Never again on Princess
We are very experienced cruisers who have been cruising since the 1970s on a variety of ships and lines. This was our worst experience in almost 50 years.
The only saving grace on this cruise were the Hawaiian Ambassadors who taught Ukulele, Hula, and gave the Hawaiian enrichment lectures. If it wasn't for them we would have bailed out at the first stop on Hilo. The other lecturers were very good too. Also the staff was very courteous and friendly.
Pretty much everything else about this cruise was horrid:
The bed in our room didn't offer proper support and was too soft - my back hurt the entire cruise.
The food was ghastly. All the meat and seafood was overcooked and tough. Most of the seafood was flavorless - especially the lobster and shrimp. The buffet featured unidentified stuff floating in glop. The fried items were mostly soggy and flaccid.
The ship was horribly overcrowded with lines everywhere, especially at anytime dining where sometimes the wait exceeded an hour. The cruise staff often scheduled activities in venues that were way too small for the audience. There were also long hold times on the dining reservation line and for onboard customer service.
Large swaths of the public area were effectively unusable due to the reek of cigarette smoke from the Casino and Snookers bar.
The crew insisted on varnishing woodwork in public areas during peak hours sickening many passengers.
Princess also nickels and dimes you to death. The amount of in your face selling of junk on board was repulsive. The photographers trying to get you in their pictures with their ridiculous outfits was extremely intrusive.
Overall the ship needs a total makeover and a lot of upgrades - subsystems such as the vacuum toilets failed repeatedly, the air conditioning in our room never got it cold enough. Vast areas of the public spaces were either too cold or too hot. The exterior of the ship has large areas of peeling paint and rust.
In spite of all this we had a fun time - we're not going to let a crummy cruise company destroy our good time.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Avoid this ship! Avoid Princess