This was my 3rd cruise with Princess, and my 2nd in this class of ship. Overall, I have sailed on 11 cruises with various lines.
To begin, I most likely will not sail on Princess ever again. While I can report that the overall experience was generally OK, it was the culmination of several isolated situations/problems that left me exasperated.
Example 1: Only after my 4th request did our cabin steward finally comply with my (only) request - that we be supplied with 4 glasses and ice twice daily. On one occassion, after indicating the ice had not been replenished upon my return from the 1st dinner sitting, the steward questioned my obervation.
Example 2: In the Horizon Court one morning I opted to have a pancake, however, the syrup container was almost empty. I alerted the employee to the situation without any reply on his part. Sensing he may have not heard me, I repeated the comment and this time, without looking towards me, he said "I heard you the 1st time" and proceded to find more syrup.
Example 3: Service delivery at the Terrace Grill is almost non-evident at peak times since only 2 employees are on duty. While most polite and efficient, the service staff clearly cannot satisfy passenger needs.
Example 4: Having not finished a bottle of wine one evening the wine steward was clearly told to dispose of the bottle. Nonetheless she badgered us without success to cork it for the next night. The next night the wretched bottel appears. She would not take no for an answer so we took the bottle, poured it into a glass, and proceded to enjoy the meal. Upon leaving the table we left the glass of wine sitting there as poured and not consumed.
Example 5: During our evening meal in the dining room one night, it was clearly evident by the verbal exchanges and body language of some dining room staff serious friction existed bewteen them. Such a public display was most unsettling to all of us in the group.
Example 6: After disembarking from the tender to climb the staircase from level 2 to 4, our group had to briefly while while a female crew member ahead of us considered whether to accept and offer from a male crew member behind us to meet later for a drink or something.
FOOD While I had winessed a vast improvement in food quality at dinner this time around, the same could not be said for breakfast and lunch. It seemed to me that even though the volume was geat, the quality was less than before. It was as if one were in a cafeteria evironment at home rather than on a ship whose marketing boldly promotes fine dinging choices. Even after allowing for the fact the cruise was priced less than (say) a Celebrity cruise, the food fare was just not commensurate with my expectations.
One other comment concerning the dining experience is with regard to the fixed and freestyle options now available. Frankly, since this class of ship was not originally designed for both types to simultaneously operate, I found it problematic for us as 'traditional' diners. We were relegated to the lower dining room for which access is difficult because of where the kitchen is located. Furthermore, it seemed to us the seating area was more crowded than our previous sailing experience when freestyle dining did not exist. For example, waiters were constantly hitting us from behind as they passed through the seemingly tight confines between the tables.
So, sadly, I will look eleswhwere next time we cruise. To those who still enjoy the Princess experience that is great, however, perhaps my experience may also stike a familiar chord with other experienced PAX (passngers) having recently sailed with Princess.