We were on the repositioning cruise on November 6th, that went from Fort Lauderdale to Labadee, Curcacao, Aruba, Grand Cayman and to Tampa. It was a great cruise!
Embarkment was so easy, arrived via hotel shuttle at about 11am, and were on the ship within 15 minutes, so easy. We were not allowed to go to our stateroom until about 2pm (which I don't remember from our past trips with Princess).
The staff was great, lots of fun and energy. We never lacked for something to do. There were lots of daily activities. Our favorites were dancing lessons with Pat and Jay (they were really good, nice and lots of fun). We enjoyed the belly flop and trivia. Paul, the cruise director and Mo were always fun, no matter what they were doing, they made every activity fun. Both are very, very funny and quick witted. So fun.
All the staff were nice and helpful.
The ship: Nice, clean, small. There were always staff cleaning and making sure it looked great. Casino, okay, lost money, haha. The windjammer was okay. We had reserved our cruise too late to get early seating or anytime dining(we did try to change it on the first day, but were unable to). So, we did not want to eat that late or miss the shows, so we just ate at the Windjammer everynight. It was actually nice to do that because it was pretty slow, we got lots of attention from the staff and had a table for two everynight with a view! The food on the ship was not very good. There was not much variety and it was bland. That was okay, it made me eat less!! We may just plan on eating in the buffet in the future because it takes less time and you are able to enjoy the ships entertainment instead of spending 2 hours at dinner. The park cafe was good. I was kind of shocked that they opened one food place and closed another. I have never been on a cruise where you had to wait to eat. That was one annoying thing about the windjammer. Dinner was from 6 to 8:30, but they would make people wait around, sometimes 15 minutes after opening time before they would open. I was not starving, but, sometimes the show would start at 6:45 and it made it hard to not rush your dinner. I would recommend opening earlier or at least on time. Everyone knows that you don't starve on a cruise, but it was unusual that it seemed that it was more of a problem to get something to eat. Maybe it is a way of saving money or cutting back, but of all my cruises, I have never experienced having to wait for the buffet to open, rushing to eat so you can go to a show.
Speaking of entertainment...........eek. The best show on the 11 night cruise was a group called Horizon, a temptation tribute. They were good, fun, high energy. Best of the trip. They had a comedian the first night who was horrible (he also came back later in the cruise for an adult show and was somewhat better). The next night was also a comedian, Bill Cummings(?) and he was alot better, really good. The production shows were just okay. They have alot of talent, but something about the productions just didn't work. They had two aerial hows, which were fun and interesting. All the game shows, Love and Marriage, The quest, etc were alot of fun because of Paul and Mo. The 70's night is soooooooooo funny. You cannot miss that, it was so, so funny, watch the elevators! Overall, we stayed entertained for the most part, but this cruise was the only one I have taken where I left the theater a few times thinking.......really?? We also saw a couple of movies, which were good.
The gym. Small, crowded.
I never went in the pool, but it looked nice and was always full.
The room. Small for sure. We were on deck 2, interior. We have always had interior cabins,but this was the smallest we have ever had (usually travel on Princess). Anyway, the bed was horrible, horrible. It felt like there were rocks in it. I asked the room attendant to put some padding on it after the first sleepless night, he said they didn't have any, but would try to make it better. My husband slept on that side the next night and could barely sleep and had a horrible backache in the morning. We ended up calling the deck manager and within 10 minutes he was at our door and within 1 hour, we had a different mattress. I was really impressed, good job RC. Slept like a baby the rest of the cruise. Our cabin attendant, Martin was great.
The ports were great, we had beautiful weather and we met some really nice, kind people.
Getting off the ship was a mess. I think there was a problem with Tampa port checking the ship, but, either way, it was very hectic and crazy. All the nice people from the cruise(passengers) turned into crazy, mean, wild eyed people. Of course I am stretching the truth, but, I couldn't blame some of them, they had to make planes and the first people weren't even allowed to leave until about 8:30, maybe 9am. I just wish that the staff had kept everyone informed about what was going on instead of lying to us. I heard several things, from several different staff members about what the problem was, and they were all different, like we were children. I wish there had just been a general announcement by the captain or cruise director about what was really going on, instead of making things up to make it not their problem. I understand things happen that are out of their control and they should have just said that instead of what they were saying. It wasn't a problem for me because we were just going to rent a car and stay in Tampa for a few days (tip:never use the Alamo at the Westin............that did take forever and was almost crazy), but many people had to make connections and lost it. There was yelling and bickering, even pushing. So, it was the worst part of the cruise experience, but did not dampen my joy.
It was a great, great cruise. I can't wait for my next cruise!