My husband and I flew out of LAX thursday night, got in to FLL at 6am. We had reservations at the Hilton Marina close to the port and airport. It was a great hotel but of course we couldn't check in that early. We decided to drop off our bags with the hotel and walk to get breakfast somewhere. It's not a very far walk to restaurants, a mile, mile and a half but you are on a main street. Breakfast was okay, we ate at Joe's Cafe. It wasn't anything special but it was open. When you have about 4 hours to kill before your room will be ready, this is what you should do:1-Eat breakfast/lunch (Panera is close too) 2. Wait until Ross opens and peruse for last minute outfits/shoes 3. Go to the ATM to get cash 4. Go to Walgreens
Dinner: Go to Kelly's Landing( around the corner from Ross) yummy food, great little place. We ordered Lobstah rangoons, Lobstah roll(warm with butter) mmmmm....
Get the Boston cream pie for dessert, it won't disappoint!
If you are staying at Hilton Marina, take Taxi/shared van to Port Everglades
Since it was just 2 of us we had to take a Taxi, it was about $15. We left Hotel room at 11am and boy was it a circus! My advice, Leave earlier.....After waiting for a Taxi and Pier traffic we made it to our Pier at 11:45am. Line was pretty long but moved quickly once they opened the main doors. Got onboard a little before 1pm when our rooms were available. We had interior cabin at the back of the ship, great price but it really was the back back of the ship. Cozy room but we really felt the ship move back there.
I won't be staying in the back again, plus the crew door was adjacent to ours and it squeaked everytime it was opened. It needed WD-40 bad....
We dropped off carry-ons and headed up to Windjammer like everyone else.
Food in the Windjammer is buffet and it tastes like buffet food. They did have one day where they had pork ribs and they were really good!! Breakfast and Dinner was amazing in the main dining room. My husband and I were in the Nutcracker dining room, which is the main dining floor, second seating (8:30pm). Service was excellent and I really miss our waiters Isaias and Simon. Shows were eh. The adult comedian was funny and the Love and Marriage game was fun to watch. We went to the iceskating show and 3 singing/dancing productions but left during one of them... It's just not our thing. I would've rather seen an Improv show or more comedic performances. The theatre wasn't even half full the nights we went. Deck chairs are an issue, as well as towels. Bring your own beach towel because they ran out many times and on the port days too, so we had to take our room towels off the ship. We went during spring break so there were a lot of college people wanting to bake in the sun all day. People left their stuff on them or a towel but who knows if they ever came back to those "saved chairs". Rude people that go on cruises are rude cruise people, they don't magically become nice just because so if you see a chair without personal items or towels, take it! Don't think about it, just do it.... or you will most likely never get a chair. Oh, and by the way, I'm a nice person on and off the ship :)
Although my husband and I had an amazing time it does feel like Royal Caribbean is feeling the economic situation like a lot of people are. You can feel it around the ship, not all the time but it is noticeable.... Now, after making that comment, I am still going to cruise with them, in fact I just booked another cruise this afternoon. October 7, 2012- Freedom of the Seas