We just completed a cruise on the Pearl 2/17/08 to 2/22/08. In a word awesome, we loved this ship. We cruised Norwegian 15 years ago on our honeymoon and wanted to take our kids this time. We've cruised on RCCL Majesty of the Seas in 2004.
We flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before the cruise. It's a nice airport and the airfare on AirTran was only $49 each way, you can't beat it. I highly recommend AirTran and flying into Ft. Lauderdale, it's only about a 1/2 hour drive with no traffic. Warning though, it' took over an hour in rush hour traffic to drive the 20 or so miles, so plan accordingly. We rented a car from Dollar which was really the way to go. Most of the major rental companies provide transportation from their Miami airport locations to the pier for free. I rented a midsize from Dollar for only $50.00 in Ft. Lauderdale and dropped off in the Miami location for free. Then we took the quick free shuttle to the pier. Way cheaper than a cab for 4 people. It was also really nice to have a car for the day we were there before the cruise. We did have a bad experience by booking a non chain hotel in Ft. Lauderdale (Invenarry Vacation Resort) stick to the major hotel chains.