I loved FFIX. My second favorite FF game in general. I like the characters and story. The pre-rendered backgrounds are beautiful. I felt the game actually moved faster than VII and VIII. It was just a beautifully put together experience. I don't really have any recommendations other than to tell you that the point where you're going through the Grotto before going to Burmecia is probably the hardest point in the early game. It's the place where I actually got stopped up a few times as a kid because I didn't have the patience to see where I was going wrong.
Just remember, don't grind for levels, but grind for abilities. Avoid upgrading gear before you learn the ability with the only exception really being the cross gear, large requirement abilities like Quina's Gillionaire.