I still think it's the best line out there in their price range.
That's hard to assess. Thanks to a "cost reduction programme" implemented starting in 2001, Princess clearly had slipped to the bottom of the "premium" segment, or aguably into the "mainstream" segment, at the time of the merger of operations in 2003. I noticed a significant step up when I moved to Celebrity Cruises. In fact, Princess seems to compete more directly with Royal Caribbean International, which is at the top of the "mainstream" segment, than with Celebrity Cruises, which is at the top of the "premium" segment, now.
I wasn't rating Princess as to "premium" or "mainstream" - just as their price range.
I've now sailed once with Celebrity and liked it (my second favorite line - 2nd sailing coming up soon) but from my experience with RCI, they are at the bottom of the barrel as to food, service, etc. And friends of mine who were very loyal to RCI are changing their mind(s) and switching to Princess. I don't think any of these 3 lines can be rated as "premium" ... that's for Crystal and the like.
My point being, Norm, that maybe you should really try Princess again - you might be pleasantly surprised that Carnival really didn't ruin them. For pete's sake, you have 13 cruises with them - 2 more and you get elite!
And you were one of their biggest promoters until Carnival came along.
Hey - Princess has fresh water pools open almost 24/7, real refrigerators, excellent food and service ... and free internet from your 6th cruise on (Celebrity gives you a grand total of 10 minutes at the same level)!
Give it a try. I think you'd like it.