We drove from our home in Hamilton, Ontario to Buffalo Airport for our 6 day cruise out of Miami. We flew Southwest from Buffalo to Fort Lauderdale. Very nice, uneventful flight. Once we got our bags (which was very quick) we got a cab from Fort Lauderdale airport to the Port of Miami. At the port of Miami the embarkation process was excellent. We had very little waiting time for anything and before we knew it, we were on the ship ready for our vacation.
The ship itself is beautiful. All common areas were very well appointed. The theatre is very nice with plenty of seating. We only went to one show there which was a comedian juggler. He was fantastic. Bar service in the theatre is very slow as is usual on any ship.
We had breakfast every day in the Lido Marketplace. There was a good selection although we felt it could have been better organized. For lunch we had Guy's burgers - which are every bit as good as everyone keeps saying (I was skeptical)- lots of great toppings, the burger itself was very tasty and delicious fries as well. Pizza was also a favourite of ours - always fresh and always hot. Not usually too much of a line for either of these. The buffet area had lots of variety but we did not eat there much for lunch. We had dinner in the Sapphire restaurant every evening but one. We chose Any time dining and never waited more than a couple of minutes. The entree selection was very good each night along with the every day choices. The only thing we found lacking was the desert selection (probably just as well!!)
We had one dinner in the Italian restaurant (which was $12 each). The dinner was fantastic and the service impeccable. The wait staff were excellent and provided great recommendations as well as bringing us a couple of appetizers that they thought we should try. For a great dining experience, I would highly recommend this.
We tried the piano bar but really didn't enjoy the entertainer there. We went to the Limelight theatre for the comedy shows. Rob Little was great - and since we saw him first we were hoping for the same caliber of comedy but it was not to be. The other 2 comedians were just not to our liking. One was crude humour (Jeff Duke) and the other was preachy and political (Percy ?). Not to our taste at all!
Our cabin was on the 6th level right around the corner from the elevator. We were concerned that it would be loud but we did not hear anything. It was an inside stateroom - we only change and sleep in there - it was fine for our needs. Plenty of storage space. Suitcases fit under the bed - lots of hanging closet space - lots of shelf space in the bathroom - good drawer space in the vanity as well as counter space. The beds were very comfortable (we like a firm mattress) and there were 2 different types of pillows.
The casino was good. Very busy on the 2 nights we went. It was very smokey and the idea of having no smoking slots beside a smoking slot is rather pointless. It was difficult to find an area that was not too smokey. I played the slots while DH played Craps. He was more successful than I!!
Our sea days on the ship were very relaxing. There were plenty of lounges available. We stay away from the main pool and the noise and found a nice spot on the side of the ship which gave us sun or shade. The lounges do not feel quite as comfortable from the second day on - a little more cushioning would be great. The Serenity section had very comfortable lounges but very little shade unless you grabbed one of the cabana style seats which were snapped up early especially on sea days.
We visited Grand Turk, Ocho Rios and Nassau.
Disembarkation was a "breeze". We chose self assist and left the ship at approximately 8:30 am. We were concerned because the lines were very long, but everything moved along very quickly. We had an 11:45 am flight out of Fort Lauderdale and we got a cab very quickly upon leaving the ship and we arrived at the airport by 9:45 am. Southwest has curbside check in so we were able to walk right up and check in and leave our bags.
It was smooth sailing all the way.