Couldn't have asked for better weather. Sun and 80's all week. Arrived at Port at 10:40, and embarkation was fast and easy, with two minor delays due to glitches in Carnival's systems, or a combination of Carnival's and Security's. Checked in at Priority Check-in room since we had a suite. Glitch One: At security, they asked for passports, and I gave them my Irish passport. At the priority room she asked for my visa. I told her I didn't need one since I was a permanent resident, and showed her a printout of myonline registration. She took my green card and came back about eight minutes later, and said everything was set. Glitch Twon: I had bought FtF, and the hostess didn't notice that. She got our photos and cards and said. "You're good to board but your room won't be ready until 1:30." I showed her my paper work showing FtF, and after a delay she got the stickers, and changed to "You're room is now ready for you."
Settled into our room to drop bags. We normally get a 9C wraparound, but couldn't get it for this cruise. We had an OS, and it was well laid out and appointed. Our steward, WaiAn, came to meet us and check on our needs. As almost always on Carnival, we hardly ever saw him to talk to after that. Only the wave and greet as he saw us in the hall. He took care of everything, even anticipating needs that were never stated. For those interested in the room, it is the standard layout, but its big advantage was that it was on the hall at the back of the bank of forward elevators, so we had no noise from people in the halls.
After muster, we had in informal gathering of people from our Roll Call, and two different FB groups. We kept running into each other all week, and all seemed to be enjoying whaterver their special interests were (sun, piano bar, just bars, or comics and shows).
Very freindly crew. All had smiles and warm greetings. MDR is still a work in progress with the New American Meal plan. One of our table of six would get dry sea bass, and two would have a perfect cut. of the fish. Make sure you order your drink right away from the waiter if you want something other than water. If the bar staff has to come, you will wait a half hour minimum. Steakhouse was excellent through entree. My lamb chops were dry, but my wife couldn't eat all her steak so I didn't go hungry. I did point out the dry chops to the server, but her only reaction was "Oh." I thought that strange, but again, I wasn't starved.
Bar service was excellent. I was in Cheers program, so I used it as the opportunity to try different drinks. Alchemy bar was probably the best. They have a broad selection of special martinis, and would also offer personal favorites.
Seth at the Piano Bar was excellent. The Cruise Director, was realtively new, but did very well. Only thing is that as a Canadian, she tends to say "My Friend" or ""My Friends" an awful lot. The college Spring Breakers picked up on that an made it a drinking song, like the "Hi, Bob" game we used to play when the Newhart show was on television. Some of those kids were pretty wel shot halfway into her Morning show as it aired on the bigscreen on deck.
Walked off the pier and turned left immediately at the beach. Walked throught the Port authority "Resort", and grabbed two chaises at Jack's. Beer is $2 cheaper, free wifi, and no charge for the chaises. Beautiful sand and water. Great last stop.
Private beach. Great sand. Lack of adequate shade if you didn't rent a cabana.
Took the free trolley to El Morro. Toured the fort, then walked to La Forteza and toured that. Entry is $3 for each, or you can do both for $5. We then walked down to St. John's Cathederal and walked the streets around old San Juan. Walking was easy from El Morro, since that was the high point and it was all downhill from there. A walk up would be a struggle for those not in good shape (like me!).
Well worth the money. Spectacular view and close by the ship