We took a taxi from the airport to Port Everglades after returning the rental car, $23 and it took about 15 mins. We arrived at the port at about 9.30am and queues outside until 10am or thereabouts when checkin was opened.
We are Diamond Plus so used the priority lane and holding areas. All in all, we were on board just before 11am where were we greeted by my parents on deck 4. As with most cruises we had travelled light (1 x 11kg case, 1 x 13kg case) so chose to take our luggage on ourselves knowing we could store it in my parents stateroom.
We had been able to switch to 7390, a beautiful aft balcony, during the booking process. Having had lots of aft cabins before, this would be my son’s preferred choice every time even though it is described as ‘obstructed view’, the two loungers make it worth it for me whereas he loves the view of the wake. We have had everything from an inside to an owners suite over the years, very much depends on what’s about in the price bracket at the time thought recently I’ve been taking a snow sports winter holiday so that has curtailed our cruise budget. We haven’t cruised in a suite since Jacob started school and we have been bound by school holidays - if we cruise from the US, kids there may be in school making cruise fares lower however we get hammered on the air fare from the UK so it’s a case of balancing the whole thing.
We spent the first day by the pool, quick lunch in the Windjammer and an afternoon ice cream. That evening we had chops booked for 8pm. In advance, Royal had linked mine and my parents reservations for dining so when we all booked the 3 night dining package online in advance we were seated together. In reality, the 8pm slot was too late for Jacob but it was all we could get. After a conversation with Royal and an exchange of email, I knew that I had to visit Chops on embarkation day to get one of our two dining packages credited as there would be no charge for Jacob. I’d had to pay for two booking on line before the cruise though as it didn’t recognise him as a child for that purpose. This was easily done and the refund went towards our gratuities which i’d Elected to pay onboard. Quick trip to adventure ocean had Jacob registered for the cruise just in case and he got a lanyard for his Sea pass.
Our cabin steward was friendly, greeting us just after 4pm when we transferred our luggage. Everything we needed was done quickly and to a good standard.
The evening routine was the same every night for us, we met my parents in the Diamond lounge or Viking Crown At 6.30 ish and then took dinner at 7.30/8. I’d checked in advance that Jacob would be allowed in the lounge as on some ships, the policy is 18 and over during cocktail hours but on adventure with this concierge, it was fine.
In Chops, Jacob had mushroom soup and then just some of the shared side dishes. I had tuna to start then the goats cheese started as my main along with mash, asparagus few other bits. We retired before desert as we were both still a little jet lagged and ready for a good sleep.