Back to my Mexican quickie… my short cruise from Los Angeles to Ensenada on Golden Princess, that is.
When we last left off at the end of part I, I had boarded the Golden Princess for a three-night cruise, my first time on Princess Cruises.
* Part II – If These Walls Could Talk – cabins & balconies
I was able to book a balcony stateroom for this cruise. I was assigned stateroom B638 which is on the Baja Deck (aka the 11th floor). There was one deck of cabins above mine (the Aloha deck on the 12th floor) and then the pool and activity levels begin above that with the Lido Deck on 14 (there is no 13th!)
I liked the proximity of our cabin. We were mere steps from the aft elevators which proved to be convenient for embarkation/disembarkation with self-carry luggage.
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the door. While cruise ship cabins are rarely large outside of suites, this was not too cramped.
In addition to our two twin beds, the room included two small nightstands, a desk, a corner unit that contains a mini-fridge, and a sitting chair.
Twin beds can be requested to be made up together as a queen bed (in that case, the middle nightstand is moved to the other side of the bed).
Lamps are affixed to the nightstands.
We had a large open closet area in the entry way across from the bathroom. There was ample room for all of our clothing although we would have needed more hangers if the trip was much longer.
The closet area had no drawers but did include a tall narrow cabinet with many shelves and a built-in safe.
The bathroom had counter space and a large shelf underneath the sink area where toiletries could be stored.
The shower was small but the arch on the shower curtain gives enough room to shower comfortably.
Bathrobes are available from the suite stewardess on request. I saw some reviews online prior to my cruise suggesting these ran on the small size, but I found them to be ample and comfortable.
The balcony included two chairs and a table. There was plenty of room for two people to be on it at any given time.
The layout of the ship does not afford much privacy however. While there are partitions between them, they are not a barrier for noise.
Or cigarette smoke.
Or cigar smoke.
Or marijuana smoke.
Yes, despite the Princess “no smoking” policy, we endured all three of those things on our balcony.
But more so, there was noise. Lots of noise.
See the two levels below us? We could see onto their balconies… and those up and down several cabin spaces on either side.
People who were standing out it the morning in their underwear? We saw them.
Couples trying to catch a bit of romance on their balcony? We saw them.
The group of young adults who spent several hours on their balcony playing loud drinking games? We both saw AND heard them. (I’m pretty certain that half the ship heard them, especially when they broke into drinking songs in what I believe was Armenian.)
After my experience on this cruise, I would book a balcony room again. But I would book it on the Aloha Desk where it would be a bit further up and not tiered. That would give a bit more privacy.
But the great thing about cabins is that on a good ship, you won’t spend too much time in your cabin.