Our family of four (Mom, Dad, Daughter and her husband) booked this 7 day cruise to celebrate Dad's 53rd birthday and as a "Babymoon" for the kids. We flew from Houston Hobby to San Juan via Air Tran on complimentary tickets. The flight was uneventful, though we had a 3 hour layover in Atlanta that was boring and tiring. We arrived in San Juan at 4:30pm and took a taxi ($23) to the Marriott Stellaris (Priceline $105/night).
We checked in and then headed to dinner at Pamela's! Let me say - this is now one of my top 3 restaurants in the world. Delicious food served on the beach. (until a rain shower ran us back indoors) After dinner we cabbed to the La Concha for a drink in their club - fabulous contemporary hotel (we've stayed there before). Back to the hotel around 10pm and visited the casino there to make a small donation.
Saturday morning we woke and had breakfast at the hotel's buffet for $12/person. Very good selection and convenient. Around 11:30 we headed to the pier. (Cab fare $23 including baggage fee) No lines and very fast embarkation! We went upstairs to deck 10 and had lunch...great service (love that they carry your trays to the table). At this point, we got the 'all clear' to go to our cabins! Dennis (hubby) didn't know I'd upgraded to the Royal Suite - so this was a fun surprise for him. We met our Butler (Keith) - more on him later and unpacked our suitcases. We were hosting a Poker Cabin Crawl for 27 friends, so we readied ourselves for that! After the Poker Crawl (Natalie won $71) we headed to the Muster Drill (5:15pm). Pretty much boring, you don't even have to bring your life jackets.
For dinner tonight, we received complimentary passes to Normandie Restaurant. It was very good and we were treated like Royalty! After dinner, we headed to the Casino for our $10 donation. They had a raffle drawing going on and wouldn't you know it, Dennis would end up with a chance in the slot tournament Grand Prize. He was successful in the tournament and won $250! We headed to bed shortly after that! Nice cool room with black out curtains! Had a message waiting from Corina, the Captain's Club host, we have been invited to dinner at the Captain's table tomorrow night!
Sunday morning we had breakfast delivered to the room by Keith, the butler, and then headed to the Avis car rental spot! Apparently, Avis was out of cars and had made arrangements with Budget, so we rented a car from Budget. ($46) We head east on the island on Christiansted - on the left side of the road! We headed to the Buccaneer Resort in Christiansted for the day. (didn't have to pay for the use of the resort today!) The weather wasn't cooperating..but we stayed for a few hours! Once back onboard, we got ready for dinner at the Captain's Table.
Side note: Our butler, Keith, thus far had been unimpressive. He had spent most of the cruise telling us what he couldn't do. We nicknamed him Keith "Ican't". We've had a butler before and he wasn't meeting our expectations, much less exceeding them. We mentioned this to Corina....apparently that was what was needed (and not the conjugal visit that we thought).
We headed up to the Casino before dinner and enjoyed visiting with the Casino Bartender, Gusti. He's fun and makes great drinks. Then off to the Martini Bar to meet Corina, Captain's Club Hostess. After introductions and drinks, we met the Captain and headed to the Captain's Table. Dinner was fabulous. The Captain was engaging and cordial. The food and wine were spectacular. Dinner concluded with the Captain presenting all the women with red roses! After dinner we headed back to the casino and then headed for bed - exhausted!
Woke about 8am on Monday morning and met Shelley and Steve on the dock - we hopped on a cab and headed to the St. Kitts Marriott. ($10 for cab of 4ppl each way) We had booked a "day pass" resort ($65) and the guys golfed. The weather was great and we had a terrific day. The pool was gorgeous and the food was great. The guys finished golfing and joined us at the pool. We headed back to the ship around 3:30 and got cleaned up! Dennis and I were invited to the "Bridge" for sail away by the Captain. Our invitation we had hoped would be waiting on us at our cabin wasn't there. A quick call to Corina and we had the directions for meeting up for the tour! This was terrific for both of us, but especially for Dennis. He LOVED it! We were allowed to take pictures and listened intently to commands being spoken as we sailed away! After sail away, we went back to the cabin and cleaned up for dinner. We really enjoyed dinner tonight with our waiter, Sheldon and asst. Omar. They are excellent and cordial. The food was again terrific. After dinner we headed to the casino and then went to watch the end of the "Newlywed" game! Then bedtime - pooped again.
Today I used the internet station in our cabin. This is really great and convenient. Elite's get 90 minutes free, so between both of us that's 3 hours! Tuesday morning, Dennis got up early and went and worked out. I had coffee and hung out until 10am when Shelley and I had spa appointments (Pick 3 mix/match for $89). After that we all went up to deck 11 for some sun...but oh my way it hot! Being a port day...we had no wind to offset the glaring sun. Eventually we had to move downstairs near the pool to cool off, then finally to our balcony to avoid the heat and watch the bustling city of Dominica. We had a wonderful dinner and then made our usual donations to the casino. In bed by 11! Had a plate of chocolate covered strawberries waiting on me when we got back to the room!
Woke up about 8am and had breakfast with Shelley and Steve in our cabin. Apparently, someone from the head butler office had had a conversation with Keith and he's now Keith "I can" not Keith "I can't"! We loaded up and headed to the Grenada Grand resort ($5/person each way in a cab) and had a marvelous day as soon as the rain showers lifted! This place is gorgeous. We rented a room for the day. ($84) We headed back to the ship about 3pm. It was great to clean up in the hotel room before hopping in the cab. Once back at the ship, I took a nap and so did Dennis. Our clean, folded laundry arrived with our now "regular" shrimp cocktail appetizer via Keith 'I Can'. We dressed for dinner, stopped by the casino to make a donation then had a drink in the Rendezvous Lounge before dinner. Dinner was great, service was excellent - except, they keep trying to celebrate our anniversary - and It's not our anniversary! After dinner we donated some more money and then headed to bed.
Tomorrow we will be in Tobago!
Beautiful weather and what a great beach. Cab ride was $20 there and $15 back? Chair rental $2. The ship's guests pretty much took over this beach. The cab ride was about 20 minutes. There was a bit of rocks in the water, but after a few more steps it turned to soft sand. Back onboard at 3pm and a quick snack at the buffet. Tonight's formal night "lobster" night! We're vegging in the suite until dinner time. I'm hoping to go to Michael's this evening for Elite cocktails...haven't made it there once this week! Dinner was very good. (Lobster night) After dinner we donated at the Casino and then Shelley and I went to the Celebrity Theater "Encore". We lasted about 30 minutes then bailed. Not very good and seriously..do I want to hear the music of Titanic?
Up about 9am for the first and only "Sea Day" of this cruise and the weather sucks! Damn! We're going to do our packing and hope the weather clears soon.
About noon the weather cleared a bit and we headed to the pool deck in time to watch the Ship Staff vs. guest water volleyball game. The staff wore cool sleeveless t-shirts with stripes on the shoulder identifying them. Lots of additional staff attended at spectators, even the Captain. Guests won! About 3pm headed back to the cabin to finish packing and clean up for the Elite cocktail hours at Michael's. Sorry to see the week end so fast, but it has been wonderful! Lots of pretty places and hours of relaxation! Enjoyed a "Sunset Boulevard" at Michael's, then headed back to the room for appetizers! A short visit to the casino and then to our final dinner. We will miss table 411 in the days ahead! Bags were outside the door by 11pm. We met up with Cruise Critic buddies one last time tonight at 10 to toast all of those celebrating birthdays/anniversaries.
Tomorrow morning we will meet at the Normandie Restaurant for a bit of breakfast and then be off the ship at 8:30. Our flight home will be through Atlanta with another long delay...rats.