We were first time cruisers on Princess. This was our 14th cruise, with about 9 on Royal Caribbean. I notice that first-timers on a cruise line tend to be more critical than others, I hope I am not.
CONS: Most of the negatives I have can really be attributed to most ships on any given cruise. The first was the terrible service we received on our second night in the dining room. We were a table of eight and went to our table at about 6:15 ("Anytime" or whatever they call it Dining). Our service was very slow. By 8 PM we were finished with our meals. Our plates were not picked up by 8:25. Finally all of us just got up and left without ever seeing the dessert menu. One in our group did complain to the dining room captain. This may have lead to the PRO comment to follow.
Our cabin attendant was slow to prepare our room the first day and was not there until about 3 PM even though we were out of the cabin all day.
One of the elevators was out of commission on and off through the cruise. Again this could happen on any ship. However the elevators on this ship are a joke. They are slow and we waited forever to get one. We both got a lot of exercise going up and down steps. They also seemed small in size for a 3600 passenger ship.
Maybe it was just us, but the our balcony cabin seemed narrower than others we've been on. It seemed as if they could cut about a foot from each cabin width to squeeze one or two more cabins in. And a big con which I am sure most people find it delicate to mention - the toilet paper dispenser was in a ridiculous location. You have to be a contortionist to get at it! People I talked to just grabbed the second roll and left it on the sink. Also, I have never before had the problem of getting cold water from a faucet, usually the other way around
The Sky Walk may be a great promotion but all it turned out to be was a way to get from one end to the other.
Finally embarkation and disembarkation was a fiasco, but this was due to the facilities FTL made this ship use.
PROS: After the dining room fiasco the first night, the service was fantastic. Since we were with different people and tables each night, I really can't say it was due to our complaints.
I think our cabin attendant has another assignment as she was the last one to begin cleaning rooms (I doubt she could "sleep in"), but after the first day our room was prepared quickly and always spotlessly.
The Piazza and all the areas of the ship were beautiful.
The crew was very friendly and helpful.
As it was our anniversary during the cruise, we enjoyed the Crown Grill where Istvan the waiter was excellent and of course the food was delicious.
PROS/CONS: The meals in the dining room were OK. To me the menus were about what you get on most cruise ships. As with most they are trying to get you into Specialty Dining now. The buffet was very good, nothing spectacular, but good. The crowds were not too bad. I do wish they had more coffee stations and a drink station.
All in all we had a great time and we didn't let the nit-picking things affect our enjoyment. I would consider Princess cruise line again. (It really does blow away its sister line - Carnival and worth the extra money we may have to pay.)