South Beach was open on the 26th as we walked down to the beach beds we had rented in the past that are located just past the floating bar.
We did not visit the water park, but we were impressed by how much work had been done on the island since our previous visit in February.
Yes there's a lot of walking, but only from the ship along the pier. The walking is much easier on the paver walk ways. Time from off the ship to the beach/pool is about 5 minutes or so, which is at least 20 minutes faster than the tender boat (it was often quite a bit longer if when you consider waiting in the lines prior to boarding and sitting on the tender boats waiting for them to fill up).