We were a little worried about the weather because Hurricane Igor had just passed by and the weather forecast said it would rain everyday. We were lucky and had awesome weather everyday.
We arrived a day early and stayed at Courtyard Miramar. Although the hotel was nice, it was away from everything. We wound up walking to Walgreens and subway and then going back to the room for an early night. The next day we had breakfast at the hotel and headed to the ship around 11. We waited for about 30 minutes at the pier before they let us into the cruise terminal. Check in was all of 10 minutes and then you had the option to leave the terminal and go into Old San Juan or wait to board the ship. They didn't begin boarding until close to 1 but after our number was called we quickly got on, explored, had some lunch then headed out to Old San Juan to go to the forts and do some shopping.
This was the first cruise where we had booked all of our excursions independently. We had an awesome time and I'm so glad we did. In Dominica we booked with Bumpiing tours. We had Gary and he showed us an awesome time. In Barbados we booked with Shasta Catamaran and did snorkeling. the only downfall was that water was still murky from Igor and we didn't get to see very much. In st Lucia we booked with Spencer Ambrose and had the BEST day. We paid a little extra to take the water taxi back and it was well worth the money. I highly recommend Spencer over Cosol! In St Maarten we booked with Bernards. We had a great time, especially at Maho Beach. We only shopped and relaxed in st Thomas and St kitts.
The only disappointment we had was the shows. We thought the comedy was good, the magic show was good although the magician was a little odd, but the signing and dancing was horrible. We actually walked out of one and skipped the other.
The food was great, as usual. The service was great although it was a little slow getting our drinks at dinner. We ate breakfast in the dining room most days and found the service good although a little slow. Lunch was on Lido and although the lines were a little long for the buffet there was hardly any waiting at the poolside areas.
There are a lot of reviews with complaining about the ship's condition and the number of Spanish speaking people on the ship. We thought the ship was in good condition. I wouldn't have even noticed rust, chipping paint, or worn carpet if I hadn't been forewarned it was there. There were a lot of Spanish speaking people but we had no problems with them. We hung out at the adult-only pool a few times with no kids around and no large crowds. I did notice one of the hot tubs at the main pool was closed the entire time and hardly ever saw the slide in use.
Debarkation was super fast. We ate breakfast and waited for our number to be called. Then we pretty much walked off the ship, grabbed our bags and got a taxi. No long wait at customs like in Miami.
We both HIGHLY recommend this cruise although it won't be the same without gorgeous Dominica and a port of call everyday!