I have not been on the Golden, but have been on the Grand.... wonderful ship!! I dont know what lines you have cruised on before, but Princess is fantastic. You will be very pleased with your choice. We tried PC dinging for the first time in April, and really liked it. But this is one area where opinions really vary. I hope you will find it as enjoyable as we did. Have a great time!
Never been on the Golden, but we were just on the Grand on 9/1/02 sailing and loved the ship. We too loved personal choice dining for the convenience and felt more relaxed not having fixed seating times. This was our 1st cruise, so we didn't have much to compare it with but we felt Princess delivered everything we expected and more. The Pools /hot tubs are freshwater and open 24/7 and they had a good variety of activities and shows for all age groups.
If you have any particular questions, please post them.
We were on the Golden for our first cruise March 30. Loved her! She was beautiful and it is because of her that we are now addicted to cruising! We did the Eastern Route too and we were very happy with the itinerary. I'm sure you'll have a great time. For more information, you can check out our review on this site!