This was my first cruise in a while. I have previously sailed RCCL and Celebrity. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale a day before the cruise and took a shuttle to the port. Our boarding time was at noon and embarkment was smooth. Our rooms were not ready so we went to the lido deck to wait. There was video of a concert playing but nothing very festive going on. It was all very low key. No welcome aboard excitement happening.
At 4:00 we proceeded to the room to get ready for the muster drill at 4:15. I was travelling with three friends and two of our bags were outside of the cabin. A staff member was delivering another bag which one of my friend's identified as belonging to her> The staff member then just turn and walked away leaving the bag sitting in the middle of the hallway not even close to our cabin for my friend to come and retrieve on her own. I found this just a little strange.
Our muster station was a good distance from our room and after being directed to the wrong one we finally ended our at the right station. We had to bring our life jackets from the cabin and were instructed to put them on although staff never checked to see if we had them on correctly. After the drill it took forever to get an elevator back up to our floor or find the correct stairs to take. There was no staff member in sight to direct us to our room it seemed like after the drill staff magically disappeared. After aimlessly wandering for about 20 minutes we finally made our way back to the cabin to drop off the life jackets. (Disappointment number 2)
We have a partial view balcony cabin on the Emerald Deck. There was plenty of storage and the bathroom was a good size. There were three of us in the room and when the couch was turned into a bed it blocked the entrance to the balcony. The room was adequate size for 2 people. I would not include a 3rd.
Entrance into the water at Princess Cays is very rocky. So you have to be very carefully not to slip and fall, twist your ankles, or cut your feet on the rocks. Several fish swam right up to where we were floating.
We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the day prior to the cruise and stayed at Holiday Inn Express Suites North. The hotel did not have their own shuttle, however, they work with a company that will take you to the port for $35 for up to 3 people.