This was our 11th Princess cruise and our 14th cruise overall. We were desperate to get away for a few days after all this Covid lockdown time. It was an eight-hour drive to Los Angeles for three of us (the worst part of the trip) and a flight from SLC for the other two.
Cruise prep was fairly onerous. Pre-cruise Covid testing wasn't as bad as we expected with the at-home test kits done with a live online proctor. (Word to the wise: order extra kits. We did and it's a good thing because one of the tests came back with "inconclusive" results. If we hadn't had an extra, we would have had to pay $150 for a test at the pier.) But the worst part of the cruise prep was dealing with the Medallion Class app. Things that you used to be able to do through the website - uploading photos and passport info, for instance - can now be done ONLY through the app. The app is counterintuitive, complicated, overly complex, and crashes frequently. A corporation of this size should be able to hire a better app designer, and I stressed the inadequacy of the app several times in my online review to Princess. Many of the ship's staff were likewise unable to make the app work properly and were as frustrated as we were.
Passenger population was pretty low - maybe 60% of capacity. This made it easy to avoid crowds and allowed us to feel less vulnerable to Covid infection (maybe a false sense of security, but whatever). Everyone was vaccinated and had a negative Covid test within 48 hours of boarding, plus masks were required in all public areas, so you can't get much safer than that anyway. And the low passenger numbers meant shorter lines everywhere, which was nice.