KellsBells71 Posted March 16 Report Share Posted March 16 Thought I would give my thoughts on our first cruise experience. As we have never cruised before, the ship really didn't matter to me, but the ports did. We choose this itinerary out of San Juan due to the ports. We flew in a day before the cruise. Day 1 - Embarkation Day. We arrived around 10:30 to meet up with family. Our time was scheduled for 12noon. Everything went smoothly. We decided to use the porters for our luggage. We quickly headed to Windjammer to grab something to eat. It wasn't very crowded when we were there. After lunch we toured the ship to get our bearings and to figure out where everything is. We were able to get into our rooms around 3pm and our luggage came shortly after. At first we didn't purchase the drink package because we thought that since we were going to be at ports everyday, we would drink more off the ship, but while on the ship, we were having a few beavies and then decided to buy the drink package. lol. It was buy 1 at $72.00 per day and the second one half price. In my opinion based on how much we drink, we appreciated the drink package. This sale price was only for 1 day. Looking back at my account, we drank a lot! LOL and no, buying the drink package did not prompt us to drink more! . We also got 2 suvenlour cups to use as well. As it was casual night, we ate in the Main Dining Room. Our dinner time was set for 7:15 each night. Muster Drill - easy peasy. Watched the video on the app and went down to our station and had the attendant scan our phone. That was GREAT...I hope they don't do away with it. We decided on a balcony room, which I'm sure glad we did. For myself, I need to see some daylight! We were on the 6th floor, right above the Promenade, in the middle close by the elevator and stairs. This was an AWESOME location being so close to the stairs and elevator. I thought noise would be a factor, but it wasn't. The only complaint that I had was that the bed was very hard; too hard for me so sleeping was an issue. Couple of days we slept with the balcony door open and some days I actually slept on the balcony on the chairs. I don't sleep at the best of times, so having a balcony was great. Day 2 - St. Thomas. It was cloudy and raining. I was planning on doing Skyride to Paradise Point and then do the walking trail at Magens Bay and walk down to the beach, but best laid plans didn't work out. The ship docked at Crown Bay so we were not walking distance to Skyride. Because of the rain, we quickly decided to jump on a tour bus. This bus took us around the island and then we stopped at Mountain Top and had their famous banana daiquiris and did some shopping there. The view is awesome from Mountain Top where you can see Magens Bay. Day 3 - St. Croix. We took a taxi over to Rainbow Beach. The taxi was $15.00 per person! When we got to Rainbow Beach the cost of 1 umbrella and 2 beach chairs were $70.00 and then $15.00 each for extra chairs. After laying on the beach and drinking, we decided to walk back to the pier and do a little more shopping. Day 4 - St. Maarten. Since we have been there before, we didn't do any tours. We walked the board walk, and did some shopping. Ate lunch at the Blue Bitch Bar, listened to some live music and just enjoyed the day. We came back to the ship and took advantage of the empty ship and had a nice nap on the deck! Day 4 - St. Lucia. We decided to do a private tour with Real St. Lucia Tours. It was called an Island Expo Tour. Not really what I was expecting based on the itinerary. The driver we had was good, but was really promoting his own tours....he was called in as the original driver had to have laser eye surgery. We drove through Castries, Anes La Raye, saw the Government House, stopped in Soufriere, went to a waterfall and then did the Volcano, Sulphur Springs, and Black Water Pool....that was awesome! On our way back we had a great lunch at a beautiful spot overlooking the Piton Mountains. Day 5 - Barbados. We headed over to Carlisle Beach and stayed there for the day. Ordered buckets of beer and rum punch and had the Flying Fish Sandwich which was awesome! Day 6 - St. Kitts. This was my favourite island. We took a cab to South Friars Bay and hung out at a place called Shipwreck Beach Bar and Grill. It was awesome! You didn't have pay for any chairs! A bucket of 6 beers, plus 1 extra beer and rum punch was only $20.00 and the food was amazing. There are monkey's on the property which you can feed. It was quite, lots of room on the reach. This was mentioned to us by a few people on the ship, and we were glad that we went there. Day 7 - on our last day, we decided not to do luggage assist as we grabbed a taxi and headed to our hotel in Old San Juan as we stayed for 2 more nights. Everything went smoothly. However, waiting for the elevator did take forever! LOL Each morning at 6:30 we would head down to the Promenade and get coffee. My favourite was the white chocolate latte. We would grab our coffees and head up to the walking track and just walked around enjoying the sites and watching the sun rise. Overall, we had a GREAT time being our first cruise. Now let's talk about the Ship. The ship is older. I understand that it was refurbished, but I don't recall when. I liked the smaller, intimate feeling of the ship and it never seemed crowded. We ate at the MDR for breakfast and dinner and only had lunch at the windjammer on our first day and then on another day. We preferred the MDR. Loved how at the Windjammer they make you wash your hands. At least for the most part I saw people complying! Royal Carribean App - was good. However when texting, I would prefer that it buzzes or something as you always need to go into the app to see if someone texted you. Cruise Compass -I hear they are moving away from paper copies and you just have to scan the bar code, but we did get paper copies, which I will be scanning and submitting on the Cruise Compass Board. I did buy the internet package while on the ship. Not that I was on social media, I just prefer to always have contact with family back home in case of emergencies. I never had an issue with the internet package on the ship. Day 1 was Welcome Aboard. Day 2 was French Night and it was the first formal night. Day 3 was Italian Night. Day 4 was Caribbean Night. Day 5 was Mexican Night. Day 6 was Royal Night and this was the second formal night and the complimentary lobster if you wanted. Day 7 was Welcome to Bon Voyage. Breakfast in the MDR was good. They always had a good selection. My favourite was the fresh squeezed OJ and Power Wrap. Dinner in the MDR was good too. I always found that there was something to choose from. Favourites were shrimp cocktail, escargot, Carne Asada, French onion soup, and of course, lobster! Desserts - always something good! Location of our room. We were in 6320; balcony and it was great. Basically steps away from the elevator and stairs. Noise was never a factor which I was concerned with being just above the Promenade. I'm a light sleeper so anything can wake me up. After dinner we always did a show; ice skating show, comedians, singing, etc. All were good. After our excursions, we always hung out at the Sky Beach Bar. Our Bartenders Ashish and Ashquan were amazing! Try the chocolate martini! Had one everyday! This is why we returned; because of Ashish and Ashquan. Best bartenders ever! Couple of things I was happy I brought: Chair clips for our towels on beach days. Metal hooks for the room. We used these a lot to hang stuff off of. I felt that we had lots of space in our room. I also took a sponge and soaked it in soap; let it dry and cut it up. I used that a few times to clean clothes and such. I know that there are lots of videos wth recommendations on what to bring and what you need....however, these were my 2 essentials and I didn't feel like I needed anything else. No shoe racks, no clothing baskets, etc. Did I pack too much....of course. Here are my thoughts. Formal night. Since there are 2 and they are not back to back....I would have been ok wearing the same outfit. Bathing suit, I only needed 2. I brought 2 pairs of jean shorts, but ended up wearing skorts. Of course t-shirts and tank tops. 1 pair of beach sandals, 1 pair of sandals for dinner and Sketchers for walking around. My husband could have gotten away with 2 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 swin trunks and just a couple of resort shirts. He brought golf shirts for the MDR but ended up wearing resort shirts and pants. We did use laundry service 1/2 way thorough the cruise just for underwear and t-shirts. Service was awesome. Kevin our stewardship made sure we had everything we needed. MDR - our hosts Rogelio and Krismart were great. I wish they would enforce the dress code a little more; some came in wearing beach shorts (men), flip flops, etc. My hubby wore a nice pair of golf pants and resort shirts each night. The only time he wore a nice pair of shorts was on the first day and the last day. And men, please remove your baseball cap/hat or cowboy hat when eating in the MDR. Just be a little more formal than usual! The only specialty restaurant we did was Izumi and it was awesome! I had the Poke Bowl and my hubby had Sashimi. It was awesome and I would highly recommend it! We did not feel the need to try out any other specialty restaurants we we were quite content in the MDR. As for other bars, we only hung out at the Sky Pool Bar. After dinner did a show and then went to bed! Never experienced the night life after the shows. We were exhausted from being in the sun all day; plus I was always up around 3am, so for me it was long days! All in all it was a great vacation and we will definitely be cruising again! foxrunner, morganpink2001, whitsmom and 15 others 14 4 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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