This will be one cruise that will go down as certainly not the best. I suppose I should start with the positive. The staff was one of the most friendliest and helpful that we have ever had. The head waiter came around twice every nightmake sure we were satisfied with our meal. That is more than any maitre d has ever done. It was the only time I felt they deserved the extra tip. Our room steward was a very pretty hard working Filipino Ladydydy that was very efficient and very friendly. The bar waiters were not in your face as far as pushing drinks. The staff was one of the best.
Now for the negative. As soon as we arrived to the port I thought Princess should step it up as far as getting guests through the queue and on the ship. We arrived at 12:45 and had to line up outside the terminal like cattle. Last month on the Oasis we didn't have to line up at all. As soon as we got on the ship we went up to the Horizon Cafe. Forget about a seat there so we sat out beside the Terrace Bar. I noticed patch paint jobs around the pool bar. Then we were at the International Cafe and I noticed a table that had a chunk of marble glued to it. Our room linens were fine but I noticed that the carpet was all lumpy and there was patched cracked shelf in the bathroom. The shower head was stationery so if you didn't quite fit to it you were out of luck.
The entertainment was nothing spectacular. Dancing numbers were more like the shake your booty stripper dancing. The singers were very good except for one female that sounded screechy. They also had a very good comedian named Sarge and a Jersey boys type singing group that were very good. On the positive side at least they had 3 performances a night so we always got to see the shows early. The other entertainment was the casino. I have never experienced a casino with such tight machines. I stopped going there after the first night because I could tell that these machines were not hitting at all. Other passengers were complaining too. It's too bad because I enjoy going to the casino and playing the machines but I don't enjoy it if the machine never gives you a break to win a bit. Also it was so smokey that you could smell the smoke waft up to the 8th floor through the stairwell.
Our stops were Princess Cays,(we had been there before so we didn't even get off the ship), Curacao (arrived 2 hours late because of gale force winds- all the excursions were cancelled) and Aruba. In Curacao and Aruba we hired a taxi to take us around the island for $20 each. Both drivers were very knowledgeable tour guides and we were quite satisfied with what they did for us.
The meals on the ship were so so. Not great and memorable but not terrible either. We had the late sitting in the Palm restaurant. One thing we noticed was that breakfast was served in one of the restaurants only until 9 am. Thus we never got to use the restaurant and had to eat in the very crowded buffet. Also the restaurants were not opened for lunch unless it was a sea day but they never advertised it. All in all I was glad we went on this cruise because we would like to do the British Isles cruise but it is with this ship so we will do it with another cruise line I should mention that we have sailed on the other sister ships, Emerald, Ruby and Crown. They are newer and not as worn out. My feeling is that if you are paying a Premium price you should expect a Premium ship. Princess has not reduced their prices to what you pay on Carnival so I would expect better. Time to refurbish. Maybe Princess should spend less on new builds and take care of the ships they have in service. Having said that we did put money down on our next cruise. We will just check out what the ship is like a bit better.