We have been on 22 cruises on various lines, 9 on Princess; Princess being our obvious favorite and it always comes down to the entertainment. Princess is best for an active older crowd but not ready for Holland. The evenings are always packed with things to do to the point you get frustrated cause you can't fit it all in. But, it sure beats going back to the room after the show and watching tv. We can do that at home for free. The entertainment on this ship was the best even for Princess. They had a magician Michael Misko who was actually more of a comedian. And then there was the comedian Joe Yannetty. It was a toss up who was funnier but if you like to laugh - DO NOT miss their shows. The magician was also in the Liars Club - not to be missed either. Don't waste any time when a show is in the Explorer's Lounge as the seats fill up quickly. They also had the usual game shows, trivia & bingo.
The first seating in the Princess Theatre fills up but we discovered there were always seat at the later show. The production shows were also excellent. After the "Blame it on the Boogie" show, the entertainers go up to the deck party and continue. I know alot of people skip the deck party - don't. They have changed it and they bring in the "Love Boat" theme to the party - very touching and fun. We were both even lucky in the casino. We don't hang out at the bars.
We went on this ship when it was new and while it needs some refurbishments, it didn't affect us at all. It was clean and all the personnel were pleasant and friendly. Service was very good. The size of this ship is perfect.
While my husband likes the pool, I prefer the games. The only thing I'll say about the pool is I noticed both pools only have ladders to get in and out.
The only complaint would be the mattress. It obviously needed replacing and an eggcrate didn't help much. Our steward Russell tried. Our room was always clean and he was quick at filling requests. He introduced himself as soon as we came in.
The embarkation and disembarkation were incredibly quick and easy. We're platinum and that might have helped with embarkation. Our room was ready.
We didn't do any excursions as we had been to these ports before. Costa Maya has a very long pier and everyone walked. It could be a problem for some. Costa Maya and Cozumel both had too many ships and passengers in port.
I won't say much about the food except it was good and service was excellent tho steak was tough. We ate at Sabatini's one night - save your money - the dining room was better. Ice cream is ice milk but they sell gelato.
We had a balcony but we rarely used it. The layout of the room was excellent with plenty of closet and storage. The bathroom is typical for a ship - small shower with curtain. I wanted midship and this was the closest to midship without paying for it. I was initially concerned because you could actually see the room when you got off the elevator. It was fine and convenient too. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Only problem was the mattress needed replacing and the frig had no shelves.
The pier is very long. First thing you have to walk thru a very long liquor store packed with tourists and return the same way. major nuisance especially if you have a disability. there are lots of souvenier shops here with mostly the same thing in each. we didn't do an excursion. you can catch a shuttle to downtown from here. there is also a shuttle to a waterpark. we didn't do either so can't comment.