Embarkation was a horror compared to Cape Liberty, Boston, or even Baltimore. Arriving at the pier at 12:30, we didn't get on to the ship until about 2:10. Lines were incredibly long, even the Latitudes line. Disembarkation on Saturday was even worse, due to the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy. A poor job by NYCruise, who owns and operates Pier 88.
San Juan is a very nice place, but here's the thing: you never have a full day in Puerto Rico. We were in port from 1:30 p.m. (an hour and a half ahead of schedule) to 9 p.m. All we did was walk around town for a little while and it was a let-down because nothing is open on Sunday in Puerto Rico. We get cell service again here because Puerto Rico is part of the United States. I wonder if any ship has a full day in San Juan. In the five times that I sailed there out of my nine cruises, I have never had a full day there. It is a very nice island however.
St. Maarten is one of my family and I's favorite ports. We had enjoyed going to Divi Little Bay Resort on the Dutch side on previous cruises, but we decided to do something different this cruise. We snuck into the Westin Hotel on Dawn Beach to have access to the private amenities on the island. We enjoyed our day and I became sunburn all over, but not as bad as last years however. For those of you that read my Explorer of the Seas review, you know what I'm talking about.
We docked at the West Indian Company Dock, alongside the Carnival Liberty. We went to the Best Western with its own private beach, named Emerald Beach. We were at the beach for a while and then went shopping at the mall right near the pier, called Havensight Mall. On St. Thomas, we get cell service from AT&T as St. Thomas is part of the United States Virgin Islands.