We are from NJ, in our mid 50's, and have been married for 33 years with 2 grown children. I am a special education teacher and my husband is an accountant. This was our third cruise but first with Princess and it was the best. I would have to say that it was a perfect vacation. The cruise ship is beautiful and superbly maintained. We do not have one complaint about the cruise.
The food was excellent. We chose "anytime dining" and ate at the Island Restaurant. We usually ate around 5:30 and never encountered a line. For the first formal night we got to the dining room later (around 6:30) and waited about an hour or so. We met some nice people while we waited and had a drink at the nearest bar. We never ate lunch but the breakfast buffet was terrific. We also ate two dinners at the buffet and again, the food was terrific. We encountered some people who were complaining about something or other about the buffet but we could not imagine what their problem was. At my age I realize that you can not please everyone all the time. Some people love to be miserable and are never happy.
Our inside cabin was on the 12th deck at the very back (last room). This concerned me at first but it was very nice and VERY quiet. It was the best laid out cabin we have ever had. There is a closet hallway between the bedroom and bathroom which worked out nice. There is a bit of a walk to the stair and elevator, but we love to walk and needed the exercise. Our Cabin Steward, Norman, was the best.
The staff at the Excursion Desk was excellent. The group was very professional, friendly, and organized. This group also ran the tender service(ports where ship was anchored in the harbor). They did an excellent job at this also.
The entertainment was very good. Martin Kaye is an excellent piano player and singer. Get to the Crooner's Lounge early; he is very popular and it is SRO. Exotica (band by the pool) and in one of the lounges was very good as was the classical quartet in the PIAZZA and Juan Hermides (pianist) in one of the lounges. We did not see the comedian, hypnotist, or big shows.
We usually hate all pictures taken of us, but we found a photographer that worked miracles. We used to seek him out and he was usually on the stairs in the PIAZZA. Many people caught on because he always had a line. His name is Ari, from Romania, and we purchased 8 photographs which is the most we have ever bought since our wedding (33 years ago).
There were probably hundreds of young people on board from infant to college age and they were all behaved. I don't know if the cruise employees are good at controlling crowds or if they were all so well behaved. It was amazing!!!
Getting on and off the ship was so easy. Princess has everything down to a science. We got to Brooklyn around 11:00, parked ($143/week), checked our luggage, and was on the ship by noon. They had a buffet lunch ready for early arrivals. Getting off the ship was just as easy.