We've been cruising every year since 2001 and normally travel in large groups, however, this year it was the hubby and I celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary.
We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale the day before our sail date and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on State Road. IT was nice and clean and very reasonably priced and included a complimentary shuttle from the airport to the hotel. I would highly recommend it and will definitely stay there again. We signed up for the shuttle through the hotel to take us to the pier. That worked out great! We arrived at the pier about 11:00 am and walked straight up to check in...no line. We had lunch at the Park Cafe. In fact, we found that to be our go-to place for lunch....loved the Greek Salad sandwiches. We only ate in the Windjammer two times all week and it was for breakfast. We had "my time" dining in the formal dining room each evening. The food was good but not great.
We took in all the shows throughout the week and I must say they were amazing! I was not excited about having to make reservations for the shows online before leaving home because it required too much thinking and it's hard to plan your week with shows and dinner reservations before you are actually there and know what the ship activities are for the day, but it did work out. I prefer going to dinner at the set time and then on to the show scheduled for that evening as on previous cruises.
The ship itself was beautiful and HUGE!!! We had a fantastic time and can't wait to sail on the Oasis or Allure again in the near future with our friends and family.