Golden Princess – The Food, Oh The Food.

Golden Princess, The Food, Oh The Food
Golden Princess, The Food, Oh The Food

“How come you got a Gold Cruise Card? Mine’s blue?” Said my friend Nova as we checked in for the Golden Princess.

“Yeah mines blue too” Bert pipped in looking slightly confused.

“‘Cause I’m a Gold member!”  I replied.

After my previous short cruise on the Sea Princess I was hooked. I was hooked like a fish to a line, like an addict to a new vice, I had to go again.

This time, I brought my friend Nova along and when there was a last minute sale Bert booked himself a cabin. We were sailing from Sydney to Melbourne on a relocation cruise after the ship made its way Down Under from San Francisco and completed its first ex Australia cruise to New Zealand.

At Sea on The Golden Princess
At Sea on The Golden Princess

The Ship

The Golden Princess, a grand class Princess cruise ship entered service in 2001 and at 109,000 tonnes and carrying 2600 passengers, it is larger than the Sea Princess which I sailed on previously. This was her first time sailing from Australian waters, being based in Melbourne for the summer cruise season.

Gorgeous Sydney Harbour before departure
Gorgeous Sydney Harbour before departure

Boarding

The ship, too large to fit under the Harbour Bridge was moored at the Overseas Passenger Terminal or OPT, the three of us met at the aptly named Cruise Bar at OPT prior to embarkation. Boarding was quite orderly and quick and after security took our pictures we found our cabins and dropped our bags off. She looked amazing on this warm Autumn Wednesday and as we strolled around the deck we took in one of Sydney’s most amazing icons, the Opera House.

Our outside obstructed view cabin
Our outside Obstructed Oceanview cabin, yes thats a lifeboat outside our window
Our view from the window of the lifeboat
Our view of the lifeboat from the window

 

The Cabin

We booked an Inside ‘guarantee’, we received an Obstructed Oceanview, cabin number 5616 located on the Emerald deck. If you’re not familiar with what a ‘guarantee’ is, basically you are not given a cabin number upon booking and are guaranteed that category or higher. There are pros and cons to it, and I wouldn’t suggest it if you are travelling with others who have their separate cabin and wish to be near each other, nor if you are particular about which part of the ship you like to be such as midships, you might end up with a higher category but aft or forward. In our case we were upgraded from and Inside to an Obstructed Oceanview. To be Honest, I wouldn’t rush in to book this category as there was nothing but the interior of a lifeboat outside out window, but it did allow natural light into the cabin, something which an Inside would not have and while it wasn’t the most pleasant of views, I knew if I saw people climbing in there we should probably leave the cabin….

The pool area, undercover
The pool area, undercover
The entertaining Art Auction
The entertaining Art Auction
On Board Trivia
On Board Trivia

The Daytime Activities

You can lay around the pool, there are several of them although while we were sailing I noticed the main pool was full of kids so we kind of avoided there. While the art auction didn’t really appeal to us we did find ourselves watching part of it as the auctioneer was such a performer. Trivia is something that we all love and we took part in that although only reached a score of 11/20! Brushing up for next time.

Movies Under The Stars (or sky in the daytime)
Movies Under The Stars (or sky in the daytime)
Rounding Wilsons Promontory in Victoria
Rounding Wilsons Promontory in Victoria

On Deck

Of course if its a nice day, its better to be out on deck enjoying the sunshine and taking in the sea views, or watch the entertainment on the big screen while enjoying a few cocktails.

The Princess Theatre
The Princess Theatre
At the aft, Skywalker nightclub
At the aft, Skywalker nightclub
Skywalkers Nightclub during the day
Skywalkers Nightclub during the day

The Night Time Entertainment

The Nutbush city Limits. Unless you like hearing and performing the moves to this song over and over again and/or get seasick DON’T head to the Sywalkers nightclub. Located aft and above the deck the nightclub shakes and moves, no seriously, the movement is momentous, it shakes and sways and rumour has it that it slows the ship down and/or costs more in fuel.

The shows are another story, while on board, Bert and I went and saw the production British Invasion, while we lost Nova somewhere in the casino.The show wasnt as good as what I saw on the Sea Princess and there seemed to be times where they were miming, nonetheless it was a quality production although perhaps the theme may have been better suited to say an Australian show? Didn’t love it, but didn’t hate it. There was also a comedian on board and a wonderful pianist which kept us entertained in the Promenade Lounge and Bar.

Breakfast in the Horizon Buffet
Breakfast in the Horizon Buffet

The Food: Breakfast

Breakfast was taken in the Horizon Court Buffet on both mornings and we had our fill of delicious breakfast fare. Several types of bacon and sausages, eggs done many ways and cod cuts and cheeses. Muffins, Danish pastries and fruit galore, there was an awe inspiring array of food to start our day.

A-La-Carte lunch in the restaurant
A-La-Carte lunch in the restaurant

The Food: Lunch

Food is generally the highlight of any cruise and this was definitely true of ours, dare I say it, even better than my cruise on the Sea Princess. This time, we dined mostly in the restaurant and it was a cut above. We didn’t head to the specialty restaurant, we didn’t feel we needed to as the cuisine was wonderful in the main restaurant, Canaletto

English Green Pea Soup with cheddar and chive croutons
English Green Pea Soup with cheddar and chive croutons
Philly Steak Sandwich on Toasted French Baguette with smothered onions and cheddar cheese melt, crisp fries
Philly Steak Sandwich on Toasted French Baguette with smothered onions and cheddar cheese melt, crisp fries

Bert went for the Soup and Sandwich combo opting for the English Green Pea Soup with cheddar and chive croutons and Philly Steak Sandwich on Toasted French Baguette with smothered onions and cheddar cheese melt, crisp fries.

Bert: “The entree was smooth and had traditional flavours” he commented.

Yes I tried a bit of Berts lunch and while the Philly Steak Sandwich was yummo, the fries reminded me of the frozen kind which was a bit of a damper.

Mozarella and vine ripened tomatos with basil, anchovies and balsamic reduction
Mozzarella and vine ripened tomatoes with basil, anchovies and balsamic reduction
Spinach Fettuccini with Mushrooms in a garlic-tomato sauce
Spinach Fettuccini with Mushrooms in a garlic-tomato sauce

Nova went for the Mozzarella and vine ripened tomatoes with basil, anchovies and balsamic reduction for her entree and Spinach Fettuccini with Mushrooms in a garlic-tomato sauce.

Nova said “The pasta was perfectly al-dente!”

I tried some of the mozzarella s well and it was divine, there is nothing like the almost squeaky puffiness of of the milky balls

New Zealand Green Shell Mussels in Teriyaki-ginger broth
New Zealand Green Shell Mussels in Teriyaki-ginger broth
Sauteed Red Snapper on Marinara and Basil Sauce with succotash and roasted potatos
Sautéed Red Snapper on Marinara and Basil Sauce with succotash and roasted potatoes

For myself, I went for seafood for both entree and main. New Zealand Green Shell Mussels in Teriyaki-ginger broth for my starter and Sautéed Red Snapper on Marinara and Basil Sauce with succotash and roasted potatoes. The mussels were cold yet fresh with a couple still holding their roe and the teriyaki-ginger broth added to the fresh flavour. The Snapper with the succotash was equally as impressive. So what is succotash? In Australia, the word is usually associated with Sylvester from Loony Tunes “Sufferin’ succotash” but as I leaned it is more than a term coined by a cartoon, but a dish or side of corn kernels and beans. It went well with the fish which was moist and pan fried beautifully, although I found the marinara sauce to be a little too rich.

Walnut, Pear and Chocolate Turnover in Vanilla Sauce
Walnut, Pear and Chocolate Turnover in Vanilla Sauce
Fresh Fruit Tartelet with Whipping Cream
Fresh Fruit Tartelet with Whipping Cream

Desert was almost entertaining with its presentation.Walnut, Pear and Chocolate Turnover in Vanilla Sauce was rich while the Fresh Fruit Tartelet with Whipping Cream was indeed fresh although I swear it was looking at me until I ate the grapes 😉

Oh The Food: Dinner

Pan Fried Sea Scallops in Butter Sauce
Pan Fried Sea Scallops in Lemon Butter Sauce
Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Crispy Crackle, roasted carrots and English Spinach
Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Crispy Crackle, roasted carrots and English Spinach

Bert ordered the Pan Fried Sea Scallops in Lemon Butter Sauce for entree and the Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Crispy Crackle, roasted carrots and English Spinach. I was jealous, both dishes looked divine.

Bert: The plump scallops were full of flavour and the pork delish, although the crackle (crackling) could have been crispier.

On another night, I went for the pork dish and I found it quite nice.

Smoked Tasmanian Salmon with Baby Capers
Smoked Tasmanian Salmon with Baby Capers
Fettucini in Garlic Cream Sauce
Fettucini in Garlic Cream Sauce

Nova went for the salmon starter and the pasta for main, with a serving of cracked pepper.

Nova: “Again the pasta was perfectly al-dente!”

Entree, Asparagus with Filo Pastry in Garlic Cream Sauce
Asparagus with Filo Pastry in Garlic Cream Sauce
Lamb rack with Herb Crust and Roasted Potatoes with Pan Juices
Lamb rack with Herb Crust and Roasted Potatoes with Pan Juices

For my entree I chose the Asparagus with Filo Pastry in Garlic Cream Sauce and I was kind of surprised that the filo pasty was just that, pastry, but the dish was nice and the asparagus cooked perfectly. For Main I chose the Lamb rack with Herb Crust and Roasted Potatoes with Pan Juices. Cooked to perfection still rare but but bleeding the meat simply meted in the mouth.

The traditional Bombe Alaska on the final night
The traditional Bombe Alaska on the final night

I’m not sure if its an Australian thing, but on the 4 cruises I have on been on there is always the Bombe Alaska on the last evening, strangely though, they didn’t serve any! I’m guessing its all just for show.

The coast of New South Wales being left behind
The coast of New South Wales being left behind
She's got a big bum that Golden Princess
She’s got a big bum that Golden Princess

The three of us had a ball! While the ship is bigger, it didn’t feel to big and yet people weren’t on top of each other. I did feel the entertainment and activities were lacking, but the food was outstanding.

It was nice being a Gold Member and I was greeted with a “Welcome back Sir” Everywhere I went on the ship. So how do you become a Gold Member? All you need to do is take one cruise with Princess Cruises and you’re automatically one on your next. Nova and Bert will be Gold Members next time!

FreakyFlier, Nova and Bert all paid their cruise fares independently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I haven’t heard of this ship! The food is definitely a highlight though. I have never really found much of the entertainment on cruises that great. The only thing that we really liked on one cruise was a well known trickster teaching everyone the secrets of pickpocketing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s