Our 11th Cruise, Age early 60's, no children traveling with us, Previous lines are Celebrity, CCL, RCL, and NCL.
We flew in day of cruise and were at terminal by 10:30AM. Too early- waited 2 hours to board, Our fault, but wanted options if there was a problem with our flight.
This was our first time on Princess. Chosen for the itinerary, Departure port, and Price of in inside cabin on a upper deck.
Service - the people were wonderful. Rejel our room steward great. We do not ask for out of the ordinary service, just for a robe and full ice bucket.
Coffee - I was surprised, I came prepared to brew my own coffee using an Aeropress and ground coffee I brought along to feed my 4 a day habit, but found their regular brew strong and drinkable. I am not a coffee snob, but I do grind my own dark roasted beans and make espresso in a Gaggia when at home. Only received two bad cups all trip.
Music - The variety was pleasurable. Near Serenity and the Lap pool the music was a sound track of new age world music with meditative quality.
The Neptune pool the Music you hear is adult (40+) with a Jazz flavor, tunes by Sinatra and Ella, and thankfully no hip hop.
The Calypso pool had music for a younger crowd.
Cabin - The cabin layout separated the bath / closet area from the sleeping area. This arrangement was our favorite of all the lines we cruised on.
Food -The Crown Grill, A Steakhouse restaurant at night - an open to all British pub for no extra fee, at lunch during days at sea. The Chicken Curry, and Fish and Chips were wonderful.
The Deck loungers - are a problem in the way they are arranged, They are placed in rows from 5 to 12 across with no space in between. I and most people like to approach the loungers from the side and swing the legs up; on the this ship you have to crawl up from the foot of the lounger. A better way of arranging them is to pair the chairs leaving a foot of space in between every pair, this will allow easy access and symbolic privacy from your neighboring sun bather. The loungers are so plentiful there is no place to create space unless you stack up the loungers.
The Horizon Court - The Horizon court is a cross between a cafeteria and a diner, you wait in line to enter a food area, but you do not get your own drinks or silverware. The silverware is on the tables and once you sit down they come and take your drink order. There is the standard coffee and tea, and orange juice at breakfast, and if you ask they can get you other juices including prune, apple, cranberry and pineapple. The problem is the entrance and exits to this court, you can not see what they are serving, until on top of it, and if you forgot something after you leave the enclosure you have to wait in line to get back in.
Elevators - At least 3 were not working, that can be fixed. What is permanent are the visual cues that inform the prospective elevator rider that the down or up button was pushed; and when an elevator arrives at the floor, which elevator is it and which direction is it going. The lights are too small and dim in relation to the ambient light in the waiting area.
Food - The Horizon court has a large variety and some ethnic themes in what they serve, but something always seems to be missing. One Indian entree without a chapati or rice! Huevos Rancheros made with well done poached eggs, no frijoles refritos or tortillas! There biggest offense to the palate is the well done scrambled eggs, so crumbly it is more like chopped hard boiled eggs.
A conservative ship and experience, from the make up of the passengers to the decor of all the public and private spaces. Nothing was objectionable, and the up keep I observed was well done. It is not a ship for the "do it your self er" when it comes to a cool beverage while lounging by the pool, your choices are Ice Tea and Water, if you ask, they will bring out a Lemonade from the back, a beverage plan is recommended.