This was my first cruise on Princess at the Platinum level. I booked it specifically to go through the Panama Canal and I was not disappointed. I noted the upgraded service immediately when I was directed to the preferred customer check-in queue, and following that, the priority boarding lounge. As such, I avoided the crowds and boarded the ship shortly after the elite level passengers. Outside of the 240 free internet minutes, the only other time my Platinum status came into play was when I was disembarking. I used the special lounge. There were nightly cocktail parties for Platinum and above, but those are not my thing and I skipped them.
Staterooms were open upon boarding. I was able to drop off my carry on, change into shorts, and eat lunch before the buffet got crowded. I was also able to purchase the soda fountain package.
A few days before sailing I was notified that my inside stateroom had been upgraded to an obstructed outside. This was nice, though they aren't kidding about the obstruction. The blackout curtains worked perfectly. The stateroom was larger than most I've used. As usual, there are never enough power outlets or desk space, but I'm always prepared for such things. One note was the flat screen TV was nice, though the stateroom was obviously constructed for an older tube model TV. As such, the mounting position made it difficult to access the connectors on the back of the set. I was able to finally connect the HDMI cable I brought to the TV and then to my notebook computer. This was so I was able to watch DVDs on the stateroom television. Since I've gotten progressive lens glasses, it's impossible to lay back on the bed and watch the notebook computer TV screen. The high mount position of the stateroom TV allowed me to lie in bed and watch DVDs.
The only other thing of note was a flickering light which started around the ninth day of the cruise. It was promptly repaired the next day.
I took anytime dining and met a variety of people. The food was good, and properly proportioned.
Ship entertainment was typical of most ships. There were production shows, specialty acts, and the usual trivia and game shows. I did not attend bingo sessions or horse racing, nor did I use the ship casino. I did see three films. I saw Man of Steel as a movie under the stars, Red 2 in the Princess Theater, and Now You See Me in the Universe Lounge. All were nice venues, though it rained on me during Man of Steel.
The most unfortunate thing is that the pool screen stopped working about 3/4th of the way through the cruise. I suspect some activities or films had to be suppressed when football games were broadcast in one of the public areas. Still, I was kept entertained either through ship activities or through the books and DVDs I brought with me.
The Panama Canal crossing was amazing. I had planned ahead and brought my special telescoping camera mount. I received several looks of jealousy from this little device, which attaches to the camera. I could hold the camera over the heads of the other passengers to get photographs taken with the timer.
I enjoyed the ports and will cruise with Princess again.