We booked this cruise because it worked for our schedule after a work trip was cancelled. We have cruised the West Coast before and it was our 2nd Princess cruise overall.
We drove in and arrived at the port around 11:15AM. Getting through the initial check in was seamless, very quick and efficient. Once we were through security, they had us wait in a holding area before we could board the ship. We finally boarded about 12:15.
We were able to go directly to our cabin, a mini-suite on the Dolphin deck, to drop off our bags. We then made our way to the Lido deck for lunch. The one thing that stood out to me was the small size of the buffet choices. I have been on many ships and this was probably the smallest variety of choices in the buffet areas that I've seen.
After lunch we walked around a bit. The ship was on the smaller side, very nice and well-maintained. We went to our cabin and found that the televisions did not work (this problem has been reported on More
Cruise Critic over the past few weeks so I wasn't surprised by it, but I was disappointed). We don't spend a lot of time on the decks of the ship, we prefer to have a quiet vacation in our room and walk around a bit in the evenings. We do spend some time watching TV in the cabin so not having that available was a disappointment.
We signed up my daughter for the teen club. She enjoyed that part of the trip, as she always does.
Dinner for us was the early seating in the International Dining Room. Virgil was our waiter and he was excellent. I had asked for gluten free options when we booked the cruise (not celiac, but I do have gluten sensitivities) and he was wonderful about making sure to have anything with gluten in it, pointed out to me, as did the dining room supervisor Ion. Ion went so far as to bring the menu for the next night to me each day to make sure there was something that I liked that was also gluten free. He offered to have something else made if I needed it.
Catalina was our first stop, and we didn't get off the ship. Ensenada we did go off the ship and came back shortly after.
Entertainment: We saw both shows in the theater and we thought they were just ok. I wasn't blown away by either show, timing was off by the performers, and they didn't seem to have a cohesiveness. The comedians onboard were fantastic, and we especially enjoyed Alfred & Seymour. For some reason, they put them in the lounge on the second night they performed and it was standing room only. Princess needs to keep them in the theater, where there is more space as they attracted a big crowd.
Food: Dinners were excellent. As previously stated, lunch selections were limited.
Activities: Few. There were some trivia options but that was about it. Not a lot to do onboard, and this could be due to it being catered to a mostly older crowd. This was the week of Spring Break for schools and so there were a lot of families onboard this cruise. Weather was cold and rainy and while this is not Princess' fault, it did limit having any time on the deck to relax in the sun, so more activities really should have been offered.
Disembarkation: Without the TV operating, it was a little unclear how Princess does their disembarkation when reading it on the flyer. We were, however, able to change our time to an earlier one than the one we had been assigned originally.
We will cruise Princess again but we likely will not do another west coast cruise. Less
The cabin was a great size, and quiet. It was in the forward part of the ship so not a lot of hallway noise. The balcony was completely open for those above to see so not much privacy but it was a large balcony.