We have friends who've said that Princess is their favorite cruise line. We sailed several times on other lines and decided to take the Golden Princess from LA to Hawaii this year. Nothing was awful, but everything was average at best. Staff was very friendly although our room steward never called us by name (even though our names were listed on door nameplate, and we saw him often).
Our balcony size was good, but our room was much smaller than on previous lines at same category. Some balconies are not covered at all, but ours had a half roof. You can be seen by people on decks above you!
Tiny bathroom and tiny shower, room frig not stocked, dirty balcony (paint chips all over furniture and deck and never cleaned), and dim cabin lighting made for less than good experience. The worst thing was that the bed had NO TOP SHEET, just the duvet! Yuk! I finally asked for a top sheet and got one on the third day. (We also had to request a robe if we wanted one.)
The ship itself was kept very clean.
Entertainment was average, but we didn't like to have to pay extra for some of the activities (like lei making and scrapbooking).
We chose anytime dining which also offered a way to make a set reservation for a particular time. We never had to wait more than 10 minutes for a table in the dining room. The service, however, was awful. We had to wait an hour to an hour and a half to receive our meal! the food was beautifully presented but lacking in taste, often over-cooked or under-cooked. Desserts were always good.
There were 3 formal nights, but we only attended one of them. Most of the time we ate at the buffet on the Lido deck. The buffet was crowded and not well set up. People were constantly bumping into each other trying to navigate between the food islands. Table service was spotty. We often had to wave a napkin to get a waiter's attention to bring us a drink of water or to get clean silverware.
Unless you chose to drink and dance and gamble, there wasn't a lot to do on board, and the 4.5 days at sea coming and again returning became monotonous. The "library" was woefully inadequate, and we missed getting a daily "newspaper" like we always have on Holland America.
We were glad that the laundry room was available and clean, but it closes at 10pm; and one night our clothes weren't finished drying yet at 10pm, and the steward asked us to leave. We had to take our damp clothes back to the room!
The excursions were rather expensive for what was offered.
Ok, no cruise is a bad cruise, but this one is not one we'll recommend or repeat.