Let me start off by commanding the crew who fought through adversity and came out shining. Kudos to all who worked on this voyage of so many things wrong.
We got into Ft. Lauderdale 3 days early to relax and do a little sightseeing - whoops - it rained most of the three days! But, we did have a great Valentine's dinner at the Old Heidelberg Inn close our Best Western hotel. The staff at this hotel desperately require training in customer relations at minimum. Actually, they should be fired! But that is another review on Trip Advisor.
Embarkation was quick and actually running early. Got to our cabin (B755) at the back of the ship with a great stern view, nice balcony and just the right size of room for 2 weeks of togetherness. Then, on to explore a bit until our luggage arrived. Nice layout to public rooms, but some of the lounges appeared to be "add-ons" becoming part of the hallways. What happened top intimate Barrs? We did find one tucked away - the Explorers Lounge. This is where the trivia contests were conducted each evening which made for some entertaining evenings. Speaking of entertaining - the floor shows in the Princess Theatre were wonderful. Super talent on display with every musical. We did not take in the standup comedy shows (interfered with Trivia).
We did not pack any formal wear so we ate at the buffet most days (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Only had two breakfasts in the dining room and only three dinners on the non-formal days. Oh, and we tried Steamers as an add-on one evening when they had a two for one sale.
Food - what a major disappointment since our last cruise (trans-panama) three years ago! We were served in the buffet, because there was an Norovirus outbreak on the previous sailing. You pointed to what you wanted and they put it on your plate. Hand washing before , after, and even during meal time. Enforced. Which is good and the staff did wonders. But the stuff they were serving up was not great. I have had better at a Chinese buffet at out local Chinese Restaurant in the town I live in - in the boonies of Canada. To order wine with your dinner was a task for the computer literate only. The Medallion app only worked some of the time. Twice we did not get the wine ordered and once we got charged but no wine showed up. To get coffee at any meal time you had to line up to have it served by crew. There were no floaters serving anything - they were all tied up in the buffet area. We got tired of shambling for coffee at breakfast on our third day out - we decided to have brekkie in the dining room. Fine, if you have an hour or so to have a simple meal. Service was super slow and not very attentive to your needs for coffee refill or any pastry or bun. The salmon served at breakfast was near raw and I ended up not eating more than two mouthfuls - c'mon folks - prepare food to guest standards - not some chef that is used to a spoonful of near raw salmon with little crackers. North Americans do not eat that way. Fish or sausages or bacon, eggs, toast, coffee (lots) and serve it up quick - not 45 minute waits.
So that was a bust although we did try once more later in our cruise - same result - not to be tried again. Dinner was a long drawn out experience-- a good hour longer than breakfast.
And again the food was not dining room quality. Except for one night we had steak and that was very good. So Princess got one out of three on dinners. None on breakfast. Steamers was just OK - a bit too greasy for my tastes. Also somewhat tasteless.
At our second port my wife had an accident requiring 5 stitches at the ship's medical centre. That was traumatic enough but the shore excursion folks (on who's tour it happened) - were so sorry it happened they sent my wife a Stanley bear as a "get well" wish. But the medical centre charged us over $900 for 5 stitches. Still fighting with Princess Insurance on that one.
After our stop in Curacao - we were supposed to go to Aruba - no way with the outbreak of Norovirus. So we headed back to Ft. Lauderdale a day early. Yes, they put us up at a nice resort (JW Marriott Turnbury Golf resort) but lunch for two (salad and a sandwich) hit $65. A bit out of my league.
Too much drama for what was supposed to be a relaxing trip.
Stern view - great. Just large enough with the balcony.