We chose this sailing for extra sea days vs LA departures, as well as the back to back with a Mexican Riviera sailing. We booked very close in due to the dynamic nature of travel restrictions but were pleased to find a *wide* selection of cabins in every category. The ship sailed with approximately 700 guests and 1100 crew, resulting in an industry-leading 2:3 passenger:crew ratio, and *boy* does that make a difference. Everyone we encountered, from cabin and deck crew up to three- and -four stripe officers was happy to be back on board and executing at a high level. From embarkation to turnaround, we were treated like valued guests, not impositions. There were zero lines, zero waiting and zero hassles.
Some changes related to COVID actually made the voyage better - while Princess has been aggressively reducing hazards in the buffets with hand hygiene and frequent serving utensil replacement, the current standard of individually plated items for self-service or crew-served portions from larger containers is welcomed - presentation is nicer and food handling practices are better maintained. The ship *glowed* with cleanliness. While I’ve always found Princess ships to be clean, this sailing was remarkably clean inside and out. The low passenger count made elevators more pleasant and faster, the tenders were never crowded and the overall impression was alarmingly similar to having a mega yacht to yourself while wondering who invited the random people that kept popping up.
Food quality is subjective, but as someone who has had close to 500 meals (and uncountable snacks) on Princess ships over the last 20 years, I’m confident in saying that the quality we experienced in the DaVinci dining room, Horizon Court, Sabatinos and Crown Grill was some of the highest ever for the line. Fin fish was exceptionally good - ten dinners, ten winners. Baking (and overall dessert quality) was excellent. There was some tough beef, to be fair, and Crown Grill will never match a shoreside steakhouse, but nothing either of us ordered was of objectively poor quality nor was it haphazardly prepared. Special notice should go to Room Service, who was just *on top of it*, with food arriving promptly, exactly as ordered, and, most remarkably, at times so hot and fresh one had to wait to take a bite.
cabin is sold as an obstructed oceanview, but all the obstruction is several feet below the windowsill. The cabin had the old carpet with the ring motif, but was spotless. The bedside lamps are showing their age and had not been replaced with the new ones with USB ports. While I understand the motivation to improve floor-level and bathroom lighting with motion sensors, it’s overkill and leads to creative solutions. Did you know many motion sensors can be defeated with a Band-aid? I didn’t! This made the cruise educational!