Our family cruised onboard Royal Princess during school Spring vacation week - from April 13 to April 20. We had mini-suite (M228) and there were 4 of us - myself, my husband, our 21 year old son and 10 year old daughter. That was our first Princess cruise. Before we cruised on Disney (1 time), Celebrity (3 times) and Royal Caribbean (1 time).
Embarcation was very fast and smooth. No complains at all. We drove to the pier, dropped our laggage, parked the car in the parking garage (right next to the ship), came back (2 min walk), went through the security (30 sec), were sitted in the waiting room (2 min max), went straight to the ship after that.
Our mini-suite was good sized cabin for 4 of us and our laggage (6 big suitcases). Our son was sleeping on the sofa bed, our daughter on the upper bunk bed (she was thrilled!). The beds were comfortable, the balcony was small, but we spent some time there every day, sitting in the chairs without any problems.
The layout of the ship was some inconvenient. Sometime we just stopped in the middle of the ship and laughed a loud because it felt like a maze we had to solve in order to get from one point to the other.
The pool was of good size and perfect depth for us. We swam in the pool on all sea days.
The only issue was the location of the Enclave pool. Since it's in the front of the ship and not covered it's always windy there. So we were there only once. We liked the location and the covered layout of the adult pool on Celebrity much more.
Food was very good and tasty for us in all restaurants we ate at. Liked everything.
The drinks were good too.
Kids club. My daughter was in Shockwaves. She liked the club, but comparing similar kid's club on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess she prefered Celebrity's kid's club. Her opinion was that on Celebrity activities are more organized and interesting. On Royal Princess kids were allowed to do anything they wanted, even when some specific activity was scheduled it didn't mean that that activity would happen. She didn't like that aspect. But the staff and facilities were good.
There was not much to do for my 21 year old son. There were not enough young people of his age to hang out with. He wasn't bored, and we were definitely happy that he spends more time with us, but still he was missing all the fun he had last year on Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas. We cruised the same time of the year and there were half of the ship of young boys and girls who had so much more to do - flow rider, rock climbing, ice skating, special young people's clubs etc...
For me and my husband the most positive thing on the Royal Princess was excellent service in all areas - from daily cabin cleaning to food service to drink service around the ship to smiles from all the service crew. Thank you, Royal Princess, for your excellent people!
Disembarcation. We requested early self walk-off, since we were driving to Disney World after that and had reserved attractions there. It was very well organized and in 30 min we were off the ship and through the customs back to our car.
To summarize my review I would say that every cruise line has it's own demographic group who would enjoy it the most. For families with young kids and teenagers I would definitely chose Royal Caribbean (especially 15-25 age group), for more calm upscale family experience - Celebrity (still our favorite). If you cruise with your parents and their friends I would recommend Princess - it is very nice, but oriented to the older crowd.
Hope my review helped someone.