This is Princess cruise number 12 for us. We stayed at Hampton Inn Plantation, pre cruise, lovely place with free transportation. We waited to get to the ship until 2pm, no lines encounterd, the herds had already gotton on board. Quick check in, no line, on the ship in 10 mintes. Princess is very good still- but you can certainly see the changes throughout the years. Service isn't quite what it was, though generally ours was fine. Our cabin steward was great. Our dining room server was not good. He was only going through the motions, and quite possibly the worst server we've ever encountered. Our cabin, C742 was fabulous, a nice big balcony that we really enjoyed. The ship is only a few years old, so she is attractive, clean, well kept. We have always encountered well mannered ship employees. Even the guy wiping the banisters says "Good Morning". Dinner in Sabatini's was delicious. Takes too long to eat in there.
I see subtle changes in the menu, since all 12 of our cruises have been within this decade, I am very familiar with the menu. The food is good, just not what it used to be in the dining room. Pizza is yummy. The best at sea, so I've heard! if you're a coffe hound like my DH, don't go to the dining room for breakfast. He practically had to beg for refills. One morning the waiter never bothered to come with coffee after nicely asked twice. We went to the international cafe and he bought a premium coffee. Oh well, we had a great time, we always do. But at the end of the week, having spent all that time with 3,000 other pax, I'm ready to get off that ship!
Princess balcony cabins are not great in size. They are however; efficient with the space allotted, and attractive. The beds are hard and uncomfortable, pillows flat as pancakes. Our Caribe deck balcony was half open, half covered. Perfect! The really bad thing was C742 backs up to the steward's closet and every morning we were jolted awake by someone banging and clunking around in that closet! We love the aft section, it is usually quiet, with very little foot traffic.