This was our first cruise with Princess Cruises and we were very disappointed with the ship. It lacked any wow factor, the entertainment was poor and very repetitive, the food choices weren't great but the quality was fine.
There were a lot of frequent Princess cruisers on the ship, who told us not to use the Golden Princess as a benchmark for Princess cruises, but first impressions usually stick so it may be a long time before we consider them again.
The ports of call were the main reason for our choice and we weren't disappointed with them, although the tendering process for Nha Trang and Bali could have been better. We weren't particularly impressed that there was a charge for a shuttle into Brisbane as the ship was to big and had to dock at FI Grain Terminal. As with most cruise ships the shore excursions were pricey so we were pleased we had managed to book some private tours prior to embarkation.
The entertainment needs a complete overhaul, at times it felt like it was the passengers who were the entertainment team. Lacking professionalism the entertainment team spent most time laughing and carrying on between themselves, and organising 'childish' games.
On a positive note, we found the cabin steward and most of the waiting staff to be friendly and accommodating. These are the staff that make the cruise worthwhile. The officers however need to be more communicative with the passengers, not just one update by the captain at 12 noon.
We had an inside cabin which was adequate, although the beds seem to have seen better days. It was kept clean and refreshed by our cabin steward always, nothing was too much trouble.