We left Weatherford, Texas early and arrived in San Francisco without a hitch. We used Supershuttle for our transfers(had some problems with them). We stayed at Columbus Motor Inn and found it great! We toured all day and ended the day with drinks by the bay. Next day , we took a short taxi ride to Pier 35 and embarked without a wait... easy, Peasy....we went to our room A725 to drop off stuff and tried to eat at sit down lunch, but we were turned away stating they were closing even though we had arrived within the time posted and we fouls see that there were only a few people in the room.... Ok, no problem, we headed up to Horizon buffet with the masses and had a good meal with smiling servers! The view was spectacular . We quickly unpacked in our tiny inside room for three. There was plenty of storage and the room was cozy and well furnished , just like a fancy RV. I had worried about not spending extra for a mini suite but was pleasantly surprised to find it really wasn't necessary! We used the advice on this forum and spent our cash on fantastic excursions instead! Our room was so conveniently located that we just loved it! We had the whole Aft terrace to use as our balcony! It was great having no windows to let in light as I am a light sleeper. Our steward Jose was the ultimate gentleman, he did an impeccable job of caring for us and anticipated our every need before we even knew we would need it! Yes, the shower is tiny, but adequate. One thing I will say is this.... You do not need to take a lot of clothes and shoes and nobody cares about formal wear, however, you do need to be dressed for nice casual outings, just nothing trashy. I did laundry twice without issues, very easy and convenient. My best tip, you ask? Read the advice from the forums and then FOLLOW I T!
Overall, the service was fantastic! Everyone we met was pleasant and engaged! We were really impressed with the Horizon staff... They performed flawlessly, even with rude and greedy patrons, which leads me to my next topic. My fellow cruisers on the whole were refined and courteous throughout the entire cruise, the only exception were two New York Walker bearing Women (and this kills me because I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY), but they were rude and demanding. We witnessed several handicapped people use their handicap to their advantage when it really wasn't necessary....what's up with that? We traveled with a child who couldn't wait for the next kids club adventure! The youth staff did a great job of keeping the kids happy and entertained, please remember to tip them at the end of your journey! We used the advice frm CC and tipped everyone extra and felt it still wasn't enough for the great service! Our waiter Antonio and his assistant Chris were perfect, they work so hard to make everything nice for us and it shows! We are still talking about Antonio when we eat our dinner at home! The food to be honest, exceeded my expectations. My prime rib was just like a nice steak house in Fort Worth, Texas! Our meal at the Crown grill was similar to a fine steak house experience at a fraction of the cost! We booked all of excursions ourselves so I won't review them here, but they were also beyond my expectations, but that is for another forum! We had only one complaint with our cruise.... We had prepaid for coffee card and alcohol to be delivered to our room . it took 3 days for them to fulfill my order stating "the problem was due to satellite transmission problems" It was a big problem for me to witness at least 10 staff members explain why they had no power to grant me my order fulfillment, it took forever to get the first cup of coffee!,,, made me wonder why Princess would not empower their employees to take care of this at the service level, instead of escalating like it did.? They readily took my money when I preordered the stuff. All in all it was a fantastic itinerary and I am glad we did it. Next time, I would consider 2btob's from Vancouver or Anchorage instead of spending so many sea days on Princess(not much to do except shop for jewelry or art on board and the demographics are geared toward older clientele). Disembarkation was easy until you tried to get Supershuttle to pick you up (this was prepaid and verified 3 times!!)