This my 86th lifetime cruise, my 5th with Princess. Had pre-cruise stay at Days Inn in North Ft Lauderdale for 2 nights , no problems. Used United Airport Parking ( parked at Marriott Renaissance suites) for only $49.86 vs $105 at port garage with free courtesy car to/from ship .
Check-in was easy and organized by groups. no problems. On board less than 30 minutes after arrival at pier and cabins were ready for occupancy. unpacked carry-ons and went up to Horizon Court for buffet lunch. Usual crowds and no self-serve carry trays but managed just fine. all baggage delivered before sailing so unpacked totally and missed most of sail-out except what we could see from our mini-suite balcony. met other group members at private function. Mini-suite D722 was 8ft 8 inches wide by 30 feet long plus balcony of 7 by 9. plenty of room, closet space, large bathroom with huge tub. only 4 small night stand drawers but plenty of shelves for storage of clothing. 2 flat screen tv's but only one remote. good fridge. good a/c. we also brought 2 power strips, 3 fans, 2 c-pap machines, our own 4 cup coffee maker, etc etc. we drove down so had total of 12 suitcases. Ive cruised so many times now that i bring everything i could possibly want as everything on board and in most ports is so expensive these days.
Had all dinners in Boticelli dining room with group at 2015 hours. Princess food is good quality hotel banquet stuff. some "iffy" soups and they insist on serving this green hockey puck that is supposed to be creamed spinach. otherwise , no major disappointments. had one breakfast in dining room and 2 lunches, all decent. rest of meals in Horizon court or international cafe at base of atrium.
my sign and sail was only 52 dollars for tips (11 per day) after 25 dollar credit applied. didnt buy anything on board or take any shore excursions. Im a self-starter and didnt need a cruise director to tell me what to do, just checked the daily program and went my own way. didnt go to any shows or nightclubs on board as have seen too many "B" lounge acts and broadway medleys on my other trips. weather was good but on the cool side for a caribbean trip. some passengers brought a head cold on board with them and by the end of the voyage 50 percent of the passengers were coughing and wheezing as it spread like wildfire despite excellent shipboard sanitation procedures (lots of hand sanitizer) Since i cant add Princess Cay (Eleuthera island) as a port suffice to say typical private island experience for those in my party who went over by tender. Im not a beach,, sun, water person as live in Florida year round so holds no allure for me.
Dis-embarkation was smooth ( no announcements) and we had an early number and were off the ship with luggage and in our car driving back to Orlando by 935am.
would definitely recommend Princess and travel with them again. one small complaint...no free aspirin, tylenol, alka seltzer, band-aids at pursers office. only free bonine. Carnival corp really is cost cutting these days!