Past cruise experience: Costa (1), Princess (2), Royal Caribbean (2)
Princess was my favorite cruise line, so when I was selecting a cruise to get married on it was my first choice.
I would like to note that while getting married on the cruise ship was amazing, the contractor you are required to go through to make the arrangements is beyond AWFUL (Wedding Experience). I almost cancelled getting married on Princess solely due to having to deal with them (and that was after my whole family booked rooms on the cruise ship). If you can get past having to deal with those awful people, the real Princess staff on the ship are amazing. They fixed all of the stupid errors the Wedding Experience people made to make the day a special one. And I must add their photographer was simply amazing; everyone loved the photos!
I think the best recommendation for Princess came from my mother, who had previously refused to go on a cruise. Since I was getting married she had to come, and soon discovered she loved it! I got a call a week after the cruise from her because she wanted to let me know that she was going on another Princess cruise in two months with my dad. Apparently she couldn't even wait until the next season...
As for the ship, Crown Princess:
1) Gorgeous ship.
2) Hand sanitizer with an employee instructing every person to use it in the buffet line. Some people grumbled but that is why so few people become ill on any Princess cruise.
3) Good selection of shore excursions.
4) The staff were amazing with my elderly grandmother. They went out of their way everyday to make her as comfortable as possible. I was very impressed with how well they treated her, and would highly recommend Princess for those traveling with elderly or disabled people.
5) Excellent dinners. The food was delicious, apart from one dish that tasted like potpourri (people at my table thought I was joking until I made them try it). I often ordered two dishes if I was indecisive and no one looked askew at me.
1) Spa treatment. I went in for a massage before my wedding to relax and got corner in the room for the worst sales pitch in my life. And by 'cornered' I mean she physically prevented me from leaving the room by blocking the exit and would not take no for an answer. Previously I have always enjoyed getting a spa treatment on a cruise; but that was such a nightmare that I will never again visit a Princess spa.
2) Breakfast room service was sub-par. They sent the old, stale, items via room service (tasted like from the day before). While we loved sitting on the balcony and sipping their coffee and tea in the morning, towards the end of the cruise we ended up throwing on some clothing to make it to the buffet since the food was literally three times as fresh. We would grab a tray and bring it back to our room. It was disappointing that we could not get decent fare through room service.
3) No game room or other area to gather with family or friends. We ended up taking over part of the buffet area once they closed to play games and hang out (since we had a large family group). The staff would occasionally stop by to ask what we were playing, but they were only being friendly and never tried to get us to move.