Traveled as a couple on this 18 day "Brazilian Adventure", going out of Ft. Lauderdale, through the Southern Caribbean, down to Brazil and ending up in Rio (on the last Carnival day). As always, my wife and I had a blast and a great experience. However, it is hard not to reminisce about how much better the quality of food and service on Princess were in the past - but such are our times, and we know for a fact, that it is no different on other cruise lines, including the so called "luxury cruise lines" - so we adapt and adjust and still love cruising.
As always the worst part of the cruise. Arrived at 1:30PM and encountered two lines, a huge line wrapping around the back of the embarkation building and a shorter one - and of course the long line was for "preferred boarding" (Elite, Platinum and suite guests) - and so our "escape completely" did not include escaping moving slowly in a long queue in the heat and sun of Ft Lauderdale. The only relief from the usual dread of standing in a long line and listening to order-barking-officials/volunteers ot whatever they are, were to see the DYKWIA people briskly walking up to the beginning of the queue waving their priority BP, only to be shown to the w-a-y back (that you couldn’t see because it wrapped around the building) by the line police. Once inside the building (30+ minutes), things as usual went smoother, and our check-in clerk was friendly enough, and we were soon on the ship.
Vastly over priced for a standard suite layout and a narrow balcony though the location mid-ship was nice. We had read about being woken up by shuffling of the chairs on the Lido deck above when re-arranging from MUTS to sun-bathing, and unfortunately it was true: at least half the days we got woken up around 6am by chair scrambling above. It amazes me that Princess hasn't fixed it by either teaching the staff to re-arrange the chairs more quietly (as did happen on some days) or later. To place your premium suites under this a times cacophony is a puzzlement in the first place. I would happily have settled for an aft Vista suite for $4,000 less - had it only been available.