OCT 18, 2009 My wife (30) and I (29) chose this cruise for its itinerary only. This was our fourth cruise experience (3 Carnival and 1 Royal). We have always found pro's and con's for both cruise line, so I will only grade this experience from our other CCL cruises. We arrived into San Juan after a long day of fly on the day of our embarkation. It was very easy to get a taxi at the taxi service stand just outside baggage claim. The cost was $23.
San Juan is a different port for embarkation. The porters are outside the entrance and inside the terminal, so if you would like to carry your luggage about 150 yards to the terminal from the entrance be my guest. It is still the same people in the terminal. We were stopped to fill out a waiver that stated: if you have any ONE of the following (headache, cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, or body aches) mark yes. Have you been in contact with anyone with H1N1? Yes or NO. My wife and I where both had allergies so we circled yes for the first question and no for the second. We could not board the ship until we see a doctor and where cleared. We could understand if we had more than one of the asked in question 1, but all we had were runny noses and the occasional cough. The doctor came and cleared us both telling us it was allergies. NO WAY! We zipped through the rest of the embarkation, excepted security. They told me to leave my belt on, but once I got through the metal detector. "Please remove your belt, sir" I quickly gave an evil stare at the guard that told me to leave it on. We got to our room and our luggage was waiting at there. Our room Stewart stood next door and didn't say a word. We changed our clothes and got off the boat to do some shopping in San Juan. We came back to the room to do the mustard drill (930PM). Our bed was still not turned down for the night.
St. Thomas - We have been here many times before, so we hit a few of the stores we knew of and travelled to Paradise Point for the first time. ($40) If you just want to go for the view and a few pictures save the money. We did use the ships spa for a couples massage. It was my first massage, and it was divine.
Dominica - We had Bumpiing Tours scheduled for this port. Alvin was our guide for our small group of three. He was great. He would stop and grab different plants along the roadside, and tell us what they would use them for. We made the 45 minute hike to Middlhem falls one way. You have to be in shape for this hike. I was having a little problems breathing due to the elevation change of the island. We were the first group at the falls. Alvin said lets go for a swim, so we climb down to the base of the falls. Little did I know I was the only one to go in. We spent about 30 minutes there and travelled back. On the way, we met the ships group of 40 people. Most were tired and holding the group up. The other problem was they where only half way to the falls. Alvin took us to Titou Gorge, where Pirates of the Caribbean 2 was filmed. It's about 45 feet swim to a water fall in this cave. Our pictures didn't come out, but it was great. Again, no other people around. We went to the last set of falls on the island (sorry for the spelling) Trefelgar Falls. This is a huge spot for tourist. So Huge, you have to pay to use the restroom ($1).
Barbados - We book Sliver Moon Catamaran Tour. Captain Ben took us out on his boat. We went fishing, swam with sea turtles, and snorkel the reef. Once we were done with those activities we went to Bass point to eat a lunch prepared for us. We had fish and chicken with sides native to the island. We were also fed hot banana bread and carrot cake. We ate and drank like kings. We hung around for a while and where a loud to go swimming. A storm was coming in so Captain Ben took advantage of the wind. We rode on the boat for a little while and returned to the cruise ship. Shout ou to Captain Ben and Tony!
St. Lucia - COSOL Tour. I am sure you have probably seen many reviews on COSOL tour. They are all true. It was a great tour of the island. I do recommend it. The food was great. They had a van follow us with drinks most of the day. For some reason, we lost it about half way through the tour, but we where way ahead of the rest of the group. If you are offered Moon Shine, tried it's pretty good.
Antigua - We took a beach day here. Antigua has 365 beaches. This is a Great day to enjoy the sun.
St. Kitts - We did the Zip lining through the ship, but the company was Sky Safari Tours, if you want to book them independently. Only 5 zips, but well worth it. Our guides made us feel safe the entire trip. It was a blast. We had a 71 yr old and a 68 yr old in our group. The guides called them grandma and grandpa. I was known as SHAQ (for my height). I do have a warning if you go shopping. The Treasure Hunt shop is a complete rip off. They have signs saying 15 dollars US for 2 shirts, but the shirts are 20 each. We argued for about 10 minutes and just gave up. I do recommend a tour of all the local beers for two reasons 1. They are really cheap 2. They taste like many American beers. Dominica - Kubla; Barbados - Banks; St. Lucia - Pitons; St. Kitts - Carib
The food on the boat was for the most part, just good. Meat was under cooked most of the time from my order. The Ships dEcor was a under the sea feeling with lights to be bubbles. Lenny, the cruise director, was probably the worst director and the oldest we have ever seen. He had to wipe his eyes all the time. Don't know why, but it was distracting. We never seen our Stewart or met him which was very odd. Other cruise, our Stewart was our eyes and ears of the ship. They would met us in the morning at night on other ships, not here. Shows were ok. Halloween on the boat was great, but I think it should be the theme of the cruise.
We didn't have too many Puerto Ricans on the ship, but I do agree that they are VERY rude people. I don't know how many times I had to stop them b/c I heard them talking about me or my wife in Spanish. I guess they assume we don't speak Spanish. Their kids are worse. Many times they would walk into a show and talk very loud or make noises. One kids used a plastic bag to make a screaming noise during the magic show. We asked them to stop, but they ignored us. We finally just moved to the other side of the stage. Debarkation - Very smooth, but different. US citizens go one way and everyone else goes another way. That is the easy way of putting it. At the airport, please make sure you go through USDA inspection before you check in to your flight.