We took our first cruise ever last week. In honor of our 15th wedding anniversary - we left the kids with Grandma and took off for the Western Caribbean! What a great way to travel - should have listened to all of the seasoned cruisers a long time ago. We flew in to FLL on friday - just to avoid any delays (bad weather in Nashville lately). We stayed at the Spring Hill suites (Marriott) as they offered shuttles from the airport and to the cruise port.
Embarkation: Wow - so much faster than expected. Saw the big line and thought we would be there for ever - but it went quickly. We got thru the line and got our cruise cards before we knew it! We stopped on our way thru the line (once onboard) and got our Coke stickers first thing!
We went straight to our room to check it out - we had been upgraded from a BA balcony room on the Caribe to an AB mini-suite on Dolphin. Mini-suite was great - a lot of space - balcony, even though uncovered was put to good use. We used our first few hours to explore the entire ship and get the lay of the land. We stopped and had a quick bite at the grill and kept on exploring. We spent a little time at the Jamaica Me Crazy sail away party, but it was so crowded, we could barely see the water, so we went back and watched us leave port from the peace of our balcony. Our luggage came quickly (with a welcome glass of champagne) and we were able to get settled. First day was so smooth! Dining: We used Anytime dining and never experienced a real problem. We went to dinner around 6:30 everynight and were able to get a table for two each time. We did do Sabatini's' on the first formal night. That is a great experience - only chose the entree and we were given samples of everything else on the menu.