We flew to Los Angeles the day before the cruise and stayed at the Marriott. It was a great place to stay. They picked us up at the airport and carried us back the next day to catch our shuttle. The hotel food was extremely expensive so we walked across the street and ate at a Mac Donald's. We chose the Princess shuttle because we were not familiar with LA and felt unsafe to travel not knowing our way around. The shuttle worked out great and embarkment was a bit long. It took about 45 minutes to check in, then you had to go to another holding area and wait to be called. All in all it took over an hour and a half to get on the ship.
The lido deck staff kept tables cleaned and helped seat you. I really do like how on a Princess cruise the silverware is on the table for you and they bring you your drinks even in the Lido deck. It was also kept clean and ready to use.
Our room was an obstructed oceanview. It was just standard size, plenty of closet space and a very small circular shower. It was adequate.
One thing we noticed was the room stewards had many rooms and often our room was not tidied until around 2:00 PM. However, it was done efficiently, no towel animals, but chocolates on the pillows. Another thing, no sheets - just a comforter.
Bed and pillows were comfortable and we slept very good the entire 14 days.
Sail away - no party at all really. This was a disappointment to us as usually we enjoy the party atmosphere as we leave port.
On sea days, we enjoyed the pool and hot tubs and we were just plain lazy. Movies were offered during the day as well as on the big screen. I do not think we even watched one. We just enjoyed hanging around.
The clubs/bars entertainment was pretty good. We enjoyed watching the people who could dance, dance every night. You can forget getting into a lei or ukulele class unless you are willing to get up very early. They do need more classes for these as I had wanted to participate. Many activites were offered, but they did not interst me.
The first two days the weather was cool, next two days were very comfortable not hot, not cold. We had 4 beautiful days in Hawaii. All ports were on schedule. Everything went just as planned. Coming back my husband and I both developed a cold/sinus problems (no fever) so we were miserable and mostly slept late and did nothing. It was a long return trip for us. Food was good and many options.
In Hilo, if you want to see as much of the island as possible in the time you have, book Mary Lou's tours on line.