First some background, we were a large group of friends/family travelling together over spring break. Kids ranged from 5 up to 17/18 years old. All adults in their late 30's - mid 40's.
Arrival in San Juan :
We arrived the day before so that we could take advantage of lower airfare rates and unwind. We booked the Radisson. Never again, it was awful. Our room was not ready (at 6 pm no less). We had to wait over an hour for our room. Travelling with 3 young children, with no room was not fun. Luckily we had friends travelling with us so that we could hang out and change into bathing suits in their room. Kids were anxious to get to pool, not impressed with pool at all, very dirty looking. Anyway, room was ok, nothing spectacular.
Embarkation: Arrived at port around 1:30 pm, lines were long,but moved very very quickly. Bought some liquor, allowed to bring on ship as long as it was in a carryon - A+++++! Our cabin was ready, we were able to dump our carry ons and go eat on Lido deck. Food was great all week, I thought there was a good selection and great service. Ship is very nice, pools could be bigger, why is this so on cruise ships? Only 3 pools on a ship that carries 3000 people? Yuck. Imagine the germs? Sail away party was fun, the band is great. We had a great time. Not too much to do for kids, we were travelling with a large group, all of our kids had friends on board, this is a good thing. There were not too many activities all week, so they would have been bored to death by mid week!
We went to Magen's Bay. We have been there before, it is just as beautiful as I remembered. The island has gotten very congested since we were there 15 years ago. Traffic is murder! We took a taxi, I think it was $5 per person each way. On the way back from Magens Bay we took a taxi into town to shop. We asked our first taxi driver where the locals shop for Jewelry, he told us the Gold Corner on the waterfront. Excellent shop, great low prices. Nice selection too! We were happy with this store for jewelry. Returned to ship from downtown. 1st nite at dinner was great, our servers Constantine and Veronica were A+++++ excellent! We were travelling with a group of 34! OUr kids loved dinner time with these two, they were wonderful. Food again is great, never a complaint. The selections were great, the low carb menu is great, the diet desserts were delicious! This was our 4th cruise, so I have a comparison to go with! FOod is very good.
Did a tour with Reyno A+++++ again. Kids had a blast. We were with a large group again, we all had fun. It is rainy on this island, so dress appropriately. Were water shoes or sneakers to do the tours (rainforest, emerald pool etc) Bring an umbrella and a rain poncho. Mr. Nice's fruit stand is great, delicious bananas. A very poor island, but beautiful landscape. This was our first formal nite. The Captain's reception was very good, free cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. DInner again was great had the Lobster. Most men wore suits, my hubby wore a tux. There were some men in tuxes though. Nice crowd, everyone looked great.
Days at sea: Relaxed in the hot hot sun. The sun is SO STRONG HERE! Go to a tanning bed first, you will fry. I put spf 30 on over and over again and still fried. My husband who is spanish and dark skinned burned. It is very strong.
Not much to do but lie in the sun and drink! Who is complaining though? Shopped on the ship, played bingo, art auction etc... the normal day at sea things. Prices in the spa are high, skipped this stuff. I would rather shop!
Barbados: Booked with small cats for a private catamaran for 12. Great day, beautiful water, Awesome. I would recommend this private catamaran any day. Snorkeled with the turtles, beautiful fish and a ship wreck. They picked us up at port and dropped us off at boatyard beach when we were done. Boatyard beach is awesome. My kids loved it. Food and service is a rip off though. Go next door to eat. It took us 2 hours to order and be served hamburgers. Terrible, never will do that again! Water is great and the trampoline and rope swing were great. Well worth the $12.00 just for the chairs, music, and water activities for the kids. They give you $5 back in tokens, use it on drinks, not the food!
Aruba: Beautiful island, although I think the water seemed dirty. We did Jolly Pirates, great for the kids, although they pack a lot of people on board. The lunch was good and the drinks are plenty. Great snorkeling, although I liked the waters better in Barbados. Some large fish (some thought sand sharks as well) Water was deeper to snorkel in, and the current was rougher. Small kids may have some trouble. Rope swing is a blast.
A long morning! All went smoothly though. You are off the ship by 9-10 am no problem.
Old San Juan: We stayed another day, did the forts, shopping. A beautiful spot with quaint cobblestone streets, great little shops. Stayed at the Wyndam Condado, much better than the Radisson. Great pool area. Why can't this ship have a pool like this?
Overall, a great trip, Destiny is a nice ship. They need a teen center though and plan to dry dock soon in order to do this. A lot of young ones in the disco at nite, even though it is the adult time. The dj would tend to cater to this young crowd, they should be in bed, and let the parents have some fun!