We have been on 12 cruises and this is only the second time on Princess. I will start with the beginning and go from there. We arrived early in Ft.Lauderdale on November 25th and knew we might have to wait. We were given a number after checking in and was rudely told to find a seat in the terminal waiting area. There was confusion and a very hard to understand Princess person announcing who was to board the ship next. Then, the Elite Princess members got to board first even if they arrived after us. We finally got to board around 12:30.
We found our way to the cabin and was disappointed in the size of the bathroom. For a ship that's only 4 years old, we were surprised that the shower was so small and that shower curtains were still being used. We have been on other ships that have larger showers with doors and they were categorized as a balcony cabin such as ours. We didn't wait long for our luggage which was a good thing. The safety procedure went well, also.
We felt that the ship looked much older than its four years. I know they get a lot of use, but the carpets seemed worn in a lot of areas. One of our biggest complaints is that Princess does not enforce the dress code in the main dining rooms even though there is a sign there. Men were wearing shorts on casual nights and on formal nights, men were not wearing suits or tuxes. When we take the time to dress up and like to do so, why should others be allowed to dress like that?
In the Horizon Court buffet area, it was very congested. The area is too small for passengers to get their food. That area need to be revamped and have food stations, etc. The food in the main dining rooms was good, but not exceptional. We chose anytime dining and that went well. We sometimes got a table for two or shared a table with others. We usually went around 7-7:30 p.m. We did not eat at the specialty restaurants. We felt drinks were expensive and think that Princess should offer an alcohol package such as other cruise lines have.
The Movies Under the Stars is a nice feature, but what we saw during the day could be updated. We saw a silent Charlie Chaplin movie one day and old Love Boat re-runs. Also, the volume was very loud during the day...not a relaxing venue. There was maintenance going on which is to be expected, but it was varnishing the railings around the pool area. Why couldn't this be done at night so the smell and having to be careful not to touch it, during the day could be avoided?
Mid week during our cruise, the commodore spoke about passengers becoming sick with a gastrointestinal virus and how precautions were being taken for the rest of the cruise. We could not serve ourselves at the buffets, etc. which was fine with me if it helped in not getting sick. The entertainment that we saw was good. We saw the magician and comedian. We went to the casino every night but mostly enjoyed it when it was non-smoking. This was the largest ship we've been on and we didn't feel like it was crowded and it was easy to get around. All the Princess employees on the ship were very friendly and accommodating. Our cabin steward did his job well. I do have to say that we prefer the Celebrity cruise line to Princess and will mostly likely return to that.