Was on the 30 day LA to Sydney cruise on the Sapphire. The pluses far outnumber the minuses. Beautiful new ship, very good food, friendly (with a few exceptions) and good staff. Entertainment so so. Minuses: they nickle and dime you , which I guess all 4 star lines do, international dining room inconvenient to get to--due to kitchen in mid 6th deck to cover the 4 other restaurants, and some other problems.
As far as anytime dining, which took a lot of threads in prior discussion, I wouldn't do it.
I cannot speak from personal experience, as I took traditional dining; but from complaints and grumbling by many who did. People got tired of having to make reservations every night on the trip. Often unable to get the time they wanted. Some ended up in the buffet. I would estimate that at least 2 dozen people told me they would never take anytime dining again. In traditional dining you can order from any of the restaurants menus (as you can in all the restaurants), We had 6 great table mates, and we looked forward to dinner because of that.
Anytime dining maybe ok in 7 days cruises, but not recommend it for longer cruises!!!
Will gladly answer any questions about the ship, cruise, ports etc.
PS: Celebrity is a better line, but Princess a very close second
We were also on this cruise. We took anytime dining and wouldn't do it any other way. We never had trouble getting into a restaurant throughout the cruise. I think earlier diners found it harder - but after 8pm we just walked straight in everywhere we went. We even encountered a number of people who were so glad that they had switched from traditional dining. I guess its a matter of perspectives, but we loved it.
As I said, I wasnt speaking from personal experience, but was referring to those who were unhappy. An old axiom: People who are unhappy complain, people who are happy say nothing. Probably, as you said, those eating earlier had the troubles. From a personal view, I dont think I would like to have to make reservations or chance it every night; unless we had terrible table mates and couldnt change. It is nice to see the same people, if you get along, and see how their day went and what they saw. You dont have to go throught the 'breaking the ice' routine. But then each to his or her own.
Glad you enjoyed the cruise as my wife and I did. Thanks for the response.