We did the 12 day cruise starting from Barcelona and had a great time. We had not been cruising on this scale for many years so can not make a comparison with other lines but it felt almost perfect to us.
Our stateroom was a mini suite and bigger than I expected, though the balcony was hard to move around without risking falling over the side. The huge sofa and second tv was great for watching movies when we wanted to get away from it all.
The ship is huge and we frequently got lost in the first few days. We tended to use the stairs so the lifts weren't really an issue for us. The ship was spectacular, especially the central piazza which functioned as a hub of social activity and on formal nights it was great to hang out there and see and be seen. The main pool area tended to be crowded so we spent most of our time on deck in the adult Retreat area, which was nice and quiet. There were some quiet spots on deck seven. It was rarely difficult to get seating despite the huge number aboard. The seawalk was fun, though I would not like to have had one of the stateroom balconies below it.
We never found the dining areas to be overly crowded but then we tend to eat fairly early. We had Dine Anytime which meant we had different people in our vicinity to talk to or not, as we chose, which was ideal for us. We never had to wait for a table but I think this might not have been the case with later diners. Once I worked out it was possible to reserve a table I did this in advance to secure a table by the window, but I think they only allow a certain percentage of reservations so you have to get in early. We found the food to be very good, good choice, good quality and quantity. Sure some things were better than others but the logistics of feeding so many must be terrifying (I enjoyed the walk through the kitchens offered on one day at sea). Even the buffet was not overcrowded when we went and the staff were polite and friendly and quick to serve water and clear away tables. We dined at both speciality restaurants and enjoyed them both. We used the silver wine card deal - why on earth is this not publicised more by Princess, I only found out about it on Cruise Critic - and it covered our needs nicely.
Entertainment was good, especially the Beatlemania show which had everyone clapping and singing along. The Movie Under the Stars concept is great, it was fun to snuggle down with blankets and popcorn but after the first couple of times we found the noise of the kids still using the main pool was too distracting. I think they should close off or restrict access to the main pool in the evening - few if any adults used it, only screaming unsupervised children dive bombing into the pool (probably also why adults didn't use it), who drowned (no pun) out the movie in its quieter moments.
I would have liked to see some more info, perhaps in the form of a map, and also in something in the stateroom tvs which showed more navigational info as to where exactly we were, what speed we were doing, etc. I would have loved to have known what land I could see at any point. I don't know if other liners do this but it seems an obvious thing to me.
Staff were pleasant and helpful and very numerous. We particularly enjoyed the port talks we watched in our room given by Julius (I think), who with his dry humour provided a lot of useful information.
Excursions were great, but I was pleased I had culled my pre-bookings by the time of the cruise as I had not realised how tiring they can be. We had full day excursions on successive days in Florence and Rome and I was pleased I had abandoned the previous day's one for Provence. It is necessary to find a balance between ship and shore time. We had been to most places before a couple of times so I guess we did not feel the need to see everything - would be hard if it was your first trip to Europe.
Both of us came down with colds but nothing to hold us back. We were exceptionally careful with hygiene but I did not see the wash stations being used much beyond the first couple of days (when there was a staff member to direct passengers to them). I avoided using the stair hand rail once I overheard someone say something about it being the best way to catch something. You can't be too careful, as the current Sea Princess gastro outbreak shows.
Overall we had a great time with only a couple of minor grumbles and would certainly go with Princess again.
good stateroom, no movement from ship felt at all.