This was our third cruise, our first on Princess (and the longest one so far). Te other cruises were on Royal Caribbean and Holland America. We thoroughly had a good time on this cruise. By the end of the cruise, we were already planning our next one - and wouldn't hesitate to cruise on Princess again. In fact, at the end of the cruise, we took advantage of the Future Cruise Program and put a $200 down payment on our next cruise, even though we didn't book a specific cruise. It allows us to book any Princess Cruise in the next year with no additional deposit. We will get a $100 per OBC, and if we choose not to cruise, we get our money back. It's hard to beat that kind of deal.Let me start by telling you a little about us. We are a couple in our late 40's. We usually travel alone, with no kids. When we cruise, we tend to enjoy the ship experience as much, if not more than the ports. We're also pretty low maintenance. Nothing is ever perfect, and we have no problem rolling with the punches. Unless something is really wrong, we're not inclined to make a huge deal about it.Hotel: We arrived one day early and stayed at the Hampton Inn, City Center. It was clean and centrally located. We like Hampton Inns because you know exactly what you will get. We actually flew into Miami and rented a car to get to Ft Lauderdale, so we did not take advantage of the free shuttle. I assume it would take you to the port. We never asked. Just a word of warning, rental cars are very expensive on Easter Weekend. Were it not for a fellow cruise critic person giving us a discount code, we would have paid three times what we paid for a car. The normal rate is about $60 a day.Embarkation: It was a busy day at the port. We were actually moved to pier 29 at the last minute for embarkation. The ship sailed at 5:00. I think we arrived at about 2:30 and had absolutely no problem getting on board. It was nice having immediate access to our room. By the time we got done with the Muster drill, our luggage was already at our door. Cabin: We stayed on the Lido Deck in cabin L234. We had booked a guaranteed balcony (BF). The upgrade fairy visited and we were upgraded to a BA. We had heard that the balconies on the Carib deck (BB) are actually larger, so we tried to get downgraded, but our TA was less than cooperative. We are actually glad. The cabin was in a perfect location. It was in close proximity to the gym, spa, swimming pools, MUTS, and Horizon Court. We only had two concerns. One was the noise from the pool and the other was the motion of the ship (being so high and forward). Neither concern was legitimate. Only once did we hear music from the pool, and that was because we were on our balcony during sail away. We had rough seas on the second day, but the movement was minor. It was not an issue for us. The cabin itself was small, but well appointed (my wife thought the dEcor was a little dated). The biggest plus was the size of the closet. It was a pleasant surprise. There was plenty of storage for the two of us. The bed was comfortable, but we didn't like having the crack running down the middle of the bed.Ship: We were impressed with the cleanliness of the ship. The crew did a good job of maintaining the common areas. We did not have any difficulty finding our way around. About the only thing that I did not like is the fact that the balconies on Carib and Dolphin deck (I believe) are open, and therefore not very private. I was glad we didn't end up with a Carib balcony, but instead were higher up, and therefore we had the privacy that we're used to on balconies.Dining: We only ate in the dining room one night. We had "Anytime Dining" and on the first night, we had a less than positive experience with one of our table mates and opted for the Horizon Court thereafter. There is a reason that sex, religion, and politics is a taboo topic - especially when you are sitting with strangers. We weren't necessarily trying to avoid another negative experience, it's just that the food in the Horizon Court was so good; we chose to avail ourselves of the sips entertainment, rather than spend two hours at dinner. We thought the choice and quality of foods was phenomenal. The service in the Horizon court was also VERY good. As soon as you sat down, someone was asking for your drink order. We saw several of the staff standing by to provide assistance to older passengers who might have problems negotiating the trays.Entertainment: Evidently, Princess as had to cut back on some of its entertainment options. We found this to be a silver lining. What it meant is that some shows were repeated; allowing us more flexibility in planning our schedule. There were three comedians on this cruise. Gary Delana was excellent. We found Ed Katz to be a bit boorish. The last comedian was a magician who we also found to be very funny and engaging. There was an group called Spank that sang acapella music that was VERY good. Their harmony was impeccable. The production shows were also very good. There was literally something for everyone. This is commendable considering the fact that there is a wide age range when it comes to passengers, but we don't think anyone would have felt left out. We loved the Cruise Director, Sammi. She was very engaging and had a good staff of Deputy Cruise Directors. Service: Excellent! The staff seemed to genuinely care about meeting the needs of the passengers. If I had one complaint, it was the fact that the drinks were extremely weak. We didn't like paying an arm and a leg for alcohol, then not being able to taste it.Ports/Excursions: We traveled to six different ports Antigua, St Lucia, St Kitts, Barbados, St Tomas, and Princess Cays. We pretty much played it by ear in each port, except St Lucia. We had heard about James Tours. We booked it, and were not disappointed. He does a great island tour. He provides food and drinks. He checked in with us at least every couple hours to make sure that all of our needs were met. The tour was only $40 per person and well worth it.Disembarkation: The saddest day was the day we had to leave the ship. However, Princess has begun using a silent disembarkation process that is really efficient. They tell you what time to meet at your designated assembly point and then they make announcements only from there as to when to leave. Our color was called almost to the moment of when it was scheduled. All in all, this was our best cruise so far, in spite of some crappy weather. We'd whole heartedly recommend this cruise to anyone.
Big closet, lots of storage space, light and airy, lots of mirrors made it feel even bigger, standard bathroom, good location, great view