Jump to content

Fascination Review 9/22/19-9/29/19


Recommended Posts

Hello All.  

 

About a week past our Southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan and thought I’d give a little more detailed review

 

We arrived into San Juan the afternoon before our Sunday evening departure.  San Juan only allows taxi service from the airport so that 20 minute ride to our hotel in Condado was our only experience with that service; all others (4 total) were very economical and fast Uber service.  Our hotel was the modest Holiday Inn Express with below lagoon view from our room.  The hotel was going thru a lot of remodeling which showed promise from the interior standpoint (pedestal sinks, distressed armoires) but kept dated features such as the 24” narrow entryway.

 

I had scouted out several Condado area restaurants & we walked to nearby PJs Pizzeria for a late lunch.  We shared a calzone since it was huge & my wife enjoyed her first mojito.

 

Later we went a to Condado Beach (1 block from the hotel).  The beach is well known for its high surf & due to Hurricane Jerry passing close by earlier that day we didn’t venture far out.  Headed back into the shopping area to CVS and Walgreens before Googling for nearby ice cream; found good gelato at Gelato & Co in the San Juan Marriott Resort.  By then it was getting dark & being about a 10 minute walk back to our hotel we decided to call it a night.  One thing that surprised us about Condado was the amount of homeless.  Condado itself was a broad mixture of 4-5 star hotels & restaurants next to run-down buildings.  Traffic on Ashford Ave was always at a crawl so we never considered using transportation.

 

Will post tomorrow on OSJ.

43BD1766-F540-41C0-9E8E-87D78C150F56.jpeg

2C83BB88-554A-4977-BCBB-6306C908B144.jpeg

215C5BD1-2B66-4148-94A8-38298EC045E4.jpeg

AEBA23BC-C30D-45FE-80A1-383F29C5B3FA.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

The next morning we went early to breakfast in Condado at Pannes.  Opens at 6am for breakfast & is well reviewed for the variety (American, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Caribbean) as well as food presentation.  

 

Checked out of the hotel around 9am & scheduled an Uber.  Was very impressed with how the app works (viewing your driver route approaching) as well as speed in San Juan from request to pickup (never more than 5 minutes).  Cost was $3.40 for appx 15 minute trip to Barachinas in OSJ.  I always gave a $5 cash tip.

 

Barachinas restaurant (aka birthplace of the Pina Colada) offers free luggage service daily from 9am-5pm (tips welcome).  It is only a 12 minute walk to the OSJ port but we had several suitcases, so we elected transportation to/from the port before & after the cruise (late flight).

 

Most shops in OSJ opens on Sunday at 11am, so we headed first to Morro fort.  Only posting one picture below from the fort as it is well documented elsewhere.  There were 4 Park rangers at the entrance when we arrived (still there at the front when we left) and none providing scheduled tours/info inside.  We eventually got a little lost due to the several levels of the fort but made it back to the entrance before noon.  We saw one of those free golf carts OSJ now uses in replacement of the trolleys but the driver had set places he would go (we wanted San Juan Bautista Cathedral).

 

We walked back in the general direction of Barachinas.  Stopped at Chocobar Cotez for a snack & the Coach store for my wife.  Our scheduled ship check in time (12:30-1:00) had passed but I was more pressed on not spending too much time doing things we could at home.  Made it back to Barachinas, gathered The luggage and requested Uber.  10 minutes later dropped off in front of pier 4.  

 

Time from exiting Uber to in our cabin room was about 30 minutes.  We were handed a letter stating the ship’s itinerary may change (more later on this) due to TS Karen heading north from the Southern Caribbean.

 

We took our S&S cards & exited the ship about 2pm (all aboard is 4:30).  Stores like CVS, Walgreens, Foot Locker, Marshall’s are all within walking distance as well as several food and product street vendors (I got fake Ray Bans for $8).  

 

Came back onboard about 4pm.  Sail away in San Juan is at 6 which took precedence over our Early Dining that night.  It was overcast but still a great sight.  

 

It was later announced that Monday’s scheduled stop in St Thomas was to be replaced on Wednesday in Dominica with St Maarten and St Kitts moving up a day on the schedule (pic below).

 

More soon!

 

Pictures below:

•Pannes French toast with Nutella, Cafe Latte

•Pannes breakfast tacos (too much eggs but good)

•The restrooms at Morro fort had a view of the Pacific 

•Churros and chocolate  hazelnut filled croissant at Chocobar

•Choco shakes at Chocobar (it was too hot that day to be drinking their famous hot chocolate)

•The only plug outlet in our stateroom.  Notice one side is actually 220 so the dual plug adapter  we brought did not work.  Luckily our stateroom attendant Yusuf brought us an extension cord!

•New itinerary schedule (will be changed again).

 

4D21A950-4295-4142-AE95-502E0B23D136.jpeg

042AD5D3-2D48-4BCB-826A-45EC5418A55F.jpeg

468E0196-D2E9-4E96-8483-F6C5E46647FF.jpeg

98912F82-7A92-49C9-8FB3-EF095B371048.jpeg

FC340508-1210-4CBF-8D64-E19797C7F798.jpeg

07EE9464-E7F0-47D4-93F9-FDBC8D558BA9.jpeg

9BA5E12B-2C3B-4EF7-9050-D2A03A159971.jpeg

7C1ED705-F22A-49FD-ADCD-CF7B203BB2D1.jpeg

Edited by soonernstlouis
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a brief review of St Maarten.  We are morning people, so being up at 6, breakfast at 7

and off the ship at first call is what we like to do.

 

We were the 2nd couple off the ship & after pictures in front of the iconic St Maarten sign, we went past the closed port shops to the taxi stand.  This port has very organized taxi service where the person writes down your destination, tells you the rate & seats you in groups or leads you to the taxi until full.  We talked to the other “first couple off the ship” and agreed to combine since our destination (Mullet Bay Beach) was just past theirs (Maho Beach).  I hinted to the other couple that Maho had less planes landing in the morning and was not as nice for swimming as Mullet Bay.  So they agreed to go to Mullet Bay first.  

 

Our first hour & 1/2 at Mullet Bay turned out to be a private beach for the 4 of us!  It was a beautiful, calm wave beach where you could see planes approaching but not quite landing.  The other couple decided to walk to Maho around noon (takes about 15 minutes thru town).  We stayed until 1:30 & were taken back to port by same driver we had scheduled with.  Driver was nice by only charging the per person rate we started with ($10) than the one we should have ($20).  A forewarning about Mullet Bay-chairs/umbrellas are abundant but the  food service stand doesn’t start until 11, I never saw the promised port-a-potties being dropped off and no place to wash off sand.  So we had a lot of San to wash off back of the ship.  When we left Mullet Bay, their was about 100 folks on a half-mile long beach so not crowded at all.

 

Back off the ship around 2 (4:30 all aboard) to the port shops and specifically Amsterdam Cheese Store.  Was really looking forward to the latter to get a 7lb wheel of Gouda for about $21.  They do still give free samples but were more stingy than previous reviews indicated.  Tried the almond cookies (about $1 each) which were good.

 

Tuesday will be surprise sea day.

 

pictures below:

 

•”Private” Mullet Bay Beach.  We were only ship in port at all 5 stops.  Nice reward to offset traveling at the height of hurricane season.

•View of port on opposite side of Great Bay.

•Sailing out of Phillipsburg

 

3FFEAE8A-87C7-4855-9DDE-BE66A8BF1FF0.jpeg

896DEC02-8B82-45EB-B14D-48B4506A31DE.jpeg

1DC87D00-57AB-49E8-84A3-FD7E50458336.jpeg

B25BEC64-190C-4A5C-8DF8-39FB78D4DDC0.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tuesday was scheduled to port at St Kitts.  I noticed the weather was rainy/overcast as we were approaching port.  After about a 30 minute standstill (I thought they were being cautious with the pilot captain transfer), the announcement came that the port was closed due to rough weather (basically outer bands of TS Karen) & we had an added sea day.  We were somewhat disappointed but preferred losing St Kitts to any remaining ports except Dominica.

 

The ship had a rough travel day to Dominica.  My seasickness kicked in early in the afternoon when the ship’s listing became noticeable.  Went back to our lower deck room for a few hours.  Went to a MoTown show that evening which they did not do dancing due to the high seas.

 

Tomorrow is Dominica

 

Pictures below:

•Most outside decks were closed

•Headwind of 50kts taking the “fun” out of the Fun Day at Sea

•View of the dark clouds/rough seas from our room

2E9B7DE0-D56E-4798-A46F-5F72D2CD02ED.jpeg

C2E3D9FF-A5D1-4457-B65C-BD408C514393.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wednesday was the replacement stop for St Thomas (Dominica).  Dominica is a very beautiful island from sea...very green with nearly 5,000ft mountains.  The port of Roseau is very industrial & little tourist activities exist in the area....no taxi stand that I could see, nearby beach was rocky & deserted, no real shops near port.  Luckily we (along with everyone else who exited the ship) had booked a Carnival excursion earlier.  The Carnival app is a great alternative to visiting shore excursions & it’s limited hours.

 

Each group lined up at the pier next to a warehouse.  Our tour “Emerald Pool and rainforest” was about 3 1/2 hours and cost $50pp.  Overall was worth it as we’ll probably never go to Dominica again & there is a lot of interior beauty there.  They warned us that the 99 steps down to get to the falls would be more challenging coming back but wasn’t too bad.

 

After returning to the ship we made the mistake of walking outside the security area.  No shops, 1 sketchy bar and several locals trying to sell you weed, asking for money and just staring at you.

 

Next stop: St Lucia

 

Pictures below:

•Dominica from the sea

•”volcanic” sunrise 

•crushed schoolbus under fallen tree (obviously no injuries)

•Being pelted by Emerald Fall.  You do have to swim a little as the water near the falls is over 6ft deep.imageproxy.php?img=&key=6ee4bfcebcfde1cbimageproxy.php?img=&key=6ee4bfcebcfde1cb

3166101E-2893-4041-9529-9E4226764130.jpeg

13D28D7E-7138-489E-BE22-C30A5C44386F.jpeg

95C54419-E834-49EC-B2A9-08BDB5C4FF3C.jpeg

3C50D189-3916-430F-AD91-0F45A32531F6.jpeg

Edited by soonernstlouis
Link to post
Share on other sites

For St Lucia, we had pre-booked our only non-Carnival tour thru COSOL.  I’m a little torn on my review since this was my wife’s favorite port and she loved the tour.  I can say that it is a great value for the money ($75pp), you will be taken to many sights throughout the island and guides such as our “Yellow Bird” go above & beyond to provide a great experience.  For me, it was very rushed.  While I didn’t get car sick, spending about 4 1/2 hours of a 6 1/2 hour tour on winding road going faster than they should was not relaxing & took a little away from the things I did enjoy -boat ride to Sugar Beach, view of pitons from there and above Soufriere, the waterfall and even the hot mud pool (which I did not plan to do).  Yellow Bird even helps apply the finger painting to your face.

 

Comments about specific things we did:

•The part of Sugar Beach where you snorkel is very rocky & I wouldn’t do without water shoes (saw many who painfully did).  You also want to take care where you walk to avoid destroying developing coral/sea life.  The guy with the conoe full of fruit-a cool experience getting a fresh smoothie right on the beach.  He even had a portable generator to operate the smoothie blender.  The chairs you are allowed to use are in disrepair & probably get crowded at most times.  We were ok other than constantly keeping an eye on our stuff when we went in for a swim.

•Mud baths were very warm but I got in (see below pic).

•Waterfall was great but a little crowded compared to one in Dominica.  No deep parts on the pool.

•Food offered at the COSOL building was good (especially the sugar cane and fresh mango). They have several dogs hanging around in case you didn’t like some of the food & for general entertainment.  Free drinks throughout were plentiful & they told you to take extra for the Sugar Beach stop.

•You do go thru parts of the island that are poor or not pretty.  Vendor stops are numerous and pretty aggressive but you are let known in advance.

 

We returned to port around 3:30-4:00 with a 4:30 all aboard.  We never felt we were at risk missing the boat.

 

Next stop-Barbados

 

Pictures below:

 

•A piton peeking over other distant mountains 

•A US Red Cross ship proving services to St Lucians

•Me adjusting to the 100 degree mud bath 

•Sugar Beach’s version of Smoothie King

•Pitons above Soufriere

•Waterfall stop

C3C7972D-B2B1-4ACB-AF23-AA3677F8E203.jpeg

11A5248D-D3CB-4D99-B738-998446A01089.jpeg

7F8118D0-C007-451E-BEA0-6F4BA9D1530B.jpeg

BE81A01B-A713-4997-8DF4-E84F8F06447A.jpeg

F12E269F-0CB7-4896-8DFC-2F267D4FF496.jpeg

E65C8256-979A-46AE-BAEC-5145BC0F518B.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, smurfm69 said:

 We did this cruise in 2011 and didn't get to see Domenica.  We did enjoy St. Lucia and thought it was a beautiful island.

 

We did this trip in June.  My favorite day was in St. Lucia, and we didn't have a shore excursion.  Instead we went to a little place on a black sand beach called Shipwreck Beach Bar & Grill. Taxi to/from was $4 pp. The chairs and umbrellas were old, but free. The food was great.  And the black sand beach and scenery were absolutely gorgeous.  If I get to St. Lucia again, I can't imagine going anywhere else.

 

https://www.facebook.com/Shipwreck-Beach-Bar-Grill-210747062326364/

 

 

IMG_0310.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bnbeyer said:

 

We did this trip in June.  My favorite day was in St. Lucia, and we didn't have a shore excursion.  Instead we went to a little place on a black sand beach called Shipwreck Beach Bar & Grill. Taxi to/from was $4 pp. The chairs and umbrellas were old, but free. The food was great.  And the black sand beach and scenery were absolutely gorgeous.  If I get to St. Lucia again, I can't imagine going anywhere else.

 

https://www.facebook.com/Shipwreck-Beach-Bar-Grill-210747062326364/

 

 

IMG_0310.jpg

Hi!! Isn't Shipwreck in St. Kitts?  If this is the one, then this is exactly what we wanted to do too!

 

We are going in June 2020 and we are apparently the only ship that will be in port and I'm wondering if you were too?  I have mostly read reviews when there are 4+ ships in port so I would love to get your insight on if you felt crowded?

 

Thank you!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, bmar808 said:

Hi!! Isn't Shipwreck in St. Kitts?  If this is the one, then this is exactly what we wanted to do too!

 

We are going in June 2020 and we are apparently the only ship that will be in port and I'm wondering if you were too?  I have mostly read reviews when there are 4+ ships in port so I would love to get your insight on if you felt crowded?

 

Thank you!!

 

You're absolutely right!  I'll correct my post.

 

Well shoot!  It won't let me edit my original post. I don't know why, but the edit button doesn't show up.  Anyways, yes, it was St. Kitts.  Loved, loved, loved that place!

 

Editing a 3rd time to answer your question - It was not crowded when we arrived. In fact, we were the only people there for the first hour or so. We arrived around 9:30 or 10am.  More people started showing up at lunch time, but it never got really crowded.

 

I don't remember how many ships were in port. I think there were typically 2 ships at all of the ports we visited, but I didn't keep track.


 

Edited by bnbeyer
Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, sorry for the pause.  On to Barbados, but one last itinerary change.  Since we had previously missed St Kitts due to bad weather-we got a surprise notification on Thursday that the time in Barbados was to be lessened (originally 8am-9pm) to only 4pm in order for us to sail North and go to St Kitts on Saturday rather than a sea day.

 

As it turns out Barbados was my favorite island.  We exited the ship around 8:30 and took a taxi (about $5/pp) to the Boatyard ($25/pp).  It is a very popular spot & I’m sure any of the beaches along Carlisle Bay are wonderful.  Part of what made that day special for me was the high temperature-78 degrees that day.  Not a normal one, but with the me already having a nice sunburn & warm beach water it felt perfect.  We followed recommendations & signed up for the included snorkeling as soon as possible; no problem getting next boat out either.  They first took us to the “shipwreck” which is an old boat they capsized to create an artificial reef.  Was pretty far offshore so I was a little nervous heading out.  As soon as I went into the water, all the worries of the world were forgotten.  100% clear visibility to the wreck and clean/sandy bottom about 25-30 feet down.  As we got closer to the wreck area, our guide spread fish food our and hundreds of small fish surrounded us.  They offer 2-piece snorkel

equipment rental for free but I brought a full face mask I got off of Amazon for less than $20 which worked great for keeping my head down and much as possible & the air intake valve does not allow water to be sucked in (thus a slight risk to those who panic).  30 minutes later  we were back aboard to head closer to shore to look for sea turtles.  I did see 1 very large turtle but we only stayed about 15 minutes here do to the high volume of boats coming/going near the  swim area.

 

Back on the beach, I enjoyed to water toys (especially the rope swing from the pier).  Since we were the only cruise ship in port, I’d say maybe 1/10th of the chairs were occupied and no problem having quiet time in the very still waters.  We ordered lunch (fish and chicken) which was ready in about 15 minutes (they call your name over the speaker).  

 

We headed back to port around 2:00 (all aboard 3:30).  My wife wanted to walk to some of the shops that extend out of the security area (very safe) but quickly realized the 2 free rum drinks she had at the Boatyard we’re kicking in.  We met a wonderful lady operating a small roadside stand who offered her water, a chair and talked to us about her island and family.  We headed back to port but made sure to buy a couple of her nice items.

 

Last port will be St Kitts

 

Pictures below:

•Morning sun at sea

•Quiet morning near Boatyard

•Snorkel group near shipwreck 

•Video of me playing Tarzan

•Sailing away with “peace dove cloud” sunset

 

 

 

 

487B0D36-FEFC-4141-AE9B-BE286791FD9F.jpeg

93D9BA3C-2CAC-4337-B6E2-9BB5EA231B46.jpeg

2A35BB20-33CF-4E29-B1E8-7C2C42A17640.jpeg

E912BC7A-6017-4722-BDD3-E352A5E676EE.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Final port-St Kitts.  Even when St Kitts was scheduled as a 2nd day port, I really wanted this stop to be a relaxing one & not go with the crowds.  We definitely found a quiet place at Palm Court Gardens.  

 

But first the port & port shops.  Yes, you will be inundated with dozens of tour operators, taxi drivers and men holding monkeys to con you into paying for pictures.  But don’t let them bother you and certainly don’t go right back to the ship.  They generally won’t touch you and are long-gone by mid-morning.  OMG the shops,

more than 100 and cheap stuff.  They also have a food court area with an actual swimming pool.  As for taxi drivers, I ignored the throngs & walked up to the group sitting quietly to the right by the casino.  Asked rates for my destination & worked out return time.

 

One reason we chose Palm Court Gardens is that Fascination has 1 small/always overcrowded pool.  Even the 2 serenity hot tubs are generally packed.  It costs only $12 for pool access/chairs/umbrellas at Palm Court ($3 towel rental but you can use ship towels).  Very European/laid back feel (a couple of guys in bikini trunks, very few kids).  Drinks were good but food was on the lighter-side & a little pricey.  They do have some nice tropical foliage and great views of the port bay.  

 

We we headed back to the ship around 1:30 & my wife spent the rest of the time before all aboard shopping.  I joked to the St Kitts customs guy that we were taking half of St Kitts back with us.

 

Oh well.  This was a great Itinerary.  5 ports in 6 full days.  Normally at least 8 hours in each port.  Sailing in the off-season led to less crowded beaches and tours.  Would definitely recommend based on that.  I’ll have a final review post tomorrow about the ship, food and overall experience.

 

Pictures below:

 

•Gardens at Palm Court

•Infinity pool

•View of harbor

•Pool at St Kitts port shops!

•pictures sailing away from St Kitts including Nevis and evening view of mysterious St Eustatious.  Great views since they sailed more parallel than away.

 

FFED86AC-7360-415B-B9A0-0446E154087E.jpeg

318923DD-0055-469E-BB00-1B0DFCC25E73.jpeg

0D0E848B-A6D3-41BC-A889-1478188CD6E7.jpeg

EF0958E8-8FB3-4786-9270-BF052649513D.jpeg

B18B0E2D-728D-4AF9-ADE2-B3AA98C39C09.jpeg

06FB8804-B1BE-44CA-91B5-4479E835829F.jpeg

3E817160-43D7-416C-9183-7518C0E8954B.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great, short but to the point review!! I can relate to what you went through because a good friend of DW was on this same cruise and was over at our house tonight giving us her account of this cruise! We also have heard not so good things about Dominica so it's not a port we're eager to visit. I sailed on the Fascination with DW in 2016 and had a blast!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bmar808 said:

Hi!! Isn't Shipwreck in St. Kitts?  If this is the one, then this is exactly what we wanted to do too!

 

We are going in June 2020 and we are apparently the only ship that will be in port and I'm wondering if you were too?  I have mostly read reviews when there are 4+ ships in port so I would love to get your insight on if you felt crowded?

 

Thank you!!

This is also our go-to beach in St. Kitts. So much so that 3 of the last 4 times I've visited, this has been where I spend my beach time. Cheap (but good) food, cheap drinks and rustic atmosphere. It's awesome!

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Stinger-pr said:

We also have heard not so good things about Dominica so it's not a port we're eager to visit.

Dominica was a replacement stop on our cruise since St Thomas had bad weather.  I know they were badly affected by Maria 2 years ago & have had a harder time recovering than Puerto Rico.  So I would not discourage visiting there, just research & find a good tour (lots of rivers which are rare for a small island) if you go.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great "to the point" review but informative at the same time. We did this itinerary, including St Thomas a few years back and it is by far our favorite. Will definitely do again. We had plans to be back in Barbados on our last cruise but it was changed all around due to a previous hurricane and we ended up heading to the ABC's instead which was fine with us. We did a catamaran excursion thru Carnival last time in Barbados and it was alot of fun. Went to snorkel with the turtles and the sunken boat along with meal and drinks.

 

We also did Cosol in St Lucia and agree that it is a very "full" day but they didnt seem to be rushing us at any one spot. We did ours before the owner was killed so maybe it has been changed a bit. Like you said, I wish we had water shoes at the beach but once in, the snorkeling there was fantastic.

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, bnbeyer said:

Well shoot!  It won't let me edit my original post. I don't know why, but the edit button doesn't show up.  Anyways, yes, it was St. Kitts.  Loved, loved, loved that place!

 

Editing a 3rd time to answer your question - It was not crowded when we arrived. In fact, we were the only people there for the first hour or so. We arrived around 9:30 or 10am.  More people started showing up at lunch time, but it never got really crowded.

 

I don't remember how many ships were in port. I think there were typically 2 ships at all of the ports we visited, but I didn't keep track.

 

 

17 hours ago, Stinger-pr said:

This is also our go-to beach in St. Kitts. So much so that 3 of the last 4 times I've visited, this has been where I spend my beach time. Cheap (but good) food, cheap drinks and rustic atmosphere. It's awesome!

 

Thanks @bnbeyer and @Stinger-pr!! I was a little nervous because a lot of people have suggested Carambola and Reggae over Shipwreck.  They indeed look great but the atmosphere at Shipwreck appeals to me.  Plus, its cost effective! Thanks aggain; I feel so much better hearing how much you loved it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wrapping up my review with review of the ship, final disembarkment, short morning stop in OSJ and airport.

 

For the 7 days on the ship, we never at lunch or dinner at the buffet.  This is probably not unusual but we also only found our way to the MDR 1 time due to getting back to port tired & not connecting well on the 1-night to our table mates.  The lunch (couple times we past it) and dinner buffet had long lines & frankly looked awful.  I saw one night a sign saying Italian.

 Great, I thought I love Italian.  Theirs only consisted of 2 Italian dishes-a penne pasta & another vegetarian option.  Would have stopped for lasagna, Alfredo or maybe even spaghetti.  So breakfast was always omelette station which also had pancake/French toast/various meat sides or Blue Iguana breakfast tacos.  Both very good.  Lunch/dinner was any of Guys Burgers, Blue Iguana, pizza (my wife’s favorite but not much of a meal to me) and the deli.  Mix in soft serve ice cream, buffet desert table and occasional lunch cakes (were good) and you can see why it became boring.  Only pay options on Fascination are Captains Table and the MDR steak option.

 

Went to 2 fairly forgettable shows-Motown review Tuesday and some pop show on final night we walked out of.  Went to the casino 1 night (no luck) and bought the minimum bingo cards one night.

 

Always got good chairs for sail away from each port (only areas near pool/hot tubs were overrun).  Learned my lesson on needing to be a chair hog.  One empty lounger between us & next couple on Serenity deck.  Teenage kid walks up & asks if it is taken.  I said no.  Suddenly 8 teenage kids dump their stuff off & head to the nearby hot tub.  Towel guy questioned one but she said she was 21 (an obvious lie & he left them alone).  Loud but they didn’t stay long.

 

Our room was an ocean view/5th floor/near midship.  Great for combating sea sickness, pretty far to each elevator and 2-twins converted to king was adequate.  Our attendant Yusuf was great.  Always brought ice buckets, kept the room spotless and took care of the sub-par toilet flushing problems....No discolored sink/shower water so we trusted it for brushing teeth, etc.

 

Final disembarkment probably could have been better had their been more announcements.  We actually got into port a little early (6:30) but self-disembarkment started at 7:30 (lowest levels first).  Checked disembarkment started at 8:30 & when our tag group was called, we had to work our way around people waiting by the front elevator (only one accessing gangway).  Once in the luggage area you have 2 choices-tip the local guys & they get you a priority customs line or wait with the masses in the other line.  Best 5 bucks ever spent to save 20 minutes as we walked right up to customs.  

 

Once outside it it was sprinkling, so we headed under a pop-up tent they’d setup and scheduled Uber.  We wanted to go left towards Barachinas so most of the 7-8 minutes the driver took to pick us us was passing & turning around with street traffic.  

 

I previously mentioned that not much is open on Sundays in OSJ before 11am.  Worth repeating if you’ve already done the forts and aren’t hungry.  Uber took us to drop our luggage off at 9 & we scheduled her for a 11:45 pickup to the airport.  She thought less than 2 hours was not early enough.  30 minutes would have been plenty even with ag inspections.  Took a brief stroll to the open vendors near Fortaleza and a few were open including a man who custom-made leather wristbands, necklaces, etc.  Wife bought a few & had names engraved.  

 

If you haven’t been to San Juan airport, they sell a ton of duty-free liquor inside the security area. Not sure of prices but my wife bought a couple liters & a carry bag.

 

Pictures below:

 

•Rainbow as we entered OSJ on return to port

•Rainbow from prior Sunday in OSJ before we departed (forgot to post earlier)

•Favorite sunrise (over Barbados)

 

 

 

F6B72A9C-D659-4C3E-A282-C6DDF15BE80D.jpeg

A0976FD2-3A72-44D4-8B50-400157B0DEBF.jpeg

9D51ABB1-C31D-4427-8111-33165C24DF40.jpeg

Edited by soonernstlouis
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with Barbara Muckermann, CMO Silversea Cruises
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...