This was my second Princess cruise and husband's first. The cruise was from April 3-10, however, we flew in a day early and stayed a day later. This option is highly recommended if you can do it; isn't so rushed on either side. We stayed at the Doubletree and Embassy Suites. Both, I would highly recommend! On the day of embarkation, we arrived at the pier around 11:30 and a line was forming but not too long. They opened the doors around 12:10 and were on the ship within 20 minutes. No complaints there! We went to a grocery store that was right across from the Doubletree the night before and bought an 8 pack of Diet Coke and Coke to take on board and we paid $2.99 for each! Never bought the soda card while onboard! Just kept sodas in fridge in room. Worked out great. Once on board, we were sent directly to our cabin which was a mini-suite on deck 8. Loved the room as well as the space. We didn't ever trip over each other nor did we need extra storage like we would normally need. The balcony was a really nice size however, having four chairs was just too much. Wished for only 2 or 3. One drawback was the fact that there was absolutely no cover over our balcony. I believe this was the only deck that had this problem. Every other deck had at least a partial cover. Didn't like the fact that everyone looks down on you from above. Not sure what Princess was thinking when they designed this. I would have preferred a cover to the larger size myself. Our room steward's name was Olympio and he was great! Always had a smile on his face and ALWAYS greeted us when we passed him. We gave him an extra $20 when we met him and asked him to just keep up in ice, give us robes, and always give us extra towels both pool and bath. He was pretty good about everything.
We chose the traditional dining at 5:30 in the Coral dining room. Our waitstaff was great. They were Larry and Enrico. Larry was very attentive and gave us extras of anything we wanted as well as helped make sure tha I could get creme brulee after every meal! He had to go through the head waiter but it all worked out. Only disappointment was the time slot. We missed almost every sail away because we were dining at the time.
The entertainment really was only so-so. The comedian was probably the best. Still unsure as to the validity of the hypnotist. LOVED the movies under the stars!
As on all cruises, the worst thing I can say is that the chair hogging around the pool is still in full force. I really wished that the pool attendants would move towels that have been sitting for hours with no one in them after an hour. It shouldn't be left up to the guests to have to do it. I did notice empty chairs on the higher decks that were away from the pool though. This is something that bugs me about all cruiselines though. On another note, I didn't appreciate all the cutting in line by some of the spanish speaking people. This happened to us on the ship as well as off the ship when we were waiting for taxi's, etc. What's up with that???
Debarkation was a breeze. We were off the ship and through customs in minutes but I think it was because we waited so long to turn in our sheet of paper asking what our plans were for returning home. I would have hated to be stuck sitting in a lounge waiting to get off the ship for a few hours as some had to do.