The ship is absolutely exquisite she is bang up to date with iPads being used all over(most notably in the QSINE restaurant.) The subtle use of solar power and other ingenious little tweaks pay homage to the "Save the waves" policy.
This was the first cruise I have been in a suite therefore the first time I have had a butler. The room was incredible. It was easily twice the size of the previous rooms I have been in and, even with a family of four, there were still empty drawers. Our Room Steward Jessie from the Philippines was lovely, he could not do enough for you and was always ready to chat when you had a moment. Our Butler was Erwin from Honduras. He was a nice guy who was always ready to book things or get food however we often found that we weren't quite sure what he was supposed to do. The thing we have seen on Princess is that there is a stand in your room on arrival that says 'hello I'm x your steward you can call me on y number' It would have been nice to have one for Erwin as we felt like we were under-using him.
The food again was universally excellent. The chefs (led by executive chef Thomas from Dusseldorf) were doing a great job behind the scenes. The food in the Oceanview cafe may be called repetitive and bland by some but I call it dependable and good quality. There was always a familiar choice and also a good amount of change to spice things up a bit. The staff in there are friendly but can be a bit quiet. None of the repetitive offers of coffee or juice that appear on other cruise lines. The main dining room is a great haunt in the evening. I definitely recommend that if you do the Celebrity Select dining option that you arrive at around 7pm it was always quieter and they seated us with no queue. With the suite you get 2 free meals in any of the speciality restaurants. (Side Note: although the brochure and various other sources say "2 free meals for 2" they actually cover the entire occupancy of the cabin) We dined in Tuscan Grill and QSINE. Tuscan Grill has great views 180 degrees around the back of the ship and has the most incredible steaks, I have it from a reliable source that the fillet Mignon was "like butter". The staff were welcoming and it an experience to have a can of diet coke put on ice. QSINE was an experience in itself. The entire concept is quirky and definitely designed to appeal to the younger generation of cruiser. The food is also great and the waiters and waitresses are enthusiastic and welcoming. I would defiantly recommend that you leave plenty of time (we were there for 2 1/2 hours) and that you have a chocolate tombstone (Huge but worth it!)
There are two factors that disappointed firstly, the iLounge IT IS NOT AN APPLE STORE it is a glorified Internet cafe with macs and extreme rates. There is a reasonable range of apple products at VERY respectable prices (marked in USD GBP and EURO) and a couple of iPods and iPads on display but don't get your hopes up of an apple type environment. The Internet costs a whopping $0.75 per minute and is really not worth it. There is often wifi ashore.
The second disappointment was the entertainment. The dancers were great but the cost cutting measures really showed. The sets were uninspiring and the production shows were, at times, just odd. There were several speciality entertainers, some where half decent but there seemed to be an abundance of musical themed acts. There was not one comedian but there were a few people who were billed as them e.g. a "comedy magician". The one truly hilarious act though was the singer that really was trying too hard. Though I'm not doubting his west end credentials, he just wasn't up to it.
The Cruise Director was a Mr Paul Baya, a very unusual figure. He was incredible on the daily show, "celebrity life activities today" but he had no real distinguishing factor. He tried to be funny on a couple of occasions but there was no quirky introduction to the show or anything like that, he often didn't even introduce the shows, they just started, sometimes with a random song that really just seemed out of place. Mr Baya also didn't seem to be around the ship as much as some CDs of the past. He entrusted many major responsibilities to the "Activities manager" Matt, Even letting him intro the show one night. His entire staff were great, friendly and always around.
The ports were incredible, often within 5 minutes of the city. They were also new to me. If any I would defiantly recommend Kotor Montenegro, the view is STUNNING. We did a very interesting tour in Malta, the 3 cities and Harbour cruise" it comprised of a coach journey around several sights of interest, a short walk and a cruise around both of the harbours ending up literally in front of the ship, our guide was informative and chatty, the tour is definitely worth a look.
Overall the ship, staff and food are brilliant. It was a privilege to be aboard the beautiful ship and it is certainly worth a look.