This was a complete surprise of a trip - both in intent and in the trip itself. We booked 2 Superior Oceanview cabins as a surprise for my fathers 70th birthday, which was the day before sailing.
Wanting to make the most of our cruise experience (since we generally do 10 day sailings)we arrived at the post of Miami at 11:30 am. Unloading the luggage was easy and parking at the post even easier. By noon we were checked in and on board - with no lines to wait in anywhere. Since the cabins would not be ready until 1, we went directly to the Windjammer for some lunch. It was packed outdoors, and then we found a nice quiet area to the very front of the buffet - enclosed, air-conditioned, and directly above the bridge. We had a great lunch with an even better view - and away from the crowds.
We went down to our stateroom about 1:15 and it was ready for us. We booked the SO category because we had done one 3 day trip a couple years back and had the "oceanview" category, which we found cramped (we generally do Balcony staterooms or junior suites on longer cruises). This was perfect for a 3-day getaway with a small couch, lots of storage space, a nice sized window, and the standard RCCL sized bathroom. Luggage arrived by 2:00, so we were all settled in and changed into bathing suits by 2:30 - allowing us a couple of hours by the pool before boat drill.
Sail away was perfect -a beautiful spring day - always best enjoyed form the Viking Crown. Followed by dinner that night. The dining rooms serve standard, but slightly down-scaled RCCL fare - but the service is most definitely up to par with other RCCL ships (in fact we even saw a waiter we had on the Brilliance now working on this ship. The dining rooms themselves, however, are not of the grandeur of the newer ships.
The next day we had to cancel the stop at the private island, due to the roughness of the seas. But, the weather was still great, so we enjoyed an excellent "sea day" - with all the traditional outdoor games, plus a full day of casino and shopping time. The Cruise Director did a great job of providing an updated Cruise Compass that was full of activities to keep everyone busy.
The final day in Nassau was, again, a beautiful day. We managed to dock the evening prior, so it made for a nice leisurely stroll of the ship on Sunday morning - when we were ready to go.
Disembarkation was probably the most efficient we have ever experienced. We never had to leave our room and go wait anywhere. While my parents were local, we had a flight departing Fort Lauderdale at noon. We ended up being in the first group to disembark. We were off, through customs, and had luggage in hand all in a span of about 30 minutes. The a quick walk to the car and we were on our way to the airport. We were so early that we managed to catch a flight leaving Fort Lauderdale at 10:00.
All in all, this is a great 3-day experience - provided you set the appropriate expectations. This is not a 10 day cruise on a new mega ship, this is a 3-day trip aboard an older ship - set up for people who are just looking for a weekend getaway/escape where they have nothing to worry about.
Highly recommended and we will most definitely do this again!