We had an inside cabin (Riviera 252)- having already done the balcony thing on the Eastern Caribbean. Stateroom was very nice, well laid out, and the bed was ready with an egg crate topper when we got on board, as we had pre-ordered / requested. Stateroom had a flat screen TV, which is a nice improvement over 3 years ago on the Caribbean Princess. TV channels during the cruise were adequate to keep inform of stateside news and sports as well as shipboard activities.
Embarkation was delayed because of the ship coming in from the Baltic and USCG / Customs doing a bit of due diligence with the crew giving the ships first arrival in Port Everglades. At least, that was the explanation. Boarding began for everyone at 12:30 PM and we were assigned group # 3 and in our stateroom by 1:05 PM.
I really like how Princess does the emergency drill by having passengers meet in designated areas (we were in the Princess Theatre) instead of lining the rails with the life jackets on. Fort Lauderdale was in the midst of an October heat wave (approx. 95 degrees when the EP departed) and it was much more comfortable inside than outside.
We preferred the Horizon court breakfasts over the Main Dining Room (MDR), but split lunches between MDR, Horizon, and the Burger/Pizza bar. We always checked the menus posted outside the MDR before we went in for a meal to see if there were items we wanted to order. We also did the English Pub in the Wheelhouse bar and found it to be a nice diversion. Afternoon tea was fun with the strings playing, very enjoyable.
The deserts in the Horizon Court for dinner were really plain. The dining room had much better deserts for dinner.
In the evenings, we watched MUTS (Angels and Demons) and Football (being from Nashville, the Titans game sucked - but every Titans game has this season). The weather was great (but windy) so MUTS was full most evenings. They showed Star Trek, The Proposal among others. We also went to the see the Hypnotist show which was outstanding both evenings. The Princess Theater shows featured great musicians, but only marginal in regards to dancing and singing. The piano bar was fun as well sing a longs, etc
Participated in the Art auctions and really enjoyed getting to know the art auctioneer / consultant onboard. Also was selected to do the Chef's Table, which was fantastic. Highly recommend you get your name on the list early for this outstanding evening of culinary adventures.
Wifey got the coffee card and used about 1/3 of it. Good thing we get to keep it and use it again on our next cruise aboard the Ruby.
Missed the "memo" about tips being auto charged to our account each day. Was stunned to see it on the bill when I previewed it the last sea day but when I realized what it was, I was ok. Next time, do not have to carry so much cash onboard for end of cruise. On board shopping was adequate, nothing out of the ordinary.
Not a huge point, but now the cabin TVs got both ESPN and ESPN2. While at sea, ESPN2 becomes main ESPN at times (like Saturday for college football). Nice surprise. Internet was slow - at times, super slow, at other times, super frustrating slow.
In summary, the main objective for us in this cruise was to relax, and that objective was accomplished in spades and diamonds! Thanks to the Sanctuary, the art gallery, and the Chef's Table event, this was a cruise we will not forget and we would cruise the EP next week if our employers would permit!!!