We have done about 10 or so cruises, so not sure we are quite experts, but hopefully insightful. The short of it was, we really enjoyed this cruise, and Charleston is pretty easy to get in and out of if you live close by. We actually flew in from Chicago, but have family and friends in Charleston so we got dropped off and picked up by them, which definitely makes life easier.
Again, I can not speak to any airport transportation, or anything of the sort, but just know parking and drop of areas are pretty simple. There is decent signage to both. We were dropped off and in doing so you basically enter the port authority, and wiggle around to a drop of staging area. Here you load your bags on luggage carts that will be taken to your cabin. Ensure to keep what you need immediately with you. You then walk around the corner to a check in (this is new, they use to just throw you on a bus to the terminal for security then check in). After check in, there is a bit of a waiting area to wait for your “zone” – when you check in online they should ask when you expect to arrive and will give you a “ arrival appointment”. We walked over and inquired where we should sit with a nice elderly gentleman, and he simply said, wanna go ahead and get on the ship, of course we said yes, and he sent us straight out to the buses. Got on a bus quite quickly, and once full, it set off to the terminal. Once at terminal you go through security. There is the priority line and non priority. Folks that cruise a lot or need extra time, seem to use priority – we didn’t. This worked for us, the non priority was shorter at this time (we were pretty early, around 11am). We then flew right through security, and then you walk down the hall, up some stairs and just before getting on the ramp to the boat, one last scan of your boarding pass. Note: Check in is very streamlined since most folks do all of the previous stuff (Credit card for sail and sign, etc) on line. Your room key/sail and sign is actually just outside your room, which typically you have to wait until 130 before they open up the halls to said rooms. Once you go up the ramp, you are on the boat. Funny story, for our particular cruise, we were Guest #1 and #2, really just because we were early, and dumb luck.
Cabin was nice, but smaller than expected.The corner rooms are obviously bigger, but I also noticed a balcony room just around the corner (not facing the back) seemed larger as well. Still good size, decent shower (small in bathroom otherwise), and balcony is always nice to have.
Can be a bit of a hustle here, so mind yourself.. Otherwise, we just shot over to Senor Frogs to watch the festivities. lol