We decided to take advantage of a flash fare and hope on down to the Western Caribbean again. We have sailed on Princess a number of times and really enjoy their product, so when we could get it at a good rate, it was hard to pass up.
Embarkation-- We drove down to Ft Lauderdale and parked at Park and Go and they loaded our bags and took us right to the Princess terminal. Could not have been easier and the people were great. Bags were checked and we we spent maybe a total of 10 minutes getting checked in and boarding the ship. We arrived at about 1:30 pm and there was no crowd even though the ship was sold out.
Went to our room, which was ready, met our cabin steward and headed up for some lunch in the Horizon Cafe. It was crowded, but we were able to find a place to sit and the lunch was very good. Would have sat outside, but for some reason, the weather had turned cold and it was not even 60 degrees and quite cloudy.
Room- We booked an inside guarantee and knew what the room would be like since we had sailed on the Grand and Emerald. We were all the way forward and the room was about 160 sq feet. The only thing different was it had two upper berths and that made getting around a queen bed a bit difficult. If there are just two of you try to avoid the quad rooms!
Food-- Was very good. Princess has upgraded their food service and even improved the coffee in the Horizon! Had no complaints.
Service-- Our cabin steward was one of the best we have ever had. Learned our name after day 1 and always greeted us by name! The beds are due for replacement and I would suggest you ask for an egg crate to top them. He got one for us the second day. In the dining room, uniformly great service. We had anytime dining and ate and a couple of different tables and received excellent service at each table. The head waiter actually did something to improve service. He helped deliver the food and helped clear tables to keep things moving along! One of he best I have seen.
Service in the Horizon and at the bars was excellent. They now deliver your beverage to you at the buffets- a nice touch.
Entertainment-- Great. Just got back from a Holland America cruise where the singers and dancers could do neither-- these Princess dancers and singers were very good and their shows were top notch. The specialty acts were very good also.
There was plenty going on at all hours. Lots of things to do and something for everyone. All of us enjoyed the entertainment.
Computer service-- Much better than Holland America and the manager was helpful and even shut down the center one day because the server was so slow and he didn't want people wasting their minutes. When it improved, he re-opened it. Very thoughtful.
Ports-- see below
Disembarkation-- ran like clockwork. They actually had a desk where you could get help. They got all our group the right colored tags and we were off the ship, by 8:15 am and out of the parking lot at 9:00-- totally painless.
Summary- we had three people with us who had never cruised before and they were really impressed-- heck I have cruised over 25 times and I was impressed. This was an improvement over the Grand Princess and Emerald Princess sailing I went on and I liked them. This is what cruising is about, good food, good entertainment, nice staff, great service and I was able to relax completely!