This was my first cruise.
We arrived at the port at 11:30 using Jiffy Jeff transportation. Well The terminal was packed as it was a partially chartered ship most of the group (claim 800 people) many of which were arriving together on multiple buses. We went into the terminal an saw a sign "boarding will be delayed". Come to find out the prior cruise was "Holy Ship" a chartered techno dance music cruise an they apparently had too much fun with multiple people being arrested, slight damage to the ships as they said but I didn't see anything wrong other than some TV's an framed pictures weren't level. Also they had to have a crane take down the stage they brought with them from the pool deck.
We finally boarded around 1:45 an went straight up to the buffet on deck 14. Food was good the entire trip buffet and MDR. My only issue was portion sizes were smaller than expected. 10 small raviolis does not make an entrée but that's just my opinion. Meats were cooked well as were the fish pasta and PIZZA!!!. We were allowed into our cabins at 3:05 an dropped off our carry on bags then went to explore the rest of the ship. One thing many didn't like was the aft elevators only went to the Villa Rossa Restaurant and not the Black Crab on deck 6 which confused a majority of the older people who got very upset they had gone down then have to go back up an over an down again in another elevator. First two nights at dinner we watched people come in 10-20 min late because of it.
Now as for dress code at dinner - Personally I found it a joke that my in-laws who have been on MSC before claimed EVERYONE dresses up. Well that sure was NOT the case for our cruise. many men did wear jackets but I'd say it was only 50-60% majority did like me dress shirt tie wth nice pants. The only people we saw turned away were a family who showed up at 6:55 when 1st dinner was 5:45 an expected to be seated.
St. Thomas we docked at Havensight which was nice for shopping and had plenty of taxis available to get into town if you weren't willing to walk. It wasn't very hot maybe 70 at best when we first got off but was mid 70s by the time for all onboard.
San Juan was much warmer and before we were let off they announced the pier would be shut down due to another ship coming right across from us at 11:45am so they could do all the ropes without passengers being in the way. Well the ship ended up coming closer to 12 an they shut down the pier for a good 30-45min maybe even an hour as they couldn't seem to get the ropes how they needed to be. If you are going to take the free trolley around town I suggest going to stop #14 across from the CVS right on the main road same side as the pier. Stop 1 was a madhouse but we got seats since we were on early due to boarding at 14.
We skipped Great Stirrup Cay due to poor sea conditions the tenders weren't able to handle safely so we ended up with a 3rd sea day an the crew scrambled to get entertainment available. We ended up going extremely slow an sometimes stopped for a while since we couldn't go back to Miami early.
As for entertainment the dancers, musicians and acrobats were all very good my only issue was the stage lighting. we usually sat towards the middle/ back (bottom of the steps) and the steps on the stage were too bright yet the rest of the lights on the performers were too dim you couldn't really see the detail in the costumes or their faces. (IMHO). Debarkation was smooth we had to go to the theater at 8:15 but we ended up being allowed off at 8. Inside the terminal it was like the airport with rows of conveyor belts all marked with colors of the tags. Small issue with some of the other passengers we had 2 colors as we were two different cabins yellow an pink. Well we had found the pink bags instantly an dragged them to the yellow area, many people were so rude thinking just because we had pink bags it was the pink section which it wasn't and clearly marked it wasn't. One guy threatened to fight an employee because nobody told them they were waiting in the wrong area. HELLO the big YELLOW board over the conveyor belt kinda gives the answer.
We got our bags went down the short hallway quickly went through customs as we didn't purchase anything expensive an were out waiting for Jiffy Jeff within 30miin of getting off the boat.