We booked our cruise last June and we looked forward in anticipation to this sailing and we were not disappointed. We arranged our own flights from Canada to Fort Lauderdale and our own transportation to the ship, and it went very smoothly, we arrived at the dock and we were waiting no more than ten minutes and we were on board and heading for our cabin. The embarkation was as smooth and very friendly. We found our cabin and our luggage was with us within twenty minutes, we were amazed at how fast we got it. And we were unpacked and ready to cruise very quickly.
We have cruised quite a number of times with Princess and always had an enjoyable time, and I must say I don't consider this a cruise line for old people, yes the majority of the people on board are retirees, but I wouldn't consider them old.
Our friends had picked anytime dining and we were down for traditional, so we just went down and spoke to the Maitre D and he changed it for us. We had a stateroom with a balcony which we enjoyed. It was always kept clean, I think everyone's biggest beef is the size of the showers, if you drop your soap then be careful, as there is hardly room to bend down to pick it up.
One of my disappointments' about the cruise was because there was 6 of us, on quite a few nights we had to wait up to an hour to get a table, even when we were there for 5-45pm. The food was excellent in both dining rooms, as we used the dining rooms for breakfast, lunch and dinners, the staff were very helpful and if there was anything we didn't like they would change it. However I do wish they would add Basic Tea Making in their training, it has improved from last year, but you have to stress how you want it made.
We found all the crew from the cabin, to the dining rooms went out of their way to be helpful and very pleasant. If we wanted tea, coffee or juices they were always willing to get it for us. The Pub lunches were wonderful and very popular.
Again as on other cruise ships on hot days if you wanted to lie out in the sun then you had to get up on deck early to get your sun bed. As they were taken early.
When we went to see the Movies under the Stars a couple of nights not enough beds were put out and we had to get the steward to put more out and he was very willing though he seemed to be on his own and we felt badly for him.
We have had two cruises in the past two years on the Ruby Princess where the Entertainment was amazing. We were disappointed with the Entertainment on the Coral, the comedians were good, and the dancers do an outstanding job, but there seemed to be something missing and it just didn't have the grab this year, and we found we were looking for something to do. Unfortunately because we were late out of the dining room we missed some of the early shows, The Cruise Entertainment staff did an excellent job especially the ones who ran the Trivia and they had the patience of saints as so many people take it so seriously and they keep stressing it is fun fun fun..
The actual cruise through the Panama Canal was outstanding and an experience I would enjoy doing again. It took us all day to pass through the locks and we had a wonderful commentator all day telling us exactly where we were and what we were seeing.
It was indeed a wonderful cruise and one I would recommend to anyone to see this phenomenal place. Our disembarkation also went very smoothly, we did the walk off, carrying our own luggage and boy we were off just after 8am, being non Americans we were the second group off but again it went very smoothly and we were through Customs very quickly, we walked out and negotiated for a Van to take the six of us and all our luggage to the Airport and again it went smoothly and the cost for the six of us worked out cheaper than if we had all paid for the Princess Transfers.
I don't want people to think we didn't enjoy our cruise, we all did immensely and we would go back on Princess again and again.