Here is my review of our trip on the Jan 4th sailing of the Carnival Paradise.
I traveled with a group of coworkers/friends that sailed on the S/S Norway together in January 2003.
Pre-trip travel: We flew Southwest from Buffalo to Ft. Lauderdale. We had a quick stop in Baltimore, but did not need to change planes. The first half of the flight was full, and we could not sit together, even though we arrived quite early. The no assigned seats policy sucks if you have any more than two people traveling together. There are so many people who can preboard and then save seats for each other than we would need to arrive two hours early in order to sit as a group. Lucky for us, staying on the same plane allowed us to move around and sit together for the second leg.