We've cruised with Princess before and four other cruise lines. We have Princess as our vacation of choice. We actually have done this cruise before on the Grand Princess. And, will be sailing on the Star Princess at least three more times before she is reassigned later this year. When living in France and Singapore we went with local cruise lines, but they didn't compare to Princess in terms of Ship accommodations, itinerary, food or staff services.
We selected a cabin with an unobstructed view. We have made this cruise before on the Grand Princess, and going this early in spring, across the Pacific Ocean, at 20+ knots or 23 miles per hour, you don't really sit out on your balcony for very long. Once you are in the islands and the warmer climate, a balcony is very worth while. But, we had chosen extensive shore excursions, so we wouldn't be sitting of a balcony anyway.
We lived in Hawaii for about a year back in 2008 so we already know much of the history and culture. But, Dr. Anne, the naturalist's talks about culture, history, fish and animals and details about each island were excellent, and we learned even more.
The cabins in this area have unobstructed views. However, we didn't know that they also have two bunk beds mounted on the walls next to the queen bed which made getting into and our of bed very difficult. On the positive side, the cabin was very convenient on the Plaza deck, just a few steps from the Piazza, International Café, Vines Wine Bar, Capri Dining room, Internet Café and Library. We could go the other way about 50 feet and get to the elevators [lifts] directly to the Princess Theater or the Horizon [Lido] deck, with very little competition for elevator traffic.