The assistant cruise directors were AMAZING!!! The room steward as well, I cannot say enough good things about them. Staff - wonderful.
However, the boat itself was run like it was a maiden voyage, terribly unorganzied.
Muster station meeting - NO staff showed up to run it. Hundreds of us in the theater waiting on "mandatory" meeting that has no staff. We left after 25 minutes as did most people.
First port, had to meet in huge room and wait and wait and wait. The staff lady told us one thing about our passports, but when we went to leave ship security would not let us go due to a passport issue. So I had another staff walkie-talkie the same lady in the wait room and she reiterated we could leave ship, but security said no. So that staff took us to her where she flat out lied - to us and that staff - and changed her story about what we were supposed to do with our passports. This happened to several people, we were all in the same waiting room, all heard the same thing, she was incorrect then lied to cover herself and caused us all to be dealyed.
We had one Princess excursion, had to change busses before we even left, not even organized for their excursion. All our other outings were not booked with Princess.
Two of the days we had no power in our bathroom mini-suite. Took total of 4 showers in the dark. First time the lights were back on when we returned to room after dinner, power died while we were exploring a port. Second day it had happened over night, also no power in any outlet in entire room, meaning no phones charged all night. It took 3 calls to the front desk from me, a call from my steward, and a call from another staff member in our hallway before a guy playing a game on his phone came to fix it - over an hour and a half. Since we were at a port, we had to take showers in the dark and have phones that died while in a foreign country. The issue was a breaker popped each time, could've been fixed in 2 seconds if anyone had bothered to show up to fix it.
Long waits for tenders. Over an hour to come or go. Never experienced that on our non-Princess cruises with another brand. Interestingly, on the in-room tv, there was a taping saying how a large boat would be used to transfer passengers as well as the ship lifeboats, but that never happened.
Also odd to me, we didn't travel far between ports but we ended up docking in several late. Again, never late to a port in our other cruises.
Food in buffet did not change much, not great food. Pizza station very yummy! Did like that buffet staff brought drinks instead of serve yourself, the staff there was awesome also. Super slow dining room, waits every times, par for the course tho, only went twice.
Bought myself the soda package, the bar staff were wonderful and personable when pouring my pop.
Just of interest, the staff member we did not see was the cruise director herself. We weren't the only ones wondering who the heck our director was, and we attended most of the functions, at least three activities a night on port days, more on sea days. Other cruises, the director has been everywhere, talking to passengers, doing fun announcements, etc. Our director left after one dance celebrating the ship's 5th birthday even. Just thought it odd. Again, the assistants were WONDERFUL.
Transfers to and from ship - I recommend to get your own. We booked from CDG to ship with Princess, no one was there to meet us, then we waited over 2 hours for bus. I asked staff twice if there would be a bathroom on the bus and both said yes. There was no bathroom. If we had used a taxi or other service, we would've arrived to ship at least 2 hours earlier. Also, staff didn't help with luggage, which we've never experienced, not even to load it onto the Princess bus, we all loaded our own luggage through the airport and onto the bus.
From ship to CDG on Princess bus - gross, seats with gooey stuff on then, crumbs everywhere, disgusting.
Also I am still waiting for my folio refund. I have emailed Princess three times about it and received nothing but automatic emails.
Public bathrooms were extremely clean. Ship very clean in general.
First two days a staff member commanded those entering dining room to wash their hands.
For those going - you must put your keycard into a slot near the door to have lights work.
Highly recommend all the activities onboard. Many more options than we are used to. Game shows, silly contests, Bingo, karaoke, trivia, shows, tea, tastings .. it's non-stop!
Excellent staff, disorganized, plenty to do onboard, not great food, good price, great ports. Mini-suite big, balcony small. Expect bumps, have patience, be persistent if you shower in the dark, you will have fun!
Mini-suite, great value, good size, small crowded balcony.