We flew into Miami a few days before the cruise since we had never been there before. We stayed at the Sagamore, which was fine, but after spending the day at the Raleigh's famous pool we would stay there next time without hesitation. It was $25 for a day pass but worth it! Both the hotel and pool are beautiful.
We took 2 tours with Miami Culinary Tours and both were a good way to see the sights, get familiar with the area, and eat some great food. We did the South Beach dinner and Little Havana lunch.
The rest of the time we spent on the beach.
Embarkation was smooth and our cabin was nice, if average. The plus was that it was on the hump so the view was slightly above average. #8638 I believe.
Room service breakfast was always on time and correct. Dinner was always fine and we had a great staff. For lunch we were generally off the ship, or just grabbed a snack in the cafe.
The best part of the cruise was the ports. Our particular favorite was St Thomas, as it always is, not because we like the island but because we always use Island Wilson Excursions. Captain Wilson always provides a great day away from the crowds and takes us around the VI's on his comfy boat.
Disembarking was also smooth and we took a taxi to the airport.
Labadee is a truly remarkable place for its beauty. We took the coastal cruise and really enjoyed getting to see some of the shore away from the pier. The local boats are charming and you go by a little island that is one of the prettiest I've ever seen---think Sandy Spit, JVD, without any people! We've seen many parts of the Caribbean but the Haitian coast around Labadee is, in my opinion, the most beautiful.
On the beach it is pretty crowded but well planned, and I'm happy to say that I managed to keep my Mom off the zipline even though it did look like lots of fun.
We love San Juan and have been there a few times, so since it was a short port day we just walked around and ate at one of our favorite restaurants at the El Convento Hotel.
Previously we had done the Segway tour and it is a wonderful way to see this beautiful city without getting too tired. Plus it's just fun to be on a Segway! They did a great job teaching us and even my mother (of a certain age) felt very comfortable.
We chose Orient Beach for our beach break because it is so beautiful. In fact, it is so stunning that it almost makes you forget the thousands of other people with whom you must share it! People watching is pretty good there, so it isn't too bad.
Island Wilson Excursions is the best. We are so happy we found Captain Wilson we have used him numerous times. We initially chose him because of his timely, thoughtful emails in response to my many questions and concerns. Our instincts were correct as he has provided a special day each time. We have been treated to snorkeling, sightseeing, history, bar hopping, and most importantly, a safe and fun way to see the VI's. Deja Blue, the boat, offers a fast and smooth ride, making it easy and comfortable to experience many things in a day. Capt. Wilson will take you wherever you request, but we always put the itinerary in his hands. He remembers where we have been (and our likes and dislikes), so each trip is a new, scenic adventure with a kind and funny friend. He also takes pictures during the trip and many of ours have ended up framed or as screensavers, daily reminders of our special trips.