Let me start by saying that my wife and I are far from the most experienced Cruisers, but this cruise was our 4th in the last 2 years so we have a lot to compare it to. Previously we had traveled on Celebrity x2, and Royal Caribbean.
Since I have family in Seattle, we did the program where you can bring aboard people onto the ship for a quick tour and lunch. At first we were told that only our guests would be eating by themselves and we would not be able to join them. After a quick argument to get our cruise started we were all allowed to tour and dine together. The one benefit of this program (at a cost $39 per person) is that we were literally the FIRST guests to board the ship. The meal was rather unimpressive considering they are trying to solicit business and future cruise sales.
As for our cabin, it was in the very back of the ship actually facing outwards. Cabin number D735. We had looked up reviews for this cabin because it says "beam" obstruction. All the reviews seemed to say it was still a great cabin to be in, and my wife and I could not agree more. The beam is there, but it was hardly a big deal for us. The balcony was about 12 feet long from sliding door to glass rail and 10 feet wide from neighbor on our left to steward space on our right. The beam comes into play on the right hand side about 3 feet from the glass railing and comes out about 2 feet. There is actually about a 30 square foot space of balcony past the beam where there is no obstruction at all. There is also a speaker located right above the balcony which was not in use at all during the trip.
Now to the food. The main dining hall provided very good food every night in our opinion. Not EXCELLENT, but very good. The outdoor pizza place is a very nice touch and the pizza was pretty decent. The grill with burgers, hotdogs, etc. was nothing from nothing.
I gave the buffet its own paragraph, because it deserves one. And not for good reason. The Breakfast buffet is a word was edible. The lunch and dinner buffets were DISGUSTING. My wife and I kept going back everyday thinking that something would have to change, and it never did. It was crowded, the choices were limited and not appetizing at all. The 2 times that I actually did get something from there (some sort of chicken in some slop sauce) I had to literally spit some pieces of food out into my napkin. I don't know if this is a Princess problem in general, or if it is specific to the Star Princess, but it was just down right BAD. We were very disappointed with that.
As for the cruise itself, the port towns are small and mostly filled with cruise lined owned shops. You MUST go on excursions to see the amazing natural beauty of Alaska.