This was our 1st cruise we are in our 30's, we stayed in FLL for 2 days at the Extended Stay on 17th. The hotels location was within walking distance of everything food, grocery, and liquor. We walked down to the bridge every morning to see what ships had come in. We did rent a car to see FLL it worked out great because on Sat. morning we took the car back and there was a shuttle provided by the car rental agencies that took us right to the cruise port that was great.
Embarkation was a series of long lines it took about an hour or so to get on the ship. Our 1st impression was wow it big hopefully we don't get lost.
The ship was very easy to get around it took about 3 or 4 hours to figure out how it was laid out. The ship decor was strange and odd seemed to not make a lot of sense. Our room was Aft balcony 6333 great as long as no one was smoking (someone was always smoking) I'm not wasting my money on another balcony. The bed was very comfy and the room always clean. Ron our room steward did a great job.
Being 1st timers it took us a couple days to figure out the activities we were interested in. We enjoyed the trivia and games in the lounge. The night time shows were very good and we enjoyed them. We are not big into sunbathing. The weather was great and the sun was out most days. The sea was a little rough on the Atlantic side 7-10 foot swells.
St Maarten was nice we just got off and took the water taxi to town, walked the shops, didn't buy anything. St. Kitts we took a tour with Carnival Rocky Roller it was a lot of fun. St. Lucia was a tour with Carnival Mud Baths we didn't make it back on time and ship had to wait for us. The ship was to to leave at 2PM. It didn't leave till about 2:30PM.
We ate in the dining room every night it was very good. The dining room service good. For lunch we ate the salad buffet it was good. The rest of the buffet was sampled and it was not that great. The pizza was VERY bad being from Wisconsin where cheese is king the cheese had no taste and the crust was doughy the sauce was flavorless it was just a waste of calories.
The one thing that caught us off guard was dinner photos with dirty plates of food in front of you we thought it was inappropriate. Do people really buy them? So then your family can ask what was that on your plate.
We used the gym on quite a few days it was not that crowded in late mornings by the last days we ran on the jogging track. It was easier to run than walk when the sea was a little rough.
Disembarkation was a breeze we choose self check out and carried our bags off. We walked off the ship at 8AM and where at the airport waiting for our flight by 8:30AM. Our flight was a 12:35PM so there was plenty of time to kill.
Overall it was a great vacation and we will absolutely cruise again. The cruise line is not that important. We are looking forward to trying out all the other cruise lines. I think we will choose a cruise for the itinerary. There is lots of time and not that much money.