Due to flight mechanical problems our stay in San Juan was shortened by 1/2 day but we still managed to enjoy the sites. We stayed at the Hilton Double Tree for one night prior to our cruise and I wish we had more time to spend in San Juan and at the Double Tree. We had 1/2 day on Saturday to see the sites and we took a taxi downtown to the smaller fort (I can't remember the fort names) and spent an hour looking through the first fort. It costs $5 for entry pass into both forts so we took the free trolley to the larger fort right away and spent another hour looking through this one as well. These forts are beautiful and well worth viewing. We then took the trolley to downtown and experienced the night life of San Juan. There were vendors everywhere selling food and drinks and lots of music. It was beautiful and alot of fun. I recommend the Parrot Club for a good meal.
Sunday we woke up and went to the ship approx 12:30pm. Since there was no lineup we loaded our luggage onto the ship and registered ourselves and went on board for a quick peak. The ship is right in Old San Juan (it has the best port in the area based on location). We walked back into the Old San Juan downtown area and shopped and walked and walked and shopped. We wanted to be back on board for dinner so we visited one final store and bought 2 large tubs of water to bring on board. The cases of water are too heavy to carry in the heat so we bought 2 4l jugs of water (75cents ea)...perfect with the glasses provided in the cabin and the ice bucket kept full in our room and much cheaper than a case of water.
We had room 2428 which is an outside cabin. It was very comfortable and roomy for 2 people and could easily sleep 3 adults. Our room steward Janthai was fantastic. He kept our room spotless and he was very quick to come in and clean after we left. It's funny how you never catch them in your room but they seem to come in and out in a short amount of time.
If you are a wine drinker, make sure to purchase the wine deal on the first night in the dining room. My friend and I split the 5 bottles of wine for $126 (final cost incl gratuity). I ordered the Black Opal Shiraz and it was delicious. We had 6pm seating and had great table mates. Gabor our server was very attentive and took good care of our table. We had to stop talking about choosing between items because we quickly learned that we'd get served both if he heard us talking (funny but too much food). He was great though.
I tried different items every night and everything I ordered was excellent. Food was served quickly and was always hot and yummy. The only consistent items I ordered was the caesar salad, a side of mash potatoes (what do they put in them?? Yummm) and of course the chocolate melting cake (I had that 6 of the 7 nights). I had fish 5 nights (5 different ones) and turkey dinner and pork. Everything was delicious!!! I tried a few different appetizers, like the alligator (which was unusual). My friend and I enjoyed our food and our table mates appeared to enjoy theirs too. The mash potatoes were a hit at our table
I purchased quite a few drinks on board - I like the girlie drinks and had several Twilight Zones (very yummy) and a few Miami Vice drinks (also very good). My drinks with gratuity were approx $9 which is the same price as at home when out for dinner or at a lounge or bar.
The performers were very good and we enjoyed all productions. We were warned the night before that costumes in the next evening's performance were skimpy, but it was not a big deal and did nothing to deter from the greatness of the production like I have read in other reviews. The performers work very hard and did a great job in every production. We missed the final night which was the passenger show but we were too tired to stay up and watch it. I participated in a trivia game show which was a lot of fun and also particated on stage in a man vs women contest. We laughed alot in that one. Carnival is very good at keeping a full docket of things to do and it becomes a passenger choice as to join in or not.
Ports: I think Carnival pays to get the best port locations and times. The ship docks in port early in the morning and leaves no earlier than 5:00pm. You have all day in each port and we took advantage of that. See port reviews.
Final comments - great food - great entertainment - excellent staff. The ship was beautiful and very clean and shiny. I will definately try to go back with my husband and kids and enjoy this same itinerary with my family.
Embarkation and debarkation was quick and easy.