We woke up at 8:15 am. Of course we had docked at Fort Lauderdale and from the balcony we could see the busy trucks transporting passengers’ luggage from ship to the terminal. This time we (port side) docked facing the terminal, not like embarkation that we faced the water.
This was the panoramic view from our balcony:
We vacated our stateroom just before 8 am & went up one deck to have our breakfast at Steamers. It was another good thing to have a stateroom on Deck 14 (Riviera) as it was easy to walk up one deck to get food and drinks, even with carry-on’s in our hands. Steamers was packed at that time.
During the whole cruise, we never had any problems looking for a table for 2 to eat on deck 15 at any time.
After breakfast, we went to the Platinum & Elite disembarkation Lounge on Deck 7 Aft in Club Fusion. It was about half full at 9 am. At the bar they served juice, tea & coffee.
Our luggage tag was Light Blue 5 and we got called at 9:25 am to get off the ship, 10 minutes earlier than the designated time. We remembered that we had to walk to the midship stairs to get off from deck 6. The aft staircase would only take us down to the Palm Dining room but nowhere else. Don’t know why the ship was designed that way. It was very inconvenient to go to the Palm Dining Room for traditional dining as there were only 2 elevators to take you there. I feel sorry for the disabled as they had to wait for several rounds before they could get in the elevators with their scooters.
I think whoever designed the Princess cruise ships need to take more courses, or Princess should gather guest feedback to understand what the general public like. Another major design mistake is the lack of privacy staying in the mini-suites on deck 9. They are uncovered so everyone from deck 10 & above could see all activities there, plus you can’t enjoy your big balcony when it’s rainy or too sunny. Although I have always stayed in the mini suites, I cursed the balcony every time. So this time I’m not paying more to put myself on show. I’ll just bear with the small cubicle for a short 7-day cruise this time. You could have a glimpse of those Dolphin & Caribe mini-suites in the first picture I posted today.
Talking about design fault, the lack of plugs inside the stateroom was another problem. This was what we could use for most of the time – 2 sockets that are so close to each other that we could not use both when plugging in our tablet for charging.
This was right beside the desk next to the balcony window. There was another plug behind the TV but it was so hard to reach that we just put our nightlight there so we didn’t have to plug it in and out.
Back to our disembarkation, I downloaded the App “Mobile Passport” so we could get to security using the fast lane. At this point only Fort Lauderdale cruise port plus 24 US airports could use this App to speed up entry to the US.
After we got our luggage at the terminal, we showed the receipts that we used the above App to create to the port crew so they let us pass through the priority line that says “Mobile Passport”, similar to the Nexus line.
We took a taxi that cost $12.50 from port to airport, with tips it’s $15. However, we had to wait for almost an hour before West Jet counters opened up for checkin. It was good that we got our boarding passes online so we could use the shorter line for bag dropoff.
It was easy going through security as the lines were not long. There was no Priority Pass Lounge at Fort Lauderdale so we had to wait at the gate waiting area for almost 2 hours, as our flight was delayed for an hour.
All in all, both my husband and myself really enjoyed this cruise as we planned on doing nothing much, so we didn’t really care about what’s happening on the ship. We were there to recharge and relax, and that was not our cruising style at all. If you read my other trip reports, you would know that all my trip days were always packed & I’m always on the go. I’m slowing down to prepare for my retirement!! Soon it would come!