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Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,679 Reviews

A great cruise and getaway from cold weather

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by cruisinbill

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2018
  • Destination: the Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony

Background information

This was our 20th cruise and 5th on Royal Caribbean (we last cruised with RCI in October, 2017, on the Vision of the Seas). We needed a break from our cold winter and this 10-night itinerary suited our requirements. We booked the cruise in July 2016, after receiving some good information on promotions from RCI. We had cruised on a sister ship to the Serenade, the Brilliance of the Seas, in 2005, and we really enjoyed that ship, mainly for its size.

Travel to embarkation port

We travelled from our home city, Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Orlando, via a forced overnight in Toronto, on WestJet, five days before embarkation. We thought if we were going to travel to Florida to embark the cruise, that we should take a few days at Universal Studios, and fulfill our passion for all things Harry Potter (which we did). We then flew on Silver Airways to Fort Lauderdale the day prior to the cruise.

Hotel information

We stayed at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina hotel, on 17th Avenue SE, located right across from Port Everglades. We have stayed here a number of times, both when it was still a Marriott property, for pre-cruise as well as conventions, and were confident our stay would be as enjoyable as in the past. Well, this time, things did not go as well. I will not dwell on all the issues we had, however, we ended up having to be moved to another room due to the poor condition of the one we were assigned. We also received a 25% reduction in the room rate for the inconvenience. This definitely shook our faith in this hotel.

Ship information

Information on the ship is readily available on this site as well as Royal Caribbean’s. I am advised that this ship underwent a refurbishment in 2016. That said, it is a 15-year-old vessel and it is definitely showing signs of wear and tear, with worn furnishings, worn-through paint in areas, rusty balconies, and some issues I will cover in the Cabin section below.

Activities

This ship offers the usual range of spa, swimming pool, and hot tubs in the enclosed [adults-only] solarium area and outside pool area, pool tables [mounted on gimbals so they stay level], casino, Adventure Ocean Youth Program, mini-golf, outdoor movie screen, a small cinema, jogging track, sports court, spa and gym, as well as a rock climbing wall (part of the 2016 refurbishment?). As the average age on this cruise was probably 70+, I doubt that the latter was used very much. There was an event in one of the lounges for Top Tier members of the Crown and Anchor Society; it was unfortunate that this venue could not accommodate everyone seated and may guests had to stand. The Cruise Director’s staff organized a number of dance classes, alcohol tasting (martini, wine, beer) opportunities, trivia, game shows, and bingo. All seemed to be well attended.

Service

Service was generally good from staff we interacted with. Our stateroom attendant was OK, we did not see him that much, and occasionally we had to remind him about items that needed servicing in the room. Our dining room staff were excellent, very attentive but sometimes distracted by an inconsistent wait for various courses to come out. The headwaiter was pleasant enough throughout the cruise but excelled when he and his staff found my missing wedding ring (it had slipped off in a nearby washroom while washing my hands and I never heard it drop). Shore excursion and shops staff were all good to deal with, but Guest Services staff were more patronizing than helpful. A pet peeve of ours, a carryover from our recent cruise onboard the Vision, was the photography staff; they really just got annoying on and off the ship and they showed up several times at dinner when there was no real reason to do so, especially over a 10-night cruise – how many times can you take the same photo? Off ship, they corralled disembarking guests in each port and just got in our way. Bar servers were excellent, especially in the R Bar, as were the staff in Café-Latté-tudes.

Port & shore excursions

This was a balanced cruise of both sea days (four) and five ports: Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Frederiksted, St. Croix; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Bassterre, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Phillipsburg, Sint Maarten. Martinique had been substituted for Dominica, due to the hurricanes of last fall. We had RCI shore excursions in St. Croix and St. Kitts, and did some exploring in the other ports, which we have visited a number of times. All shorex were well run with very good hosts. Our shorex reviews follow in the shore excursion part of this review.

Cabin

We had stateroom 9070, a Superior Ocean View room with balcony, port side, just forward of midships. It measures 194 square feet with a 48 square foot balcony. This room is just adequate for space with a reasonable amount of storage. The three-piece bathroom is absolutely claustrophobic, with a tiny round shower, vacuum toilet and sink/vanity. There is an opening part of the mirror which functions as a medicine cabinet. There are only two toiletries provided: hand soap bars and a combination shampoo/conditioner dispenser in the shower itself. The stateroom itself is furnished with a double-opening closet, including folding pants racks, top to bottom open shelving and an overhead rack for storing life jackets and other items, a digital wall safe, small fridge (which never seemed to cool at all, in spite of our complaints to our stateroom attendant to have it looked at), flat screen TV, hair dryer, lighted makeup mirror, robes (which we had to ask for), a (filthy) sofa bed, one desk chair, a tiny coffee table, and a mattress-on-tube frame bed which was made up to queen size for us. The room has a nice décor, however, it is dated and the furnishings are a bit worn. The two 110-v outlets are only just adequate for various devices and cameras and the sole 220-v outlet had been disabled, or the prong cover was missing; we were never sure. There are data ports next to the electrical outlets as well, however, they do not work; it does show the age of the ship. The balcony is rusted in many areas and the furniture is fading. One thing that surprised us was the dirty carpets beside and under the bed and sofa bed; we would not have noticed this but we had to look for a missing suitcase lock so while searching on the floor and underneath the furniture, we were appalled at just how filthy it was.

Dining

We had main dining at 8 p.m. in the Reflections Dining Room on Deck 4. Our table was in the forward middle area of the room, adjacent to the staircase leading up to the Deck 5 level of the dining room (where My Time Dining was offered). Our servers were pleasant, very attentive and could not do enough for us. The menu was not particularly special and suffered from a lot of repetition, much of which we had experienced on the Vision of the Seas, just a few months ago. Meals were not consistently delivered on time (sometimes we left the dining room close to or after 10 p.m.) and were frequently just warm. As on our last cruise on the Vision, we were surprised to see an upcharge for things like surf and turf, or specialty steak, with an added 18% gratuity – who charges a gratuity on food in the main dining room? Unbelievable. We are going to be moving our dining time back to 5:30 p.m. from this point on. We also dined at the Chops Grille and Giovanni’s Table specialty restaurants; they were very good; tip: buy the three-dinner package to save money. Bars were plentiful around the ship and our favourites were the R Bar in the Centrum (where we enjoyed fabulous martinis by Julio), and the Vintages Wine Bar on Deck 6; tip: by the 10 for $75 drink card which is shareable and good for drinks up to $12 each; note that this is not offered until Day 2 or 3 but ask your server on embarkation day. There is a Café Latté-tudes on Deck 5 to enjoy your specialty coffee fix at a cost of $31 for 15 coffees (as I recall).

Children's clubs

N/A. Did not utilize.

Entertainment

We probably attended more of the entertainment activities onboard this time compared to our last cruise. We had a variety of headliner acts as well as performances by the ship’s dancers and singers. There was a very good comedian, Gary Caouette on the first and third nights. Day two was a singer who normally headlines in Las Vegas. There was an ‘action comedian’ who rode around on a unicycle, juggles, etc. but he always seemed to be pandering for laughs. A perennial favourite was the Love and Marriage Game Show where audience members at various ages and years married audition for a question and answer session; it was hilarious. A superb piano showman, Craig Dahn, performed an amazing repertoire of hits and we learned later that he had performed with the late Liberace. We only saw one show by the ‘Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers’- it wasn’t that good in that there was not much we recognized in their repertoire. The best act of the week was “Britain’s Finest”, a Beatles tribute band – they absolutely brought the house down, with a standing ovation and encore performances. They also performed in the Centrum on the last day of the cruise – wow! The ship’s orchestra were superb as were other bands such as Island Vibz, the Music Makers, and various pianists and guitarists. All in all, the entertainment was superb.

Disembarkation

Disembarkation was in Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades). The process went very smoothly, we were off the ship and through Customs & Border Protection very quickly as we had Trusted Traveller (NEXUS) cards to expedite immigration. We waited about ten minutes for a taxi to take us to the FLL airport (about a ten-minute ride). Oddly, there were Broward County Sherriff’s officers doing the taxi concierge at the port; I wonder about whether this should be handled by Port security staff instead of law enforcement - there was certainly enough of it around.

Other

RCI offers VOOM, a standard or high-speed Wi-Fi service. I only opted for it for a couple of days before return to FLL, to check in for our flight. It was relatively easy to sign up for but constantly reminded me to sign in on my tablet. There is an app for this ship, however, it was not very good and did not really tell me anything that I could not find out from the Cruise Compass (daily newsletter) or the touchscreen wayfinding and information boards throughout the ship.

The Tropical Theatre is mostly well laid out for viewing but there are spots where views are obstructed by poles. Note that the center upper part of the Theatre, accessed on Deck 6, is reserved for Diamond or higher level loyalty members. Tips: go to headliner shows as early as possible and pick up your drinks from the bar located in the Theatre on Deck 5, rather than wait for a bar server – we rarely saw them. Avoid going to the Theatre on Deck 5 as you have to walk through a very smoky Casino; it will leave you choking and the smoke wafts out of the Casino into neighbouring areas on this deck.

Summary

We quite enjoyed our cruise on the Serenade. It is perfectly sized for us and easy to get around. The itinerary suited our desire to get away to a favourite area of ours and enjoy some hot weather.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

As we had stopped here a number of times before and toured the island as well as St. John’s, the neighbouring island, we opted to go Paradise Point, which has a tram running from Highway 30 (by the West Indian Company Dock), in the Havensight Mall area, across the harbour from the town of Charlotte Amalie. Upon arriving in Charlotte Amalie, we discovered that we were docked at the Crown Bay cruise ship port, located west of town. We had planned to walk to Paradise Point so now we had to take a taxi. We were dismayed to learn that the tram was damaged in the recent hurricanes and was not operating. We still went to the Havensight Mall area to do some shopping for our granddaughter but were surprised to see that there was hardly anyone in sight. About 80% of the shops were closed. We looked around in a few stores that were open but soon opted to go into town. We shopped around the main streets then went out to the harbourfront area before deciding to return to the ship.

Frederiksted, St. Croix

We opted to do the CX35 Panoramic Drive tour, which consisted of a drive in a mini-bus from Frederiksted, our port of arrival, around the west and north end of the island to the larger town of Christiansted. Unfortunately, the air conditioning was not working and everyone was very hot by the time we actually stopped for a restroom break and walkabout, around the harbour area. The drive itself was very picturesque, with beautiful views of the shoreline, seashore, beaches and breathtaking scenery, although the road conditions were terrible and the ride was excruciatingly bumpy. There was a lot of devastation from Hurricane Irma and the infrastructure was in poor condition. Apparently there are not many opportunities for locals to participate in reconstruction. To add to the misery, a very large refinery was closed a few years ago, throwing thousands of employees out of work and affecting the supporting industries to the refinery as well.

Fort-de-France, Martinique

We were last here in 2002 so were eager to see what had changed in 16 years. Martinique is a French overseas territory, so French is the primary language spoken as well as local dialects, and the euro is the standard currency. Unfortunately, we were docked at the Tourelles Cruise Terminal, a good 20-25-minute walk from the town centre. It was a very hot and sunny day and I can tell you it was exhausting to walk this distance (in retrospect, we should have taken a taxi back to the ship). We only planned to do some souvenir shopping for our granddaughter and walked down several streets in the downtown area. Merchants were polite but not willing to negotiate, even trying to do so with my fluent French. In one shop, there was obviously signage that was misleading, both for the deal offered as well as the price (it was in euros, not US dollars). We stopped in the La Savane public park for a drink and snack (and to get out of the sunlight!) before returning to the ship.

Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis

We opted to do the KT39 Caribbean Scenic Rail & Sail Tour. When we got to the cruise terminal, there was a huge crowd of guests not only from our ship but from the recently-arrived Celebrity Silhouette cruise ship as well. Many cruisers were on the rail only portion of the tour and the tour operators did not do a very good job to get everyone separated; some Celebrity guests ended up on our tour by mistake. We were escorted to a nearby pier and boarded a large catamaran boat, equipped for both sail as well as power. One of the more awkward moments was a mandatory requirement to remove socks and shoes before boarding; this was very difficult for a largely senior crowd (including ourselves) as there was no where to sit to do this and we were hopping around on a narrow pier, close to the water. After placing our footwear into buckets, we boarded the boat, were briefed on the vessel’s facilities, safety procedures and, for many, the best part: the bar and snacks available (complimentary). We headed out of the harbour and around the west side of the island. Our Captain narrated our journey’s sightseeing as well as a history of St. Kitts and Nevis. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and the crew were fantastic, and so very helpful to us, most of which were seniors. After 90 minutes, we pulled into a small harbour near the northwest tip of the island, and proceeded to put our footwear back on, this time on a very narrow pier, with people pushing past and the every-present danger of being knocked into the water – a very bad arrangement. We boarded waiting mini-buses and were driven to a railhead about ten miles from the harbour stop. After a few minutes, we boarded a double-decker coach, part of a four-coach narrow gauge railroad train, for a tour around the north and eastern parts of the island. We started off at a very slow rate of speed (about 10 miles per hour). We saw some spectacular scenery, gorges, beaches, other islands (Saba, for example) in the distance, as well as scenes of abandoned sugar cane plantations, and devastated areas, due to neglect as well as hurricane damage. The journey was quite repetitive in what we saw and after one hour, we had had enough. Unfortunately, at 10 miles per hour, it was going to last another hour, and it did. The coaches are nicely equipped, staff are willing to serve as much punch, 150-proof rum and soft drinks as one wanted, they are restroom-equipped but the ride itself was noisy, squeaking wheels and constant rocking; it did not add to what we had seen advertised on the RCI website and the shorex presentations we had seen. There was a narrator giving the history of what we were supposed to see but the noise from the rickety coaches was so loud we could not hear her. We finally arrived back at the pier, shopped a bit, and then returned to the ship for lunch.

Phillipsburg, Sint Maarten

This was another port that we had visited before a number of times, so we did not do a ship tour but opted just to look around the town. We disembarked the ship and walked along the pier towards what we thought the route we usually take to get to Phillipsburg. We found our way blocked by the construction of new shopping centres so had to detour around this construction site towards again, what we thought was the promenade to town. Nope, we ended up at the water taxi pier where we had to buy a $7 day pass to ride the boat into town. This was quick and easy. We got off the taxi and wandered into the main streets of downtown. Every shop had someone stepping out to give us discount coupons or some other offer; at first it was amusing to experience this as we had not seen this on our previous visits. However, after a couple of blocks it was just annoying. Now, this is an island with a very large tourism industry and it was devastated by the hurricanes. We realize businesses are trying to recover and their staff have to earn a living. We did find what we were looking for on a back street, after dodging a lot of vehicles. We walked back to the taxi pier and took it back to the ship. We also did some browsing at the pier shops. It seemed to be a study in contrasts: new shopping centre buildings being erected with three super yachts tied up by our cruise ship, and the stark reality of one building after another destroyed or damaged, with debris everywhere. It was a visit we will not soon forget.


cruisinbill's Full Rating Summary
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Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony
Cabin D1 9070

We had stateroom 9070, a Superior Ocean View room with balcony, port side, just forward of midships. It measures 194 square feet with a 48 square foot balcony. This room is just adequate for space with a reasonable amount of storage. The three-piece bathroom is absolutely claustrophobic, with a tiny round shower, vacuum toilet and sink/vanity. There is an opening part of the mirror which functions as a medicine cabinet. There are only two toiletries provided: hand soap bars and a combination shampoo/conditioner dispenser in the shower itself. The stateroom itself is furnished with a double-opening closet, including folding pants racks, top to bottom open shelving and an overhead rack for storing life jackets and other items, a digital wall safe, small fridge (which never seemed to cool at all, in spite of our complaints to our stateroom attendant to have it looked at), flat screen TV, hair dryer, lighted makeup mirror, robes (which we had to ask for), a (filthy) sofa bed, one desk chair, a tiny coffee table, and a mattress-on-tube frame bed which was made up to queen size for us. The room has a nice décor, however, it is dated and the furnishings are a bit worn. The two 110-v outlets are only just adequate for various devices and cameras and the sole 220-v outlet had been disabled, or the prong cover was missing; we were never sure. There are data ports next to the electrical outlets as well, however, they do not work; it does show the age of the ship. The balcony is rusted in many areas and the furniture is fading. One thing that surprised us was the dirty carpets beside and under the bed and sofa bed; we would not have noticed this but we had to look for a missing suitcase lock so while searching on the floor and underneath the furniture, we were appalled at just how filthy it was.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

St. Thomas

As we had stopped here a number of times before and toured the island as well as St. John’s, the neighbouring island, we opted to go Paradise Point, which has a tram running from Highway 30 (by the West Indian Company Dock), in the Havensight Mall area, across the harbour from the town of Charlotte Amalie. Upon arriving in Charlotte Amalie, we discovered that we were docked at the Crown Bay cruise ship port, located west of town. We had planned to walk to Paradise Point so now we had to take a taxi. We were dismayed to learn that the tram was damaged in the recent hurricanes and was not operating. We still went to the Havensight Mall area to do some shopping for our granddaughter but were surprised to see that there was hardly anyone in sight. About 80% of the shops were closed. We looked around in a few stores that were open but soon opted to go into town. We shopped around the main streets then went out to the harbourfront area before deciding to return to the ship.

We opted to do the CX35 Panoramic Drive tour, which consisted of a drive in a mini-bus from Frederiksted, our port of arrival, around the west and north end of the island to the larger town of Christiansted. Unfortunately, the air conditioning was not working and everyone was very hot by the time we actually stopped for a restroom break and walkabout, around the harbour area. The drive itself was very picturesque, with beautiful views of the shoreline, seashore, beaches and breathtaking scenery, although the road conditions were terrible and the ride was excruciatingly bumpy. There was a lot of devastation from Hurricane Irma and the infrastructure was in poor condition. Apparently there are not many opportunities for locals to participate in reconstruction. To add to the misery, a very large refinery was closed a few years ago, throwing thousands of employees out of work and affecting the supporting industries to the refinery as well.

View All undefined undefined Reviews
Martinique

We were last here in 2002 so were eager to see what had changed in 16 years. Martinique is a French overseas territory, so French is the primary language spoken as well as local dialects, and the euro is the standard currency. Unfortunately, we were docked at the Tourelles Cruise Terminal, a good 20-25-minute walk from the town centre. It was a very hot and sunny day and I can tell you it was exhausting to walk this distance (in retrospect, we should have taken a taxi back to the ship). We only planned to do some souvenir shopping for our granddaughter and walked down several streets in the downtown area. Merchants were polite but not willing to negotiate, even trying to do so with my fluent French. In one shop, there was obviously signage that was misleading, both for the deal offered as well as the price (it was in euros, not US dollars). We stopped in the La Savane public park for a drink and snack (and to get out of the sunlight!) before returning to the ship.

Catamaran Tour

We opted to do the KT39 Caribbean Scenic Rail & Sail Tour. When we got to the cruise terminal, there was a huge crowd of guests not only from our ship but from the recently-arrived Celebrity Silhouette cruise ship as well. Many cruisers were on the rail only portion of the tour and the tour operators did not do a very good job to get everyone separated; some Celebrity guests ended up on our tour by mistake. We were escorted to a nearby pier and boarded a large catamaran boat, equipped for both sail as well as power. One of the more awkward moments was a mandatory requirement to remove socks and shoes before boarding; this was very difficult for a largely senior crowd (including ourselves) as there was no where to sit to do this and we were hopping around on a narrow pier, close to the water. After placing our footwear into buckets, we boarded the boat, were briefed on the vessel’s facilities, safety procedures and, for many, the best part: the bar and snacks available (complimentary). We headed out of the harbour and around the west side of the island. Our Captain narrated our journey’s sightseeing as well as a history of St. Kitts and Nevis. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and the crew were fantastic, and so very helpful to us, most of which were seniors. After 90 minutes, we pulled into a small harbour near the northwest tip of the island, and proceeded to put our footwear back on, this time on a very narrow pier, with people pushing past and the every-present danger of being knocked into the water – a very bad arrangement. We boarded waiting mini-buses and were driven to a railhead about ten miles from the harbour stop. After a few minutes, we boarded a double-decker coach, part of a four-coach narrow gauge railroad train, for a tour around the north and eastern parts of the island. We started off at a very slow rate of speed (about 10 miles per hour). We saw some spectacular scenery, gorges, beaches, other islands (Saba, for example) in the distance, as well as scenes of abandoned sugar cane plantations, and devastated areas, due to neglect as well as hurricane damage. The journey was quite repetitive in what we saw and after one hour, we had had enough. Unfortunately, at 10 miles per hour, it was going to last another hour, and it did. The coaches are nicely equipped, staff are willing to serve as much punch, 150-proof rum and soft drinks as one wanted, they are restroom-equipped but the ride itself was noisy, squeaking wheels and constant rocking; it did not add to what we had seen advertised on the RCI website and the shorex presentations we had seen. There was a narrator giving the history of what we were supposed to see but the noise from the rickety coaches was so loud we could not hear her. We finally arrived back at the pier, shopped a bit, and then returned to the ship for lunch.

View All 128 Catamaran Tour Reviews
Scenic Railway

We opted to do the KT39 Caribbean Scenic Rail & Sail Tour. When we got to the cruise terminal, there was a huge crowd of guests not only from our ship but from the recently-arrived Celebrity Silhouette cruise ship as well. Many cruisers were on the rail only portion of the tour and the tour operators did not do a very good job to get everyone separated; some Celebrity guests ended up on our tour by mistake. We were escorted to a nearby pier and boarded a large catamaran boat, equipped for both sail as well as power. One of the more awkward moments was a mandatory requirement to remove socks and shoes before boarding; this was very difficult for a largely senior crowd (including ourselves) as there was no where to sit to do this and we were hopping around on a narrow pier, close to the water. After placing our footwear into buckets, we boarded the boat, were briefed on the vessel’s facilities, safety procedures and, for many, the best part: the bar and snacks available (complimentary). We headed out of the harbour and around the west side of the island. Our Captain narrated our journey’s sightseeing as well as a history of St. Kitts and Nevis. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and the crew were fantastic, and so very helpful to us, most of which were seniors. After 90 minutes, we pulled into a small harbour near the northwest tip of the island, and proceeded to put our footwear back on, this time on a very narrow pier, with people pushing past and the every-present danger of being knocked into the water – a very bad arrangement. We boarded waiting mini-buses and were driven to a railhead about ten miles from the harbour stop. After a few minutes, we boarded a double-decker coach, part of a four-coach narrow gauge railroad train, for a tour around the north and eastern parts of the island. We started off at a very slow rate of speed (about 10 miles per hour). We saw some spectacular scenery, gorges, beaches, other islands (Saba, for example) in the distance, as well as scenes of abandoned sugar cane plantations, and devastated areas, due to neglect as well as hurricane damage. The journey was quite repetitive in what we saw and after one hour, we had had enough. Unfortunately, at 10 miles per hour, it was going to last another hour, and it did. The coaches are nicely equipped, staff are willing to serve as much punch, 150-proof rum and soft drinks as one wanted, they are restroom-equipped but the ride itself was noisy, squeaking wheels and constant rocking; it did not add to what we had seen advertised on the RCI website and the shorex presentations we had seen. There was a narrator giving the history of what we were supposed to see but the noise from the rickety coaches was so loud we could not hear her. We finally arrived back at the pier, shopped a bit, and then returned to the ship for lunch.

View All 303 Scenic Railway Reviews
St. Maarten

This was another port that we had visited before a number of times, so we did not do a ship tour but opted just to look around the town. We disembarked the ship and walked along the pier towards what we thought the route we usually take to get to Phillipsburg. We found our way blocked by the construction of new shopping centres so had to detour around this construction site towards again, what we thought was the promenade to town. Nope, we ended up at the water taxi pier where we had to buy a $7 day pass to ride the boat into town. This was quick and easy. We got off the taxi and wandered into the main streets of downtown. Every shop had someone stepping out to give us discount coupons or some other offer; at first it was amusing to experience this as we had not seen this on our previous visits. However, after a couple of blocks it was just annoying. Now, this is an island with a very large tourism industry and it was devastated by the hurricanes. We realize businesses are trying to recover and their staff have to earn a living. We did find what we were looking for on a back street, after dodging a lot of vehicles. We walked back to the taxi pier and took it back to the ship. We also did some browsing at the pier shops. It seemed to be a study in contrasts: new shopping centre buildings being erected with three super yachts tied up by our cruise ship, and the stark reality of one building after another destroyed or damaged, with debris everywhere. It was a visit we will not soon forget.


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