Wow...where to begin? I thought things would be more complicate than they were and was happy to be wrong.
I want to personally commend Suzan Kent at Princess for all her cheerful and informative help. Thank you Suzan. You are a jewel in the Princess lines crown.
Embarkation was far faster and easier than I had expected and we were aboard in matter of 20 minutes or so with the only real delay being that we showed up later than we had planned. (1pm) Our stuff got to our room without a hitch and in a reasonable time.
We had an inside cabin on Baja deck (11) and it was roomy and comfortable. Our Cabin steward was Luis and he was EXCELLENT and always cheerful and helpful. If you get him you will do well.
Muster drill was no big deal and over with quickly so that we could get on with the sailaway.
My wife and I stood on the Sun deck and watched us exit the port as we called our 3 grown sons to say we had arrived safely and would call them when we got back. From then on the phone was nothing but an alarm clock, and good riddance.
We went to the Horizon Court for a late lunch and the Rockfish they served was delicious. I recommend that you go in and wander around the area before grabbing your plate so you have some clue where everything is as with 50 or 60 people all trying to get their food it can be a little confusing. Once that is done you should be able to navigate it without a problem.
There is nothing not good in there, though some things may not be something that appeals to you personally. Like your Mama told you as a kid, "Take a little of everything and try it and then go back for what you liked." I did and found favorites all over the place. BTW, for my fellow Southerners out there, they DO indeed have grits on the breakfast buffet. Look for 'em.
We discovered that we liked the tables right at the front of the ship, especially for breakfast which we made at sunrise every day of the cruise. WELL worth it! We were also able to sit there and watch (and photograph) a huge rainbow that the ship actually sailed through. That became a highlight for us.
Dinner we had anytime dining in the Bordeaux room and they were great. I HIGHLY recommend table 67 where the three guys there gave us the best and friendliest service I have ever had ANYWHERE. They are outstanding! Two of the guys are named Arnel and Pepe and I apologize for forgetting the third man's name because these fellows DESERVE to be commended by name. Be sure to tip them well. They will deserve it.
I did my part to decimate the lobster population on the nights it was offered and the baked Alaska on the last night was delicious. I also recommend the "Love Boat Dream" which is a "death by chocolate" treat. Steaks were excellent as was the seafood. Try the escargot too. I did, and it was very good. I'd eat it again anytime.
By all means take any of the dance classes offered while aboard. James and Natasha were a blast and they even helped an uncoordinated guy like me pick up the beginnings of the Cha Cha.
DEFINITELY go to the port shopping seminar and get that coupon book. It's worth it just to get the Del Sol bag that changes colors in the sun and all te freebies that Jay gives away.
The 2nd full day at sea we had some 5-7 ft seas and you could feel it a bit, but it was nothing serious. It rocked us to sleep every night and that was good. Unless you are someone who is ordinarily subject to motion sickness, (In other words...you can't even a read a book while riding in a car.) you should have no problems at all. We didn't.
Looking out at the Caribbean as we sailed along I was reminded of the classic last part of Stephen King's "The Shawshank Redemption" where Red speaks of the blue of the Pacific in his dreams. I can tell you that that beautiful blue Caribbean water will haunt my dreams for the rest of my life. As I sit here typing this I can still see it in my mind and wistfully wish I was there still.
The shows were good. We saw Adrian Zmed, Carl Strong, and the 60's dance party and enjoyed them all.
Oh! A very special note of excellence to the WONDERFUL classical trio that played in the atrium. The piano, flute and violin were amazing. Your rendition of the Ave Maria was so beautiful that I found myself hearing the Latin prayer as you played. I encourage everyone to take the time to just sit and enjoy these 3 lovely and talented ladies whenever you have a chance.
The various shows and displays in the atrium where very good. I recommend the one with all the bartenders. Be sure to volunteer to get those free drinks. The appletini I got was worth the silliness I had to perform.
I would highly recommend the Island Princess to anyone who has a chance to sail on her.