There was priority embarkation. We arrived at the embarkation hall at about 11:30 and were directed to a waiting area. We were soon given our cruise cards and escorted to another waiting area. Boarding began at about 12:00 and we were on board by 12:15.
The bed was close to the window so I could lie in bed and watch the waves! There was a curtain separating the sleeping and sitting area which provided good privacy as we were traveling with our daughter who slept on the sleeper sofa. There was plenty of drawer space for the 3 of us, there seems to be more hanging space in the PG staterooms, but there was certainly enough. There were plugs in the sleeping and sitting area so there was plenty of space for charging all of our electronics. There was a good sized whirlpool tub (great after a day ashore!) and a separate shower, and the toilet and hand basin (only one) were in a separate room, which again provided privacy for the 3 of us. The fridge was always well stocked, and the canapes each night were a real treat. The balcony was a good size and we were able to entertain friends there quite easily.
We had a table for 3 by the window which was exactly what I had requested. The food was phenomenal, probably the best we have ever had on a cruise. The service was exceptional, and the sommelier was very helpful as I was not familiar with many of the wines and his suggestions were always good. We were able to eat lunch in the Courtyard on several days, get there early if you want a table in the shade! We also had lunch in the Golden Lion several times, and it was always very good. Due to being late risers we missed breakfast in the dining room and ate in the Lido where the selection was good, and the scrambled eggs tasted delicious. Tea in the Grills Lounge was also a treat, with a good choice of teas available.
This was also good, and we enjoyed the production shows. The singers and dancers were excellent, and the costumes were interesting. The choreography wasn't exactly to my taste, but the dancers did a good job. We loved Carlo the pianist in the Commodore Club, and ended most evenings relaxing and listening to his wide repertoire.
Going through the Panama Canal was the highlight of the trip. Get out on deck early for the best view, we watched from deck 5. There was a row of chairs in front of where we were standing so we did get a good view, and the people seated on the chairs were lucky as they didn't end up having to stand for hours. It was very hot and sunny, so remember sunscreen and a hat. You could buy water and cold drinks so there was no danger of dehydrating. While we were in the lake we went up to the Commodore Club, and realized that you could get an excellent view of the Canal from an air-conditioned seat. I would recommend this to anyone who is concerned about standing out in the sun for a long period of time. Again I expect you would need to get there early for a front row view. We did ship's tours in Huatulco (bird watching) and Aruba (snorkeling) which were well run. We did private tours in Puerto Corinto and Puerto Caldera, and wandered around on our own in Manzanillo and Puerto Quetzal. All ports were interesting and very different.
We disembarked in Fort Lauderdale. We were able to disembark at 8:30. The only problem was a lack of porters in the disembarkation hall so I had to wait by our suitcases while my husband went searching for help. It was a bit disorganized. There was also a long delay getting through immigration/customs. It probably took us well over an hour from the time we left the ship until we got into a taxi.
I really recommend this itinerary and Queen Victoria. The ports were fascinating, the Canal amazing, and there were just enough sea days so you could read several novels and get a good sun tan. The only issue I had was that the funnel developed a nasty rattle which was annoying when you are out on deck trying to sunbathe. It was really loud. Hopefully they have solved the problem by now!