To me, walking around the promenade deck is more like walking around a school track field. The same view...the same view...the same view. One can sit on their balcony, or sit on the promenade deck and see...the same view. it's not going to change wherever you are out at sea.I find it does change, sometimes dramatically, depending upon time of day, sun position, wind direction, wind speed, and weather conditions. DH and I love walking on the promenad and it is an experience that we can't find anywhere else. Where else can one walk in the shade so close to the sea...not on a beach.
I agree about the smoking, but that should only be on one side.
I think a Royal class ship will be coming to the California in a year or so. But I hope this doesn't mean we will lose access to Princess ships with a walkable promenad so soon.