I have always cruised from Florida and once from New Jersey. Going to San Juan to board was scary but I wanted to visit the Virgin Islands that I had never visited. I was worried about booking a hotel in San Juan. I worried about my luggage being over weight, the taxi ripping us off, missing the ship due to a hurricane, having bad weather and more. I also wasn't sure when to board the ship since it didn't leave until 8:30PM. I read a posting that said someone boarded the Serenade late morning but the hotel front desk person told me that I couldn't board until 2PM.
We board the ship about 12:30 in the afternoon and the Windjammer was barely full. The taxi and hotel were reasonable. No bad weather, just a few rough waves and a little rain.
The ports were nice. Somewhat costly in places. St. Maarten was the best for shopping. St. Croix didn't have much to offer. The ship was very nice and though we had to pass 24 staterooms to get to ours, I loved our room. I'm a Crown and Anchor member and had to stand in line the day the ship returned to make sure that my coupons were added to my bill. I get a discount booklet each RCCL cruise and sometimes, even after turning in my coupons for discounts, they aren't posted on my bill. I received 30 minutes free Internet use while on board and a discount on using the ships long distances service on a $47 phone bill. It took about 1/2 hour to get it done but it was taken care of. I could easily take this cruise again.
I booked two nights in San Juan before returning home and chose a nice hotel -Courtyard of Marriott in Miramar. i worried in vain. And I repeat, we boarded the ship shortly after noon. We didn't have to wait until 2PM. My luggage wasn't overweight, in fact, in San Juan, it wasn't weighed.