My family of thirteen, husband and myself, both over 55, our son, his wife,their two teens and five year old, another son's two teens, my husband's brother and wife, all drove from the Atlanta, Georgia area the night before and stayed at the Hyatt House near the Ft. Lauderdale pier. The hotel was excellent. I loved the kitchen. We got a good deal on three rooms about a couple of weeks before arrival on Expedia.
The next morning we drove a short distance to the Park N Go, which we prepaid for less than fifty dollars for a weeks parking for our three cars. Could not beat it. We normally park at the Cruise Pier, but never will again, as the Park N Go is the fastest and easiest way, not to mention the savings.
I was not sure how my husband would like such a huge ship, with its open Boardwalk and Central Park neighborhoods. However, to my surprise, and with great joy, he absolutely loved it. Normally, on a cruise ship, we are so used to being under air conditioned enclosements everywhere. Not this ship. The only negative for me, was the humidity on the Boardwalk and the Central Park areas, the curls in my hair would immediately fall out and my hair would hang limply. I would roll up my hair before dinner, after breakfast and before retiring each night. So that was a total of three times a day to roll up my hair. But it was worth it.
We loved this ship. The entertainment was wonderful, although the Chicago Broadway show was not my husbands thing, he did love both comedians, the Aqua dive show and Blue Planet. The Ice show was fabulous. I enjoyed the On Air theater with Karoke. Dazzles Bar was great fun. Loved just sitting in the Boardwalk at night and enjoying what ever was going on around us.
The four teens in our family had a great time. We barely saw them except for dinner each night at 6 in the evening. Each teen had their own group of friends they would walk around with, play basketball, games, all activities,etc. They couldn't be happier, as they had their own inside stateroom.
We ate in the main dining room each night and did no specialty dining. The food was very good to us. We had an excellent waiter by the name of Marco. After the second night, he could practically tell us what it was we wanted to eat for appetizer, entree, and dessert. I did a couple of mornings with ordering breakfast for our oceanview balcony, couple mornings eating breakfast at Johnny Rockets, loved the french toast and eggs, over easy, their, but basically my husband loved breakfast and Lunch at the Windjammer. Actually, we thought the food here was really good. No comlaints
I loved my ocenview balcony as I had booked thirteen months in advance and had a handicapped room, which was twice as large as a normal room. My son had a handicapped Boardwalk Balcony, which he also loved. We were told that if they needed the handicapped rooms, we could be placed elsewhere, but thankfully, this did not happen. Husband's brother had the next to the last aft Boardwalk Balcony regular room. Surprisingly, we liked this room almost as much as our own. You could see the Aqua Theater and a lot of the ocean from here.
We had the time of our lives, and can put this down as one of our top favorite cruises. Looking forward to booking the Anthem or the Quantum in three or four years for the family again. But after all the bragging we are doing, the family cruise will be comprised of a lot more than just the thirteen people we took this time.
I don't understand the negative reviews I have read on this cruise. Everyone we saw seemed to be having a great time. Something for everyone, every different personality and taste in what they like to do. Don't procrastinate. Book this cruise, you won't regret it!