We arrived in SJU on Saturday and we were booked into 2 hotels due to issues. Caribe Hilton and the El San Juan. We are dinner at a Tapanyaki restaurant at the El San Juan. Better restaurants in the El San Juan vs Caribe.
Arrived around 12:30 and dropped off luggage. Was told it would be there in 2 hours. It arrived in 3 and we were able to unpack prior to the life boat drill. Other family didn't get their suitcases until 8pm. I am not sure if it was because we were on deck 2 vs. deck 7.
Embarkation was long. I stood in the line for priority "Diamond/Emerald" status. The person put you in other lines. I stood in a line with 2 people in front of me. The person checking in must not have had correct paperwork or something since it took forever. Nor do I think she had priority status. I felt you were just put in a line. The other family had 2 separate check ins and finished before the person in front of me got to the desk. I made a comment and was told the ship didn't sail till 8. I said yes I know that but our group had checked in and we wanted to do a group picture which didn't happen. It took me about 25-30 min to check in.
Lifeboat drill went on without a hitch.
We had early seating dinner. When we got on board we saw our party was on 2 different levels for seating at 2 tables. We went immediately to the main dining room to get it changed. We were put at a table that was crowded. Our head waiter saw the issue and I walked up to him and explained. The next night he moved us to another table where we had more room.
Rooms: they were set up as a couple. My sister had 3 in a room and needed the beds separated and the other pulled down. Our connecting door wasn't open. My cabin had the beds together also but my niece and I kept them together. My sister said they should know know how to set the rooms by the reservation. Isn't someone checking this out?
Photography - Photography was bad. Pictures were not centered and they charged the same amount for a 5x7 as a 8x10. Photographer came around the table each night and after 10 cruises we didn't want singles. He made a remark which I didn't find amusing. My BIL asked how his day was and then was told this long dissertation about how he bartended the crews party and got in a fight with someone and only had 3 hours of sleep and on and on. Totally uncalled for. When we got off the ship they pounce on you to take a picture. I wasn't feeling well and told them but they just don't listen. Also they had a sailors cap they were putting on people. My niece who is a germaphobe said that grossed her out. Pictures of the last dressy night were not put up until 2nd seating the night before we were leaving. My niece asked about 5x7 instead of 8x10 picture of her and her sister. She was told no and bought it and then her Mom told her yes they can do it. My other sister bought a table photo and had extra copies made. She was told it would be ready at 11. My niece went down at 10:45 and the workers had no clue. She came to the room about 11:30 with no pictures. Nothing was ready. She said people were yelling where are my pictures and wanting refunds. People were cutting in line and the workers did nothing to say please go to the end of the line.
Announcements - We were usually at breakfast by 7:45. Towards the end of the trip did we hear the Captain say "good morning" etc like they have in the past on other ships or the same ship. Was disappointed. No announcements of BINGO BINGO BINGO taking place. They had mixing drinks and some other thing going on the deck when we were at sea. They said there is cha cha lessons inside but felt they would have had a bigger crowd if they did it by the pool. People will always come up. The last 2 years I bought the "Make A Wish" tee shirts. This year they had it up and no one knew it was going on. I didn't even think they did the walk around the deck. No announcements were made saying come and get your tee shirts.
Entertainment - Trivia was either at 5 or 8. We could never do the 5 since we had dinner at 6. Felt there wasn't stuff to do after 8. Everything happened after 10 which we didn't stay up for. They had Suduko at 10:30 most days but we were already at the beach. Unexpected Boys were great. We did the welcome show to see the comedian which started at 10:15. By 10:50 he still wasn't on so we got up and left. Cruise Director was annoying and not funny at all. Same jokes just different lines by him. Saw "El Gaucho" before so had no desire to see that act again. I heard the female comedian was good but didn't go to the show.
Onboard Shopping: As a retail person this needs help. So much potential could be had. My niece said they should have a "candy" store where you can buy candy etc. Book selection on the ship was terrible if you wanted to buy a book.
Suites seating on deck: Someone pointed out whey don't they have cushions on their chairs? Why isn't there seating for Diamond/Diamond Plus and above on the ship. We had seats early that morning but the ship didn't seem very crowded.
Johnny Rockets - totally disappointed. We got there about 12:15 and by 1:20 still didn't have food. It took half and hour to get our shakes. We had 3 people who were getting massages at 2 and had to leave without food due to how late it was. I guess a cook and the milkshake maker didn't show up. The manager came by and apologized that no one told us what was going on. We were credited the amount. The ranch dressing that is served with the fries was so watered down. It looked like which water and totally unappetizing.
Windjammer - people were friendly. Our asst waiter took our egg order daily. We said it would be nice to have a ice cream machine in the windjammer closer to the cookies. No one wants to walk completely outside to get it especially when you are sitting all the way in the back of the WJ. Was nice when waiters asked what beverage could they get you.
Dining Room - Our waiter - Joseph and our Asst Waiter Paola were great. We kept asking to get more bread from Paola.
Bar Staff - the girls in the Champagne bar are awesome. We were up there every night before dinner. They knew us by name and were extremely friendly. The young man in the Casino bar was also very friendly and had a good time there after dinner.
Debarkation - we went to deck 4 for the priority departure for Diamond/Emerald. We were told at 8:15 we would be leaving in 5 min. That was more like 15. No issues getting off but we had trouble finding our luggage for neon green #39 and #69. Caught a private bus to the Caribe where we had a day rate room till we left for our late afternoon flight.
Instead of going to Dominica it would have been nice to be overnight in St. Maarten.
Also we were told they were not getting a refund when the price dropped on cabins. We did get a ship credit last year. We decided not to book our Annual cruise on the ship for next year and will wait to get the lower prices. We don't like the itinerary for the Adventure. We heard the ship is going in for overhaul in 2014. It can't come soon enough.