Departed Sydney 2nd Sept 2013 from White Bay - we live in Sydney so train to Central and then taxi ($30) due to slow traffic - maybe train to Wynyard then taxi would save money. Boarding was slow but luckily elite passengers we went straight through. Ship same as Dawn and Sun just slightly different décor only, we like the setup.
Passengers average age was reported to be 68 years - I thought it was more - I think there were about 4 children and as per usual lots of people with walking aids, only a few young people, but lots of people in the 55 to 70 age group.
Entertainment by the ship dancing team and singers took a while to get going as they were all new to the Princess shows, so had to learn everything as the ship went along. Dancers picked it up and female singer was good, male singer was OK but needs to work on it. Generally there is 5 shows they always do on longer trips but only 3 were done. Other artists were on board to fill in some gaps, some were good others not so good - about average for these ships.
Food was good as you would expect from Princess no complaints in that area, beautiful presentations of cakes, ice carvings, fruit and veg sculptures. And Prawns. Ice Cream. Pizza's. yum yum
Accommodation was fine, had problem with fridge but was changed, cabin was quiet ( mostly ).
Activities on board were the usual - trivia, dancing ( had ballroom, line and hula ) , games, golf practice net, table tennis, Olympic games, port information lectures, lectures on sea life, war involving Australians and NZers, etc.
Music - plenty of variety from disco to ballroom all night long.
Ports of Call were all great fun and lots to see, we organized our own tours by just hopping off the ship onto buses or taxi's or booking a cruise on shore no problems, much cheaper than using ship tours.
Money - only money we needed to get was American for Hawaii and American Samoa - used a little in Tahiti also. All other ports could use Australian Dollars ( or even credit card - we used shopping in Walmart and Ross).
Alcohol was too expensive on board - purchased at Walmart for half price ship wanted.
Problems - some things always go wrong - ship sewerage smells in some areas - apparently the crew put some chemicals down the toilets which killed off the good bacteria or something in the tanks. Was slowly coming good by the time we departed.
Sometimes the shows were full one hour before they were scheduled to start, which is OK for repeat shows, but for one off shows is a pain. But this is pretty much the same on lots of ships, you just need to plan ahead your time, ship supplies a daily patter with all activities.
Other things - gym was good only packed for short time in morning - that's normal - no heart monitors worked on the running machines, towels and sterilizing wipes supplied.
Front of ship was blocked off on level 7 when anchor was raised - could watch on Dawn and Sun.
Had only a few rough days at sea, so some bouncing around, but nothing serious, cannot help that.
Lots of people did get sick and nearly everyone was coughing just like usual for a longer trip.
Overall it was a great trip - Hawaii - go for a helicopter ride in Kauai where Jurassic Park was shot to the craters and canyon apparently that was the highlight for most people ( about $300 - $500 each) suggest book online before you go for best value. Tahiti - highlight is the snorkeling with sharks and rays, can just get onto boat at Moorea when you arrive ( cost about $50 each).
Loved it. Back to housework and cleaning after kids mess.