Embarkation On Golden Princess Novel Zealand Cruise

New Zealand Cruise . 2017 . November 15

This post is purpose of our New Zealand Cruise Trip Report too Itinerary. Do cheque out the total itinerary too our reviews here

Today marked the twenty-four hours where nosotros would board the Golden Princess for our fourteen days’ cruise to too to a greater extent than or less New Zealand.   It was with slap-up excitement as nosotros checked out of the Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel, too hailed for a cab that would convey us to the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Sydney Harbour where the Golden Princess was docked too waiting for us.

Getting to Overseas Passenger Terminal

The cab fare was a whopping AUD$60 for a brusk distance from the airdrome to the Sydney Harbour, but we’ve checked out the alternative carry past times track too constitute that it volition cost almost the same.  I approximate the only way to trim back cost is to locomote inwards a bigger grouping too have got to a greater extent than people to spread the cost of the cab with the group.   Having said that, nosotros checked out Uber Commonwealth of Australia as well, too prices are somewhat similar to that of a cab - as expensive.

Some of the metropolis sights nosotros passed past times spell inwards the cab.  These were the streets nosotros walked a few years dorsum when we showtime visited Sydney, too I tin terminate notwithstanding retrieve vividly the carefree feeling of walking those streets.

Our first glimpse of the Golden Princess which volition convey us to New Zealand .  The Golden Princess is comparable inwards size to the Diamond Princess, but is substantially smaller than the Caribbean Princess.

Must Read: Check out our previous vacations on Princess Cruises!

Cruise #1: Alaska

Cruise #2: Baltic

Cruise #3: New Zealand (this trip!)

Embarkation Begins

We arrived at the earliest fourth dimension available for check-in too thus as to rhythm out the crowd too maximize our fourth dimension on the ship, but constitute that a huge issue of other passengers had the same thoughts.  Princess Cruises unremarkably sends the embarkation information to passengers 75 days earlier the scheduled difference date.  The embarkation information includes a recommended check-in fourth dimension based on the cabin that yous are staying in.  However, most times, nosotros have got chosen to board at the earliest fourth dimension available, too Princess Cruises has never turned us away.  There are several advantages of embarking early, too nosotros volition portion to a greater extent than on this later.

The distance betwixt the port too the ship was this narrow.  At Blue Planet level, there’s a flurry of activity as nutrient too goods that would feed too service 3,700 people (comprising of 2,600 passengers too 1,100 crew) for at to the lowest degree the side past times side 2 days were loaded.

Stepping onto the Golden Princess for the rattling showtime time, nosotros realized that this would endure dwelling theater for the side past times side fortnight.  The ship, despite its massive size is notwithstanding confined space, too I missy my bed at dwelling theater already.

Checking out our cabin for the rattling showtime time.  One of the advantages of boarding as early on as yous can, is that yous avoid the crowd inwards the ship, too that allows us to navigate inside the ship much easier at a fourth dimension when nosotros were most disoriented.  It agency that lifts are largely available to you, too the corridors are generally uncongested, making it much easier if yous have got hand-carry bags with you.

Princess Cruises stipulates that large pieces of luggage must endure checked inwards earlier embarkation.  In fact, luggage tags are sent to passengers together with the embarkation information 75 days earlier the scheduled sheet off date. Passengers are expected to label their check-in luggages too drib it off earlier check-in.   It volition have got a fleck of fourth dimension for the checked-in luggage to brand it exterior your cabin, but they unremarkably come upwardly earlier dinner time.  So practise brand sure that yous have got your immediate needs with yous inwards your carry-on – things similar medication, sweaters, electronics, valuables too the likes should remain with you.

We were quite familiar with the balcony-class cabins, this beingness the tertiary fourth dimension nosotros were sailing with Princess Cruises.  The cabin is definitely smaller than my master copy chamber at home.  Given that it is already a balcony shape cabin, I cannot imagine what those folks staying at the inner Blue Planet rooms are looking at.  But all-in-all, it is notwithstanding pretty comfortable for 2 persons, particularly with a broad individual balcony.  The configuration of the room is just the same as our previous 2 trips, too thus this feels similar dwelling theater already to us.

Another payoff of boarding early on is that yous larn to deposit your large luggage early, too consequently, they larn sent to your cabin early on way earlier dinner time.  In fact, it ever comes past times the fourth dimension nosotros complete tiffin on board.  So correct after lunch, too earlier the ship fifty-fifty laid sails at 3pm sharp, nosotros had our luggages emptied, clothe all hung upwardly inwards the walk-in wardrobe too everything else laid upwardly too readied for our 2-week remain on the ship.  Yippee!

Similar to our cruise trip to Alaska on the Diamond Princess, nosotros had a balcony-class cabin on Caribe deck.  The balcony-class cabins on this deck all have got balconies that are double inwards size as compared to other balconies, fifty-fifty for those inwards some of the suite classes.   The inner one-half of this balcony is sheltered (with a ceiling above), spell the outer one-half is fully exposed just similar what the other balconies have.  This is perfect for a mortal similar me who enjoys the body of body of water breeze, but hates the Sun exposure that comes with it.

The Golden Princess was relatively worn out, but it was due for dry out docking too refurbishment at the halt of 2017 inwards Singapore.  In the meantime, nosotros were 1 of the showtime passengers to relish the novel mattresses that Princess Cruises had installed inwards all the staterooms of the Golden Princess, too I must say, sleeping on novel too upgraded mattresses certainly feels improve than the lumpy onetime ones inwards the older fleet of ships.

As provide customers of Princess Cruises, nosotros had an invitation to the Captain’s Circle waiting for us inwards the cabin.  It honestly was just a dull speak meant to entice yous to sign upwardly for to a greater extent than cruises, but it did hope a lucky depict opportunity.  In addition, all guests who turns upwardly for the termination gets a imbibe voucher that they tin terminate telephone commutation for a gratuitous soft drink, mocktail or cocktail at a few venues on board.

Exploring the Ship

The showtime affair nosotros did after checking out our cabin was to caput out to the International Cafe to larn some quick bites too to purchase a java card.

Although it’s called a java card, this card entitles us to fifteen drinks of our pick out of the imbibe carte du jour at the International Café, including all coffees too java blends, coolers, too blended teas. 

Unknown to most people, this java card also gives the holder unlimited menstruum of brewed java or premium tea of his pick (and that comes without having to purchase whatever imbibe with the java card) for the entire duration of the cruise, although only 1 loving cup tin terminate endure asked for at each instance.

The java card cost AUD$35 too tin terminate endure used at other Princess Cruise ships if yous notwithstanding have got left-over quota at the halt of the cruise, but the privilege of getting gratuitous menstruum of premium tea ends with the cruise from which yous purchase the card at.  We highly recommend getting the java card because the cost is cheaper than what yous would have got paid for fifteen beverages.  However, Princess Cruises is moving towards digitization, too thus this java card may endure replaced past times something else inwards the nigh future.

By this time, passengers were notwithstanding filing into the ship, but the ship notwithstanding remained pretty deserted at this shout out for inwards time.  Which was all the improve for us, because nosotros could have got some low-cal bites at the International Café too relish the functioning at the Atrium inwards peace too quiet.

Quick Tip:

Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 buffet tiffin spread is served at the Horizon Court which is located at 1 of the higher floors inwards all Princess Cruise ships. So caput at that spot if yous prefer something to a greater extent than than a low-cal seize with teeth from the International Cafe. The Horizon Court is the dedicated buffet expanse which passengers tin terminate become to at whatever fourth dimension too it operates fifty-fifty on embarkation day.

Depending on the cruise, sometimes tiffin is served inwards 1 of the restaurants on embarkation day, as was the representative for our cruise to the Baltic. This is unremarkably the same spread served at the Horizon Court, except that yous lodge your nutrient through a carte du jour just similar a eating theater with proper waiting staff. So all inwards all, the experience dining at 1 of these restaurants surpasses those that yous larn at the Horizon Court or the International Cafe. Be sure to cheque with the staff at check-in if at that spot is tiffin served at the restaurants.

Unfortunately, the shops inwards the cruise ship cannot opened upwardly for employment organisation until the ship sails off for international waters, otherwise, it volition endure the perfect fourth dimension to practise some leisurely shopping.  I would have got loved to pick upwardly a novel or two, or to but browse through the souvenirs.

One of the showtime things nosotros did earlier heading dorsum to our cabin was to popular over to the library too pick out some board games that catches our fancy.  If yous similar books, they are also available at the library on gratuitous loan on a first-come-first-serve-basis - Yet some other payoff of getting on-board the ship early.  We don’t fifty-fifty demand to sign out for these things - All that was expected of us was to provide the games to the library earlier the halt of the cruise.

Enjoying a game of monopoly or reading a volume on our spacious balcony was pure bliss.

Our cabin was on the port side of the ship - important the left paw side if yous have got the administration of locomote inwards front end of you.  It was a slap-up pleasance for us to discovery the iconic Sydney Opera House on our side of the theater where the Golden Princess was docked.  Snap away!

I vividly recall taking Captain Cook cruises from Circular Quay to see the Taronga Zoo a few years dorsum when we showtime visited Sydney.  The Captain Cook cruise was a hop-on hop-off ferry which facilitates locomote betwixt Darling Harbour (Sydney Aquarium, Wildlife Sydney Zoo, Madam Tussauds, Star Casino), Circular Quay (Sydney Opera House, the Rocks Historic Precinct, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Royal Botanic Gardens), Fort Denison, Watson Bay too Moon Park.

Seeing the Captain Cook cruise ship exceed too thus closely to us forthwith brings dorsum fond memories of the twenty-four hours nosotros took this ferry to the Taronga Zoo.

The ferry terminal at Circular Quay where the tickets for the Captain Cook cruises tin terminate endure bought too where the ferry departs from.  Behind the ferry terminal is the Circular Quay prepare station which makes it convenient for cruise passengers to larn on board the departing cruises from other areas inwards Sydney.

It seems that whale watching cruises depart from hither as well.

I recall standing hither at the Sydney Opera House during the Vivid Sydney Festival back inwards 2013, watching the dazzling lights too H2O show, too looking at the large cruise ships docked at the harbor.  And I idea to myself that 1 day, nosotros volition have got a cruise from this rattling harbor.  That want has come upwardly truthful today!

Off We Sail!

At 3pm sharp, the Golden Princess sounded its horn, too nosotros started our sheet past times Sydney Opera House towards New Zealand!

The Sydney Opera House begins to present the other sides of its beauty as nosotros cruise along at snail speed out of the Sydney Harbour.

Leaving the Sydney cityscape behind as nosotros caput inwards the administration towards New Zealand.

The regal Sydney Harbor Bridge came into persuasion as nosotros proceeded out of the harbor.  In fact, if nosotros had gone to the top deck of the Golden Princess, nosotros would have got been able to grab a 360 degrees persuasion of the Sydney Harbour Bridge together with the Sydney Opera House.  Come to think of it, at that spot would unremarkably endure a sheet off political party going on at the top deck of the cruise ship, but nosotros unremarkably avoided it, preferring the sanctuary of our ain balcony.

Sailing past times the iconic Moon Park which is an amusement commons inwards existence since 1935.

Now nosotros have got actually left Sydney behind.  New Zealand, hither nosotros come!

First Dinner on Board

There was actually non much else to practise after the ship sails, too thus nosotros had an early on dinner.  We had chosen Anytime Dining, too thus it was actually upwardly to us to direct a fourth dimension of our convenience for dinner.

On the left was our starter of Lobster too Seafood Terrine. spell on the right, some other starter of Steamed Royal Dragon Potstickers.

Quick Tip:

At the shout out for of booking a cruise, Princess Cruises volition inquire passengers to brand their indication whether they prefer a fixed fourth dimension dining or anytime dining.

Fixed fourth dimension dining means that Princess volition allocate a fixed timing for yous too your grouping for dinner, too yous may demand to portion a tabular array with other passengers depending on the size of your group. This organisation is best for passengers who prefer to have got social interaction with other guests.

Anytime dining, as what nosotros prefer for all our cruises, allows yous to walk inwards at whatever fourth dimension to the restaurants dedicated to serve passengers on anytime dining. Passengers on anytime dining tin terminate also telephone telephone the reservation delineate to volume a specific fourth dimension for dinner at a specific anytime dining restaurant. In doing so, it also gives yous loads of flexibility inwards managing your dinner fourth dimension particularly for port days where yous may desire to pass to a greater extent than fourth dimension on Blue Planet rather than returning to the ship for dinner at a fixed time, or on days where at that spot is a gala present that yous desire to sentry at a item fourth dimension that conflicts with your fixed tine dining. What nosotros liked most nigh anytime dining was that if nosotros telephone telephone inwards early on plenty to reserve seats, nosotros unremarkably larn to reserve a tabular array solely for ourselves, without having to portion with other passengers. This organisation plant best for passengers who relish too value their privacy at dinner time.

Of course of teaching if yous practise non similar either options, at that spot is notwithstanding the Horizon Court which serves generally the same things inwards the restaurants. The final fourth dimension nosotros checked, the Horizon Court fifty-fifty has materials that were non available at the restaurants, generally inwards the shape of cakes too desserts.

For soups which was also classified nether ‘Starters’ nosotros had Hearty Chicken too Sweet Corn Soup too Chilled Beetroot Boracht.  That’s 1 of the beauty of cruise ship dining, yous tin terminate lodge anything off the carte du jour too inquire for multiple portions without having to pay.  The exception to the dominion of ‘no-paying’ is alcoholic drinks, some coffees too bottled water.

Quick Tip:

Do confirm with your waiter if yous are unsure if an item volition endure charged. Sometimes, it tin terminate endure embarrassing to ask. In that case, the best too surest way of determining if an item is nigh to endure charged would endure when the waiter asks for your cruise card. This is when the eating theater volition endure billing the charges to your cabin, too yous demand to measuring inwards to cancel the lodge if yous practise non want to pay.

Our mains of Baked Seafood Parcel inwards Lobster Cream, and Conchiglie Pasta Shells with Lemon Chicken.

I’ve noticed that Princess Cruises has at to the lowest degree 1 sorbet on their dessert carte du jour for the length of the cruise, too today, this would endure a honeydew sorbet.  We ordered some other ice-cream too fruits to top it off.

First Night Entertainment

The amusement for the showtime eventide on board unremarkably involves a gala present – which is unremarkably 1 of the improve productions on board, too thus endure sure non to missy it.  There are unremarkably 2 runs for each evening’s present at the Princess Theatre.

Checking out the gym after dinner is the most appropriate, because I demand to know the equipment available to shed all those extra calories after all that eating.

The outdoor pool, which I had promised myself that I volition brand usage of, but never got to usage it because at that spot were just as good many things to practise on board.

The outdoor puddle expanse is also where ‘Movies nether the Stars’ takes identify every evening.  For a schedule of the movies that volition endure screened, yous volition demand to refer to your Princess Patter which is delivered to your cabin every evening.

This ends the showtime twenty-four hours of our cruise.  Stay tuned as we start sailing towards New Zealand.

This post is purpose of our New Zealand Cruise Trip Report too Itinerary. Do cheque out the total itinerary too our reviews here

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