Well, I am now an experienced cruiser!!! (I went with my father, whom many thought was my hubby--- )
We flew to FTL and upon arrival at the air port we saw the group of Princess employees. We collected our luggage and went over to wait for the transport to the ship. There was one lady who was just RUDE. I still get hot when I think of her and her attitude. I tried to let it go to enjoy the vacation....
Upon arriving at the port, we had a short 15 minute wait before they called our group to get on ship. Being my first cruise I had no idea what to expect. Granted, this is an older ship, but I found it to be clean and HUGE. We had no problem finding our cabin, which was neat and tidy. Our cabin steward, Armando, was awesome! He greeted me any time he saw me by name and was very helpful. (Little did I know that they only work for room and board and tips????!!!)
We went up to the Lido deck for the sail away party. The party started and ended and we were still in port. They came on the speaker and we sailed an hour and a half late due to someone's flight and bad weather. I thought that was nice for them to wait that long, but it was dark by the time we left port and didn't get to see anything.
I enjoyed the MUTS and we watched Brett and the Packers get beat with probably half of the ship. That was a great experience, we found that the ship's pool divided the Packers Fans from the Giant's fans. They brought sandwiches, snacks, etc (pass on the popcorn, it was always burnt tasting) to everyone while the game was underway. They also handed out the tube things for everyone to beat and make noise when their team scored, etc. It was also nice to lay out and have a movie going....
My dad was totally against eating in the dining room, however, I got him to go one night. It was nice, and we met a really nice couple while dining. The rest of the time I was forced to eat at the Horizon Court buffet. I was disappointed that there were not many veggies though. The night we went to Grand Cayman, I went to the dessert station (which always had great looking desserts) and tried a piece of what I thought was chocolate cake. When I took a bite, I tasted nothing but rum. I pressed on the cake with my fork and it literally was soaked in rum. I laughed and my dad ate the rest. (I'm not a big drinker)
There was a lot to do on the ship, however, I was not impressed with the cruise director and staff. The comics on board were fairly good and the hypotist was great. I went to his seminar on relaxation and was totally relaxed the whole day!!! We went to the casino and didn't win anything. We did not see anyone win anything on the slot machines, so don't waste too much money on them!!! The game shows on board were fun for those who participated, although not many cruisers attended them.
My dad spent a lot of time in the cabin, so I roamed around the ship a lot. I met a lot of people and they were very friendly. I was up early every morning and took tons of pictures of the sun rise and again at sunset. We had a full moon during our cruise and pictures were gorgeous!!! Speaking of pictures, I tried to get my dad to take pictures with me at night, he refused. The pictures at each port he wouldn't smile or had some weird expression on his face. But that's my dad and I love him. So I didn't spend any money on the photos.
Ocho Rios was different! As soon as we got off the ship we were bombarded with taxi drivers, a man trying to sell us wacky weed, etc. We just said no and kept walking.
Grand Cayman was beautiful!!!! I took the highlight tour there and was not disappointed.
Cozumel was ok, a lot of shop owners outside begging you to enter their store and giving away soda or drinks for you to come in and just look.
While at Princess Cays (which I stayed on the ship and baked in the 87 degree weather , a couple came back on board around one and said that they made everyone get out of the water because some woman hit some rocks and they had to perform CPR for a while. When we got back to FTL there were 3 ambulances there taking people off and after we got our luggage, there was a man laying on a table and they were screaming for someone to call 911. That sorta spooked me!
Staff were constantly cleaning the ship. The wait staff on the lido deck were not very friendly and people often had to flag them down to order drinks.
Overall I enjoyed the experience, it was well worth the wait. Now that I know what to expect I am ready to book another one. My boyfriend and I are booking a cruise with Carnival on the Conquest for November. I am sure that I will have more fun the next time going with someone my age and of similar interests!!! I am addicted!!!!