Pre-cruise: Flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before and stayed at the Hyatt Summerfield Suites. Very nice hotel!!!! I took SAS Transportation to the Port of Miami and they were excellent. I was a little nervous because one of the vans drove past but that was for Port Everglades.
Embarkation: I arrived at the port around noon. There was a LONG line formed going into the terminal. From my understanding, customs does a special inspection when the prior cruise goes to Belize. I was able to get onto the ship around 1:15 - 1:30.
Ship: This is my first time on a Freedom class ship so I cannot compare but I believe the biggest changes that were made during drydock were the outdoor screen on the pool deck, touch-screen monitors installed on each deck by the stairwells and the Dreamworks experience. I think these changes were great! The outdoor screen is not as big as some on other ships but large enough to enjoy the Super Bowl outside in a t-shirt and swimsuit! :) I really like the touch-screens because they have the daily activities as well as directions to all the venues at your fingertips. There was a concern about the DreamWorks experience from some Royal Caribbean guests. I think they did a wonderful job with this. The characters were present during the initial sail away as well as certain events. The characters were available at certain times for photo ops and one of the parades starred the characters but other than that, you did not see them at all. The ship is simply beautiful!!!
Entertainment: The ice skating show was great! The show is called "Encore!" and takes you to various entertainment places in the world. The show "In The Air" was very cool. It reminds you of a Cirque du Soleil show. The show "After All" takes snippets from fairy tails and combines them into one show. The one comedian was very funny but there was another comedian and a magician that were so-so.
Dining: I tried out "My Time Dining" for the first time. I was not too crazy about it. I am not sure what it was but the wait staff seemed like they needed to work really hard. I was able to get the same table each time and the same wait staff each time though.
Tidbits: This was the last cruise in the cruise director's current contract (I seem to be a magnet to these). He did a few things that I really enjoyed. First, he made a slide presentation of places that you are not allowed or no longer allowed to go into (bridge, galley, crew quarters, etc). I thought this was REALLY cool! Second, he had his own twist on the Quest which was cool. There was also a group of 12 motorcycle riders that brought their bikes on the cruise and was able to ride them through all the ports (except Labadee). That was extremely cool and would be neat!
I added information about the ports in a separate section but could not find Labadee. It is RCI's private stop and was nice. There was a lot to do but it was really hot that day. A lot of people were drained from the heat but it was still nice. I became one with a nice hammock in the shade and it was so nice!
Disembarkation: Really easy. I was off the ship by 8:15am and on my way back to FLL via SAS Transportation. Again, no problems!