This was probably our 15th cruise and 4th time in the Southern Caribbean. We decided to fly in a day before, even though we are from Houston and haven't had bad weather - we knew the north had snow- storms and flights were delayed. We stayed at the Sheraton in Old San Juan, right across the street pretty much from the ship. The hotel is nice and in the perfect location for walking around Old San Juan. After reading many reviews and tips (thank you!), we took the free open air trolley cars up and around both forts! They stop in front of the Subway across the street from the CVS and then again around the next corner. We also bought our 2 bottles of wine that you are allowed to take onboard at CVS. Check out was 11 am at the Sheraton and we were on the ship by noon. Embarkation was 10pm so off the ship we went after finding our cabin and the buffet at Rosie's to explore Old Town and walk around! Our luggage was there when we got back.
We loved the ship and the crew! We chose anytime dining and usually ate at 6pm in the Lincoln Dining Room to get a table for two by the window. Our balcony was one deck and a few cabins down from the Captain's Bridge, 9214 and quite smooth sailing! We loved it. We were on a good side to dock near many mega yachts and beautiful ports. The "Falcon", the "Luna" and several yachts were docked next to us with their helicopters, boats, pools, etc. onboard. It always amazes me to see such beautiful yachts and sailboats in the Southern Caribbean. Our Cabin Steward, Nelson was wonderful. The beds were comfortable and the pillows too...........throw in those comfy white robes and I was in Heaven. We had towel animals and chocolates every night. One day we got back and their was rust, paint, a mask and goggles on the balcony. We called maintenance and within 5 minutes they had it cleaned up. I truly cannot see why anyone would complain about the service, crew or this beautiful ship.
The first day was St. Thomas. Our booked excursion over to St. John was cancelled due to the ferry they contracted having technical difficulties. Bummer. We wanted to explore the other side of St. John with a ship excursion and did not want to risk taking the ferry on our own and missing the ship. We chose the Meghan Bay and Blackbeard Castle excursion and loved it as usual. The turquoise water ceases to amaze me.
The second day is a sea day and formal night. We baked by the pool, watching snow reports and the Olympics on the huge screen! They had the usual mixologist contest, hairy chest, etc. and good music. There never was a problem finding a chair and the sun felt wonderful. Pack sunscreen and hats! Lobster night was great and the shows were great. As far as the dress code and what I have read on here, I'd agree that half were dressed real formal and the rest, Sunday best or resort casual, the latter for the other nights. We loved the shows.
Barbados - we took the ship's snorkel excursion and sailed along the coastline and close to several beautiful homes and beaches, had lunch and open bar after snorkeling, good sun, beautiful warm water....... great day!
St Lucia ~ we took the snorkel excursion to Pigeon Island since we had already seen the Pitons, otherwise, I wouldn't miss them! We had a nice day just swimming, laying out (chairs were part of it) and drinking a few Piton beers!
St. Kitt's was the Snorkel St. Kitt's and Nevis Island Catamaran excursion. We loved it and had a blast. The crew were great, lunch, bar snorkeling... were all part of it. Go online and book it as it booked fast. I think this was the second formal night, if I remember right!
We had been to St, Martin, Orient Beach, etc. so decided to get off the ship and take the $7. round trip water taxi over to the town and beaches. We needed a day to just relax and to pick up a few souvenirs and thoroughly enjoyed walking up and down the cobblestone streets, markets, shops, etc. all the time looking out on white beaches and turquoise water. We never felt bothered in the markets as we are used to Mexico! People are super friendly here. There are hundreds of chairs and umbrellas for rent here, along with Segway's, bars, restaurants, shops, etc. We got back on the ship for a late lunch at the buffet and luckily ran into the chocolate buffet next to it! It had a chocolate fountain and anything chocolate imaginable. The nut cake was divine - like Italian Cream.
Embarkation was a piece of cake. We were number 20 but got off when we wanted. Getting on and off was easy, I thought. There were tons of taxis waiting and we were off to the airport within minutes of finding our luggage. We used the Menu on the tv to check on shore excursions and our bill. We asked for ice and had a bucket every day, otherwise they don't put it in the cabin. Who knew. We hope you have as much fun as we did!