Embarcation was fast and friendly for those of us that were Elite Members, the only hold up was the forced photo taking by the ship's photographers followed shortly there after by the Security Staff taking pictures with handheld devices as you entered the ship. They need to speed this process up.
The ship is gorgeous and beautifully decorated, the Piazza is spectacular and would turn out to be a great venue for many events and shows during our rainy week onboard. Plenty of deck areas and the jumbo television was fantastic - the showing of Top Gun was incredible on the big screen. Dining rooms were nice and food was good to excellent. The only disappointment was the traditional Thanksgving Dinner - cold, boring, no flavor and rubbery. Shows were fair to good, although the Beatle Maniacs and the Magician were top notch. Really enjoyed the cafe and the black and white mousse (I am going through withdrawals). Casino is way too small with limited gaming and the boutiques on Princess continue to be the best of any cruise lines we have encountered, one of the reasons we come back frerquently to Princess is our Elite Status this really pays off with additional discounts in the boutiques especially when planning on a jewlerty purchase. In Cabin Free Movies - nice! since it was so rainy we caught up on some missed films.
Disappointments: The Spa was a real disappointment - the Serenity Spa area was small, too hot, and too close. There was no way to get fresh air since it is down on deck 5 and many times it was dirty and controling the entrance of non-paying guests was poor, so whjy did I spend the $150.00 per person to get in when other came and went as they pleased?? Spa Staff was not the friendliest with one exception Carly, the acupunturist who was kind and pleasant to everyone. The pools were too small for the number of people using them. Promenade: Chopped up and not contiguous - very disappointing (love the Promenades on the Grand Class Ships).
Cabins: Smal and no storage with clostrophobic bathrooms. Missing: A lounge which looked out to see where you could read and relax, Loss of the traditional WheelHouse Bar as a formal room, now it is in a hallway and acts as the bar for the steakhouse - disappointing.
Overall: A good cruise but not particularily memorable