We spent the day before and after the cruise in San Juan. I would recommend spending at least the day before. We did alot of exploring in Old San Juan and did a Flavors of San Juan Tour (wonderful!).
Embarkation was a little bit chaotic. We boarded around 12 noon and one of the porters was going to charge me $10.00 for express delivery to cabin?? We opted for another and didn't have a problem. Once we got through that, the embarkation was pretty easy. We took on a 6 pack of water (wish we had taken a 12 pk) but we kept filling the bottles with water on Lido Deck and our cabin steward (John) kept us supplied with an extra bucket of ice for our water and the wine that we brought on. We got the water/ice from the CVS, across the street from Pier 4. It was down the street a little way, but easy to get to and after all the walking we had done, was not that much of a hike.
Our room was fine, everything in working order. The balcony was a little crowded with both chairs and the small table. The one chair just always seemed to be in the way, but all and all would not cruise without the balcony. The room was close to the elevators/stairs, but was directly across from the crew supply area, so was a bit noisy in the mornings.
We had great service from John our cabin steward. Also dining room service was wonderful (Virgil and Iwayan) and from Petra at shore excursion desk. We had to switch out some tickets for our excursion in St. Kitts and she was very helpful. Usually on Carnival there is a questionnaire to fill out on the last day and there wasn't one delivered to our cabin. Really wanted to mention the great interaction with those crew especially, but everyone was pleasant (except the guy in the deli....LOL he did not want to be making those sandwiches!).
As far as on-board activities. We did some trivia contests, did the Behind the Fun excursion on board and was well worth the $55 per person cost. We saw the first show of the dancers/singers, none after that, not really our thing. The adult only comedy show by Happy Cole and Hank McGauley was very funny. Also saw Al Romero and he was OK. Karaoke with Ana was very entertaining. It was a much younger crowd and with the Spanish influence, WOW, everyone that sang was very entertaining and fun whether you participated our not. The Amazing Juggling Talents of Victor Zuniga was very good as well. The magic show, with Randy Woodbury was not very entertaining. Overall, entertainment was very good.
Food in the MDR was very good. One appetizer (eggplant) was not very good, but everything else was flavorful. The Jerk Pork was excellent! I did not try alot of the desserts, but the baked alaska was great! I got strawberry cheesecake one night and it was warm. Those were the only two desserts I got, husband got dessert each night and never complained.
Debarkation was fast and super easy! We tried to self assist for the first time and we were off the ship by 7:30am. If you are able to get all your luggage off on your own, definitely try this option. Two of us had two large suitcases and a small carryon piece of luggage and I had a tote bag as well and we had no problems what so ever!