Took the 4 day Golden from LA to Santa Barbara to Ensenada with 11 other girls; us girls (our Book Club) took this same cruise 3 years ago on the Sapphire. Let me begin by saying this was my 15th cruise and I am an avid Celebrity fan; however we had a good experience on Princess in the Caribbean and Alaska. I have NEVER experienced a nightmare like we had on 9/30 trying to Board .... hours waiting in the terminal without adequate seating; Someone indicated there had been a problem clearing the ship earlier in the day, but regardless ... this was really unacceptable. On Celebrity you get a glass of champagne upon boarding, not even water on this one .... after waiting hours to board.
Cabins were "standard" balcony ... it was nice as we had 6 cabins in a row with the balconies opened up for visiting back and forth. Beds are extremely hard, but acceptable.
Dining Room: I guess the days of great food are really over. With 2,700 on board, rarely did anything come out hot .... luke warm was the norm. Selections were adequate but nothing exciting.
Entertainment: I don't know if there was something wrong with the singers ability to hear the orchestra or what was going on, but everyone was totally off-key on the first night to the point it actually hurt your ears; however, the last night's British Invasion featured the same singers and the show was very good. Several of our group wouldn't even go the last night because the show was so bad the first night....Go figure??
Service: Salvation of the cruise was the service, particularly our Waiter and Assistant Waiter. They did everything in their power to make sure we were happy. Service in general was very good.
Disembarkation was certainly a better experience than getting on, but still left a bit to be desired, getting us off about 30-35 minutes past our scheduled time.
Would I sail Princess again (this was our 5th) yes, if the price and itinerary were right. However, if all was even I would always opt for Celebrity!