Welcome home Chris
It sounds like overall the cruise went very well. It does seem like it's more hectic when you have to fly to embark, but what a neat way to spend your time waiting. I hope your friends showed you a little bit of Lauderdale, it's a fun city. I'm prejudice since I was born there. Sure has changed from back in my day! There are a lot of fun things to do in Miami, too. Maybe next time you can take in some of the attractions, too.
Thank you so much for taking time to write such a great review, packed with loads of very useful information. Can't wait to see what y'all pick for your next cruise!