We arrived by Southwest Airlines into Ft Lauderdale, caught the GO shuttle to Miami. Very easy to do! $20.00pp, 45 min & It dropped us off right in front of the terminal. Embarkation wasn't as much of a hassle as it had been in other ports, unless you are cruising on Carnival Liberty & you are holding up the security line because you are in the wrong terminal :}. That was all we had to wait on until we got to the front of the line. Our agent seemed a little new, as he was taking a bit longer to process us on & we had our paperwork done. Oh well, we got on. The ship was beautiful! Really loved the touch screens near the elevators. Made it so easy that you didn't have to carry a cruise compass with you.
Hmmm. Average is all I can say. Nothing stood out. Service was adequate. We had main seating. Took almost 1 hour each night to get appetizers. On the 4Th night, it took 1 15 min for salads. We finally got our main meal & it was wrong. Steak was cold. We left without eating main course & didn't go back. We opted for the Windjammer the next night. It wasn't fancy, but we got a selection & didn't have to wait.
We have always had a balcony room on other cruises, never anything smaller. We opted for a Promenade stateroom this time as our friends we were cruising with had a JS, so we could visit them. We chose the PR from seeing it on cabin crawl in November on the Voyager. (Cabin crawl is an awesome way to see other stateroom categories). We had adequate room. Closet was same as we had in our balcony room prior. The main difference was the bed. It allowed a smaller walking space in the room since the end was only 12 inches from the wall. We really liked the window looking out. It had 2 small seating couches & a chair at the desk. We had plenty of room for 8 days for the 2 of us. The bathroom seemed about the same size. The only drawback we had was where they place the light switch to the bathroom. It is behind the door. The door opens to the room, so if you turn the light on & open the door, it will light up the room & wake everyone up. The room is very dark, so bring a small flashlight to avoid this.
We didn't notice any noise that bothered us. You could barely hear any from the promenade. Good location as we were above Guest Services, so noise was minimal.
We didn't spend much time on this port as we opted for the ferry to go to St Johns. Taxi fees are not posted. We spent $10.00 pp & $6.00 Ferry to St Johns. Took about 25 min taxi ride & 20 min ferry ride. Coming back we took the ferry that went back to the Charlotte-Amalie Wharf. This was $11.00 pp & took 45 minutes on the ferry. It was then a 1-1/2 walk back to the ship. But it was a very beautiful walk through the shopping area. We spent most of the day on St Johns just walking the town. We will spend more time on St Thomas on our next cruise & not go to St Johns, since there wasn't much too see. Although it is beautiful & has a National Park on it.
OK this port was way cool. We have decided to take another cruise with this port in the itinerary. We opted to get a taxi ride to Maho beach. Taxi takes about 40 minutes depending on traffic due to the drawbridge. Be sure to fill the taxi so your rate is less. Rates are posted & non negotiable. We paid $8.00 per person each way. Maho Beach is totally cool if you don't mind low flying jumbo jets & blowing sand, We didn't. The jets are literally 50 feet or so above your head as they are coming to the landing strip. When they take off, the jet blast from the plane will throw you in the water if you are in that area. There are signs warning of this. You can sit at Sunset Beach bar & grill & just chill watching the planes. This is a must see excursion. Don't book on the ship as you will only get to stay there 30 min-1hr & may only get to see 1-2 planes. We saw 8 land between 11:30 am & 2:45 pm. There is a beautiful beach to hang out & watch the planes. The water is very beautiful. While you are waiting for planes landing there is a small shopping area about 1/2 mile with several shops.
San Juan is nice. Seemed a bit crowded in the shopping area. Very narrow streets. We didn't stay long when we found the 2 forts that looked quite a bit more interesting. We went to Fort San Felipe Del Morro. Be prepared to walk! There is a lot to see. We spent 3 hours there & didn't cover it all. Really very interesting history. Cost was $3.00 or you could do both for $5.00 per person. It is part of the National park system so your pass may work if you have it. We will return here & finish our exploring of the forts. It is really interesting seeing where our history is born & lived.