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This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean and we thought it was about as good as it can get. Both the ship and the itinerary were top notch and we are already going through withdrawal! Flight & Car Rental: We flew in on a red eye Thursday night from LAX. The flight was a nonstop, which was so much nicer than our previous experience of connecting at Miami at 5am and wandering half asleep until our connection! Our luggage came in on the carousel fairly quickly and we were out of the airport and at Hertz by about 10:00. Renting the car was quick and the drive from the airport to the Caribe Hilton was easy. Our Hotel: We stayed at the Caribe Hilton, which is about 20 minutes from the airport, 5 minutes from the Pan Am Pier and about 10 minutes to Old San Juan. This was our 4th time staying at the Caribe and we really enjoy this hotel. The grounds are beautiful and the property was built around a historical landmark, Fort San Geronimo. There is a private beach and a little pond area with free roaming swans, ducks, geese, peacocks and coy fish. There are also a cockatoo and macaw near the lobby area—they are interesting to watch. In addition to the nice grounds, there are several options for dining. Finally, the Caribe has a delicious piña colada in the Caribe Terrace Bar. Ask Victor or Rafael for a piña colada with Don Q rum—YUM! We have stayed in every section of the hotel and this time we were put in the Lagoon Villas. I have to say we were not that impressed with these rooms because of the location; they were pretty far from the rest of the grounds and getting to/from the villas can get confusing. We really like the executive tower rooms, but it seems they are no longer available. A nice alternative is an ocean view room in the garden wing. Be sure to ask for a renovated room!! Pre-Cruise Day One: Since we arrived at the hotel well before check in, we dropped off our luggage, changed clothes and drove to Old San Juan. We found parking and made our way to La Bombonera (on Calle San Francisco) for a delicious breakfast of cafe con leche and mallorcas with ham, cheese & egg. After a great meal, we drove to the El Yunque rainforest where we hiked around for a while. When we got back to the hotel, we dropped off the rental and checked into our rooms. We then headed off to dinner at the Parrot Club, where we had some of the best mojitos ever along with tasty food. The churrasco steak and pinchos de pollo (bbq chicken) were awesome! Day Two: Old San Juan: We checked out of the hotel around 10:30 and left our bags with the hotel porters so we could spend some more time wandering around before heading to the pier. We took the bus (only 75 cents pp) and headed straight for La Bombonera for lunch. We tried the shrimp asopao and the Cuban sandwich. The sandwich was delicious and the asopao was good, though it would be better at night or in colder weather. After eating, we wandered toward pier 2 where we caught the ferry (only 50 cents) to Cataño for the Bacardi tour. The tour is very interesting and informative with a couple of free drink tickets. And the best part is that it is free; all we had to pay was the ferry and cab fare (about $6 pp). Around 3:30 we went back to the hotel. Embarkation: Finally at about 4:00 or so, we decided to make our way to the Pan Am pier. There was a small line, but it moved quickly. We used the suite/C&A check-in, but it didn't really matter since all of the lines seemed to be moving rather quickly. We found our rooms, took some pictures and then bee-lined to the Windjammer for a snack. I went straight for the honey-stung chicken I always read about, but didn't really understand the appeal. After eating, we headed to the concierge lounge to meet the concierge (Kenneth Boodoo) and relax for a while. Then we were off to the muster drill, which was quick and easy. Ship: We thought the Serenade was absolutely beautiful! We were initially a little concerned to book a ship without all the bells and whistles we knew from the Adventure, but we were not disappointed at all. We thought the ship was elegant, spacious and comfortable. In no way did we miss the Promenade or Johnny Rockets or anything else offered on the Voyager Class. In fact, we've already booked another cruise on the Serenade! Specifically, we really liked the solarium and the Safari Lounge. The Hollywood Lounge had a fun look to it (though we left it to the smokers!) and we liked the theater's fun, tropical theme. We also really appreciated the self-leveling pool tables and they were surprisingly not too crowded to play a game here and there. Stateroom: We stayed on deck ten in a grand suite, #1050. It was a nice and spacious room with a good size balcony. We really enjoyed being able to sit on the balcony and watch as we came into port. Our cabin steward, Ed Buenaventura, was extremely nice and efficient. Our room was always taken care of and we had some great towel animals to greet us each evening. He was also very amiable when we would bump into him in the hall. All in all, this GS seemed nicer than the one we had on the Adventure. The size and layout were about the same, but the dEcor seemed a bit nicer this time. Our friends were in stateroom 9260 on the aft. They thought their room was very comfortable and the deep balcony was just the place for nice afternoon naps. Maria, their stateroom attendant, was efficient and nice. The only complaint about this room was that some of the drawers stuck to the extent that they were very difficult to open. Otherwise, their room was comfortable and in good repair. Concierge: Kenneth was the BEST! We had a really good time talking with him and he was very helpful. As for the concierge lounge, I have to say that before this cruise I didn't really understand the draw of it, even though we have had access to one before. However, on this trip, we thoroughly enjoyed all of the time we spent in the CL. We grabbed wonderful cappuccinos each morning and enjoyed drinks most evenings. Sachin was always quick to top off a glass and make sure we were taken care of. Another perk was great conversations with new friends and with Kenneth. Dining Room: We tried My Time Dining and our experience was very positive. The only hitch we noticed was some first night chaos at the doors when the 2nd seating diners tried to find their tables and the my time dining people waited to be seated. We had dinner each night anywhere between 7:30 and 8:00 and we were seated with the same wait staff each time. Our head waiter, Soni, was very personable and always came by to ask about out meal. Our waiter was Rajiv and our assistant waiter was Kevin. They were both very accommodating and we enjoyed their service as well as their friendly banter. Christine (possibly another head) would also pop over to say hello every now and then—she was hilarious! Some of our favorite things were the Vidalia onion tart, pumpkin soup, lobster ravioli, and some curry chicken that Soni Rajiv brought for us to try. We also enjoyed having lunch in the main dining room on our sea day. Windjammer: We went to the Windjammer most mornings and most afternoons. We were very impressed with the layout of it, as it was very easy to navigate and there were very few lines. We were almost always able to find a table by a window and the outdoor seating was a treat. The food was typical for a buffet, but we did think it was a bit better than the Windjammer food we had on the Adventure. Some favorites were the Thai coconut soup, Greek salad, cookies and the soft serve. We also enjoyed all of our breakfasts. Seaview Cafe: We had one afternoon snack at the Seaview cafe and we really liked the look of the cafe as well as the idea of made-to-order food. We ordered a Cuban sandwich, wings & feathers and the fish & chips. The food was fine, but nothing special. We probably would have gone back if we'd had more than one sea day. Portofino: We had Monday night dinner at Portofino and it was wonderful! The service was a bit slow, as it was crowded, but our waitress (El Mira) was delightful and the food was stellar. The steaks were great and we were able to get the seafood skewers made to order (minus the salmon). We especially liked the risotto and the tiramisu. Chops: We went to Chops on our last night and the food/service were terrific! The mushroom soup was delicious and the steaks were very good. The only minor issue was that one filet and one rib eye were cooked more than requested; however, they still tasted good. We really liked the sauce selection for the steaks: peppercorn, bEarnaise and chimichurri. The peppercorn was mild, but good; the bEarnaise was tasty; and the chimichurri was spicy with a good flavor. With dinner we enjoyed a Napa Valley Syrah. I believe the name of the wine was Liberty Bell. As for desserts, the cheesecake was excellent and the mudpie was good, but a bit of a chocolate overload. Solarium Cafe: The pizza was good, but oh man, those freshly prepared crepes were DELICIOUS! Our only suggestion would be the addition of whipped cream as a topping, but that sure didn't stop us from enjoying them! Entertainment: We were pretty tired most nights after busy port days and late dinners, so we did not go to any shows. I am not sure this fits into the entertainment category, but we went to the Crown and Anchor cocktail shindig and enjoyed ourselves. We also went to the Captain's cocktail party on Friday and we really enjoyed talking to the captain and cruise director. St. Thomas: Our day in St. Thomas was fantastic! For the second year in a row, we booked a 6-hour sail on the Rumbaba and it was a phenomenal experience. It was just the four of us and of course Captain Bobby and his first mate Karen. If you ever go to St. Thomas, you should look into Rumbaba. We sailed, enjoyed good company, excellent food and snorkeling at Hawk's Nest (around St. John). We have yet to see the actual island of St. Thomas, but if we go back, we would book with Rumbaba again in a heartbeat!!! St. Maarten: We rented a jeep from Hertz and enjoyed a day driving around the island. The driving can be confusing, but basically, there is one main road that will take you around the whole island; once you figure that out, you are good to go! We made our first stop at Orient Beach, where we took a walk along the beach, enjoying some of the sights and avoiding others! We had a quick beer break to beat the heat and then we were back on the road. We then stopped in Marigot for a while. Parking is a challenge, but we miraculously found a street side spot that was available. From there we walked to a Creperie called The Deli Spoon, where we ordered a couple of crepes and some water. It was actually a great deal for 2 crepes (1 sweet and 1 savory) and a drink for only 11 EUR, plenty to share between two people. After crepes, we decided it was time to make our way to our final destination: Maho Beach, which was AMAZING! The beach itself is beautiful and we made it just in time for a commercial jet (looked like a 747) to land. We left around 3:00 to try and beat traffic (no such luck) and then took advantage of a good bucket o' beer deal at the pier. We love St. Martin and are excited to go back on our next cruise. Antigua: We decided to take advantage of one of Antigua's 366 beaches so we walked to the bus station and got a cheap ride to Turner's Beach. The beach was beautiful and the water was refreshing. We got a couple of $5 chairs and relaxed in the shade of a free palapa. Our only complaint was that the beers were a whopping $4 each with no deals. Sheesh! I should note that we thought Darkwood Beach (which we read a lot about on CC) was beautiful, but we did not notice any umbrellas... St. Lucia: There is not much to say about St. Lucia except that it is a beautiful island and COSOL tours is a must! Our driver, Cantius Jean Baptiste (just goes by Baptist), was entertaining and informative. We loved the food—be sure to go hungry—and snorkeling at Jalousie was really nice. The day was rainy, but it did not put a damper on all of the fun we had. My only advice: do not drink too much toward the end of the day or your bladder will not appreciate the long ride back!!! Barbados: We walked from the cruise terminal toward downtown Bridgetown. We thought the area across the bridge was pretty nice and the market area was interesting, but Bridgetown didn't really appeal to us much otherwise. After walking a while, we stopped to try a Banks beer and some macaroni pie (yum!) and then walked back to the cruise ship terminal where we found a cab to take us to the Malibu Rum Distillery. There, we paid about $15 pp for the tour, a free drink, and beach chairs for the day. The tour was interesting and we enjoyed some beach time. A side note: we had thought about going to The Boatyard rather than Malibu, but we heard later that it was completely packed with no chairs left or anything. So if you are planning on going to the Boatyard, go early! Friday Sea Day: Our sea day was pretty relaxing. We spent the morning wandering around and then had a great lunch in the main dining room. After lunch we had the best treat ever: we were able to go on a tour of the bridge with about 10 other guests. This was VERY cool! We were extremely impressed and appreciative of this opportunity! We ended up shopping a bit, started our packing, and then off to the concierge lounge for one last chance to visit with Kenneth and our new friends. Finally we had a delicious dinner at Chops and then went back to finish packing up everything. The last night of the cruise is like a Sunday night before school. How sad that the fun is almost over! Disembarkation: This was a breeze! We went to the concierge lounge for a small breakfast and ended up just waiting there until disembarkation. Kenneth walked us and another couple down to the exit and that was that! Post-Cruise: We didn't go home until Sunday so we were able to spend the day in Old San Juan again. We had breakfast at La Bombonera again, browsed some shops for last minute gifts, and then retreated to the Caribe Hilton to soak up the last of the Caribbean sun and pina coladas we will get for a year. We went over to Condado for dinner at Cafe del Angels (delicious authentic criolla cuisine) and then we walked back to the hotel. Flight Home: I have heard that SJU is a zoo on Sundays, but we figured we would be getting there before any of the cruisers so it would not be bad. Oh. My. Goodness. WRONG! We arrived at the airport two hours before the flight, got through agriculture and check-in easily within 15 minutes, but only had about 10 minutes before boarding by the time we got out of the security line. This was seriously the worst security line I have ever waited in. First of all, they only had three belts and metal detectors running, even though there were more that could have been opened. Then, it seems that every time they searched a bag they actually stopped sending anything/anyone else through until they finished going through that bag. Really?! Is that the most efficient method they could come up with??? We've departed from SJU two times before this and never had this issue, so we are thinking this is either a new system or just a fluke. The flight itself seemed like an eternity and the flight attendants were easily the rudest and most apathetic people I have ever encountered working on a plane. They honestly seemed to be working really hard to avoid doing any extra drink service or trash pick up. AND they ran out of food on a 7 hour flight. By the time they got to row 22 they were out of chips and they also ran out of sandwiches before they got to the back of the plane. I must have missed the sign that said "Bring your own food or starve!" The only perk is that they showed about 4 or 5 movies in a row, so we were not as bored as we could have been. When we got into LAX, a good amount of luggage was missing, including one of our friend's bags. Luckily, they found his suitcase, but some others from our flight were not so lucky. Boy, what a good reminder of why we hate traveling on American Airlines! All in all, this was a stellar trip and we would do it all again (minus the last day of travel) in a heartbeat!

Doesn't Get Much Better Than This!

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by wanderlust79

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2009
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Grand Suite - 1 Bedroom
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean and we thought it was about as good as it can get. Both the ship and the itinerary were top notch and we are already going through withdrawal!
Flight & Car Rental: We flew in on a red eye Thursday night from LAX. The flight was a nonstop, which was so much nicer than our previous experience of connecting at Miami at 5am and wandering half asleep until our connection! Our luggage came in on the carousel fairly quickly and we were out of the airport and at Hertz by about 10:00. Renting the car was quick and the drive from the airport to the Caribe Hilton was easy.
Our Hotel: We stayed at the Caribe Hilton, which is about 20 minutes from the airport, 5 minutes from the Pan Am Pier and about 10 minutes to Old San Juan. This was our 4th time staying at the Caribe and we really enjoy this hotel. The grounds are beautiful and the property was built around a historical landmark, Fort San Geronimo. There is a private beach and a little pond area with free roaming swans, ducks, geese, peacocks and coy fish. There are also a cockatoo and macaw near the lobby area—they are interesting to watch. In addition to the nice grounds, there are several options for dining. Finally, the Caribe has a delicious piña colada in the Caribe Terrace Bar. Ask Victor or Rafael for a piña colada with Don Q rum—YUM! We have stayed in every section of the hotel and this time we were put in the Lagoon Villas. I have to say we were not that impressed with these rooms because of the location; they were pretty far from the rest of the grounds and getting to/from the villas can get confusing. We really like the executive tower rooms, but it seems they are no longer available. A nice alternative is an ocean view room in the garden wing. Be sure to ask for a renovated room!!
Pre-Cruise Day One: Since we arrived at the hotel well before check in, we dropped off our luggage, changed clothes and drove to Old San Juan. We found parking and made our way to La Bombonera (on Calle San Francisco) for a delicious breakfast of cafe con leche and mallorcas with ham, cheese & egg. After a great meal, we drove to the El Yunque rainforest where we hiked around for a while. When we got back to the hotel, we dropped off the rental and checked into our rooms. We then headed off to dinner at the Parrot Club, where we had some of the best mojitos ever along with tasty food. The churrasco steak and pinchos de pollo (bbq chicken) were awesome!
Day Two: Old San Juan: We checked out of the hotel around 10:30 and left our bags with the hotel porters so we could spend some more time wandering around before heading to the pier. We took the bus (only 75 cents pp) and headed straight for La Bombonera for lunch. We tried the shrimp asopao and the Cuban sandwich. The sandwich was delicious and the asopao was good, though it would be better at night or in colder weather. After eating, we wandered toward pier 2 where we caught the ferry (only 50 cents) to Cataño for the Bacardi tour. The tour is very interesting and informative with a couple of free drink tickets. And the best part is that it is free; all we had to pay was the ferry and cab fare (about $6 pp). Around 3:30 we went back to the hotel.
Embarkation: Finally at about 4:00 or so, we decided to make our way to the Pan Am pier. There was a small line, but it moved quickly. We used the suite/C&A check-in, but it didn't really matter since all of the lines seemed to be moving rather quickly. We found our rooms, took some pictures and then bee-lined to the Windjammer for a snack. I went straight for the honey-stung chicken I always read about, but didn't really understand the appeal. After eating, we headed to the concierge lounge to meet the concierge (Kenneth Boodoo) and relax for a while. Then we were off to the muster drill, which was quick and easy.
Ship: We thought the Serenade was absolutely beautiful! We were initially a little concerned to book a ship without all the bells and whistles we knew from the Adventure, but we were not disappointed at all. We thought the ship was elegant, spacious and comfortable. In no way did we miss the Promenade or Johnny Rockets or anything else offered on the Voyager Class. In fact, we've already booked another cruise on the Serenade! Specifically, we really liked the solarium and the Safari Lounge. The Hollywood Lounge had a fun look to it (though we left it to the smokers!) and we liked the theater's fun, tropical theme. We also really appreciated the self-leveling pool tables and they were surprisingly not too crowded to play a game here and there.
Stateroom: We stayed on deck ten in a grand suite, #1050. It was a nice and spacious room with a good size balcony. We really enjoyed being able to sit on the balcony and watch as we came into port. Our cabin steward, Ed Buenaventura, was extremely nice and efficient. Our room was always taken care of and we had some great towel animals to greet us each evening. He was also very amiable when we would bump into him in the hall. All in all, this GS seemed nicer than the one we had on the Adventure. The size and layout were about the same, but the dEcor seemed a bit nicer this time. Our friends were in stateroom 9260 on the aft. They thought their room was very comfortable and the deep balcony was just the place for nice afternoon naps. Maria, their stateroom attendant, was efficient and nice. The only complaint about this room was that some of the drawers stuck to the extent that they were very difficult to open. Otherwise, their room was comfortable and in good repair.
Concierge: Kenneth was the BEST! We had a really good time talking with him and he was very helpful. As for the concierge lounge, I have to say that before this cruise I didn't really understand the draw of it, even though we have had access to one before. However, on this trip, we thoroughly enjoyed all of the time we spent in the CL. We grabbed wonderful cappuccinos each morning and enjoyed drinks most evenings. Sachin was always quick to top off a glass and make sure we were taken care of. Another perk was great conversations with new friends and with Kenneth.
Dining Room: We tried My Time Dining and our experience was very positive. The only hitch we noticed was some first night chaos at the doors when the 2nd seating diners tried to find their tables and the my time dining people waited to be seated. We had dinner each night anywhere between 7:30 and 8:00 and we were seated with the same wait staff each time. Our head waiter, Soni, was very personable and always came by to ask about out meal. Our waiter was Rajiv and our assistant waiter was Kevin. They were both very accommodating and we enjoyed their service as well as their friendly banter. Christine (possibly another head) would also pop over to say hello every now and then—she was hilarious! Some of our favorite things were the Vidalia onion tart, pumpkin soup, lobster ravioli, and some curry chicken that Soni Rajiv brought for us to try. We also enjoyed having lunch in the main dining room on our sea day.
Windjammer: We went to the Windjammer most mornings and most afternoons. We were very impressed with the layout of it, as it was very easy to navigate and there were very few lines. We were almost always able to find a table by a window and the outdoor seating was a treat. The food was typical for a buffet, but we did think it was a bit better than the Windjammer food we had on the Adventure. Some favorites were the Thai coconut soup, Greek salad, cookies and the soft serve. We also enjoyed all of our breakfasts.
Seaview Cafe: We had one afternoon snack at the Seaview cafe and we really liked the look of the cafe as well as the idea of made-to-order food. We ordered a Cuban sandwich, wings & feathers and the fish & chips. The food was fine, but nothing special. We probably would have gone back if we'd had more than one sea day.
Portofino: We had Monday night dinner at Portofino and it was wonderful! The service was a bit slow, as it was crowded, but our waitress (El Mira) was delightful and the food was stellar. The steaks were great and we were able to get the seafood skewers made to order (minus the salmon). We especially liked the risotto and the tiramisu.
Chops: We went to Chops on our last night and the food/service were terrific! The mushroom soup was delicious and the steaks were very good. The only minor issue was that one filet and one rib eye were cooked more than requested; however, they still tasted good. We really liked the sauce selection for the steaks: peppercorn, bEarnaise and chimichurri. The peppercorn was mild, but good; the bEarnaise was tasty; and the chimichurri was spicy with a good flavor. With dinner we enjoyed a Napa Valley Syrah. I believe the name of the wine was Liberty Bell. As for desserts, the cheesecake was excellent and the mudpie was good, but a bit of a chocolate overload.
Solarium Cafe: The pizza was good, but oh man, those freshly prepared crepes were DELICIOUS! Our only suggestion would be the addition of whipped cream as a topping, but that sure didn't stop us from enjoying them!
Entertainment: We were pretty tired most nights after busy port days and late dinners, so we did not go to any shows. I am not sure this fits into the entertainment category, but we went to the Crown and Anchor cocktail shindig and enjoyed ourselves. We also went to the Captain's cocktail party on Friday and we really enjoyed talking to the captain and cruise director.
St. Thomas: Our day in St. Thomas was fantastic! For the second year in a row, we booked a 6-hour sail on the Rumbaba and it was a phenomenal experience. It was just the four of us and of course Captain Bobby and his first mate Karen. If you ever go to St. Thomas, you should look into Rumbaba. We sailed, enjoyed good company, excellent food and snorkeling at Hawk's Nest (around St. John). We have yet to see the actual island of St. Thomas, but if we go back, we would book with Rumbaba again in a heartbeat!!!
St. Maarten: We rented a jeep from Hertz and enjoyed a day driving around the island. The driving can be confusing, but basically, there is one main road that will take you around the whole island; once you figure that out, you are good to go! We made our first stop at Orient Beach, where we took a walk along the beach, enjoying some of the sights and avoiding others! We had a quick beer break to beat the heat and then we were back on the road. We then stopped in Marigot for a while. Parking is a challenge, but we miraculously found a street side spot that was available. From there we walked to a Creperie called The Deli Spoon, where we ordered a couple of crepes and some water. It was actually a great deal for 2 crepes (1 sweet and 1 savory) and a drink for only 11 EUR, plenty to share between two people. After crepes, we decided it was time to make our way to our final destination: Maho Beach, which was AMAZING! The beach itself is beautiful and we made it just in time for a commercial jet (looked like a 747) to land. We left around 3:00 to try and beat traffic (no such luck) and then took advantage of a good bucket o' beer deal at the pier. We love St. Martin and are excited to go back on our next cruise.
Antigua: We decided to take advantage of one of Antigua's 366 beaches so we walked to the bus station and got a cheap ride to Turner's Beach. The beach was beautiful and the water was refreshing. We got a couple of $5 chairs and relaxed in the shade of a free palapa. Our only complaint was that the beers were a whopping $4 each with no deals. Sheesh! I should note that we thought Darkwood Beach (which we read a lot about on CC) was beautiful, but we did not notice any umbrellas...
St. Lucia: There is not much to say about St. Lucia except that it is a beautiful island and COSOL tours is a must! Our driver, Cantius Jean Baptiste (just goes by Baptist), was entertaining and informative. We loved the food—be sure to go hungry—and snorkeling at Jalousie was really nice. The day was rainy, but it did not put a damper on all of the fun we had. My only advice: do not drink too much toward the end of the day or your bladder will not appreciate the long ride back!!!
Barbados: We walked from the cruise terminal toward downtown Bridgetown. We thought the area across the bridge was pretty nice and the market area was interesting, but Bridgetown didn't really appeal to us much otherwise. After walking a while, we stopped to try a Banks beer and some macaroni pie (yum!) and then walked back to the cruise ship terminal where we found a cab to take us to the Malibu Rum Distillery. There, we paid about $15 pp for the tour, a free drink, and beach chairs for the day. The tour was interesting and we enjoyed some beach time. A side note: we had thought about going to The Boatyard rather than Malibu, but we heard later that it was completely packed with no chairs left or anything. So if you are planning on going to the Boatyard, go early!
Friday Sea Day: Our sea day was pretty relaxing. We spent the morning wandering around and then had a great lunch in the main dining room. After lunch we had the best treat ever: we were able to go on a tour of the bridge with about 10 other guests. This was VERY cool! We were extremely impressed and appreciative of this opportunity! We ended up shopping a bit, started our packing, and then off to the concierge lounge for one last chance to visit with Kenneth and our new friends. Finally we had a delicious dinner at Chops and then went back to finish packing up everything. The last night of the cruise is like a Sunday night before school. How sad that the fun is almost over!
Disembarkation: This was a breeze! We went to the concierge lounge for a small breakfast and ended up just waiting there until disembarkation. Kenneth walked us and another couple down to the exit and that was that!
Post-Cruise: We didn't go home until Sunday so we were able to spend the day in Old San Juan again. We had breakfast at La Bombonera again, browsed some shops for last minute gifts, and then retreated to the Caribe Hilton to soak up the last of the Caribbean sun and pina coladas we will get for a year. We went over to Condado for dinner at Cafe del Angels (delicious authentic criolla cuisine) and then we walked back to the hotel.
Flight Home: I have heard that SJU is a zoo on Sundays, but we figured we would be getting there before any of the cruisers so it would not be bad. Oh. My. Goodness. WRONG! We arrived at the airport two hours before the flight, got through agriculture and check-in easily within 15 minutes, but only had about 10 minutes before boarding by the time we got out of the security line. This was seriously the worst security line I have ever waited in. First of all, they only had three belts and metal detectors running, even though there were more that could have been opened. Then, it seems that every time they searched a bag they actually stopped sending anything/anyone else through until they finished going through that bag. Really?! Is that the most efficient method they could come up with??? We've departed from SJU two times before this and never had this issue, so we are thinking this is either a new system or just a fluke. The flight itself seemed like an eternity and the flight attendants were easily the rudest and most apathetic people I have ever encountered working on a plane. They honestly seemed to be working really hard to avoid doing any extra drink service or trash pick up. AND they ran out of food on a 7 hour flight. By the time they got to row 22 they were out of chips and they also ran out of sandwiches before they got to the back of the plane. I must have missed the sign that said "Bring your own food or starve!" The only perk is that they showed about 4 or 5 movies in a row, so we were not as bored as we could have been. When we got into LAX, a good amount of luggage was missing, including one of our friend's bags. Luckily, they found his suitcase, but some others from our flight were not so lucky. Boy, what a good reminder of why we hate traveling on American Airlines!
All in all, this was a stellar trip and we would do it all again (minus the last day of travel) in a heartbeat!
wanderlust79’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Grand Suite - 1 Bedroom
Cabin GS 1050
We loved our cabin! Spacious and comfortable with a fantastic balcony!
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins