lounge and not feel overcrowded. Over the pool area, Princess has installed a very large outdoor TV screen for daytime and evening (Movies Under the Stars) viewing of movies and sporting events. Farther aft, the beautiful Calypso Reef & Pool is a nice indoor facility, also with ample space surrounding it. In my opinion the best area for pool/lounging on the ship was the Terrace Pool. This unique space can be found all the way aft on deck 12 – complimented by the Outrigger Bar and fabulous views of the ocean. Plus, from deck 12 rising up two more decks are tiered lounging areas that surround the Terrace Pool.
The Piazza– The central hub of the ship, located on deck 5, houses the Vines Bar, the Vines Shop, the Internet Café, Lobby Bar, International Café and an Art Gallery. This looks like it would be very well used as a nice spot to relax or meet friends. In the evening, guests gather in this location to be entertained by local dancers and artists.
Casino – The Grand Casino, deck 7, is a large area with plenty of slot machines and playing tables. It looks to be big enough that there will be no waiting to play these games.
Princess Theater –this theater, located on decks 6 and 7, features Broadway-style performances. This very large show lounge sported comfy chairs and a large stage.
Skywalkers Nightclub – wow this amazing nightclub is actually lifted high above everything else. Access to the nightclub is available by taking the elevators up to deck 17; from there you can take the ramp up to deck 18.Giant Chess Set
Donatello, Canaletto & Bernini Main Dining Rooms – Each of these three dining rooms may serve up the same menu, but are completely separated by decks or walls. This allows you to feel as if you are in a much more intimate restaurant. Donatello Dining Room can be found mid-ship deck 6; Canaletto Dining Room is deck 6 aft; and finally Bernini Dining Room is mid-ship on deck 5.
The Crown Grill – This absolutely gorgeous restaurant, situated mid-ship deck 6, features a décor of deep rich warm wood tones. Adding to the cozy ambiance is a large fireplace as the restaurants centerpiece. Also found here are private more intimate booths. Reservations are required.
Sabatini’s – Located aft on deck 7, next to the Vista Lounge is this beautiful, classically styled restaurant. Sabatini’s features food with an Italian flare and would be great for groups or for intimate dining for two. Reservations are required.
Overall staterooms looked very calm and comfortable with their fresh new decor. Shown left, the Penthouse Suite shows you the new bedding you can find throughout the Golden Princess.
Category WS Window Suite – Located on deck 6 mid-ship starboard side there is an intimate hallway holding seven spacious Oceanview staterooms with amenities similar to that of the suites. These unique staterooms featuring tones of cream colors, have a good amount of closet and drawer space, a large Jacuzzi tub (although a noticeably small shower), sitting area and two large windows.
In conclusion I would recommend this ship to almost all demographics. Families will love the various dining choices, the private teen’s center and multiple pool options. Couples will like the open spacious feeling of the ship, the little tucked away private areas and the intimate dining experiences.
I hope you get a chance to sail aboard the Golden Princess, or one of her sister ships the Grand Princess and Star Princess. The view all offers visit our Princess Cruises page.