We have mixed feelings about this cruise. I have to say up front that RCCL responded very kindly when we reported our frustration with some issues with cabin 7092 and indicated that they had corrected the problems. If you are booked in that cabin, you might want to change to one that is at least 2 cabins forward of this one or anywhere aft of the midship section. This cabin and all midship cabins have a roof over the lifeboats so they are not visible from the balconies above (sounds like a good thing), but the ocean is also not visible directly below the balconies. We like to be able to see the ocean directly below our balcony - love that deep navy blue sea!! That was not possible from the midship section of this class of ship. The cabin was very worn with stained carpet. We are Platinum Plus cruisers with Royal Caribbean. This cabin was in the worst condition of any RCCL cabin we have been on. The public areas, however were lovely and beautifully maintained! The service in the Windjammer (which was beautiful) was outstanding! Very friendly waitstaff -- look for Jiao Jiao from China! Have never had such a special server as her!Outstanding! The best ship tour was on St Lucia - what a gorgeous island. Be sure to plan a tour on that island that will take you to the volcano as the drive will give you spectacular views of that beautiful place. The best independent tour was with the Cruise Port taxi driver, VICTOR FLECTHER. We "just happened" to be assigned to him when we got off the ship. In the cruise terminal area there are Port Authority employees stationed to assist cruise passengers to taxis. We wanted to go to two specific places: St Georges University Medical School and to a children's home. Victor took us to each of those places and then took us to so many other places in the area - such a lovely tour!!! He was wonderful! Most drivers wanted to fill their vans with many passengers, but Victor was willing to give the two of us his entire day. He is so kind, so knowledgable about his home island, so generous with his time, and affordably priced. We loved that day with Victor! I am a travel agent and told 2 different couples, who were going to Grenada on different cruises after we returned, about Victor. They both contacted him ahead of time about a tour and came home raving about their wonderful day with him. So, for a very memorable day in the beautiful Spice Island, ask for Victor Fletcher and be sure to have him take you to his favorite place for purchasing nutmeg!! Don't leave the island without a BUNCH of nutmeg - get more than you think you will use - Your friends will all want some! The island of St Croix: get off the ship right away if you want to get a taxi to go across the island to the shopping town. We waited for a little while, thinking the crowd would disburse, which it did, but no taxi would consider taking the two of us -- we paid the taxi representative who then assigned us to a van where we waited for 30 minutes and no driver even came near the van. We got out, asked for our money back, and spend a while down on the boardwalk along the water, walked down to the rocks and enjoyed the tide pools (like snorkeling without getting wet), and then went over to the fort. There were a few artisans there, and we especially enjoyed ROSA, who hand makes stunning sterling silver jewelry. She does amazing work, so walk around there and find her booth. Her pieces are VERY high quality and reasonably priced, so something made by her would be a great souvenir. The embarkation and debarkation were very quick and easy in San Juan. The taxi service at the airport on arrival is extremely easy and very organized, as it is from the ship to the airport!! It was impressive! All in all, I would do this cruise again - I'd like a newer ship, but the cruise itself was really nice, thanks to the people I mentioned above. We did miss some of those things that the cruise no longer provides for our enjoyment -- REAL midnight buffet, carved vegetables and fruit in the Windjammer (how much can those cost that they have been eliminated???) the SPA, how could I forget those amazing hot tile relaxation lounges??? AAAAH! When you check in the first day go to the spa and ask for a spa package which gives you unlimited access to the Relaxation room for the entire cruise. The view is unobstructed and the floor to ceiling windows give amazing sunset views and all day spectacular ocean views -- there are she saunas and aromatherapy showers in the room. but I couldn't tear myself away from the soothing heat of the tile-lounge on my tired muscles to try them!! That was the very best part of the cruise ship!!!
Fair. Bed was very comfortable; the cabin furniture and cabinets were very worn. Carpet stained. When we got to the cabin the first day the safe lock was broken, bathroom door didn't latch; As soon as I called the housekeeping about the door and the safe,they sent repairmen to fix them. Immediate response and very much appreciated. Also the medicine cabinet shelf kept falling out (I fixed that myself with a tiny screwdriver I had brought along); and the odor of sewer was bad. But . . . RCCL responded right away to my comments and assured me that everything had been fixed.
The port town was not enjoyable, because the taxi and tour vendors harassed us so much about taking their tours that we went back to the ship and skipped the whole place. It was creepy! I would not want to go back there.
We made the mistake of not rushing right off the ship, thinking that the crowd would be gone and we could get a taxi to take us across the island to the shopping town, and we could see a lot on the way. Wrong!! We paid for a taxi and then sat in the van for 30 minutes without a driver or anyone coming to explain why they wouldn't take us where we had paid to go. We finally exited the van and asked for our money back. We walked the lovely boardwalk and went down onto the rocks and enjoyed the tide pools that were very active (shorkeling without getting wet -- just don't touch the spines of the sea urchins that were prolific there). We stopped in an art gallery and enjoyed that. It was a lovely relaxing day - and free. Well, free until we discovered the vendors over near the fort (about a block away) and ROSA, who handmade her sterling silver jewelry that was a "must have" beautiful, high quality souvenir for a very reasonable price!!
Walked around the port area - lovely shops, nice atmosphere, we love going there -- have been many times and one several tours in the past. If your first time there, do an island tour for an informative and lovely view of the island. We have also booked the snorkeling tour at St John. It was not the best snorkeling we have ever done, but we were glad we did it so we could say we had been to St John.
The taxi service from the airport to the ship is extremely well organized and reasonably priced -- plenty of taxis available; very reasonably priced. Exit the baggage claim area and walk down toward the street. there are cues there, so get in line and someone will come up to you and ask how many people and how many bags, give you a sheet of paper with the amount due ($16 pp for us), hold the paper until you get to the head of the line and you will be guided to the taxi where they will whisk you off directly to the ship. EASY! On the return from the ship to the airport it works the same way. So easy -- no ship transfers necessary! Have the taxi drop you off at the door nearest the agriculture check in. Then go through that inspection (Do you have any fruits or vegetables??) They go to the kiosk near your airline counter where there are young people to tag the luggage for you (no charge) and then take the luggage to the airline luggage check in -- head straight to the security line and then to your gate. I couldn't believe how easy and organized it all was. Loved it!!