My boyfriend and I had never cruised before, and in fact had never even been to the Caribbean. We are recent college graduates and decided to take this cruise as a sort of celebration of my boyfriend's scoring a great job just out of school. So we are pretty young and it was all new to us -that's just my disclaimer.
We flew in a day early to San Juan because we're from the Northeast US and were fearful of snow delaying us. We stayed in the Chateau Cervantes in Old San Juan, which was a really nice hotel. We enjoyed walking around San Juan, but we were itching to get on that boat, so we didn't do a lot of touring and sightseeing, aside from just walking Old San Juan. Getting on the ship was stressful for me just because I had never done it and didn't know what to expect. That being said, it wasn't bad at all. There were lines, but they weren't bad. We got there early so we couldn't go to our room, but we were in time for lunch and were only too excited for our first cruise food frenzy. It did not disappoint, buffet style but good. Our room had a balcony, and while the balcony looked a little 'eh' I loved it. We had breakfast out there most days. That was lovely. The room was small, and I didn't really know where to go with my suitcase so I tripped over it for the whole trip. Even that wasn't bad, though. The bathroom was small too, but actually just perfect for us. It was well ventilated the whole trip.
We ate dinner every night in the Main Dining Room. I had called ahead (months ahead) to say that I have celiac and need to eat gluten free, and upon arriving in my room I found a note telling me to meet with the maitre d. Our waiter was wonderful, he brought me the menu for the next night so the kitchen could make sure I could eat it. He even gave suggestions, for example telling me that they could make me rice pasta but that it wouldn't taste very good. When he was concerned that I wouldn't like it, or that I'd like something else better, he would suggest it and bring out two entrees for me. That actually started a trend at my table. The food was delicious, I have no complaints. I am a caterer's daughter and I know he wouldn't have been super impressed, but we enjoyed ourselves. We had only one other couple at our table, another young couple like ourselves (though, of course, still a few years older), and we loved them. It was wonderful to talk to them each night about what we had done. Dinner was probably one of our favorite parts of the cruise.
Our ports were St. Croix, St. Kitts, Dominica, Grenada, and St. Thomas. We had a scuba excursion booked through the cruise that we went on in St. Croix, but before we even got into the water I panicked and we ended up just hanging out on the beach at Cane Bay. It was still gorgeous and we enjoyed ourselves. Probably wouldn't spend that much for it again, but oh well, now I know. We stayed on the ship in St. Kitts because I had heard that the ship is less crowded on port-days, and it was true. We had lots of time by the pool, and it was wonderful. In Dominica I had booked a tour with BumpiingTours, which I heard about lurking on CruiseCritic, and it was amazing. We loved every second of it. The island is gorgeous, the tour was fabulous, and our guide was just awesome. It was the best Valentine's Day I'd ever had. Grenada was a different story. I had not booked anything specific because I figured we would just go to Grand Anse beach and the spice market. The beach was so pretty and we would have loved it if we could have just been left alone. Unfortunately there were people trying to sell us drinks, food, water-sports adventures, and chairs every other minute. It was the opposite of relaxing. The day in St. Thomas we booked an excursion through the cruise, after our experience on Grenada we wanted to have a plan. We went on a Sail and Snorkel to Turtle Cove. It was really fun, but maybe a little too much fun. The turtles were great, but unfortunately the drinks were a little strong. We were burnt and sick our last night on the cruise. Totally our fault, but if you are looking for good never-ending drink refills, I'd recommend that trip. I would do it again, though, it was great...I'd just hide my cup when the drink came around again.
The day at sea was a disappointment. I don't know what we would have done if we didn't have a balcony. There was a brunch that morning that was to die for, but by the time we got up to the pool and sun decks there were absolutely NO chairs. We went back to our room and sat on our balcony, which got full sun in the afternoon. Have I mentioned that the balcony was my favorite part? Well it was.
Here are some things I didn't like:
Having everyone assume/ask if we were married or engaged, or one guy even WHY we weren't, my poor boyfriend doesn't need that kind of pressure and neither do I. I did wonder if maybe it was just being a cruise with a slightly older crowd, which we really liked for the most part. Just not this part.
Room service was really not gluten-free-friendly. I guess this should have been no surprise, but it was a bit disappointing.
Disembarkation. There was some delay at customs and it took forever to get off the ship. I wouldn't have minded if I could have enjoyed the ship while I waited, but sitting in the theater waiting for hours is kind of frustrating.
All in all, we really loved our cruise, and will cruise again. We might try Royal Caribbean next time because it looks like it has a bit more going on for people our age, but we did like the quiet and relaxing feel of Celebrity and would have no qualms about sailing with them again. The service on board Celebrity was outstanding, attentive but never pushy.