This was our first cruise with Princess and we were not disappointed. We had an air, hotel, transfer and cruise package from Vancouver. The Marriot in Ft Lauderdale was a beautiful hotel and the transfer to the ship seamless. Embarkation probably took no more that 15 minutes even though 5 busses of us arrived from the Marriot. Our balcony room was midships on the bumpout, on the twelfth deck near the elevators. It was a beautiful, bright and spotlessly clean cabin. Of course, the Island is only 6 months old. Our favourite occupation was breakfast from room service on our balcony.
We soon learned that if you ordered room service between 8:30 and 9 that you got it at 8:25 and that you could write whatever you liked on the menu and it was brought to you. We had open seating and usually ate between 6 and 7. We never waited for a table even when we went with a group of 6 and wanted to be seated together. The food was mixed from great to mediocre but the service was usually very good. We did not eat in the alternate restaurants but did use the buffet on formal nights which we did not participate in. The buffet was fine - a good place to go for a late night dessert! We enjoyed the shows although disliked the magician who was on our cruise.
I participated in basketball shootouts and we played shuffleboard and I won trivia twice. There was a very dedicated group of trivia players on board. If you have a disability this appears to be a great ship. There were many disabled on board. Some nights outside the dining room there was a parking lot of scooters. Several passengers told us that Princess accommodates disabled passengers very well. This was an older group of passengers - the majority were 65+. We are in our early 50's.
Costa Rica and Panama were very enjoyable as was Grand Cayman. I could have lived without Freeport. Ochos Rios was fine but unexciting. We had four days of Tropical Storm Isidore on this sailing. Because we are not prone to seasickness and our cabin was midships, this did not bother us but for people who like lying around the pool and sunning it would have put a damper on their cruise. A word about smoking. This was not at all a problem. Either there were few smokers on the ship or because it is such a new ship it is not yet saturated with smoke. Our cabin was fresh smelling and we rarely came across smoking on the ship - a plus for me who has a low smoke tolerance.
Embarkation was not quite as quick as desembarkation but was still not too bad. There was some confusion about what terminals busses were stopping at at the airport and some were close to missing their flights. All in all a great cruise on a great ship. I would repeat it in a minute.