This was my 8th cruise and my 3rd with Carnival. I was traveling with my sister and her daughter, my niece who is 9. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the day before our cruise departure date. We stayed at the Best Western Plus Cruise/Airport.
We arrived very early in the morning after a red-eye flight and they had our room ready by about 12:00 pm, which I thought was great since check in was really at 3:00pm. It is a good place to stay for one night, staff was very nice and helpful. Van to Port Everglades is $8 per person, be sure to make a reservation when checking in. Embarkation day was pretty painless really. We got there about 11:10 and were on board about an hour later having lunch on the Lido Deck. We got into our cabin (1051) by 1:30, luggage arrived by 2:30.