Just got back today; figured I'd write a review while it's fresh on my mind.
1. Very clean public rooms, state rooms, dining rooms, etc.: all first class.
2. Service and attitude among staff was professional, friendly and courteous.
3. Nightclubs/dancing (at Explorers): Thank goodness for the Liquid Blue Band. They were an awesome party / dance band that played in the Explorers Lounge. For 50-somethings that like to dance to music from the 70's and 80's [and a variety of other non-hip hop music], this is a great band.
4. Buffets for breakfast / lunch were fine.
5. If you're looking to get away from other people's kids, you found your cruise line. Fewer kids running amok.
6. Non-dance bars: Crooners Bar (can't say enough good things about their martinis, variety of drinks, customer service, excellent staff etc.)
7. Pools: thumbs up. Quite a variety of choices and plenty of lounge chairs were available. More
8. Spa: thumbs up. I did the "thermal lounge" - access for entire trip for $69; they have sauna rooms and hot tile lounge chairs to relax in. Nice retreat spot. The massages were very expensive, so the wives did the massages and my wife had a good experience.
9. Grand Turk: we strongly recommend www.gtdiving.com (3 hour Gibbs Cay Experience); we got to swim with and hold stingrays, swim with and touch nurse sharks. Very cool. $70 pp. Arranged online with Al & Chris in advance. Jason was a great guide. Meets you right on the beach.
1. Food: The evening meals in the main dining rooms (Michelangelo and DaVinci) were disappointing [versus our experience on Royal Caribbean]. The prime rib was dry, tasteless and pathetic. I gave NY strip a try another night and it was mediocre (I'm a medium rare guy; they didn't overcook it, but it was still dry and tasteless). I veered away from red meat the rest of the trip, but the fish/chicken etc. was equally pitiful. Nothing else was particularly noteworthy (appetizers, vegetables, desserts). The reports from my wife and our traveling companions regarding their meal selections were equally disappointing. One night we skipped the "fine dining" and did the buffet. I felt like I was at the Golden Corral, which is fine if you like the Golden Corral. At least it was quick.
2. Average Age: A comedian and a magician [separately] joked during their respective performances about the average age on the ship being 80. I guess that's OK [if you're 80, like my parents], but if you're closer to 40 than 90 you might want a different demographic experience.
3. Other dance scenes (other than the Explorers Lounge): The Skywalkers Lounge is designed to appeal to a younger set, so it had a DJ that played mostly hip hop music that all had the exact same remix beat. Think: Tokyo Disco scene. In fairness, one night (request night) he played more 70's and 80's music that appealed to the baby boomers. Club Fusion had more of a Las Vegas lounge singer type atmosphere. Not my personal preference but it might appeal to you.
4. Entertainment (Stage Acts at the Princess Theater): Meh. Thumbs down.
5. Cigar Bar [should be renamed the "Marlboro Lounge"]: Thumbs down (and I am a cigar enthusiast). This is a relatively small interior room (with no balcony/outside access) next to the casino; it had 5 to 10 cigarette chain smokers puffing away every time I opened the door to poke my head in. It's a cigar bar, not a cigarette bar. No thank you. I was able to smoke a couple of my premium stogies on excursions.
Overall, despite the cons, we had a fantastic time. A cruise is what you make of it. But the point of a subjective review is to give people information so they can make educated decisions based on their own personal preferences. Would I go on a Princess Cruise again if I could take a comparable cruise for the same price on Royal Caribbean? Based on the dining experience alone, I'd say "no". If this review helps you, great. If not, move on. Less