This is the third cruise that I have taken with my husband, and we chose to go with a large group. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale with little trouble and traveling with friends the Holiday inn Express Cruise Port suggested we wait until a late shuttle to head to the cruiseport. It was a good suggestion, arriving at the terminal at 2 meant we missed many of the lines of other passengers who were thrown out of their hotels much earlier. Our balcony stateroom on the Baja Deck was already ready for us.
After watching the gigantic Oasis of the Seas head out to sea we were off. It was our first time sailing with this group, but on previous cruises they take over the back pool. We found several of our friends there, and would find them there or in the buffet area. Since we were there most of the time, it did take a while to really explore this ship. It's a good ship with some nice surprises like the International Cafe that had great desserts and pastries.
It's hard for me to judge food, but I can tell you that it was abundant, even if there was some confusion at times on exactly which of the three buffets were open, there was always something. The food in at the buffet changed from day to day, except for breakfast that was usually the same each time. Since we were a late night group, I did wish that the pizza and ice cream bar stayed open later.
Great storage, decent bed. Wish the balcony was more private but tower decks could look up at us. Television programming was good. Room was clean and quiet.
The only port I extensively walked in as it was the only port Princess went to on this cruise that you didn't need to have a taxi or an excursion to get away from the preferred shopping zone. Would have explored more if I had known it would be so hard to get away on other ports on Princess' Western Caribbean cruises.
The shopping village of "Mahogany Bay" is complete artifice. something I would have expected of Disney. The beach was OK, but the water was the worst of all the destinations. The ski lift from the shopping village to the beach is a waste as it is less than a quarter of a mile for 10 dollars. Save your money.
The best excursion with the Fury Catamaran and the private beach.