Left from L.A. on Dec 3rd, 2007. First 2 sea days rough, remaining 3 days thereafter very nice. Sailing back for 5 days very nice.
I was on the Diamond 1 month after its inaugural cruise in 2004. Now the ship needs some work/attention. Can see the toll of 3 years at sea with large amounts of passengers......about 2600 avg per cruise.
Horizon Court small for amount of passengers, even though they have 2 sides. Each side has 1 entrance and is very crowded in peak times. Tables hard to find and food did not stay hot. I personally thought food selection was poor to average and very limited.
Main dining rooms average service while the Savoy Dining room was excellent and the specialty steakhouse "Sterling" was impeccable service and EXCELLENT quality steaks. We ate there 3 times and never minded the $15.00 person cover charge. Sterling Steakhouse at night uses the Horizon Court Buffet seating area for the Steakhouse....lacked atmosphere but quality meat and service made up for the atmosphere.
We did not try Sabintini's this time and general remarks from other passengers, they felt it wasn't worth the $20.00 per person cover. 8 course meal with 6 appetizers, main course and desert. Sabitini was generally sparse with diners.
Menus all the same in all dining rooms, and the Santa Fe and Pacific Moon dining rooms were not themed with menu selection only atmosphere. We expected a southwestern menu in Santa Fe and Asian in Pacific Moon, but that was not the case.
Had three options for dining...Traditional Early (5:45) or Late (7:45) and Anytime Dining. Anytime dining was our choice and poor one. Had average 30 to 40 minute wait, and the dining rooms hand out pagers that vibrate and flash lights. Even trying to make a reservation early didn't work.
Only dining room for breakfast was the International Dining room. Other choice was Horizon Court buffet or room service.
Had 2 Naturalists on board for questions about Hawaii and the ship had an elderly lady for lectures.
Entertainment was average.....nothing spectacular. Had to get to the Princess Theatre 30-45 minutes before show to get a seat. Otherwise to walk in just 15 minutes before the show was too late for a seat. Cruise Director David Cole had to have some shows repeated the following day in the afternoon for those that couldn't get seats the night before.
We rated the cruise 7 to 8 out of 10. As an avid cruiser, I personally believe that Princess needs some upgrading in service for this ship. This cruise was NOT typical Princess quality. Nice cruise, had fun, but not to our expectations.
Several public restrooms out of order. Advised the ship was having pipe problems.
Sailing from Hilo to Kona, at 10:30 PM....ship lost all power and was dead in the water for 45 minutes....general alarm for all crew sounded. Emergency lighting went into effect in cabins(very small 2 inch square light) but did not have emergency lighting in halls or lighted strips on in the stateroom hallways. Captain addressed all passengers several times in staterooms. Many passengers scared. Problem was resolved, but never given explaination.
Will answer any other questions....