When we booked, we used Princess EZ-Air as it was cheaper than booking on our own. It was very easy to use, and the ability to pick our flights and departure date was great.
The cruise boarded in Venice on August 8. We were late getting on board due to some type of techinal program. However, we were in our cabin by 1:00. Part of the problem was they collected passports as you boarded. This really slowed down the process. They need to rethink this process.
The cabin was wonderful. We actually had booked a guaranty mini-suite AE cabin, but we were upgraded to a penthouse suite. It came with a lot of additional perks like free Internet, free laundry, and priority tender embarkation in tender ports. Our cabin steward was wonderful. He fully explained all the suite perks and answered all our questions.
The ports were wonderful. We took shore excursions through Princess in all but two ports. The tours where well organized. The only one that we really had a problem with with the Pisa and Florence on your own. The guide took off at Pisa and never stopped to make sure everyone was with her. It wasn't just that she walked too fast, there were other groups arriving and mixing in with our group. She did a better job at Florence, but she talked way too much on the bus. The guides in Rome were amazing. This was our most crowded port, and they both did a great job keeping everyone together.
The food was good. We never went hungry, but I do think the quality was slightly lower than on previous cruises. We did anytime dining, and with the exception of the last night, we had very good service. The last night, the waiter seemed to have some type of attitude and wasn't very friendly. It was the first time we'd had this waiter so I don't know if he was just having a bad night or if he was always that way. We did eat at the Crown Grill one night. The food was good, but in my opinion, not worth the money. The steak was only slightly better than the one I had in the main dining room. The other options on the menu are pretty limited and most were not items I cared for.
Sea days did not seem to have as many activities as normal. There were things here and there, but overall, there were pockets with very little going on. It is a Med cruise so I know many people just like hanging out at the pool. We're not pool people so that wasn't an option for us.
The evening entertainment was hit and miss. The Welcome aboard show was basically a commercial for the ship. The only exception was a couple of numbers by the Princess dancers and singers and a juggler (who was not very good). However, later in the week, the show Broadway Ballroom and Once Upon a Dream were excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. There was also a comedian and a magician. I didn't really care for either of them either.
There was someone on board that talked about the different ports. These were recorded sessions shown on TV. However, Hutch was great! He was a wealth of knowledge about each port. And, he wasn't annoying!
The overall look of the ship was good. They did a great job of keeping it very clean. I didn't see any areas that looked like they needed updating.
Overall, it was a great cruise. I'd recommend the cruise line and ship to anyone.