We went on our very first cruise on march 20, 2003 from ft lauderdale thru the panama canal into san Diego on april 4th 2003. prior to leaving i read many reviews from many people whom i think were a little to picky. over-all i think princess does a very good job. the planning and organization that is required to keep 1800-plus passengers safe, secure and satisfied is tremendous. i would have a tough time trying to keep just ten guests in my own home and maintain the same standards that is provided by princess cruise line. my wife and i were celebrating our 25th anniversary so we booked a room with a balcony. we were very pleasantly surprised a few days before leaving to be upgraded to a mini-suite room b753. we were on the very back of the dawn princess, i don't think rooms get much nicer then this. our room steward was a little filipino woman lolita, who was ever attentive to our needs. i was very much impressed by the work "carlos," who oversaw the horizon court, (the 24 hour buffet) . after leaving aruba, we were a day at sea, a day going thru the panama canal and another day at sea to punterenas, costa rica. carlos was wondering if he might be too early getting the breakfast buffet ready. well after three days on board every one wanted to go ashore, he proudly told me the next morning that he and his crew served a thousand people in thirty minutes that morning. the dawn princess is a magnificent ship. i really enjoyed the sea days. the sea worthiness of the dawn was proven when we ran into a wind storm off the coast of mexico. gale force winds of 70 mph with gusts to 90 mph, the dawn princess ploughed thru all this despite listing to the port side a bit. she is rated for 1950 passengers which plenty big enough for me. the personal choice dining i think is great. it is a great way to meet more people. we visited jamaica, aruba, thru the panama canal, costa rica, Acapulco and cabo san lucas. i plan to go on another long cruise. i would recommend the dawn princess and princess cruise lines to any one. it was a great vacation!