Our cruise consisted of myself (age 30), my husband (age 29), my nephew (age 12), my cousin (age 10), my mom (age 56), and my aunt (age 60). This is my 7th cruise. I would rate this cruise in the middle to high end of my cruise experience. We all enjoyed the cruise very much!
Hotel Stay/Embarkation: We flew into Ft. Lauderdale airport on Friday evening and rented a car (Thrifty) to drive to Miami. We stayed at the Coral Gables Holiday Inn. It got horrible reviews so we were very skeptical about this hotel but had gotten a great deal on priceline so decide to keep the reservation. I am quite glad we did. It was not the greatest hotel I've ever stayed in but it was clean and very serviceable for a two night stay. On Sunday morning we returned the car to the Miami Cruise Ship Pick Up location and they shuttled us to the cruise port. Everything went well there and we were at the cruise terminal around 10:00 - 10:30am. I thought it would take longer at the car rental place. We checked in right away (we already had fun pass, custom form, etc. filled out). That was finished within 10 minutes and we waited in a line until about 10:45am. At that time they took us through the security up to a waiting area with plenty of seating. At around 11:00 - 11:30am they took us right on the ship. We were eating lunch by 12:00pm. After lunch we went to check out our rooms.
Ship Info: The ship was very clean and nice. The atrium is very pretty. We have sailed on the Fascination as well which is the same basic layout. We stayed on the Empress deck near the front of the ship which is very centrally located. Our room was an inside cabin that had two beds pushed together to make a king and two top bunks. It was a little crowded a couple of times but not too bad. We asked our room steward for extra hangers and it was no problem. Mom and Aunt had inside cabin right next door E20 with two lower beds. They had plenty of room.