The day before the cruise we took Amtrak from Washington, DC to Newark International Airport and stayed at the Country Inn. We spent some of the evening across the street in Jersey Gardens Mall. Ate dinner there. I used the pool and fitness center.
Late on the next morning, we took a convenient but expensive Yellow Cab minivan to the dock. Would recommend using Independent Driver instead.
Boarding was fairly smooth except the part where there loaded us on a bus to go from the terminal to the ship. There was messy and uncoordinated, but it didn't really matter. This was a repositioning cruise and the ship was far from full. No issues ever about getting a lounge by the pool or a good seat in the theatre.
Our room steward, Pascoal, was tops. The shower was surprisingly large and I liked how the shower curtain was completely attached on one side. Excellent storage. We enjoyed the room and the balcony. Lynn hated the TV selections, but they had MSNBC, which I watch, except for friday night and weekends. So, I had no TV issues. The room creaked and made bumps in the night noises at an above average rate, even though this was a relatively smooth cruise and the ship was quite stable and quite clean and lovely in virtually every aspect.
Our wait staff at dinner, Ignasius and Anna, could not have been better or more simpatico. The dinning room and food were great. Our table mates were wonderful.
The buffet had good food, but kept running out of things like food, coffe, ice, plates, sliverware, and virtually anything you might really need to eat there. The setup was very awkward. I waited five minutes once for a slice of fritata because the setup required someone to serve it to you, but the only person there was way too busy cooking eggs to order for others. I finally went to another area to get a plate, came back, reached in deep under the counter to get to the fritata plate, and served myself. When I complained, the maitre'd or whatever he is called expressed visible contempt for my lack of patience. However the people working in the Buffet were very, very nice. At dinner, the Buffet made no effort to be a reasonable substitute for the dining room, even on formal nights.
The theatre was very good. The entertainment was very good. The lectures were very good.
We loved our two days in Bermuda. We loved our two sea days. We loved our tour on St. Thomas.
In San Juan, we took the ship's tour to El Yunque. Afterwards, the tour bus driver dropped us at our hotel in Isla Verde, the Vendanza. We had a nice corner room with views of the sea and mountains. We were on the beach in the afternoon and walked under starlight after dinner. On Sunday, we rented a car at the hotel and went to the Arecibo Observatory, the World's largest raido telescope, and to the Camuy caverns, which need more extensive development for the visitor tour, so visitors can see more of these magnificent caves, which are equal or superior in magnificence to Carlbad Caverns.
On Monday morning, the car rental manager took us to the airport for our flight home to Dulles Airport and Fairfax County. JetBlue was terrific.