We flew from St. Maarten to San Juan on a Sunday, probably wouldn't make that mistake again. The flight itself was fine, but booking a year ahead of time, flights can change, and change they did. Our original flight of 8am, was changed to 2:10pm, which got us to the pier at 4:00pm. Wow, couldn't believe the lines, all the way from the terminal out to the street and around the sidewalk. Oh well, we're on vacation. Uh oh, it's starting to rain. Whoops, no umbrella. No worries, it stopped after 10 minutes or so, everyone was laughing and giggling. What a great group of people!! Anyway, on board by 6pm, after stopping for 6 bottles of wine at the duty free store. Placed the bottles in our carryon, made our way to our cabin, luggage was waiting at the door. Changed out of our damp clothes, and made our way to dinner, open seating on the first night.
Food: We were at the late seating 8:15, as requested. We were at table 431, a table for 4 in the Pacific Dining Room. Our table mates were a delightful couple from Chicago, we really enjoyed their company and looked forward to dinner every night. Well the food, it's not gourmet, but it was good, if inconsistently prepared. Meat dishes were ordered medium rare and were always overcooked. Chicken dishes were also dry and overcooked. The fish, lamb(my favorite)and lobster were cooked perfectly. There were some very good cold soups, and the French Onion was outstanding!! Of course the desserts, were great,and it was nice topping off our dinner with an espresso every night. We were always finished at 9:45-10:00, so we had no trouble making the shows.
Entertainment:The lounge is beautiful, and we had no problem finding a place to sit at any show. We enjoyed Living in America and VROOM, the singers and dancers were very good. The comedian missed the ship, so we missed out on two nights, but the comedian they found was pretty funny, especially when some unsupervised 10 year old kid started heckling him. I thought the comedian handled it very well.
Cabin: We had a balcony room, with a nice, large queen bed, small sofa, and 2 very large windows. Lot's of light, when we wanted it, black-out curtains for sleeping. I'm an early riser, so it was nice watching the ship pull in to port every morning from the balcony. We used the balcony more than I thought, glad we got it. The room was clean, and well decorated and in good condition. No maintenance issues at all.
Ports: St. Thomas: We walked to town, about 2 miles or so, good cement sidewalks. Easy walk, took less than an hour each way. Shopped in town, loved all the old warehouses, could picture pirates storing their booty there back in the day. Dominica: Did the Carnival Double the Fun excursion. Loved the river tubing, best part of cruise. The other ports, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, and St. Kitts were all beautiful, but we were kind of island-out. We did a 1/2 day at the all-inclusive Rendezvous in St. Lucia. Enjoyed the beach, the lunch and drinks. The other islands, we just kind of walked into town and shopped. Too much, too fast I guess, wore us out. We'll go back, probably this year, same itinerary, although this time we'll skip the week in St. Maarten and fly into San Juan 3-4 days ahead and see the old city.
Conclusion: We had a fabulous trip. Carnival delivers a good product for the money, and I would do this cruise again in a heartbeat.