We always fly to the city where the cruise embarks at least a day early, we don't need the hastle or stress that the airlines can't get you to the cruise when you are scheduled. We spend the night at the LAX Hilton, nice hotel, we had to give the taxi driver the next morning directions of how to get to the San Pedro pier.
We have been on the Sapphire Princess before, fine ship that is well maintained. The service was excellent, from the cabin steward to the dining staff. We have never found service on Princess to be anything short of great.
Dining: We seldom use the Horizon Court Buffet, although the few times I went there for a cup of coffee it was very busy, therefore I don't really have an opinion on it. We ate breakfast in the dining room, the meal was always first class, good food and service. The first morning I asked for a bowl of Granola and mixed berries, the cereal they brought me appeared to be Muslix. I questioned the waiter who sent the head waiter to us. He listened to my comments and said that is what they have as Granola in the dining room. HE offered to go to the buffet and see if they had anything else as Granola to offer, he returned with a single serving box of Granola and it was just what I wanted. I would say he went out of his way to see that I received what I wanted.
We ate dinner as 'anytime dining in the Savoy dining room', good food and excellent service. Anytime dining is the only way to go.
We had some rough seas on the first full day out, on the way to San Francisco. They said it was caused by high winds, we arrived 6 hours late therefore canceling all of the tours for day. The best port was Santa Barbara, with the most disappointing being Catalina Island. Overall a good variety of ports.
The entertainment on Princess cruises is where the line really needs to make improvments. There production shows are entertaining, but seem to lack any real differences from show to show. They don't even change the backdrops between numbers. Individual entertainers are not used much by Princess, but I think they should consider bringing them back, at least then you could have some amount of choice in entertainment each night. Princess seems to think we want to watch movies on a cruise, I could stay home and save a lot of money watching movies at home.