We were hoping to get out of the cold weather, but found California and Mexico to be considerably colder in late January than we expected. Fortunately coming from cold Montana we were use to the chill. We'd been on the Royal Princess before and found it still be a very beautiful and well maintained ship. All the staff and workers on the ship were very friendly and helpful, but that is a common attribute on all Princess ships.
We flew into Los Angles and took the Go Shuttle to our Best Western Plus hotel in San Pedro. We usually used Super Shuttle for our transportation to our motel, but they have since went out of business. I believe that Go Shuttle must simply have a contract with Uber or Lift because they were located in that area and we were pickup up in Toyota RAV4 SUV rather than the usual shuttle area. If you use this service be sure to get good directions to the pickup area because it took us a lot of walking and asking questions to find them. No one seemed to recognize the name "Go Shuttle" at the airport. It was by far the cheapest service we could find at $39.95 for both me and my wife.
Food was excellent throughout the ship. We thought the beef steaks and roast were considerably better than on our previous cruises on Princess, but the fruit wasn't all that great, but that was probably due to the time of the year. We were a bit disappointed with the theatre shows and would like to see more diversity in the type of shows. The comedian Carlos Oscar was very good, but the production shows "Colors of the World" and Encore" were both a big disappointment. Marcus Prince Juanta was possibly the best cruise director we have ever had, funny, but not silly like so many others. Rolando and his assistant in the Concerto Dining Room were both great as was Avinash in Alfredro's Pizzeria. And Zelenir from Brazil serving up the ice cream cones around the swimming pool was exceptionally nice to talk to. Getting to know and talking to people like these simply make our cruises great ones.
We booked a guaranteed basic balcony cabin and was upgrade to a deluxe balcony. With the exception of being equipped with a love seat I couldn't really tell much difference in the standard and deluxe. Possibly the room was slightly larger to allow for the love seat, which was nice, but the deck and other areas seemed to the same size and we actually had more storage space in one of our inside cabins on a previous Royal cruise. Nevertheless, the size was adequate and everything was very nice. The carpet was slightly warn, but still very nice. This cabin is on the Dolphin Deck #9 forward, which we liked because we prefer to be closer to the water level. The cabin was quiet and while some folks might think there would be more movement in a forward cabin we didn't really think that was the case, but we did have very calm seas throughout the cruise.