Aboard Royal Princess in Ft. Lauderdale

With about 4,000 passengers planning to board Royal Princess on this 10-day Southern Caribbean voyage, I expected the embarkation process in Ft. Lauderdale to be long and arduous.  To my surprise and delight, it was just the opposite.  Thanks to staged arrivals, plenty of security screening checkpoints and use of handheld scanners, I went from sidewalk to ship in 20 minutes.  Once aboard and into Royal Princess’ beautiful Piazza atrium, I was struck by its size – 50% larger than similar spaces on other Princess ships.  And, as the focal point of the ship, the Piazza enables passengers to navigate the vessel more efficiently, while also serving as an entertainment, dining and shopping hub.  Fixtures and furniture in the cabins also follow Princess’ design aesthetic:  warm woods, clean lines and good lighting.