We arrived at Port Everglades, and check-in was only delayed because some of the local agents seemed to be still learning the whos, whats, wheres, whys, and hows of the Medallion system. Boarding had not quite started, but within 15 minutes or so, we were on the ship. Our cabin wasn't ready yet, but I dropped off our case of wine and carry-on bags before heading to the dining room for lunch.
Our waiter strolled in about 10 minutes later....he had just returned to the ship after spending several months at home, and he wasn't in his groove yet. We were in vacation mode, and apparently, so was he, so we chuckled about it.
We ended up eating in the main dining room only a couple of times, opting for the buffet, and specialty dining more often than not. Once at both Sabatini's and Planks BBQ, twice @ Steamers, and four times in the Crown Grill.
Sabatini's: It's been at least 7 years since we've tried Sabatini's. The meal was excellent. Everthing was fresh, and tasty. My only complaint....it's a loud room, Lots of hard surfaces. They also sat 5 tables in our waiter's section within minutes of our arrival, including a party of 10, swamping the poor guy, but everyone stepped up to get things served as timely as possible. He thanked us for being patient. Hey, I'm on a boat, with my wife, and a killer bottle of Chianti. What's not to like!?
Planks: Service was great, but the food was only so-so. But when it comes to BBQ, I'm a tough cookie, because I live in Georgia, and I'm surrounded by great BBQ.
Steamers: We really enjoyed the view from the window while chowing down on great seafood. Add the crab legs and lobster! Not everyone likes certain things, so it was real easy to say, no clams, or no mussels. They gladly offered substitutions. The service was outstanding.
Crown Grill: Excellent service. I'd always drop off my wine a few hours before our reservation, and it would be decanted, waiting for us when we'd arrive. I had the lamb chops twice , and they were cooked perfectly. My wife had with the filet each time. Only once, did she have to send it back for being under-cooked. It happens every once in a while, and they took care of it. The entire CG staff were kept busy all night. Princess would go broke if they had to pay these folks by the mile.
Vines: We enjoyed 2 flights of wine, and the pricing was very reasonable. Service was perfect.
MDR: We had dinner there once, and were seated in a section that didn't have a waiter. After a few minutes, the Maitre D' asked us who seated us there, and quickly found a waiter to serve us. He did a great job, even without the help of an assistant waiter, but we found ourselves missing the friendly faces of the servers on the Lido Deck.
The Ship: They are keeping her up nicely, always busy working on something. They are dealing with a/c issues in both public areas and cabins. We needed someone to fix our a/c the first night at around 11:45pm. They adjusted everything, and it was ok for the most part, but not 100%. Fans were offered, we declined.
Our cabin was R745, the very last inside on the starboard side, which we absolutely love due to it's location. Three steps up, and you're at the terrace pool. We liked to call it our own private balcony. We ate breakfast and lunch up there most of the time, and there's always someone willing to bring you a drink or take your plates away. Every member of the food & beverage team we encountered on the Lido Deck, were delightful. Service was excellent.
The Crew: Everyone seemed to be in great spirits as they had just finished doing months of 7 day Caribbean sailings, and this was a big change for them. New ports, cooler temps, and a week off from dealing with a turnaround day.
We rarely encountered any lines or delays going here or there, because we learned a long time ago, that the early bird gets the worm. We were usually off of the ship while most were just showing up for breakfast.We walked between 5-6 miles each day in port. In a stop like Charleston, it was nice to walk and see everything and be back on the ship before it was too hot. How do you avoid an hour long line to buy ferry tickets in NYC? You download their app, and buy your tickets on your phone.
I realize that some folks were miserable on this cruise, while others, like us, hated to leave. It's all up to you how you want to spend your time. Do you spend the night complaining, or do you choose your battles wisely and roll with things. I'll give you an example, there's a special drink I like on the platinum/elite lounge menu, I'd order it every day, and it was consistently made wrong. Instead of sending it back each evening while my wife drank her cocktail, we'd joke about if they were going to make it correctly or not each time. They got it right only once. A miserable record, but great folly for us. Some people seemingly take comfort in berating the help, I witnessed some doozies on this sailing. I would never let folks talk to my employees that way. So....if you don't like standing in lines, go before or after everyone else does. Don't get angry at the Maitre D because it's your anniversary and you can't get a window table. If it's so important to you, make arrangements ahead of time. Plan ahead, so you can enjoy later. You're on a floating hotel in the middle of the ocean, if you can't somehow enjoy yourself, you deserve to be miserable.
Excellent location, just mere steps away from the terrace pool.
Great boardwalk with plenty to see and eat. Get a freshly baked rum cake from Rum Runners. All of the ingredients are made locally, even the rum! The make great gifts.
Another lovely walk-able port. There was an art show going on the park near the port. We had some wonderful seafood for lunch, that was caught earlier in the day.
Hint: Download the New York Ferry app on your smartphone and buy tickets before you go. Otherwise, there is one vending machine for tickets at the Brooklyn/RedHook Ferry stop. The ferry is right next to the pier. A quick walk.....simple. The app also shows you the ferry schedule. They run more frequently in the morning...Remember, the early bird gets the worm, everyone else waits in line.
A lovely, walk-able port. We only waited 10 minutes or so for a tender in the morning, and there was a 20 minute wait for a tender to return to the ship around lunchtime.
A nice walk-able port. Charming.
We did an independent HOHO trolly tour, and the city was completely jammed with tourists. An early Friday afternoon rush hour made traffic difficult. The food we had in Faneuil Hall was pure garbage. Greasy/doughy crab cakes, and a terrible lobster roll.
We walked, ate, and shopped to our heart's content. A lovely city, even if it's raining.
The train station is only a 10 minute walk from the ship.
A nice small town with some lovely homes and shops. We brought home a sun catcher made from the frame of an old lobster trap.
Our first stop in Canada. The locals were very welcoming.