We visited San Juan as a stop last year on the Carnival Glory, so for this year we decided to do a cruise that started/ended in San Juan. This was my 6th cruise, all of which have been on Carnival. We flew in the day of the cruise from Charleston WV through Charlotte to San Juan on USAirways. All flights were on time and without issues, in fact we landed early in San Juan.
The transfers were arranged ahead of time with Carnival. After gathering the bags the many Carnival Reps were ready and willing to assist in getting you in line and headed towards a bus for the short ride to the pier. You give them your bags at the airport and tip the staff, the next time you will see you bags is when they are delivered to your room. The staff at the airport were far more efficient at their jobs than the staff in Miami last year. Even though buses just dropped us off at the pier, it was a quick show of the documents and then down the sidewalk and up the escalator to check in. At 3pm there were no lines, we were immediately directed to an agent for passport check and handed our Sign and Sail cards, almost there. The longest line of the day would be up the gangway waiting to walk though and have the card ding and get your picture taken. You are free to get back off and go explore since sail away is not until 10pm, we decided to eat relax and check out the ship.
All of the goodies that I ordered from Bon Voyage were waiting in the room. 9:30 muster was called and lasted 15-20 minutes and then sail away for St Thomas. We had arranged for a tour with Air Force One and Papa Bear was our guide for the day. He took a route that the other did not, pointed out things, plants, animals etc to us and stopped for many photo opportunities. There were only 6 of us today, so i think we got some special attention. I am glad we booked with him and got to see the Island.
Tuesday was a nice relaxing day at sea as we sailed towards Barbados.
We arranged a Coast to Coast Panaroma with Carnival. We were shown both sides of the island, given rum punch and saw some amazing views and beaches. I hated downtown Georgetown, if that was the only place we went I would have been disappointed in Barbados, but this tour saved the day.
Next stop, St Lucia, very tropical and lush in appearance. We booked Scenes of St Lucia with Carnival. There were 3 ship in this day, the first time in 7 months that St Lucia was this busy. We were taken to St Marks House for some history and local snacks. Next stop Caribelle Batik, way too many buses and people to try and do anything here. Next up a tour of the Rum Distillery. Short video of the history and demo of the process, then on to the tasting.
WOW, the rum was wonderful, they claimed to have best prices on the Island, so why not buy at the factory for only 10.00 per bottle. Well the duty free store in the terminal had it for 7.00 per bottle. So wait until you get back to the terminal to purchase.
St Kitts was best stop, Romney Manor and Caribelle Batik, Brimstone Hill Fortress and then views of both the Atlantic and Caribbean and plenty of chances to hold and have pictures taken with the monkeys. Past guest party was held this afternoon at 4:45.
St Maarten did a 2.5 hour Island tour before being dropped off downtown for shopping.
Way too much to see and do on this itinerary, so we are planning to do it again next November as well.