As two 25 year-olds, we were somewhat nervous about the demographics to expect on this (or any Princess) cruise. I have been on 4 previous cruises (2 with NCL, 1 Carnival, and 1 RCI), my girfriend on none, but as an anniversary trip, we thought we would try a 'nicer' cruise line.
PRE-CRUISE: Arrived in FLL the night before and stayed at the Days Inn Ft. Lauderdale Airport/Cruiseport- would definitely advise AGAINST this hotel. It was in a terrible location and was very run-down. We were afraid to leave our room at night!
EMBARKATION: Very long line at the port around 12:45, but we ended up on the ship about an hour later.
STATEROOM: We were extremely happy with our Riviera deck balcony (our first balcony experience, and I don't think I'll ever go back!!). We had requested robes, and while they weren't there, our extremely attentive and helpful room steward (Gilfred) got them to us in a few hours. Very impressed with the amount of hanging space in the closet. Bathroom was smaller than on other lines, but still sufficient. There was some occasional noise from the above buffet- the sounds of chairs or tables being moved, but nothing too extreme. I could see that if people are easily offended by a bit of noise, however, this might not be the deck for them. Personally, I would request it again, as I loved being close to the aft terrace pool as well as the buffet. We LOVED sitting on the balcony enjoying breakfast or a drink every night. The only problem we had with the room was a lack of cold water in the sink- we never contacted anyone about this so not sure if it was even fixable or not.
DINING: We were originally assigned to Anytime dining, but due to some dietary restrictions, I preferred traditional seating with the same staff every night. We went to see the Maitre D' in the afternoon after embarkation and were given a table for 2 in the second seating. Our staff (Gabriel and Api) were SUPERB and we were extremely happy with our dining arrangements. We also ate at the Crown Grill one night and were EXTREMELY impressed with it (would highly recommend it and would definitely visit there on a future cruise again). One of the only negatives was the buffets- we found the layout to be poor, and the variety and quality to be somewhat lacking. Similarly, the room service menu was limited and uninteresting.
SERVICES: We made use of the Lotus Spa after winning '2nd prize' in the Raffle (although I know of a bunch of people that won this supposed '2nd prize'). We got a couples massage at 40% off, and we were very happy with it. It was done in the Sanctuary in the private cabanas, and was a very relaxing experience. The product sales pitches all around the spa were a little much, however.
ENTERTAINMENT: Attended all of the shows and were actually somewhat impressed with them. The production shows were not as good as on Carnival, but were still entertaining. The comedian/magician Steve Morris was a highlight, and James Michael was good too. Tim Donovan was a good MC at the big events, and along with his deputy Collette, hosted a VERY entertaining Wake Show (this was one of the things we looked forward to watching every morning- for the laughs, not the information). The rest of the cruise director's team was visible and fun. In terms of music, we very much enjoyed the band Evolution, as well as the relaxing sounds of the Polonia Quartet
The port reviews will be included below.
DISEMBARKATION: Had breakfast in the dining room the last morning and walked off with our bags around 8. The process was a breeze.
POST-CRUISE: Were spending one additional night in FLL, and chose the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Airport- very happy with this hotel and would highly recommend it for a night or 2 stay.
OVERALL PROS: room, dining room service, nice public areas, musical entertainment, overall relaxation CONS: buffets, robes weren't very plush, constant sales pitches