Against the wishes of my husband, kids, the media, the CDC etc. I opted to go ahead with my Princess Regal cruise. Turns out it was probably the safest I've felt in any public space since the pandemic began over two years ago. From the perspective of a well-traveled and pretty picky 60 year old single female traveler, here are the highlights.
I followed the requirements Princess had clearly communicated via email and on the Medallion App, including getting a negative test within 48 hours of sailing. This wasn't a problem as I was able to get a drive-thru test at my local pharmacy before flying down to Florida, and brought that, along with my vax card and passport. I half-expected they would blow it off as so often happens these days (and particularly since the CDC had ended their mandatory cruise protocols a few days prior), but no, Princess definitely examined my documents carefully before I embarked. That, along with the KN95 masks (2) left on the bed in my stateroom and the non-stop disinfecting and cleaning which I witnessed throughout the ship, made me feel super safe. They ask you to wash your hands before entering the buffet, and there were no instances where people were just grabbing food on their own. At every station, there were staff who (masked and behind plexiglass) gave you what you pointed to. Staff kept their distance while talking or engaging with you, which made it hard sometimes but appreciated. While in the dining rooms, people removed masks for the duration of the meal.
I upgraded to a balcony room on an upper deck a week prior to sailing, because I started getting nervous about being quarantined in an inside room, worst case. I am a frugal single traveler, and pride myself on that -- but springing an extra $100 for a better room was the best decision I could have made. Having my own balcony was heaven. Enjoying morning coffee while sitting on my little balcony and soaking in the sun made me feel like "this is how the other half lives." The rooms are accurately depicted on the website: spacious, comfortable, plenty of storage space. The toilet was a bit fussy about flushing occasionally, but that's my only gripe. Plenty of coat hangers, drawers, big TV with lots of movies and TV shows to choose from.
Honestly, not much to write home about. A day was more than enough in this port. I did what others suggested and took a taxi to the top of the island and a beach far removed from the boat crowd. The shops were very trinket-heavy and I wasn't able to find any handmade crafts, sadly. Margaritaville beach faces the boat, and even though it has a manmade vibe to it and overpriced drinks (and non-stop Jimmy Buffet, naturally) it would have been fine.