We were excited to view the new locks, which were made for the larger ships. We first went to listen to the excellent lector in the Princess theater, who told us the history of the building of the canal. It was extremely informative and prepared us to better understand what we would be seeing. We had originally booked a mini-suite, and the perks included were additional credits to spend on the cruise, plus no gratuities (a terrific deal) but were pleasantly surprised to find out a few weeks before sailing that we had been upgraded to a mid-ship Club Class suite at no additional cost. As Club Class guests, we had our own entrance to the dining room every evening, plus an upgraded menu. No waiting with 100 other people to enter, we walked right in. And our position in the dining room was separate from all other passengers. By that I mean that it was in a different area with other club class members. We were really spoiled!
The new Medallion technology is wonderful, allowing us to speed through embarkation, which took a whole 10 min. for the 3 of us. Debarkation at the end of the cruise was equally satisfying. We had opted for a Princess shuttle to take us to the airport at the end of the cruise, and it was effortless!
About midway through the cruise, I came down with my yearly upper respiratory infection and confined myself to my cabin for a few days, but this was my bad, as I should have brought a prescription with me just in case! Oh well, live and learn. The only shore excursion we had to cancel (the girls wouldn't go without me) was our trek through the rain forest and boat ride through the small canals that run through Costa Rica. I have been there before, so no big deal for me, but I hated to see my companions miss out. They did, however, leave the ship to shop for souvenirs at the port, and upon their return said that they were glad we had cancelled, as it was so darn hot.
The cabin was terrific. We had 3 glasses of champagne waiting for us, plus two 1/2 sized bottles of a red wine and a white wine as a complimentary addition to our cabin. We didn't like, nor did we open, the bottled wine, as both were dry and we prefer sweet or semi-sweet. But at the end of our cruise we gifted it to the crew for their parties, and they seemed extremely grateful! Canapes were available nightly, but we never ordered them. But the beds (OH THOSE BEDS) were heavenly, and the pillows, which I swear must have been down, were the most comfortable that I have ever experienced on any of my 10 other cruises. We were really spoiled for sure! And our attendant, Christina, was wonderful, seeing to our every wish, no matter how small. The room was excellent, with plenty of storage for all 3 of us. There were still only 2 balcony chairs, which necessitated us bringing a chair from our living area outside and then back inside during the evening, as it was not waterproof like a deck chair.