May 2015 - 7 Night Greece & Turkey (Athens To Istanbul) Cruise on Emerald Princess
It was fine
This was the first cruise for my wife and me. Overall, we thought it was okay, not great. With 3000 passengers on board, it was hard not to feel like a sheep. Lots of standing in line (e.g., for passenger services or the tour desk) and large excursion groups (enough to fill a tour bus). Service throughout was attentive, but not exceptional. The ready availability of food (including a decent variety) was really nice, but it didn't stand out. If anything, it felt old-fashioned - lots of down the middle American food like you would expect in a family restaurant anywhere in the U.S. The exception was the extra cost steakhouse, where we had some very nice steaks and lobster tails one night.
With the exception of one very good show featuring Turkish musicians, folk dancers, and a belly dancer on the last night, it was hard to tell that we were in Greece or Turkey while on board the ship. It would have been nice to see a bit more connection to the destination. For example, instead of the DJ playing "sounds of Miami Beach," perhaps "sounds of the Mediterranean" would have worked. Similarly, a few more menu items in the dining rooms and/or buffets that captured the flavors of Greece and Turkey would have been welcome.
It's also difficult to escape the constant selling going on throughout the ship. There's always a focus on getting you to buy something: photos, jewelry, clothing, art, drinks, special meals, etc.
It was certainly convenient to move from one destination to another (particularly the Greek isles) without packing/unpacking. And the international crew was professional and pleasant throughout. However, this experience didn't inspire us to want to go on another Princess Cruise anytime soon.