This was our 6th cruise (3 Carnival, 1 NCL, 1 Princess), with each having distinct differences in each area, but I'll focus on the Caribbean Princess. I was travelling with my wife (36), son (3) and daughter (6), along with another couple and their daughter.
We arrived at the Pan-American Pier at 3pm on Sunday to undergo the embarkation process. Now we weren't as tired as most of the travelers we witnessed in the terminal, as we spent two days at the Rio Mar in Rio Grand, and not travelling for 12 hours through various airports. We walked right up to the desk and was pleasantly greeted by Princess Personnel where we were promptly given our shipboard cards (as were the kids). From there, we boarded the ship and were able to get right to the cabin and become familiar with our surroundings. Approximately 2 hours later, our luggage and golf clubs arrived and we were able to settle in to our home for the next 7 days.