Arrival & Embarkation
We flew to San Juan on departure day. Our flight arrived on time around 1:00 and we went right to the port. The cab fare was stated at the airport and after about 20 mins we were at the port.
I noticed little to no signage instructing you where to go. We had priority embarkation and located the luggage drop-off and got in line. We were in our cabin about 25 mins after we arrived at port.
We had cabin # 1100. We like the aft corner- both for the larger balcony, and the quiet. The walk aft has never bothered us, and we never noticed excessive noise from the Windjammer. Our Cabin steward Dassa was great, always smiling and saying hello when we would see him in the hallway.
We have always thought the food on RCI was fine, nothing special, but still enjoyable, and this was no exception. We chose the late seating due to our shore excursions. We were assigned a table for 4 by a window. Our waiter Ignacio, and his assistant Jacqueline were very attentive and after the first night knew our drinks and roll picks, but asked anyway-just in case.
Before dinner, we would have ho rs-d'oeuvres and a drink at the Champagne Bar, it became a routine we would follow the rest of the cruise
The windjammer was fine for breakfast- good salmon. I enjoyed going to the Seaview Cafe, especially once we got back from a shore excursion. Great fries, cuban sandwich and chicken fingers. Sorry that it is being replaced.
Went to the pasta demonstration at Portofino. Really good appetizers, but when I went to take a forkful of my seafood risotto, i bit down on a shell fragment. I told our waitress and she commented that "sometimes that happens" and took the plate away. If that is what RCI feels is "fine dinning", I didnt want to experience dinner that evening and asked to cancel my dinner reservation that evening. I was told that there would be a fee for cancelling less than 24 hours. After talking to the manager, the fee was waived. While the food was good at Portofino, Its really not a fine dining experience based on the staff. I have eaten at some really good restaurants and when something like this happened I was offered another entree, a glass of wine and/ or had the meal comped.Other than waiving the cancellation fee, the manager did little more than say "next time it will be better.
Didnt go to any shows.
Booked excursions, or explored the ports on our own.
Went to the baths on Virgin Gorda. We really enjoyed walking around and thru them.
Headed to the Sunset Bar to watch the planes. Again, really cool to see.
Was supposed to do the volcano hike with Royston Tours, but got the starting time confused with another excursion. Royston came back and gave us a great tour of the island.
Went canyoning with Extreme Dominica. One of the best excursions we have ever done. A couple of hours repelling and/or jumping off waterfalls. Really, really cool and fun.
Went on the Calabaza. Relaxing and fun snorkeling with sea turtles.
We sailed on the Serenade 4 years ago to Alaska. Since the last time we were on her, you could notice that some areas of the ship need some updating, but we didn't notice anything that would stop us from having a great time. I am sure that all of that will be taken care of when she goes into drydock later this year.
We were flying out the next day, so we were in no hurry to get off the ship.
We had breakfast in the Windjammer, and then went back to our cabin to get our stuff. We went to the main dining room for our 9:00 departure time. Found ou luggage and were through customs in about 10 mins.
Took a cab to the Hotel Milano and checked in.
We chose a room in the back due to our early flight the next morning. The hotel is nice. Rooms are a little small but the staff are helpful,the location is great, and is affordable, at least compared to other hotels in the area.
Walked around OSJ and toured the forts. Lots to see, its a really cool place.
Had the front desk person call a cab for us @ 4:00am. Cab ride to the airport was quick. what was confusing was the fact you had to go thru an agriculture check/screening prior to checking your bags with the airline. Other than that getting back home went smoothly