This was our first cruise on a Princess ship: we have travelled on Seabourn, Oceania, Celebrity, Holland American, so we thought we would give this new chip a try.
The positives: this new ship is generally well-designed. The interior decoration is tasteful, millwork of a good quality, and furnishings very pleasant. The Piazza atrium is a stroke of genius, offering a great place to mingle, to dance, to watch all the action. For guests who love to dance, there is music from afternoon into the evening. We have never danced as much on a ship and thoroughly enjoyed it. The ship was so steady that we did not feel any movement whatsoever. For the first time, my wife did not need any travel sickness medication of any description. The 24-hour International Café at the atrium was a very good idea.
We had a mini-suite, and were very concerned prior to boarding as to how "mini" it would be. To our surprise, the space was extremely well-used, with ample storage space, and More
we were more comfortable than in the suites in the "luxury" cruise ships which had cost us 5 times more.
The negatives: the central elevator problem is well-documented. Except on a few occasions (e.g. after the safety drill or after a show), the situation is bearable. We found the food quality most disappointing: we dined on 5 evenings in Crown Grill and Sabatini (specialty restaurants) and found them very ordinary. The menus lack imagination and variety. The food was not tasty and presentation poor. The lobster tails were taken out of the shells and arranged in an disarray on the dish without thought. Crown Grill made us wait for one hour: we were seated at 7.30PM although our reservation was at 6.30PM, and the waitress did not even serve us for another half an hour after that. We only dined at Symphony once: the waiter was disinterested, served us the wrong dishes, and did not even ask if we wanted coffee. Concerto was actually the best of the venues.
The lack of WIFI connectivity drove a lot guests crazy. Our laptops, tablets, cell phones would not work in our suite. We even attempted to use the ship's phone line @$5/minute, and even that failed to work. The internet café worked a bit better but it was so very slow. We bought the maximum internet package and needed every minute of it. It was the worst connectivity we had experienced on any ship.
Our stateroom attendant had a hard time coming up with face towels: they frankly did not have enough to go around. The shows were the worst we had seen on any ship: we left early 2 evenings and did not attempt to go again.
We were glad to disembark today: 7 nights were enough for us. We loved the dancing, but can we put up with the food and lack of connectivity again? We are not sure that we can. Less