Enjoyed every busy minute on this wonderful cruise
This is only our second cruise, and our first southern Caribbean, very hot and humid in October, but no hurricanes. Embarkation in San Juan went smoothly, we flew in the night before, stayed at the Hampton Inn nice rooms and free breakfasts. They suggested to use to go to old San Juan to a restaurant Barrachina, they would keep our luggage for us and we could tour old San Juan, and go a little later to board, around 4 pm. We did this and it worked fine, I also noticed another place right at the end of the pier that offered luggage storage as well, Aloha Restaurant and Grill. My husband ventured off to fine the CVS store close by, it's not that close several blocks away, he managed to get us some water etc, but really didn't feel it was worth lugging it back to the boat, dripping with sweat.
Rooms: We where on the Veranda Deck 8 mid had a great room with balcony, bed against the wall was annoying hard to get out, we like a fridge also, however our cabin attendant John kept the More
ice coming throughout our cruise. Loved the towel art every night very cute. Staff so pleasant and friendly.
Dining room: We where late dining in the Pacific and had wonderful service from our waiter/ and his assistant both from Bali and both named Gede. Gede had several large groups from the New York area, he had his hands full with them, however he still did an excellent job of giving us lots of attention. After our first night they had our wine ready for us as soon as we sat down.We found the beef to be very good, so tended to stick with it, lots of variety, I tried snapper one night but it's really hard to cook fish and not over do it on a ship. I think anytime dining is the way to go not set into a fixed time. I can honestly say most of the food was quite good and no real complaints. We also loved the little show the wait staff did every night, it just added to the fun, even though they're busy they put a smile on they faces and just do it.
Buffet: We didn't eat there often, but it was a little boring especially the scrambled eggs at breakfast, they where bad, stick with the hard boiled eggs, the omelette station was always too busy.
Room Service: We did breakfast in 3 times bagels salmon and cream cheese yum, right on time and the coffee was good too.
Shows: We thought they did a great job and actually made it to 3 of them, Vroom, City Lights and Carnival legends where all pretty good, Karl with a K is everywhere give them credit they work very hard.
Casino: I'm not a gambler anyways but how do they dare allow smoking in there it's disgusting, no ventilation, people go there so they can smoke. I know people are still smoking on their balconies which is a no no, there is smoking allowed outdoors in certain areas, that's not too bothersome, most people stuck to the rules. Please Carnival make it no smoking, I might even gamble. Aonian Lounge: Loves the salsa music lots of Puerto Ricans on board fun to watch the dancing and try a little ourselves.
I can't wait to go another cruise, they really are great, maybe the eastern Caribbean next time. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
Shasta Cats with Jason we did the 3 hrs tour, but should have done 5hrs with lunch included. He took us right to the turtles before any other cats showed up. His cat is smaller 12-14 people very personalized service lots of drinks etc, we had lots of turtles around us, they where awesome. We also snorkeled over a old barge that provides fish habitat, and a coral reef nearby. It was over too quickly but I highly recommend Jason.
We really liked St Kitts, smaller than St Lucia, so we decided on an afternoon beach stop and had a young man named Winston as our guide. We had a tour bus started at Basseterre and headed out towards Frigate Bay we stopped for a photo op with a breath taking view at Timothy Hill of the Half Moon Bay, on one side and Frigate Bay on the other. We went to Cockleshell Beach, the water was gorgeous aqua blue and warm. They wasn't lots to do there just chill and enjoy the view of Nevis. All very picturesque, we enjoyed the afternoon.
We did the Land and water west coast delight with Spencer Ambrose tours, we had his brother "Small" as our tour guide. We had problems getting going it was an 8:30am start, but we had to wait twice for late comers.The van was a 14 passenger but the air conditioning wasn't working very well the vents were missing out of the back of the van. It was very hot in the back and the last to arrive got the back seats, the trip was full of scenery, beautiful views, saw banana plantations, several small fishing villages Anse La Raye, Canaries stopped at the sulphur springs and the toraille water fall. the trip was long and the roads very winding, we had several people car sick and or nauseous, if you have a sensitive stomach, either take gravol before leaving or chose a different type of tour, they're lots of different ones. We made it to Soufriers and saw the Pitons stopped and picked up a creole chicken lunch,then over to Jalousie Beach to eat lunch and have a swim, lunch was very average but it was tasty, we where getting hungry. We lost a little time at the beach because we had gotten behind. They was lots of liquid refreshments beer, water and an excellent rum punch best anywhere. We took a small boat back along the coast I loved being on the water with Terry guiding us, lots of fun things to see bat caves, interesting landscapes, Marigot Bay the wealthy reside there, yachts and beautiful homes. We made it back to the ship with time to spare. St Lucia is lovely hope to return very much like Hawaii.
One our favorite islands, we had booked with Bernard's tours, we where lucky to have Bernard as our guide for the day, he was very enjoyable, explained to us the differences between the Dutch side St Marteen, and the french side St Martin, different rules governments etc, very interesting. The first stop was an Iguana farm, lots of them, a little creepy, from little small ones to giant
prehistoric large size. We had a nice group of people with us and no lack of liquid refreshments, a large cooler filled, including another special rum punch, lots of rum in it. Bernard bet us our tickets we couldn't drink all the refreshments, he won, my husband tried hard, but gave up. We stopped along way a Orient Beach at a small lookout, we met a local who showed us lots of sea creatures, black sea urchins, white sea urchins, sea stars, conch, I'm sure it's arranged by Bernard. We made it to Orient Beach, great place to people watch, nudes on one part of the beach, weird to see that. We got 2 chairs, with umbrella 2 beers, and bathroom tickets for $15, cheaper further down the beach, oh well. We had a couple of swims and then onto Marigot, where we stopped at a french pastry shop called Sarafina's OMG I have never ever tasted food like that we had chocolate eclairs, croissants, and a special sandwich on a baguette Oh la la, don't miss this place. Onto Maho beach watched a few planes land, fun, more beer!! We head back thru Philipburg, back to the ship. Bernard is great hope to see him again, too tired to shop, oh well, need a nap.
We didn't book anything we did get off the ship shopped a little bit. We did walk a couple of blocks to the tram Paradise Point which took us up to the highest point of the island. We had a lovely view of the Victory in harbour, and the surrounding scenery.