The Start: We flew into Fort Lauderdale because it was a lot cheaper and rented a Dollar car for only $39 one way. They don't charge a drop fee to the Miami airport. We spent the night at a Holiday Inn Express near the Miami airport and returned the car there the next day and got on the free shuttle to the ship. We received the email that said we can't get on the ship early, but we are glad we did because it was packed. Had lunch right away and by the time we got to our cabin our luggage was there.
Ship: We loved the cruise for the most part. Since this was our first cruise I was concerned about motion sickness. It never happened. Our cove balcony cabin was low and in the middle of the ship, which our PVP Bob Wilson recommended and it worked out great. I took non-drowsy dramamine every morning along with ginger pills and some drops behind my ears and never had a problem. Our steward, Noel, was great. He brought me an extension cord for my CPAP and since we didn't have a fridge, he brought us a cooler and kept it filled with ice. Of course, we also got the towel animals!
The only activities we participated in on the ship were pool-side bingo and a slot tournament. No wins at either!
Loved the lounge singer in the atrium and the band by the coffee shop. Tried several times to get into the comedy club but gave up. I guess you have to go early and stand in line for an hour. Not our thing. The casino was ok but we didn't have any wins. Just kept us busy.
We didn't plan any excursions since it was our first cruise and I'm glad. Seems that someone at every port missed the ship...
Food: They really need to change up the buffet food. Same thing every day got boring. The dining room food was great. We had any time dining and asked for the same servers and were able to get them every time. Coffee shop had great coffee.
The end: We brought too much luggage so we had to wait until 9:30 to get off the ship. We took the Dollar shuttle to the Miami airpot, picked up a car for $39 one way, and drove to Fort Lauderdale.
Recommendations: Renting a car in Fort Lauderdale was great because if you have time to go to lunch or do something else, you don't have to rely on an expensive shuttle. Don't take or order too much alcohol. We brought some and had a $50 bottle of vodka in our room when we arrived and hardly drank any of it. Most of our alcohol was consumed at the ports. Get back to the ship at least an hour before it leaves. Don't overpack. About 1/3 of the clothes we brought were never worn. Bring water shoes. Don't worry about your hair because it's very windy and mine was up in a pony tailmost of the time. Make sure you have your keys in the safe at all times. We lost ours and a neighbor had to bring us another set so we could get our car from the park and fly!