Booked this cruise almost 10 months out as we wanted to book a Grand suite. We enjoy the ammentities and space that the suites offer. Used cruisecompete.com and found agency that was able to offer on board credits to reduce price. Flew out of Logan Int airport in boston. We flew out 1 day early to give some margin on potential storms. We were fortunate as it was only rain in Boston unlike New jersey & New York. Departed Boston 2 0830 and arrived in san Juan at 1:30 with the hour time difference. Grabbed a cab (24.00) to our hotel, the Sheraton Old San juan. We had stayed at this hotel over the melinium in 2000, and liked the location. The Hotel is the same, clean and conveniently located. We checked in (Booked via priceline for 85.00)and were walking around San Juan by 3:00PM. Had drinks at the harbour brewery, and ended the night at the always fun senor Frogs. Grabbed the brunch for breakfast and grabbed a cab for the ship at 11:00. The cab ride was 10 minutes (18.00). At the port, there is a line for checked bags and it was empty. We dropped bags and got into the check in line (about 50 people)'
The Doors were opened at 11:30, and we were on the ship in the windjammer by 11:50. (Nice)Because we had booked a suite, we went to deck 10 and found the concierge lounge. gershwin was in there and let us gather there until our room was ready at 1:00PM. The grand Suites on the Serenade are awsome. There is a lot of storage, lots of room in the bathroom with double sinks and a deep soaking tub/shower. There was fresh fruit waiting for us along with the three bottles of wine we pre ordered for the cabin. We unloaded carry ons, connected the Ipod to the stereo and enjoyed a glass of wine o the balcony. Our 2 checked bags showed up at 3:00pm, which worked out very well. We were done with all itwms put away by 4:00Pm and went out to the Pool bar to enjoy some cocktails.
We had my time dining, so we visited the Maitride to set a reservation for 6:15, knowing that the muster was at 8:00PM. We set a standing reservation in my time dining for a nice table for 2 overlooking the Captais table below. Went on deck for sailaway, than went to the comic show and out to the various bars to meet some of the folks.
We were fortunate enough to be able to afford a suite. The use of the consierge lounge for evening drinks, computer usage, good coffeee always available made for some nice extras. We ate at the speciality restaurants thre times, including the Wine Dinner offered at Chops on the last night. All meals were excellent. Our main hangout area was the champagne bar, where Alko from India took good care of us. We are into wines, and there is a great selection on board (not cheap, but a nice selection)
This was our fourth trip on a radiance Class ship, and really like what they offer for size, crowd, age etc.
I would recommend this trip to anyone.