This was our first time on Princess and first time doing a Pacific Coastal Cruise. We have cruised with Celebrity three times and six times with Holland America. The Star Princess is an older ship, a little tired, but overall very nice. The atrium was lovely.
Embarkation was not great. They had an outbreak of Noro Virus on the previous cruise, so were doing a thorough sanitizing of the ship, which delayed our embarkation. We would go through security and have to sit in chairs, then go through customs and sit in chairs, and finally we got to boarding. It felt like it took forever. We discovered when checking in they had changed our Early Dining time from 6 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., which meant we had time to go to our stateroom, unpack, go to the Emergency Drill, get a drink and take it with us to dinner. No chance of going to the Sail Away Party...there wasn't time.
We had a lovely table in the Amalfi Dining Room each evening for dinner and were seated with a couple from Illinois. Our waiter and assistant waiter were great, very attentive and thoughtful. The food was very good and the desserts outstanding. We did go to the Pub Lunch that was held twice in the Crown Grill during our 10 day cruise. It was casual and the food good. Breakfast in the dining room wasn't anything special, so we did that once and the rest of the mornings either went to the Horizon Court or International Cafe.
Typical interior cabin, loved the layout, no closet doors to deal with and lots of room for storage. This cabin is considered a forward location, but we had no problems with motion. My only thought is that we were on Deck 12 and most activities were on Deck 7, so several flights of stairs to deal with if you don't want to use the elevators. On the other hand, it's only one deck below the Horizon Court and pools, so if that's what you enjoy the location is perfect.
We live near Vancouver, B.C., so no need for a shore excursion. It's a beautiful city!
We took the city bus from the Port of San Pedro to Long Beach. We visited the Aquarium of the Pacific, walked along the boardwalk and had lunch at Bubba Gumps. It was a fun day.
Catalina Island was lovely, very quiet, lots of shops and restaurants. We can understand why people who live in Los Angeles might want a second home there.
San Francisco is a beautiful city. We enjoyed Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. It was Fleet Week, so an extra 800,000 people in the city and I'm sure they were all down at the waterfront. We did enjoy seeing the Blue Angels perform and the fireworks at night. The trip to Alcatraz was very good, but be sure to book it well in advance. We booked two months ahead. We would love to go back to San Francisco some day.