Parking - drove from Oklahoma. Dropped off all luggage with porter and drove to EZ CRUISE parking. Short quick shuttle ride. We each had a small carry on roller bad with a single change of clothes and toiletries for a shower. This system has worked for years.
Embarkation - we arrived at about 1:00 pm and encountered a 15 minute line to provide our passports and get our ship cards. This was quick and easy. They then had us take a seat in the terminal. This was unusual for Galveston terminal. Normally you just walk on the ship after getting your card. We sat in those seats for about 40 minutes and waited to board. We boarded in groups of about 40. Seemed strange.
Room - R216 - Rivera deck inside cabin forward (very forward). There were only about three rooms more forward than us. The room was fine until we encountered rougher seas. The nose of this ship really moved up and down a lot. Too rough for my wife. We will be mid ship next time. Found the room to be smallish and the bathroom to real smallish. We had to ask for an ice bucket and our room steward did a decent job of cleaning the room and a fair job of keeping ice in the room. We also had to ask for robes. They were marked one size fits all but my size 8 wife was over exposed and my XXL frame .....lets just say it was airy.
Food - we found the food to be good. We ate in the MDR every evening and really enjoyed the meals and the selection. Although we had anytime seating, we had the same waiter every evening. She was awesome. We ate breakfast in the dining room twice and found the service to be quite slow and that the same foods were available in the buffet. The pizza was scrumptious. We had room service bring coffee on two mornings and they were spot on.
Roatan - we rented a car to drive around the island. This place is dirt dirt poor. We drove to the West End beaches and then through Coxen Hole. I see why people say that it should be renamed Toxic Hole. We returned the rental car and went to the beach directly beside the ship. The beach was excellent. Plenty of chairs and drinks. We really wish we would not rented a car and stayed at that beach by the ship.
Belieze - we have been here before and decided to stay on the ship. Very peaceful and quiet.
Cozumel - always good, except it rained on us the entire day. We were able to shop. Bought my liqueur at the store next to the ship. Embarked the ship and declared that I had liqueur in the bags. Placed them on scanner. Told security it was liqueur and they told me just to take it to my room and enjoy. As a regular Carnival cruiser, this shocked me.
Pools - pools were very clean and lounge chairs available.
Other cruisers - I want to say that I believe that the average age on this ship was about 67. My wife and I are 49 and 51. This was an old crowd and I LOVED IT. These people were courteous and pleasant about 99% of the time. I was advised that there were only 34 persons on board under the age of 18. Again, I loved it. No screaming unruly children. Again, wonderful. If there was a line, people waited patiently and enjoyed themselves instead of getting pushy and frustrated. Such a wonderful change.
Debarkation - smooth until we realized that one of our group left a piece of luggage in the terminal. Princess saw the piece that was left and called the cell phone number on the luggage tag and we returned to get it. This went very smooth.
Princess vs Carnival comparison. I have taken 10 Carnival cruises and this was my first Princess cruise.
Children - I am serious bothered by unsupervised hellions. I have seen so many Carnival parents let their children run the ship unsupervised. This was such a relief.
Room - standard rooms on Carnival are larger with significantly better storage. There were very few drawers for storing items on this Princess ship. The mattress was thin and should be upgraded to a decent mattress. I have read that people often request egg crate toppers. I say - REALLY? Just get good mattresses. Bathroom is really small. One could almost sh-t, shower and shave without moving your feet. The walls are kinda thin. We heard the two men next to us with too much clarity.
Food - I find that Carnival has a much wider selection of food. However, I find that the food on Princess to be much better than the Carnival food.
Fun Ship vs Escape Completely - my college daughter would have found our Princess cruise to be extremely boring. I found it to be bliss filled. That is why she is going on the Spring Break cruise out of NOLA. I am soooooo tired of Carnivals attempt to create an artificial hype on the ship.
Ship stability - this ship had significantly more movement than we are accustomed. Maybe Carnival has a better stabilizing system.
Casino - carnivals casino is happening while Princess casino is sleeping.
Decor - the Carnival ships basically remind of someone who has eaten too much and regurgitated tacky mardi gras all over the place. I found the Princess decor to be elegant and stately.
I believe that my wife and I have outgrown Carnival. Sure wish that I could transfer my Carnival status to Princess.