I would do the southern in a hearbeat! Barbados has 365 beaches no? My cousin did this cruise with her kids and loved it, on the same ship. Everyone enjoyed it. She liked Dominca the best. Since airfare would normally cost more on this intinerary, cash in on the free airfare to San Juan I would spend an additional few days there even if you have to spring for the hotel yourself. I was in San Juan in December and I was very impressed it's very beautiful, lots to do and see. My reccomendation is research all your ports on line, and look at shore excursions if you like just to be sure. I've done Eastern and Western, Im going to do Mexican Rivera and then hopefully Southern. Do write us all a review of your cruise under reader reviews.