We boarded the Grand Princess on March 22, 2008 from Fort Lauderdale. The Embarkation process was very smooth and very quick. We had pre-registered all our information (passports, credit cards etc.) through Princess' website so we really had an express check-in so to speak. Right from the desk inside the port the staff welcomed us with open arms.
The first day was a great adventurous experience because we were at sea for all of Saturday and Sunday and we had lots of time to get used to finding our way around the ship and familiarizing ourselves with the dining schedules etc.
Our first port was Ocho Rios, Jamaica. In our opinion we weren't very impressed with this port. It was disappointing because the locals were very pushy and pressuring passengers to ride with them or do things. We ended up hiring a cab to go to the Island Village which was only a 2 minute drive, but it ended up costing us $12.00 (round trip). There were a few local shops at the Island Village and some of the locals did a dance performance for us which was nice. We didn't do any of the Shore Excursions because we heard that they were pricey for very short excursions.