The only tough part of this cruise was embarkation. The computers had gone down and then the lines got longer and longer. At one point, they had to stop allowing people into the terminal building because it was over capacity. It took us over 3 hours to check in and some of that was standing in the rain. Once we got on the ship, it was smooth sailing. We met our cabin steward, Imadee. He was a great guy and always took good care of us.
The first two days were sea days. There are tons of activities, but the wife and I chose to simply lounge by the pool for those days. That's where we met Denzil, or as he likes to refer to himself " Dr. Love". Denzil has a knack of knowing when you are in need of another drink. He definitely added to the fun and relaxation. Al, the bartender at the pool bar, was great too. He has a great memory and remembered us from day one.
Labadee was our first stop. Last time we were there we tendered. Now they have a dock, which makes things much easier. Labadee is a beautiful place. We scouted out a nice shady spot under a palm tree on the beach and dragged over a couple of chairs and relaxed most of the day. After an hour or so we heard a familiar voice. Sure enough there was Denzil. The drink on Labadee is the Labadoozie. It is correctly named too. We rode up and down the beach, watched people zipline and had lunch. It was a very relaxing day and perfect weather.
The next stop was Samana. We didn't get off the ship that day. We have been to Samana in the past and didn't think that much of it. It was nice staying on the ship on a port day. The wife made a spa appointment and I had fun in the Casino. The other couple at our dinner table told us that they went on the whale watching excursion and saw several whales. Next time we might try that.
San Juan was our next stop. We walked around Old San Juan for a while. We went into Don Q Rums. They gave away samples of some of their amazing rums. I dare say they are actually better than Bacardi. We played in the casino for a while and had lunch at Senor Frogs. I highly recommend the Frog buster! Took a taxi tour of old and new San Juan. We figured "why not?" It was only $40 for the two of us and lasted over 2 hours. It was fun and informative.
On to St. Thomas. We didn't plan anything for St. Thomas. We figured to just ride the skyride and the wife wanted to do some jewelry shopping. On our way to the skyride, we were asked if we wanted to take a taxi tour of the island. We asked where it went and then we asked if he could add Mountain Top to his stops. He said no problem. Our first stop was Koki Beach. That has to be the most beautiful beach on earth. The water is crystal clear. We made a few more stops at scenic overlooks and then hit Mountain Top. On our last cruise to St. Thomas, mountain Top burned down the morning of our arrival. It just reopened 3 weeks ago. It is a great place to pick up some souvenirs and to have a banana daiquiri or two or three. The tour was only $25 each and was much better than any of the tours organized through RCII.
St. Maarten was probably our favorite stop. Once again we didn't bother with any of the organized tours and opted to take a taxi tour of the island. We took the mountain tour with our taxi driver Julian. It cost $100 for the wife and I, but we really got to control where we went. Our tour lasted over 4 hours. We went to several scenic overlooks and to Orient beach. Naturally the wife wanted to go to Marigot to do some shopping, so Julian gladly took us there too. It was a great tour. After the tour we took the water taxi over to Phillipsburgh. It was a beautiful day there.
We had never been to Tortola. We found ourselves a taxi tour for $20 each. We had a singing taxi driver. We made several stops along the way. One stop was at a place called Iris's. They had fantastic rum punch. Our taxi driver entertained everyone with his singing and dancing while balancing a drink on his head. I have to say the roads there on Tortola are frightening. I am sure glad I wasn't driving. Our tour lasted about three and a half hours and we had a great time.
The sea days home were fun. We tried a few of the trivia games with Ricky. He cracks me up. We had more fun in the casino. The bartender in the casino is Vijay. He can make anything! He has an incredible memory for people and what they like.
Overall, we had a great cruise. We did breakfast in the Windjammer most days. We never had problems finding a table and the food was pretty good. Dinners in the dining room were pretty good too. Our waiter was Petar and he was very good. The food isn't 5 star, but it is pretty good. The waiters and assistants put on a couple of entertaining shows for us all. We ate at Chops Grill twice during the cruise. The food was very good. They serve a good steak there. Our first night we had Thomas as our waiter. He rubbed me the wrong way. When our head waiter in the main dining room asked how everything at Chops was, I told him about Thomas. He made sure that Thomas was not our waiter the next time we went to Chops. Oddly on this cruise we never had a problem finding chairs by the pool. There always seemed to be room. I guess it was because there were very few kids on our cruise. the average age seemed to be quite high. The entertainment onboard was great. There were several great comedians and a fantastic magician. We got to meet Jack too. He was on his 147th cruise. Great guy! He found us almost every day and was incredibly friendly. I told him, when I grow up I want to be just like him. I really have no complaints about our cruise. It was everything we wanted it to be. The crew and the staff saw to everything and we just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. Thanks royal Caribbean. We will see you next year!