My wife and I have cruised to Hawaii four times but always in the fall or winter. We wanted to try a cruise to Hawaii in the summer. We booked a one-bedroom suite about a year before the cruise which was 16 night round-trip from Port of Los Angeles. We like round-trip from LA because it is about 45 minutes from our home. We have cruised Princess 11 times prior to this cruise and have always found the ships clean, well maintained, and easy to get around and the crews to be professional, helpful, and courteous. We have cruised with Carnivale 1 time, Disney 10 times, and Holland America 1 time.
While we enjoy Disney, it has been increasing it prices very aggressively while Princess continues to offer quality at reasonable prices. Another plus for Princess is that Disney left LA and relocated to San Diego. While still local, it is not as convenient as LA.
On our previous 11 cruises on Princess we have always arrived at the port by 1:30 PM with an all-aboard time of 4 PM. The porters have always been plentiful, friendly, and helpful. On this cruise we didn't arrive until 2:50 PM with an all-aboard time of 4 PM. When we drove up to the front of the terminal of berth 92 (the one with the tents where you check in and portable toilets) the porters were gone and there were no Princess crew or shore staff in sight. We asked a port security guard where the porters were and he said they quit at 3 PM. He pointed to the entrance of the tent where to check in and advised us to go into the parking lot, park, and bring our luggage (3 large suitcases and 3 hand bags) to the tent to check in. The security personnel in the screening tent were very helpful and offered to assist us with lifting our 3 large suitcases onto the x-ray conveyor. The Princess staff member in the check in tent was also very helpful. We felt sorry for the employees who have to work in these hot, stuffy, and humid tents in the summer. We trudged up the gangway with our 6 pieces of luggage and finally arrived on the promenade deck and had our medallions scanned and we were on board. With a sigh of relief, we continued our journey to the ship's forward elevators and managed to get one to deck 14. When we exited, hot, tired, and sweating, a young Princess crew member (bless his heart) came to our rescue and helped us with our luggage and guided us to our stateroom. We gave him the gratuity we had planned to give to the porter.
Our cabin was a one-bedroom suite on deck 14 midship. Most of our Princess cruises have been of this type and location. The cabin is well laid out, with a large closet, plenty of drawers, and cabinet space. There is a wet bar with a refrigerator. There is a desk and a make-up table each with a chair. There is also a convertible sofa, armchair and balcony. The bathroom has a large, jetted tub and large (for a cruise ship) glass enclosed shower. No shower curtain, hooray. The cabin was clean, fresh, and attractively decorated. Our cabin steward, Marlyn, was cheerful, responsive, prompt, thorough, and efficient. In spite of her busy schedule she always had time to greet us, ask how our cabin was, and answer questions.