Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Golden Princess Review - Part Three - The Mediocre

Continuing the seemlessly never ending review of the Golden Princess to Alaska cruise, here are our thoughts on the "mediocre" aspects of the cruise.

The Mediocre

Food: Food is subjective so this is our opinion – we were not impressed with the food on this ship. We ate in the Dining Room four times - twice for dinner, once for lunch and once for breakfast. Not being a seafood fan, we've always had an issue with Princess’ menus, because there are least two seafood entrees every night - we prefer chicken or beef. The beef and chicken on this ship were okay but nothing to write home about. One night we ordered a lamb entree and it was satisfactory but not outstanding.

I love the cold fruit soups served on many cruise lines and this was the first time that my soup came in a glass with a straw. I don’t enjoy drinking soup - that no longer makes it soup but a glass of juice. Last we sailed it was thicker and served with a spoon but that is not how Princess serves it any longer. The best meal I had in the dining room was a delicious “blueburger” for lunch.

There was a pub lunch twice on the ship in the Crown Grill. The offerings were pub style – Bangers and Mash, Fish and Chips, Steak and Kidney pie, etc. Ordered the Fish and Chips, which was very greasy and eating it the first day when the ship was in rough waters wasn’t a good idea.

Most other meals were enjoyed in Horizon Court, which was typical buffet food. There was nothing outstanding – at least two pasta dishes, fried fish, a slicing meat (one day was prime rib with is one of my favorites but was dry) and a few Indian dishes along with salad and sandwiches. When you get excited about finding a BLT sandwich for lunch, something is wrong with the menu. Plenty of desserts offered, but they were also very rich and calorie laden. Found that eating fresh fruit was a better option.

Hot dogs from the grill were mostly burned, but the pizza was FANTASTIC. When all else failed, a slice of pizza always hit the spot.

Our favorite food spot on the ship was the International Cafe. Don't shrug off the food here. They have an egg sandwich for breakfast, panini's and a very good Chicken Waldorf Salad at lunch time. The best Tiramisu is found here.

We did not opt to eat at the alternate pay restaurants. We've eaten at both Sabatini's and the Crown Grill on other ships and while the food is good - we don't feel should have to pay extra to get a great meal on a ship.

Entertainment: Had we never sailed Royal Caribbeans' Oasis and Allure of the Seas and NCL's Epic - we likely would have had a more favorable review of the Entertainment on this ship. However, after sailing on the three ships with the most unbelievable shows on the seas, anything else seems amateurish. There were a few production shows we tried to sit through that felt like going to a high school musical.

There are the usual port shopping talks on the Golden but we are past thinking that we will get any special deals sitting in on those.

One thing we did enjoy was the naturalist who was onboard who did several lectures. His name was Michael Modzeleski and his discussions were quite enjoyable. He was very knowledegable. On the day in Glacier Bay, some US Park Rangers boarded the ship and discussed what we were seeing while sailing. They were also on deck to answer individual questions.

Tomorrow - the final part four of our review - "The Bad".

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