We sailed on the Feb 18 - 25 7 nighter out of Port Everglades. Ports of call were Princess Cays, Curacao and Aruba.
We hadn't cruised with Princess in a few years, having selected Celebrity and NCL as they offered different ports of call.
What a difference a few years make, and not a good one. We forgot that the Port Everglades terminal is a large, garishly lit, uncomfortable warehouse with an archaic "Board by Number" process.
Our balcony stateroom was very basic, with an uncomfortable, hard, lumpy bed and uncomfortable, flat pillows. The bathroom was closet sized, and the shower was a stand up coffin. The water temperature was continually HOT (even on cold), and the only way we found to cool it down to shower was to turn on the sink's faucet on hot. Vice versa when trying to use the sink. Our steward was very accommodating and tidied up the stateroom nicely. The stateroom location was very good and quiet.
The entertainment was generally lackluster. The lone high point was a comedic duo whose shows we thoroughly enjoyed. The older crowd probably enjoyed the live bands.
Food in the dining room was generally tasty, although too salty. Our waiters were slow to respond initially but improved during the cruise. Lunch buffet food was hit and miss, and breakfast buffet food was generally monotonous. Food quality overall was too salty and has declined since we last cruised with Princess.
Princess no longer allows passengers on top of the bridge (Lido deck forward), citing "extreme windy conditions". Even in port?? Really??? This was a major disappointment.
The poorly laid out gym had sufficient treadmills and weight machines, but their layout resulted in one small aisle to walk and sometimes squeeze by other people.
One night at 2:30 AM the Captain made an announcement to the entire ship to disregard the evacuation signal, as a faulty computer issued it. From what we understood, no passengers actually heard the signal, only some of the crew. Really??? Kind of disconcerting to have a computer with such a GLARING FAULT, especially in light of the recent Concordia disaster.
The staff/crew was hit and miss. Some acted like they wanted to be there, and engaged passengers in conversation. Others acted like they would rather be anywhere else.
No norovirus, but many passengers were coughing and hacking. We overheard one person say "Everyone on this ship is sick." We didn't see any active interior or exterior cleaning/wipedowns except in the buffet eating areas. Perhaps this occurred after everyone retired for the night.
Unfortunately, this will be our last cruise with Princess. We compared this cruise with Celebrity throughout the cruise. We are spoiled with Celebrity, who outclasses Princess in every way.