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Hello from the Voyager in San Juan, Puerto Rico!


marciemi

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Just checking in while we're in Puerto Rico to say hi to everybody from the Voyager. We had our itinerary changed (for those of you who don't know yet) to San Juan, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. Rush for excursions on the ship after booking and researching everything back in March. The kids are disappointed about no dolphins and no stingrays, but RCCL offered a large selection of excursions in St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Being the dedicated Cruise Critic'er that I am, I'd already printed out all excursions for all possible ports we could go to, so as soon as they put them out, we booked on our RCCL TV and got everything we wanted.

 

Had a beautiful day in Labadee yesterday - great water park, great snorkeling, fun at the kids club, fun banana boating, great ribs (my 9 year old ate 6 plates of them!) Today in San Juan, there were virtually no excursions (historic walking tour, evening drive) so we're just exploring the city.

 

Pretty much seemed like most people were happy with the new itinerary, although some like us were disappointed about missing certain excursions. But nearly everyone on the ship assures us St. Thomas is the best port in the Caribbean so we're looking forward to it. Much of the crew is thrilled to be going to new destinations. A few others we talked to, from Jamaica, were disappointed to not be going to Jamaica to see the amount of damage they'd suffered from Ivan since they hadn't heard anything. We're docked here today next to the Disney Magic (also rerouted).

 

I'll try to check in later and reply, but not on the ship with slow connections and 50 cents a minute! Maybe in the next port!

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Greetings! Thanks for the update...did you hear anything on board ship as to how long they may do this itinerary? I'm doing the next 9 day VOS on 9/24 and am wondering if there were any rumors that they may stick to this itinerary while the Jamaica, Grand Cayman and GBI clean up.

 

Have a great time and I hope that TS Jeanne doesn't bother you!

 

Esther

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Hi there...hope you are having a good time. I agree with those that say the change is a good one.

 

We are with the above cruiser esther on 9/24 to where???? Can you help us?? The waiting is terrible. But, seeing as we are not suffering like those in the Islands or Florida, we will wait it out and be happy with where ever they take us.

 

Judi

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Thanks for the update. I'm with Skiiergirl, I would take St. Thomas and St. Maarten over Western also but of course that's why we book Eastern. :D I am sorry about your missed excursions though. That has to be disappointing. Good for you for doing your homework. :)

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Unfortunately the change hasn't been a good one. San Juan was okay, but as I mentioned, few excursions. But at least the weather was okay for awhile. About 5pm it started pouring, lightning, and thundering. The Disney ship next to us announced they were cancelling St. Thomas. We didn't cancel St. Maarten or St. Thomas, but should have. Yesterday in St. Maarten it rained the entire day. Only a few excursions went (city drive, etc.). We got off and walked around but shouldn't have bothered. Today in St. Thomas, it's pouring, and it hasn't stopped lightning and thundering since last night. ALL excursions were cancelled. We left the kids in Adventure Ocean and are in the city but since we're not big drinkers or jewelry buyers, there's not much to do.

 

I'm not blaming RCCL for still following this itinerary, although I do wonder why we didn't just stay overnight in St. Maarten since the storm was moving out of there and we literally followed it to St. Thomas. What I do fault them for is the lack of things to do. They are making no effort to treat these days like anything other than port days, despite the fact that 95 percent of the people are still remaining on the ship. No planned activities, only the Windjammer open for lunch (not even Johnny Rockets yesterday, let alone the dinine room), no ice skating or other things they could do. The teen club has nothing planned during the day since we're supposed to be in port. Even the younger kids pretty much were all combined yesterday (3-11 year olds) for what I would consider babysitting, not planned activities.

 

We've been pretty unhappy with AO in general. Seems like they publish these lists of all these great things to do, then don't do any of them. They didn't bother to change them to read the correct ports, and say things like "don't forget to visit Dunn's River Falls today!" Today's even says it's Friday and we're in Freeport instead of Thursday in St. Thomas. It's frustrating since we've rushed back from ports, etc. to do certain things the kids want to do, even checking before dropping the kids off to make sure events would happen, then they didn't. This hasn't happened once, but at least 5 times. The teen club pretty much hasn't happened much at all, so our 12 year old moved down to the 9-11's. I realize a lot of this is due to the time of year, but there's no reason if the schedule says they're making balloon animals, they can't make balloon animals just because 5 kids are there instead of 50. I think it would be easier!

 

Not trying to complain about the whole cruise. We've had fun - especially the first half when things were actually happening. Now it seems like we're just sitting in our cabin doing (gasp!) homework because there's nothing happening on the ship. Pools are closed due to lightning, casinos/shops can't open since we're in port. I know people object to the extra sea days but maybe we could have just sailed around out of the storm path and at least had those alternatives!

 

Most other stuff has been good. We've enjoyed many of the shows, the trivia, rock-climbing wall and other sports venues, our cabins, our waiters and dinners. Although I don't think the selection of food is as good as Princess', the food quality seems to be very high. The Windjammer quality and selection seems excellent. My kids seem to enjoy the 9-11 age group as long as they don't expect to do certain things. If they just go and follow the flow, they're fine.

 

Obviously, we were hoping for better weather! We're hoping that once we move out of there away from the storm that things improve!

 

To answer any questions - we haven't been told anything different about arrival in Bayonne. We have a 5:15 flight out of Newark and have been promised we'll still make it, so I'm guessing that unless Hurricane Jeanne moves into our path or something, that everything is as normal. They did announce we were leaving here at 5 instead of 3 so we had more time but I have no idea of why since there's nothing to do!

 

According to the crew, Jamaica sounds like it will be out for a little while, but they say it didn't suffer serious effects so maybe even by the next 9 day they could have it up. However, they told us Grand Cayman could be out as a port of call for up to a year due to the damage. It looks like Jeanne is heading right for Labadee right now, which could also impact the decision. I'd say if Labadee gets hit, and GC is out, and Jamaica iffy, they might just stick with this Eastern itinerary. I'd do some research on excursions, etc. just in case! This is all just crew scuttlebutt, however, so don't take it as fact. I'll check back if I can!

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Wow, thanks for the update...I'm sorry that the weather and itinerary have not worked out as well as you hoped...I agree with you that if there are events scheduled, the least they can do is stick to that schedule and have them no matter how many kids are there. It's not unreasonable to expect some sort of structure to support the families who are on board.

 

The State Department has a travel advisory against US Citizens visiting Jamaica and Grand Cayman due to Ivan damage and damage to infrastructure. So I am going to be really interested to see how much of the itinerary is going to be changed for us (we're on the 9/24 sailing). I'm really sad about GC...that was the island we were looking forward to the most, and it's heartbreaking to see all the devastation.

 

Hope you have a wonderful (and fair-weathered) time on the rest of your trip...if possible, we would love an update on how things went after you get back.

 

Cheers,

Esther

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Thanks for the updates. Too bad the weather is so terrible. I agree that they should work at coming up with more entertainment during the day since there's not much else to do. Especially in the kid's clubs. We're on the VOS to Canada in October, and I'll be interested to see how AO is then. I doubt there will be many kids, but I hope that doesn't stop them from holding activites for the kids.

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Sorry to hear about your disappointment with AO. I was on the Explorer 2 weeks ago, and the Mariner in April and was very happy with both programs. We even got delayed returning to Miami because of Frances, and the program opened and had new activities for the kids. My only complaint is that the programs were identical. I would have liked to see something different on each ship. Either way, my 7yo loved it.

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