Just returned from an awesome week aboard one of the most beautiful ships I have ever sailed on! Loved every minute on this lovely Regal Princess! As far as my background, I've sailed Princess four times and HAL one time.
Embarkation in Ft. Lauderdale could not have been easier. We left our hotel (Embassy Suites) at 10:45 via their shuttle which took about ten minutes tops. We were on the ship by 12:15 having lunch and in our room by 1:00. The entire process at Port Everglades was very smooth. The lines moved quickly, security was a breeze and checking in was as easy as 1-2-3. It's organized into group numbers so you just sit and wait for your number to be called and up the gangway you go.
CABIN: The ship itself is gorgeous with its pretty neutral color scheme and hallways full of photographs of ships and ports. I loved seeing all of the decor when I walked back and forth throughout the ship. Everything just truly sparkles! Our standard balcony cabin was definitely ample for the two of us and after reading all of the reviews on how small the balconies were on this ship, I was nervous to see. Turns out it was more than fine! We didn't feel cramped at all. I don't know if they do it purposefully or not, but the whole ship smells like the Lotus Spa. The temperature in the room was really easy to control. We had the balcony door open a lot and if we closed it, the temp balanced out quickly. The bathroom was big enough for sure and the shower had amazing pressure and hot water. Our fridge always was stocked with ice which was nice. The mattresses are firm if you like that. The comforter on top was really nice and pillows to me were comfy. The towels aren't the plushiest but they weren't the worst either. They reminded me of pool towels. They get the job done.
Very easy embarkation here. We stayed at Embassy Suites just a few minutes away and took a hotel shuttle. Everything at Port Everglades moved quickly and smoothly and the whole thing start to finish was about an hour. Not bad for moving 4000 people onto a ship!
An easy tender ride over. The beach here is really clean and there is a lot of it to be able to spread out and enjoy. Lots and lots of chairs to choose from and you can rent clamshells I believe. We just got a shady spot - there are quite a few - and had some drinks and enjoyed the beautiful day.
I think the best thing is to have an excursion planned. The beaches are beautiful and I'm told the Stingray trips are incredible. The port itself is pretty busy and there's lots of shopping if you like. It's a good spot for free wi-fi. There's one little mall there were a ton of cruise passengers were all on kindles and phones!
Plan an excursion away from the port. The port itself is a giant souvenir stand and the vendors were pretty aggressive. In all my trips to Mexico I've never experienced that before but here it was very obvious. Things were very expensive. $25 for a straw hat? They're $1 in Tulum. It just wasn't fun having everyone try and sell you something. We got right back on the ship.
We took our own excursion to Nachi Cocom beach club. This place was AMAZING! The Puerta Maya port was nice though before and after that stop. lots of shopping, nobody was aggressive in their sales from the shops and it's super clean and colorful. I really loved this stop!