We arrived in Fort Lauderdale two days before our cruise. We loved the fact that we were able to come from snowy cold weather, to sunny delightful weather, however being Mainers we didn't feel comfortable renting a car in Fort Lauderdale it just seemed to busy for us. The first night we stayed at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale, it was nice. But nothing around it unless you have a car. The second night we stayed at the SpringHill Suites Marriott, what a mistake, it was so so busy, lots of people just trying to start there cruise or just coming back from one. My husband stated it almost seemed like a transfer station. Very hectic place to stay, the only plus is it is next to a Burger King and across the street from a little strip mall with some stores in it.
Embarkation- Was a breeze we were dropped off at the cruise port by the hotel shuttle, we got to the cruise port at 11:30 and we were on the lido deck by 12:20p.
Ship Info - The ship is very clean, semi bright colors, and new. The staff always greeted us and smiled while traveling around the ship. I loved the spa on the port day I had a pedicure and manicure for $49.00. What a deal. It was so nice and relaxing. We did purchase internet while on the ship because we needed to stay in touch with family. Its costly but it was worth the peace of mind knowing that you can stay connected to home. We found that the lido deck was nice especially the big screen tv, however I must say that there was a lot of people saving chairs. I guess you have to be out at the lido deck by 7a and save a seat somehow.
Buffet Food - It was nice, we loved the Sandwich Bar and the homemade salsa and chips, burgers, and the ice cream machines. I would love it if they gave out popcorn, that would complete the lido deck when watching the big screen.
Stateroom - We loved it. Oceanview- It was very spacious- nice and very clean. We had a nice steward (Jose)
Dining - This was our only negative review, we had previously signed up for the early dinner and confirmed however, when we got to the ship we were advised that we had been moved to the late seating. 8:15p YUCK.. We are not late eaters and this is something that was a concern to us. We went the first night and met some nice people, we did put in a request on the first day and was declined however, I did end up going to the pursers desk and voiced my concerns and was told that because of a large tractor group it wasn't possible to accommodate my request. I advised the purser I was very displeased. The next day we received an invitation to come to the early seating.. THANKS OMAR..
Activities - They had a cooking demonstration that I called to make a reservation for I was told that it was booked- but later found after speaking with another sailor that a few people didn't show up. They should have had a waitlist and paged the people after they found people that signed up weren't going to show and give the space to someone else.
Entertainment - Was great.. We loved the tribute to The Beatles- and The Ticket to ride show. And the talent show put on by the staff..
Excursions - We didn't plan any this cruise because on our last cruise we found that we missed out on the late night activities. We had fun going into Key West and Ocho Rios shopping, we didn't go to Grand Cayman we stayed on the ship.
Closing - We had a wonderful time and are starting to look at a 2010 vacations, the only comment that I would make is that a vacation is what you make it, go enjoy, have fun and relax, and you'll have a wonderful time..