My DW and I are veterans of thirteen cruises. This is our first booking with Princess and we were eager to see how Princess stacked up to our favorite cruise lines. We selected the Pacific Coastal itinerary because of proximity to home and the ports of call with only one at-sea day.
We boarded the Star Princess on a rainy day in Vancouver. The process was fairly easy and boarding started at noon as advertised. Once onboard, we asked a crewmember if a dining room was open and he replied "no, just the buffet." We shouldered our way through the overcrowded buffet for an underwhelming lunch. Afterwards, we explored the ship only to find that the Portofino dining room was indeed open for lunch. This was just the beginning of uneven service and poor communication from the crew throughout the cruise.
The ship itself was nicely done, with mellow wood tones that were easy on the eyes. Public areas were abundant and seemingly never too crowded - it was always easy to find a deck chair or quiet area.