Cruised same itinerary last February aboard the Royal Princess. This year, the Royal Princess was a completely newer and larger ship. Both cruises (inside room only) were complimentary through a casino promotion . Last year for a small fee was able to upgrade to a cabin with a window. Window rooms do not exist on the 'new' Royal Princess, so this year had to upgrade to a balcony room for a much larger fee. The only choices for room types are inside, balcony, or some sort of suite. My positive and negatives are:
Positive: Bravo to Princess for providing a fantastic and very large, private, and partly covered outdoor smoking area on deck 17 at the rear of the ship. This area had patio-style couches and wicker chairs, wooden tables and chairs, and lots of loungers. It was also serviced by a wait staffer as early as 6am who would bring coffee and hot tea. This is not a walk-around deck, so no other passengers were walking by to be offended by those that were smoking. Negative: Forget about going to "Churchills" to smoke. Small, inadequately furnished room with very poor wait staff.
Positive: You will never go hungry. Food abounds at all times of the day. Best kept secret is Alfredo's Pizza. Looks like a specialty dining room but has complimentary pizza and other small Italian dishes. It rates five stars and was the best food consumed during the entire cruise. Also look for the complimentary fish and chips served once during the cruise in the Crown Grill. Was happy to see a "New Grounds" coffee counter near the buffet area which avoided having to walk all the way to the front of the ship. Also afternoon tea was a fun experience in the dining room. Negative: Buffet area was confusingly arranged and seemed to cater to foreign appetites. Dinners in main dining rooms was adequate, but not memorable. Also, found that our 'anytime' dining room was not really ANYTIME at all. They took reservations which is something new. Just showing up (anytime) might mean you would have to wait hours to be seated. This necessitates calling every afternoon to book your evening dinner reservation.
Other positives: Always something going on, so never a dull moment aboard the ship. Great movies playing in cabins and very comfortable mattresses. Ship was large and beautifully decorated, although somewhat in subdued tones with lots of wood.
Other negatives: Casino was tight. General store that sold liquor and cigarettes small and in a weird location. Perfume shop had very small selection, and jewelry store was way too expensive. Our cabin steward gets a bad review. He was not servicing room until late into the afternoon. In general, I would not cruise aboard Princess if I had to pay full fare.
There were 3 people in this cabin. The room was configured with two twin beds and the third bed folded down from the ceiling. Once the bed was down, walk-around space in the cabin was severely limited. There was no access to the balcony door, and only a midget could fit under this bed to get to the refrigerator or the dressing table that had the only electrical plug. This was a nuisance with two ladies needing to blow dry hair in the mornings. The bed could not be retracted unless the room steward did it with his special tool. Other than that, all beds were extremely comfortable, and the bathroom was perfectly fine. Balcony was tiny and not sure worth the price upgrade. Disappointed that there no longer are any cabins with just a window.
Embarkation port went very smoothly.
This was my third time to Cabo and had taken excursions before, so this time just wandered and shopped in the downtown area. It was a fun experience and the people are all so friendly.