Traveling was myself 43 and my husband 50, another couple around the same age and my son and his girlfriend (mid-twenties). Let me start off by saying we are already planning our next cruise.
We flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before we left and stayed at the Ramada Airport/Cruiseport. The hotel had nice landscaping but the rooms were not very nice. All of our rooms smelled. And the outside Pool Bar closed at 5pm on a Friday? However, they did have a free shuttle to the ship the next day so that was convenient.
Embarkation: Very smooth...did not have to wait very long at all.