Hotel in FLL—we got the Westin Beach Resort from Priceline. The hotel is going thru renovations but it had everything we needed and was right across the street from the beach. Service was impeccable and we had a great room on the top floor facing the beach.
Embarking—It was totally worth it going in the night before and showing up at the port at 11. We were on the ship before noon. The process was extremely smooth.
Cabin—Rolando, our steward, was extremely engaging and very cheerful and helpful. The cabin, however, was a HORRIBLE choice. It was an inside cabin at the front of the ship on the Caribe deck. Looking at the deck plan, it appeared it should have been quite since there were cabins both above and below it. However I neglected to notice the Princess theater was three levels below. We heard everything from the theater, including dress rehearsals! There was only one night where we went to bed early where it was an issue, but now I know not to book near the theater. (FYI, this was cabin C211). The size was not an issue since it was just the two of us.
Food—we opted for buffets for all meals except for two nights when we tried the Crown Grill and Sabatini's. Overall, the buffets were average. Breakfasts were better than lunch and dinner. There was always something eatable, nothing extraordinary. Of course, the pizza was amazing! The Crown Grill was decent. Better than the buffet, of course, but not memorable. Sabatini's, on the other hand was phenomenal and WAY worth the $20 charge! Our waiter, Alessandro, was hysterical and one course was better than the next...ending with espresso Crème Brule. I also discovered it was less expensive to order a mixed drink, like a Manhattan, than any of their "specialty" drinks. I also stopped by the International Cafe a few times. I am a dessert junkie and I noticed they tended to have repeats of what was in the buffet at dinner but at lunch, they had new and different treats.
SanctuaryI booked for the whole cruise cause it was spring break for the younger kids and I knew it would be impossible to find a "good" chair by a pool without getting up really early. The convenience was totally worth it for me...I liked the service a lot and the pool by the spa (adult only) was usually empty.
Entertainment—we went to MUTS one night and saw Last Chance Harvey. We wanted to see the Dark Night, but it was Teen Night so the area was way too crowded to find a chair. We also went to two shows. The juggler Sideshow Bert felt like watching a high school talent show. Tony Tillman, however, was very entertaining-not the typical show I would go to...but glad I did.
Casino—We both lost big-time...it's a lot of fun but WAY too easy to keep taking out $$ on the cruise card.
Service—most cruise staff was very friendly and helpful. The only issue I ever had was in the casino or at the bars if I asked for a tap water. I know they want to sell their bottled water but I felt like I got a slight attitude cause I was opting for the "cheap" stuff.
Ocho Rios—I can see why other cruise ships do not go here anymore. You get approached by ppl as soon as you go down the gangway. Every 5 steps you are saying "no thank you" to a cab ride, hair braiding, or drugs. We only browsed the shops and then hung out in Margaritaville, which was entertaining.
Cayman Islands—I did this port by myself. I had the "great" idea of trying to walk from the port to 7 Mile beach...not smart in 80 degree weather. I made it about ¾ of the way and ended up taking a bus. The beach was gorgeous and I was so glad I went. Shopping in the port was better than Jamaica, but pricier.
Cozumel—This was our favorite port. We decided last minute to do the Atlantis submarine. Seeing the coral and fish was a lot of fun and it's kinda cool to say I have been in a sub. The shopping by the port was the best of the cruise and all the people we met on the island were the nicest of any of the stops.
Princess Cay—I also did this port by myself. I had never snorkeled so I rented the equipment and walked to the far end of the beach (past the last cabanas) and went for swim. I saw tons and tons of fish and since there were few other ppl near me, they came right up to me. I wish I had an underwater camera cause so many of them were day-glo and amazing!
Disembarking-This was very messy. We opted for "walk off" and went down at our assigned time. It was a madhouse and there wasn't anyone directing ppl where to go so although we got "in line", anyone who got off the elevator after us just moved ahead in the queue, pushing us further back. We got off in about an hour but it just was an aggravating way to end a relaxing cruise.
Summary-In some ways 7 days was long with the 2 days at sea. Not that I was bored, per se, but in the evenings, if we did not do the shows, there was little for us to do other than the casino. The ship is very nice to look at and overall it was great trip. They do nickel and dime you with the charges for ice cream and the specialty restaurants. I think I will opt for a European or Alaskan cruise in the future, where the ports are of more interest rather than just relying on the ship for entertainment.