EMBARKATION: On 2/28/19, only two cruise ships in port, and little traffic. The area was well marked and parking was easy. At Terminal 2 there isn’t a line for Priority boarding for Platinum and Elite from outside. Everyone enters in one line and staff checks Passports and Boarding Passes. Then the line splits for Priority. We’re Platinum, and it took less than 30 smooth minutes from driving through the Port Everglades main gate, off-loading luggage, parking the car, checking in, and sitting down for lunch in Bordeaux Dining Room.
Weather was great; seas were calm. Most passengers were over 60. Saw only two children. No illness as far as we know, and there are good prevention procedures in place.
SHIP: We were on “Island” for 15 days in 2006 when it was quite new. We’ve sailed on brand new ships since then, but we like “Island” best. We prefer its understated elegance over the newer ships’ wretched excess. Sadly, some of it borders on shabby now but the good bones are still there; the basic design and décor is gorgeous. The beauty of her glory days are still evident in spite of the age. She deserves a full makeover.
Cabin, balcony, and bathroom was clean but worn. Bathroom had good body wash and a combo shampoo-conditioner. Mini-suite had good space, and the balcony was twice the size of regular balcony cabins. We travel with another couple and get adjoining cabins so balconies can be opened to each other. Royal Princess’ balcony dividers open up completely, resulting in one double-sized balcony. “Island” only has a small door between the balconies. You can walk from one side to the other, but can’t really hang out with neighbors.
The mattresses (Memoryfoam) and pillows are great! Linens are clean and crisp. There’s been chat on CC re whether or not there’s a top sheet between you and the comforter. There is.
Few outlets. We’d read that surge protectors were being confiscated when boarding. I ordered items through Amazon that are approved by the cruise lines, and they worked fine.
Our steward on Dolphin, Felix, was just right. Except for introductions on the first day, we rarely saw him, but the room was constantly maintained perfectly. If we needed something, we left a note and it was done.