I've been on a number of the Grand Class ships before but this one beat them hands down in most areas!
It is so well designed: you never realise that there are so many passengers.
Like other Princess ships, there are main dining rooms, speciality restaurants, bars, a club, theatres, shops and plenty of deckspace around the pools/tubs.
What it didn't have was young people! My wife, aged 51, must have been in the youngest 150! In fact 150 could've been the average age! With such elderly cruisers the pace was slow and the music/PA seemed to be rather too loud ---for our ears.
Most of the passengers were fellow Brits. This was a shame because I really enjoy meeting people from other countries. Still, the many trivia competitions were well attended and fun.
We dined in Sabatini's for our breakfast ---the three waitresses in there were brilliant!
For lunch we tried various locations and for our evening meals we went to the Crown Grill steakhouse four times (thanks Marius & George who looked after us so well), had room-service once and otherwise used the main restaurants.
We did find the plague of photographers too much. The prices are so high as well. You'll sell more if you half the prices, guys.
Yes, we did some ship's tours at some ports:
Gibraltar: the dolphin watch. Great fun but no dolphins. I give it ****
Corfu: missed because we helped some poor Syrians who were in a really bad way.
Dubrovnik: Sadly I missed this because I had injured my leg playing tennis (!)
Koper: ship's tour to Piran. So interesting---although some people found it too focused on history and culture! I give it *****
Venice: we did our own thing (ate at Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal---wow!)
Valetta: I've never been to Malta before. We went on the ship's Hypogeum tour. It was absolutely amazing. If you are into history this is a great experience! *****
Cadiz: the ship's tour to see the Andalusian horses and taste sherry was one of our highlights. *****
Otherwise, the good and bad things:
For me, the food in the main dining areas was disappointing. Also, the long queues that happen on such a huge ship. The luggage collection ashore once we had disembarked in Southampton was awful.
The good things for me that I haven't already mentioned.... the crew were fab, some of the entertainers were so good (the Russian girls Lady Hit Trio who played their violins and accordion so well plus Chris Ricketts, the singer/guitarist who was so enthusiastic about sea shanties ----not everyone's cup of tea though.
Would I go on this ship again? Yes.
Would I go on this cruise again?...Probably yes.
Would I change the time of year? Well, I just wish that there was a greater mix of passenger nationalities and ages.