Smooth Sailing

So far our Princess Cruise Lines experience has been very impressive!

First of all, our flights out of Rochester, NY on AirTran were on time and we made it to Ft. Lauderdale in no time flat. We always go down the day before because several times we almost missed the boat by relying on the “package” deals we found online where the layover times are incredibly tight and the time allotted to get to the ship from the airport are even tighter. Those deals are hyper-optimized for efficiency, but one monkey-wrench in the scheduling can ruin a vacation. For example, we’re from Upstate, NY, and one year we almost missed our layover because of a 45-minute “de-icing” of the plane. And last year, there was a storm in New Jersey, and all flights were cancelled…we had to drive 4 hours to Cleveland to make it to the ship. Without that 1-day buffer, both vacations would have been ruined.

We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale and we were immediately greeted at the baggage claim by a Princess Representative named, Francy. She was great. She was expecting us, knew we were due to arrive at that time, and actually called us by name. She gave us all the details of what to expect as a Princess customer and quickly made sure we got to our hotel. We had opted to purchase a hotel and transfer package for the first time and I have to admit, it made this part easy peasy. We were escorted to our air conditioned bus…sort of overkill as we were two of three passengers, but it worked. (Perhaps a greener approach would be smaller vehicles when there are fewer passengers arriving…something to consider.)

Our driver was kind of gruff, but that was easily overlooked since we were in good spirits, enjoying beautiful Florida weather.

We stayed at the Marriott Ft. Lauderdale North and we received a warm welcome from Carla as soon as we walked in the door. She knew we were on a Princess Cruise, and gave us the information we would need to get our luggage and ourselves to the ship easily.

So far, Princess has make the whole experience a piece of cake. All we have to do is tag our bags (don’t forget your stapler) and put our luggage outside our door at 9am. From there they will come pick it up and get to our cabin for us…way easier than Royal Caribbean, where we have to lug our own luggage to a busy, chaotic terminal fighting hundreds of other passengers. All we have to do is hop on a bus at noon and away we go! When all is said and done, it’s been smooth sailing thus far…thank goodness.

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