Preface: We've cruised on many cruise ships, seen many places, however, we have never taken a cruise ship through the Panama Canal. We chose this 14-day itinerary because it finished up in our home town of San Diego. This was a very relaxing, enjoyable cruise and we hope to do this itinerary again.
We began our trip on Friday by traveling from San Diego to Ft. Lauderdale on SouthWest Airlines. We love SouthWest Air and traveling into Ft. Lauderdale was a plus, since we didn't have the hectic traffic that can be experienced at the Miami International Airport. It is only a 20 minute drive from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami. We rented a car in Ft. Lauderdale since we were visiting relatives in Miami before our Sunday embarkation.
We booked the InterContinental Hotel in Miami near Bayside Marketplace with points we had accumulated over the years, and enjoyed this hotel very much. We had a suite on the 29th floor which overlooked the cruise port. It was also a plus to be able to drop off our Hertz car at the kiosk in the lobby of the hotel, rather than having to return it to Hertz in the City of Miami (just a few short blocks from the hotel).