My husband and I are young seniors, still working, and just beginning to travel. We last cruised to Alaska several years ago on Princess. Travel agent recommended this cruise, as she knows we aren't so much into sea days, and love exploring new places.
We flew from Ft. Lauderdale to San Juan, staying at the Sheraton OSJ. Good central location to walk the streets, see the Forts. We had dinner at La Barrachina with our new friends from Cruise Critic.
Embarcation was well done, and we were in Bistro at about 12:30. Our cabin was more than I had expected. Lots and lots of storage spaces. One of the pleasures of cruising is that initial unpacking and then stowing the suitcases. Our cabin steward was Chris, and he was delightful. He figured out what we needed before we did! He was always there to open our door for us; how do they do that??
I was somewhat disappointed with Blu, especially after reading so many glowing comments. Nothing was terrible, but nothing was outstanding either. We did enjoy breakfast: salmon plate, omlets, Museli (well, this was outstanding!), and the blueberry pancakes.
We had read that you could have MDR food options served in Blu. On the last morning, Husband wanted waffles. Maitre D informs us this is not an option. Asked why not, the answer was "Well, Blu is a Concept and does not include waffles". Well, here is MY concept: the paying customer should get what he wants to eat if it is available!
We really enjoyed Caissie, Patrick Hall (pianist/singer), and Nestor the guitar man, but he seemed to disappear after the first day. Our on board favorite was Nancy, who directed Improv Comedy. Really a talent.
Briefly our shore excursions:
BARBADOS: Bajan Delights thru the ship. Cursory island tour with stops at a rum factory, mahogany workshop and plantation for lunch. Pleasant.
ST LUCIA: Cosol tour. Our CC group filled the entire bus, and no rum punch went to waste. The island was our favorite.
ANTIGUA: Cool Cat catamaran. Snorkeling, grilled lobster, exquisite scenery.
ST MAARTEN: Taxi to Marigot,shopping and a fabulous Croque Monsieur. We had planned to go to Maho, but I was battling a cold and we saved that for next time.
ST THOMAS: Took the Red Hook ferry to St. John and spent the morning at Trunk Bay. Spectacular.
I am not a "serial cruiser", and don't plan to cruise again in the next few years, but this was enjoyable and a good value. We had the premium beverage package and it was great to not worry about sticker shock at the end.
MISC: Cudos to Cafe Al Bachio; by the second morning they knew what we wanted and how we liked it. Qsine was interesting and a nice experience. Would not do that again. Martini Bar had some good libations, and was a pleasant place to meet friends before dinner.
The best part of the cruise was meeting and sharing time with our new Cruise Critic friends!