A great time overall on board the ship. The weather was very hot (88-90) most of the time, which affected the time spent outdoors. Neither one of us expected it to be quite that hot in December.
The embarkation process was absolutely abysmal. It took us over 2 hours to get from near the front of the waiting line to inside the terminal. The ship was berthed at Terminal 29 (instead of the normal #2) due to an overflow of 9 ships in port at the same time. It took 40 minutes just to get onto the pier area with the car after we cleared Security to drop off the luggage. It went downhill from there. No parking on/near Terminal 29. Everyone who drove and had to park their vehicle had to go back out of the terminal and over to the mid-terminal area to the nearest parking garage, then take a shuttle back. Another 30 or 40 minutes in the shuttle waiting in the traffic jam. Only one lane open for all traffic turning left onto Terminal 29. All vehicles used the same single lane -- buses, shuttles, cars, taxis, etc. Once we got off the shuttle at Terminal 29, it was 2 hours standing in line to get into the building. Even "Elite" passengers, despite inquiring of Princess staff, could not jump to the head of the line, or be let in early. Only one side of a single double door into the building was opened for everyone to use, once it was opened. Some Princess staff or volunteers said the delay inside the building was due to only 2 Immigration staff showing up for work that day to do the off-load check of passengers disembarking. Once inside the building, Princess staff were plentiful and tried to keep things moving along with the hoards of hot, thirsty and tired passengers. Everyone agreed that they had never seen such a poor set-up for embarkation. Terminal 29 looks like a working loading dock, no amenities whatsoever. Cargo containers everywhere. Whatever entity runs Port Everglades should be ashamed of the lack of planning and execution that was more than evident on 12/01/12.
The cruise itself was delightful and all the staff were very pleasant and helpful. Once again, our cabin steward (Ricardo) went above and beyond to make sure our needs were met. We don't know how Princess selects their staff, but as with our Alaska cruise 08/12, we could not have asked for better service all around.
We had terrific table-mates for early Traditional Dining and did not use the speciality dining this time. We went to the two wine tastings, several trivia events, lots of dancing in clubs and Skywalkers, and the productions shows. Everything on board was top-notch.
We like Princess so much, we have already booked two future cruises, but will probably not got out of Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale in the future because of this trip's Terminal 29 debacle.