We had booked this as cruise only so I will only talk about the cruise. We arrived at he ship at 14:30 the embarkation was simple and easy, very efficient. We were meeting our friends on the ship and they were waiting for us. We had a ocean view cabin it was quite roomy with plenty of space for storage, particularly enough coat hangers for all our stuff including all my wife's dresses. The bed and pillows were very comfortable.
The emergency drill was very strange, because our muster station was in the casino, I am really not too sure about mustering at an internal location in a real emergency ( thinking about Herald of Free Enterprise and Concordia) I found it disturbing I would want to be at the lifeboat. In future this is something I would want to know before booking a cruise I never thought this would be allowed.
The Horizon buffet was good for breakfast and lunch and we ate there one evening when tired after a tour. I really don't like eating at the buffet in the evening too much temptation to put everything you fancy on a plate and you end up with a kind of chop suey.
We were on anytime dining which we were not too happy about because we prefer late sitting but we were told it was full. Anytime dining has it advantages ( you can go when you like but if you go after seven there are queues ) there are also disadvantages, you don't have the same waiters and you do not build up a relationship ( which can be good or bad) it explains the tips been added to the cabin account. Otherwise you would have to carry money to tip every night. (They always ask your room number)
Talking about service, generally the service was very good our cabin steward was friendly and efficient. The crew in the Horizon buffet were particularly friendly and helpful. There was no shortage of crew anywhere you could get help where ever you were.
In the evening we ate at either the Da Vinci or Michelangelo restaurants. The food was good but not exceptional. The service was also good. However we did suffer bad service in the Da Vinci dinning room on the last night. The service was very slow, snail pace they would serve one and not us all. There were six of us but only four of us were drinking wine so we would order a bottle of wine one night and our friends would order a bottle of wine another night. The last night our friends ordered a bottle of wine. When it came it was corked, so he refused it. The waiter argued that it was OK and we should accept it. When you are paying $38 for a bottle of wine and it's corked you don't accept it and you don't expect an argument. The waiter sent for the sommelier who agreed with us that it was corked. So another bottle was ordered. They still tried to charge our friend for the first bottle. This left a bad taste in the mouth in more ways than one. It soured our opinion of Princess. You know it's the little things that count.
The entertainment was at best mediocre, it says a lot when members of the crew can sing better than the singers that are on in the theatre. There were two guys from Essex who sang Beetles songs one night and another they sang Everly brothers, trouble is they sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks. I think if they billed themselves as a Alvin and the Chipmunks tribute band it would be acceptable.
The dancers were good, the magician was terrible and the violinist OK. The one bright spot was a group called Music Inc that played in the Explorers bar, the lady singer was quite amazing, great voice. We will always remember the pool party where she and her group were set up on the sun deck above the pool deck she was wearing a long dress with long flowing hair blowing in the wind blasting out great songs and everyone dancing. It was a night to remember like something out of a movie.
We also did dance lessons which were fun and enjoyable. Zumba which worked up a sweat.
The public areas were somehow lacking when we compared it to Royal Caribbean. On Formal evening we like to take our own photos but there are not that many good spots on the ship. It shows because the ship's photographers except for one place were all using backdrops. A large area was taken up an art galley which obviously you couldn't take photographs.
We never used the casino or Sky walkers lounge because the cigarette smoke in the both places was awful, the casino particularly caused contamination of the shopping area on deck 6. We wanted to shop there but I had picked up a cold three days into the cruise and the smell just caused me to have coughing fits so couldn't stay in that area.
We always like to get exercise particularly on sea days. So we would walk around on deck 7 if you walked 2 1/2 times round was one mile. But as you walked around the bow there was a awful smell of very strong cigarette smoke being expelled from a vent not nice to walk through at all.
Disembarkation was very simple.
We enjoyed the cruise particularly the itinerary and not everything was bad however I do not think I would book another cruise on this ship or with Princess, maybe our expectation were too high we found Princess to be lower in quality than RCL. In the ship and entertainment. Generally the service was good except the last evening which was terrible and has possibly coloured my judgement.