Let me preface this review by saying that I am an experienced cruiser (my 18th cruise) and my wife is a novice (2nd cruise). That being said, I had very very high expectations going into this cruise since I took over a year to plan it and I had been on Princess before and knew what to expect.
My overall final conclusion is..... satisfied.
There were many things on the cruise that met my expectations but only a couple that exceeded them and a few that disappointed. It is difficult to measure because of the very high expectations I had but I would say that things were solid.
This cruise was extremely port intensive (which I loved but took some getting used to for my wife). While we are both young and are eager to see things I can honestly say that even we were exhausted. I planned all of our excursions independently through reviews I read on this site and I can say that those were absolutely amazing. I would never book excursions through the ship and it still baffles me as to why people do this.
Here are the items that exceeded my expectations (cruise only) 1. shows (the new once upon a dream is amazing) 2. timeliness of the departures (all previous ships I had been were constantly late to leave port)
Disappointments: 1. the continued requirement to pay for additional services. This one really bugs me. We paid thousands of dollars for this cruise and now we have to pay for a coffee card and a soda card? not to mention that tips are automatically included on everything and that they no longer procide juice machines. Also, my wife and I did a couples massage and even though it was very expensive ($300) the massage therapists came in after we were done and tried peddling the products they used on us which were ridiculously priced. I did not like this at all. 2. noise in our room. We could constantly hear the banging of the housekeeping crew on the 10th floor where we were located. Slight annoyance but still bothersome. 3. debarkation in venice. This is slighlty unorganized and no one told us to get off the ship even though we were sitting in our area for over an hour.
The average age on our ship was 60 which didnt bother us all that much but next time I think I will take this into consideration more as it would be nice to have a cruise where the disco and shows arent all geared to the senior crowd.
Overall we had an amazing honeymoon and I would cruise with Princess again but since I am a platinum member with Carnival I would still prefer them.