We began the day before, flying into Ft. Lauderdale from cold, snowy Michigan. The sun and heat felt so good and being near the water wasn't too bad, either. We had dinner at a local seafood restaurant with newly found friends from our Roll Call and, like other cruisers, went to bed anticipating our cruise the next day. We sailed with another couple whom we had sailed with twice before.
We got to the cruiseport at 10:30 Friday morning hoping to board in time to have lunch in the Dining Room. Check-in involved long lines, as usual, but we were on board by noon, in time to head down for lunch in the Da Vinci Dining Room. Unfortunately, our sailaway was rained-out so we went up to the Horizon Court to sail away behind the glass.
We had a mini-suite and love the extra space and especially the bathtub. The bed was very comfortable, unlike the rock hard mattresses we've had in the past with Princess.
Most of the meals were wonderful. We had dinner one night in the Crown Grill. The meal was one of the best I've had onboard a cruise, including the dessert, and we were impressed with the food presentation. The Creme Brulee is to die for if you're a fan; the fish and seafood menu choices are also good.
We stayed away from Horizon Court wherever possible, mainly because of the crowds and table-holding. We often ate breakfast there. Burgers, pizza and ice cream topped our lunch menu. We determined that table hogs, like chair hogs, are just plain annoying.
We had cookies and milk every day at the International Cafe and made sure we all had our fill of the delicious gelato.
The staff and crew were very helpful. They all were happy and quick to help however they could. We found out we had the same Room Steward for this cruise as we had on the Island Princess last year. He took good care of us, remembering who liked which soft drinks and keeping our ice bucket filled on a regular basis. When we had a problem with the rented tuxedo, he made sure we had the right size parts when it came time for the two formal nights.
This cruise was very port intensive. We had scheduled non-cruise sanctioned tours on all but two ports and they were all superb. I've recommended two in particular on the forum.
Disembarkation was as usual, disappointing and quick. We had a nice breakfast in the Botticelli Dining Room and took our time. No searching for an empty table to seat four of us, as is common in Horizon Court.
All in all, this cruise tops our list. We met plenty of good friends, ate plenty of good food, had lots of laughs, and decided there's nothing like a good Caribbean sunset!