I had booked this cruise in March for my wife and me. When it came time for final payment my wife said she didn't feel safe cruising while Omicron is on the increase, so I rebooked for January 15 as a single. This was the 1st time in 27 cruises that I went by myself. But after 2 years of no vacations, I just needed to get away. Prices were great in January and since it is the low season I figured that the ship would not have many guests, so we could socially distance and be somewhat safe from covid. Sure enough, we only had 900 guests onboard a ship that holds 3500. We had 1200 staff to take care of us, so the service was impeccable!
I drove into rainy San Pedro from Scottsdale AZ the morning of the cruise and arrived around 10:45 with a boarding time of 11:30-12. I dropped my bag off, parked my car, and was in the terminal within 10 minutes. I proceeded to security showed my passport, covid card, and medallion. I was directed inside to the check-in counter and was asked again for my passport, covid vaccination record, negative covid test. The agent took about 2 minutes to process everything and directed me to the Elite Lounge. I waited in the lounge until 11:30 when we were allowed to board. The process is very streamlined and easy to navigate.
I was in Emerald (an extended balcony obstructed view balcony cabin). This cabin has a large angled balcony at least 2 times bigger than a normal balcony. It is considered an obstructed view, however, there is no direct obstruction. Yes, if you look over the edge you can see the lifeboats to the front of the ship and the deck below. But not a deal-breaker for me especially for the price which is much lower than a normal balcony cabin. The beds and bedding were wonderful to sleep in and the room temperature was perfect at all times. The bathroom is small but functional. I am a big guy and when using the shower it is very tight and the shower curtain would get pushed out of the sill so water got on the floor a lot.