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We have a large group, perhaps up to 10 cabins considering the Destiny for our November cruise out of San Juan. After pouring through hundreds of posts, I have many concerns.
1.Are local schoolchildren on vacation the week of Nov. 14th? Some say those sailings are overrun with local children.
2.Is there really no Carribean band entertaining on deck. Read that they play taped music.
3.Many report problems with embarkation and disembarkation. Was this just last year or is it common on the Destiny.
4.Air conditioning problems?
5.Ship showing signs of age?
Please share your experiences good or bad. Thank you in advance for your honest responses.
1. I sailed in October, and there was not a lot of kids.
2. There was a band thay played, Total Eclipse. Mind you this was October and I don't know if this has changed.
3. Embarkation was very quick. We checked our lugage at the airport, so we were able to skip the very long line and walk right on the ship. Disembarkation was a terrible. Took 8 hours to get off ship, but there were extenuating circumstances (See below).
4. I was on the Destiny last October when the AC broke. We returned to port 2 days early because of this. Customs refused to come on the ship because of no AC, so we had to go to RCs dock. Took 8 hours to get off ship.
5. This was my first cruise, so I have nothing to compare it to. I didn't think the ship looked old. Everything was in working order, except AC. lol
Quick answers, yes there will be some kids, the ship is 'older' but I thought it was in good shape. Embarcation/debarkation/airport was a nightmare for me, but none of the recent reviews have had an issue, so they might have gone back to their 'usual' terminal in PR.
Research the baggage issue before you go. Our airfare and tranfers were through carnival, so I was under the impression that we would be able to dump our bags somewhere at the airport or bus depot, and not see them again until they arrived at our room. Not so, lugged them through the whole line 2 feet at a time for an hour. Porters would only serve the locals arriving by car and taxi, and they got to cut to the front of the line. Hopefully this has changed, based on the above post and rumors of the new/improved terminal.
Thank you all for your responses. As it turns out, Nov. 11th PR celebrates Veteren's day and on the 19th they celebrate Puerto Rico Day, both are school holidays and perhaps explains why local families choose this time of year to travel. Hopefully the air conditioning problems and the pier issues have been worked out. I'm considering staying over and flying out Monday morning to avoid the airport congestion. Any thoughts on this?
From what I experienced in the PR airport, I would definately enjoy a Sunday night stay if you can swing the extra time off work, etc. It seemed like many RCCL passengers with 9:30 am flights did anyway, as they shut down standby seating on our 4:00 (last of the day) flight.
If you do decide on a Sunday flight, and the airport is a zoo, go back outside and get a porter. Many of our problems seemed to be from the porters 'delivering' passengers and their bags right near the front of the line. You'll risk a loud confrontation with the people behind you, but you might still make your flight, if you conscience allows it.
Then again, recent travelers haven't reported any problems.
I got 50% back and 50% off another cruise. Not a bad deal.
My airfare was not through Carnival, but I had transfers. I was able to check my luggage at the airport and it showed up at my cabin door that night. I did not need to stand in the long line.
Just an FYI on the returning flight home. You need to go through Agriculture. We didn't know this and had to get out of line and go back outside to have our luggage scanned. Not that big of a deal, just an annoyance.