We are experienced cruisers with 27 previous cruises on various cruise lines. On this cruise, we were part of a large "special group" of 800 music fans. Due to our special activities, we did not have time to experience a lot of ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers with 27 previous cruises on various cruise lines. On this cruise, we were part of a large "special group" of 800 music fans. Due to our special activities, we did not have time to experience a lot of the extra Princess offerings like the spa, gym, bingo, etc.
Embarkation went smoothly, especially since our whole group had priority boarding. We were on the ship around noon, they told us rooms would be ready by 2:00 pm, but they were actually ready shortly after 1:00 pm. Luggage arrived later, but in plenty of time to unpack and change before dinner. Disembarkation was smooth until you got to the terminal. It was a zoo there and some of the agents in the terminal were downright surly. We have Global Entry and, even though Ft. Lauderdale does not have Global Entry kiosks, they do have a special line for Global Entry and Mobile Passport. If you do not have Global Entry, get the Mobile Passport App for your phone and use it. We must have by-passed 300 people and ended up with only one couple ahead of us at the Customs booth.
The ship is lovely. Seems that maybe the on-board shopping has been decreased, but not sure. Not as many "atrium" sales on inexpensive items as some other ships.
We had anytime dining and always asked for a table for two. We ate late (around 9:00 pm) and never had to wait for a table more than a minute or two. One server in the DaVinci Dining Room was the best we've ever had on any cruise, in any venue. He was just top-notch. (Ask for Milan, table #450, DaVinci Dining Room). Other servers were a bit hit or miss. All were pleasant, but many of them did things that just weren't right, like reaching from the wrong side to serve or clear plates or reaching all the way across the table instead of walking to the other side. Not awful, just not the top-notch service we expected and it happened at most every dining room meal other than those where Milan served us.
Food was excellent. No complaints at all. Buffet desserts were fairly ordinary, but the cookies were yummy ;-) We had one meal in the Crown Grill ($29 upcharge). My lamb chops were perfect, but my husband's filet has a lot of gristle and sinew and was pretty chewy in places. Try the garlic fries!
Of all the ships we've been on, I think the ancillary entertainers were the very best! The productions shows were very good, but not outstanding. However, the lounge piano player (AJ Clarke) was excellent as were all the other ship entertainers.
Our cabin (D323) is a mini-suite and was adequately spacious. No complaints at all. However, our cabin attendant was the worst we've ever had. When we first entered the cabin, we found a hat on the top shelf, left by the previous occupants and, as we unpacked, we found a laundry ticket on a closet shelf, a white pill on the floor, along with a toothpick and a pen from Residence Inns. Also, hair on the balcony table, obviously hadn't been cleaned, and mold in the shower grout until the second to the last day of the cruise when she finally bleached it out. As Ruby level, we were supposed to get complimentary champagne on embarkation. She left 1 glass of champagne on the counter, although there were two of us. We had no ice bucket or ice for the first two days, kept asking for that and robes. Finally got them late the next day.
One thing we did notice was that the crew was not as friendly as on other ships and, if they were going somewhere (or pushing a cart), you'd better get out of their way because they were not going to divert their path to accommodate you.
Also, all public restrooms had brass plaques that said to prevent the spread of illness to use a paper towel to open the door and throw the paper into the receptacle provided, except most rest rooms did not have a receptacle, so there was no way to do what they suggested.
We did no shore excursions. Amber Cove was a new port to us. It is lovely. We would definitely be happy to see it on our itinerary in the future.
All in all, a very nice cruise, with just a little slippage in the dining room service from other cruises and a definite problem with the room attendant. She was polite and nice, just needs more training and needs to pay attention to details. Read Less