Let me start by saying that I went into this cruise with an open mind even after reading some negative reviews. I would say that overall it was not a bad cruise, just not up to the standards that I would have expected, based on reputation.
The cleanliness was an issue from the first day. My wife had a stain on her sheet which, was unpleasant right from the start. The ship itself was pretty clean although some of the tables in the buffet area were not cleaned especially well, not bad, just not what I would have expected. We found the service in the buffet area especially poor, considering it took forever to get a glass of water, coffee, or tea. On Carnival there were self serve drinking areas, not so on Princess. This was very frustrating as if you did try to serve yourself, you were given a nasty look or a brusque response. Princess should, in my opinion, put self serve water stations in at the very least.
As for the buffet food....not real good...usually it was either cold or overdone, depending on what you ate...the roast beef I had, was under cooked and tough...not a good combination. I will say the deserts were very good either at the buffet or the dining rooms. Regarding the menus, they did not change very much from day to day, unlike Carnival which changed every day.
Now for the more positive aspects, the wait staff in the dining rooms either at breakfast, lunch or dinner was supreme. They were excellent in every way. The head waiter, Giovanni, was outstanding in helping get a menu for our vegan son. I wish all the food service staff was as good as the dining room staff. The International Cafe has some wonderful deserts and snacks available 24 hours, which was very nice.
I will say the food in the dining room was very good, but if you really want to treat yourself, I suggest the Crown Grill, especially if you like beef. It is an extra $25 per person, but I will tell you that it was the best steak I have ever eaten. I had the Fillet Mignon and it was cooked to perfection, the rest of the meal was as good as the steak and you could order as much as you like for the 25 dollars! Not a better deal in the "real world" anywhere that I know of.
The entertainment on the Star Princess was excellent as well, although I thought they would be longer, I enjoyed them very much. The ports of call were excellent, even if the weather was not ideal..lots of rain, but I am from Washington, so....
Overall I had a good time, but I also felt that this trip was lacking in some way that the Carnival trip didn't. We did find it harder to find nooks and crannies to just get quite time without smokers around, that was a real drawback. I don't know that I would take Princess again, as I think I will try another cruise line next time. I hope this is helpful to someone in the future.