Background: Mid 60's couple, Princess Platinum Members, extensive cruising experience. We were on this particular cruise for a family wedding which went smoothly.
Ship: It has been remodeled, but the primary changes we noticed was that they cut the 17th floor Skywalker Lounge completely off the ship and permanently closed the retractable cover over the pool to save costs.
Service: Adequate, but without many experienced staff. Dinning staff was pleasant, helpful, and overworked, but generally lacked any special touches. It was much like a you would expect in a family restaurant. Cabin attendent was efficient and helpful, but on the first Formal Night I was headed toward the cabin in full dress and he was distributing ice and asked me if I could take my bucket to my room and put it in the frig. for him. That was fine with me, but gives you a nice picture of what I meant by "lacked any special touches".
Stateroom: Standard Mini-suite, clean, no mechanical or other issues, Dolfin level minisuite has no cover from sun or view from balconies below.
Food: By historic cruiseline standard the food was quite poor, both in terms of preparation and products to work with. It would a put a chain restaurant out of business. This was true in main dining and cafe lines. Specialty chop house was $25/person, and was definitely better, but not as special as these venues are on most ships. Steaks were still just mid-range quality, but OK. Do not order steaks in the main dining. Lunch cafe on upper deck for lunch is amazingly poor.
Entertainment: Music venues were good. We did not visit enough others events, but our other guests had all good comments.
Enrichment lectures: Despite >50% sea days there were not enrichment lectures. Very disappointing to many of us.
Value: With this large stockholder company now controling most of the large ship line (mass market), it is hard to compare, but the other company with 2 large lines provides significantly better food and service for the dollar.
General comment: Our expectations for Princess had been set so low from our last several experiences that it seemed quite nice, but nothing like the orginial Princess line. Stockholder demands for increasing profits will continue to downgrade the experience. We only took this cruise because of a family gathering that we were invited to.