April 3, 2006
Embarkation at Port Everglades went very smooth and we had our Princess gold card and on the ship by noon. We checked out our balcony stateroom C309, and had lunch at the Horizon court. After lunch we toured the ship. It's a beautiful ship and new right away it would be our favorite from those we've sailed on.
The public spaces are very generous and very well decorated and maintained. The Universe lounge is fantastic.
We ate at the early fixed dinner in the Provence Dining room. We felt that the food was above average and the service was excellent. Our table waiter would bring the table a variety of entree's for us to taste what we didn't order. The shows were excellent. Out of 10 nights, there were only one commedian that wasn't that great. We loved being on the ship and enjoying all the unique spaces. We kept up with our son back home through email at the ships internet lounge.
Our itinerary included Ocho Rios Jamaica. We climbed Dunn's River Falls which was fabulous. The water was so refreshing on a hot day. Dolphin's Cove was a let down. I wouldn't waste your time. We didn't get in the water with the Dolphin's, so that might make it a little better.
Panama Canal was fabulous! A real treat to experience. It takes an hour and a half to go through the Gatun Locks, so don't feel rushed. We were at the front of the ship through the 1st lock, grabbed breakfast at the buffet and went down to our balcony ate it while going through the 2nd lock, and then went to the back of the ship while we were going through the last lock. We took the vintage railroad excursion to the Pacific side which was a great trip. Next stop was Limon Costa Rica. We took the courtryside eco trip excursion. Great excursion to see the country, the canals and a banana plantation.
Next was Grand Cayman. Nice island. Looked through some stores, snorkeled and took a ride on the Atlantis submarine. After snorkeling, the submarine ride was anti-climatic. I wouldn't do it again. Then on to Costa Maya. We didn't do any excursion there. We only got off the boat for a while to walk around the shopping village. They have a big pool there and swim up bars and other resturants. Some of the local shop people would hound you to come into their store. There is a sand beach but not for swimming. Rocks separate the beach from the water.
There were four days at sea which we loved. The ship is wonderful and lots to do. The pizza by the pool is too good. The only negative is the cost of the soft drink pass. $39.50 plus 15% gratuity for about $46.00. Way to much to have a couple of diet cokes each day. Princess needs to offer an alternative drink like lemonade or something. Great cruise, we loved being on the boat for 10 days. Central America was a great place to visit, especially going through the canal.