ABOARD ROYAL PRINCESS – Our last day at sea is here. By this time tomorrow we will be docked at Port Everglades. Hard to believe seven days can go by so fast. Outside our stateroom it’s gray and rainy, but there are prospects of better weather for the afternoon.
Just time for a few final thoughts and observations.
- BRIDGE TOUR. Today we were among a small group invited to tour the bridge. Our host is Captain Dino Sagani, who has commanded four ships in the Princess fleet. As you would expect, Royal Princess sports the latest state-of-the-art technology, and the ship’s control center resembles an airplane cockpit. And about that special “Love Boat” horn greeting – the Captain tells me it was specially built just for Princess.
- SHIP PHOTOS. One nice touch are the photos which line the stateroom corridors. They were all taken and donated by passengers from previous Princess cruises. Whets your appetite for more globe-trotting adventures.
- PRINCESS LIVE. This is a fully operational TV studio which hosts game shows, karaoke, lectures and other audience-participation programs. One event helped me learn about the “Top 10 Art Heists of All Time.”
- THINGS WE LIKED. There is much to like on this beautiful ship. Among them, the friendly staff and the food. From the Horizon Bistro on deck 16 to the main dining rooms, we found the food uniformly good. The specialty venues provide a lot of choice, from gelato to coffee to afternoon tea. Vines caters to wine lovers, and on our last day the Wheelhouse Bar became an English pub serving fish and chips. Not to mention The Pastry Shop in Horizon. Boy, you can gain weight just walking through that place.
- THE SHOPPING. You’ll find all the high-end names you would expect, alone with the usual gift fare. Pam suggests wait until the end and take advantage of the big discount promotion. In our case, it was a three-hour “garage sale” in one of the dining rooms. Lots of bargains for $10 and up.
- A FEW SUGGESTIONS. It may be just us, but we would like a few more dark and cozy venues to sip a cocktail and listen to jazz or Sinatra. Most of the bars are located along heavy traffic lanes, like Seaview, Vista Lounge and Wheelhouse. Club 6 could be good, but the hours are limited. And seriously, check the programming on those elevators.
- OVERALL: Princess invites passengers to “Escape Completely.” As first-timers, we spent an enjoyable seven days with an objective to do just that. Bottom line? When this “Love Boat” makes another run, we’ll be there.