I arrived on Friday into San Juan and took a taxi to the Caribe Hilton. The hotel is beautiful but felt it was very overpriced. The weather was clear and sunny on Friday. Friday night there was a 5.4 earthquake. The service in the hotel restaurants was very slow and over priced. Small offering of restaurants on Friday evening and the same on Saturday. Yes I understand it was Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
We took a cab from the hotel about 12:30 and arrived at the ship. Our travel agent ordered our luggage tags but my sister ordered them online which was easy to do. It seemed a little disorganized but I saw a holder stating - Platinum Members luggage drop off. We all dropped off our luggage at that spot and then got the piece of paper that you had to fill out if you had been sick etc. Why can't they send it prior so you are not trying to find a pen quickly. We went through security which we had no issues. Got in line for the Platinum and checked in pretty quickly and got on board.
The weather on Sunday was not that great to lay out so we sat by the bar and then went down to the room to shower and change and wait for our luggage. The luggage came later than when we were on the Serenade in 2006-2009. My sister gave the room steward some money - and voila our bags were there.
We went into dinner the first night and was disappointed at how slow the service was. One of the "red" coats maitr'd told us to leave so they can get ready for the next night. Gee that wasn't our fault service was slow. My sister was very nice and went and talked with another maitr'd and the service was better the next night (we had 3 tables of 8). He hovered to make sure everything was ok but never came and said how is everything. I didnt even bother handing in my ticket to him due to that fact. I felt some were just there to do a job and that was that. How boring is that - why not make the best of it - better service = better tips and so much fun for all. It even took awhile for the bar service to catch on that they can make bigger tips since we would order about 17 shots every night. What a miss on their part. We had a great bartender on the Adventure when we went 04-05.
Entertainment - I felt the entertainment was bad. No "special" entertainment like we have had in the past. If felt like after dinner there wasn't much in entertainment. Who heard of ice carving at 11 pm??????? We were disappointed in this cruise and the state of the ship. Friends of ours had a balcony room and the wood on the balcony needed touch ups - it had scrapes of it chipping. The "towels" idea needs to be refigured. My sister was charged $20 for a towel that she returned. It was easier to have them in the room. I understand people leaving them on the beach etc and it costs the cruise line money. If there are 2 people in the room - leave 2 towels. If they are not back that night in the room then CHARGE them. Seems alot easier.
Stores on board: Disappointed in the apparel choices as always. Why can't they offer pads of paper with the RCCL logo on it. What about dish towels with the logo on it.
The weather was fair. One day we had lots of rain in St Kitts. Dominica we did a private tour of the waterfalls. We had 2 vans since there was 23 of us. The tour was great - the walk to the "warmer" waterfalls was very hard and a little scary since it was raining and somewhat slippery. Again the tour guys held our hands and helped us down. Boy I had trouble sitting down the next day. It needs to have strenuous noted in there. Barbados - what can I say! It is one of our favorite islands. St. Croix - first time there and we booked chairs at this hotel. Later it got very crowded when we were leaving. St Thomas was our usual Sapphire Beach and then back to the beach.
We have booked next year on the same ship but hope that it is fixed up! We were very disappointed in the islands when we booked on the ship. We even looked at the Celebrity ships but didn't like the islands.
No issues with the cabin. The refrigerator didn't feel like it kept the drinks cold. They were lukewarm.