Before boarding Enchanted Princess, we were able to select the 11-11.30 boarding group. This is the earliest boarding time we'd ever had and meant we had quite an early start. There was a bit of traffic on the motorway and some queuing (about 15 minutes) for our pre-booked parking with CPS. Once inside the terminal, the embarkation was swift and efficient. In the terminal there were two boarding queues, one 'green lane' and one 'blue lane'. We were able to join the 'green lane' as we'd completed all of the required steps prior to embarkation. To be honest the 'blue lane' queue was equally as short as the 'green lane' and both were managed well. A family entered the building at the same time we had and joined the opposite queue to us, their check in was completed at the same time as ours.
We then answered the health questions, completed our check in and we're sent to collect our Medallion. Once we had our Medallion in hand we weren't sure where to go next, nobody had given us any instructions and the waiting area was quite full so we initially presumed that the ship wasn't ready to board. We did however, notice a queue for security so realised that boarding had started. We headed over to see if we could join the queue and were told that it was priority boarding for Platinum, Elite and Suite passengers. Luckily for us, we have Platinum status with the Captain's Circle program (mainly thanks to P&O Cruises). We've only actually cruised Princess once before and that was 10 years ago, so we were delighted to have some perks! We rapidly passed through security but once we were onboard we weren't sure were to go next. This was because after our Medallion's were scanned by security there weren't any staff there directing you, so we felt a bit lost! We decided to try and find a bar and enjoy a bit of sunshine as we assumed the cabins weren't ready yet. We headed up to the Lido deck, where we were able to walk straight up to a bar and were served straight away. We were seated by the pool with drinks in hand before 12 which was a great start.
After we'd enjoyed our strawberry daiquiri's, we decided to go for a bit of a wander as we were getting too hot outside! We'd previously cruised on Britannia which is the same class as Enchanted Princess so thought we'd be able to get our bearings pretty quickly and we were right. Whilst wandering we shared a lift with a staff member who asked us if we needed help finding our cabin, because we thought they weren't ready yet we hadn't tried so decided to head there now to drop off our hand luggage. We then had a bit of trouble finding our cabin because we were in D606 which was one of the last cabins on the corridor before the isolation cabins, so we were only able to use the aft lifts to get there. The doorways onto our corridor were closed at both the mid and forward lifts for the duration of our cruise. We found this a bit irritating at times but got used to it.
Once we'd arrived at our cabin, we found some instructions for muster. We were able to identify our muster station from the signage on the back of the door and we spotted some information asking us to watch the video on the TV. We decided to get this out of the way and watched the very long safety video before heading to our muster station to get our Medallion scanned. We then continued exploring, grabbed a slice of pizza and went back up the Lido deck for sail away. We haven't been to a proper sail away party since before Covid so we were very excited and it was good fun, if a little cheesy! The fun was slightly marred by the struggle we had to get a drink. The bar queues were enormous and there weren't any waiters serving like we expected. We attempted to use the Medallion app too, but it wasn't available. We eventually got a drink, but there was no way we were going to get a second, so we headed back to our cabin to unpack and tested out room service on our TV. This worked well and our order came within 20 minutes.
Later that evening, we headed for dinner and on our way to the main dining room walked past a very empty Gigi's Pizzeria so decided to eat in there instead. We very much enjoyed it and it was a great first dinner onboard. (Full review to follow!) After dinner, we went to Princess Live! for the quiz and again there weren't any waiters serving drinks. We placed an app order which didn't get delivered until after the quiz had finished. Some guests were going to the bar themselves to order but this didn't seem to be much faster. Following the quiz, we enjoyed the fantastic Rock Opera in the theatre. This show has had a lot of hype, so were desperate to see it and were really pleased to get the chance on this short cruise. It definitely deserves the hype, it was a great watch and the cast were fantastic.
We finished our night in Vista Lounge where the queueing issues continued. As we were travelling as a party of two it was disappointing that one of us was having to go the bar and queue for up to 30 minutes at a time, while the other was left waiting on their own. There also didn't appear to be anybody clearing glasses regularly in this venue, lots of tables were covered in dirty glasses and it took the shine off a day which had started so well. We probably would have stayed up later, if it had been easier to get a drink, but decided to head to bed before the party was finished.