This was our ninth cruise and our second with Princess. Our previous cruise with Princess was on the Tahitian back in 2006.
The Ship in General: Overall we both felt the ship has been well taken care of by the crew and the company in general. With the exception of the tile work in the pool which was in need of some maintenance, the public areas were clean and in good repair.
Embarkation: We arrived at about 1PM and spent very little time waiting to gain access to the ship. Check In was fast and in total it took us less than 45 minutes in the terminal building and we were on board and in our cabin. The only embarkation which was faster was when we boarded the Tahitian in Hawaii a number of years earlier.
Cabin: Our cabin was a balcony cabin on the Aloha deck and was at mid ship. It was more compact than other cabins which we had previously experienced but was clean and had a good layout. My only complaint would be that it resided directly below the central pool area the next deck above and at times we could hear chairs being dragged across the deck above our heads. Fortunately this did not occur late at night when we were asleep. Our cabin steward Beethoven was a delight and greeted us with a smile each and every time we met.
Dining: The dining experience is an important aspect for both my wife and myself and a major reason why we enjoy cruising. This cruise did not disappoint us. We attended the Horizon Court for most morning and noontime dining. The selection of food was more than adequate and the quality was good, although I did miss the personalized omelet station we experienced on other cruises. We did order breakfast in our cabin one of the at sea mornings and enjoyed the continental experience on our balcony. For Dinner, selected the anytime dining and experienced all four of the smaller dining rooms on board (Santa Fe, Pacific Moon, Savoy and Vivaldi). As an aside, the menu is the same menu at each of the four restaurants on any given night so really only the surroundings is different. On all occasions we made previous reservations and did not have to wait to be seated. Mind you we do enjoy dining later (8PM) which appeared to us to be less popular. The menu included several favourite dishes which where available all 7 nights. On the opposite side it included options which changed on a nightly basis. Later in the cruise we toured the galley and the word "Excellent" was posted throughout the cooking area. That would be a good word to sum up our dining experience for this voyage. We did not visit the speciality dinning rooms on this cruise. Entertainment: As on all cruises it is pretty well impossible to take in all of the entertainment which is on board. We were able however to view two of the three production shows, the magician Alexander and the comedy and music of Steve Moris. Each was very enjoyable and added to making this a great cruise.
Excursions: We only booked one excursions and that was at our last stop in Cabo. We traveled north to the small town of Todos Santos. The tour guide was very informative and supplied us with much of the history in the area. Once in the town, we visited a small museum, a local church and Hotel California where we enjoyed a sampling of Mexican cuisine. Disembarkation: This is the part which I enjoy the least (who doesn't) of the cruising experience. Unfortunately we were delayed by about 45 minutes due to US customs and sat in one of the dinning rooms waiting for our number to be called. Not terrible however as Princess did attempt to keep us updated as to our progress. Once cleared by customs we picked up our bag up and boarded the bus for the airport. We chose to use Princess transfers from the ship and that proved to be a good choice. Overall: Very enjoyable and we look forward to sailing with Princess again.