Which is the most practical (cheaper) (less hassle), drive six hours to Miami and take a week long cruise that stops in San Juan and St Thomas with a couple days at sea, or fly from home airport to San Juan and take a three night cruise that stops at St Thomas, among others?
Is it OK to trust the airline/cruiseline to get my luggage from check in to cabin or should I keep my hands on it?
Seems like a long flight to San Juan for just 3 days. I personally wouldn't do anything less than 7 when spending that extra for the airfare. Actually the one from Florida sounds like the best bet to me :-)
Personally, I'd take the six hour drive -- a one-week cruise is worth it. And I suggest that, if possible, you plan a night's hotel stay in the port of embarkation. That way,you'll board refreshed and very relaxed.
I've never had a problem with luggage and normally it's the airline that looses it. You arrive at the pier, check your bags and you'll see them next in your stateroom.
Take aboard a small carry-on bag for toiiletries, or change of clothes. It takes hours for your suitcase to finally arrive in your cabin.
Turns out a week long trip out of Miami is cheaper than flying to Puerto Rico and taking a three or four day cruise. However...The cruise from Miami is on a 3000+ cattle boat. I've lived in the Caribbean and experienced St Thomas when 3000+ lost souls have been dumped in the middle of town.
Was considering Royal Caribbean, I have their brochure. If you know of a cruise leaving from Florida that calls on San Juan and St Thomas but doesn't last a lifetime, please let me know.
You might want to check out RCCL's new ship Explorer, leaves from Miami and visits St. Thomas, San Juan, and Nassau, with a few sea days. How does that sound? We're actually booked for next April, can't wait.
Believe that is the 3000+ boat that I'm trying to avoid. We may just fly to San Juan and go from there.
When I was stationed there, you could sign on for about $200 if you would teach a craft, sport or manage a bridge group. Had to devote two hours each afternoon. If no one showed up in port, you were free to go. Never got to take advantage but knew several that did.
The Miami option will be cheaper, but the San Juan option will offer you more variety as far as ports are concerned. Why not take a 7-day cruise from San Juan?
As far as hassle, a 6-hour drive on I-95 or I-75 in Florida can be just as miserable as a flight to San Juan, particularly if you are doing the drive during a holiday period or even during a fall weekend when Florida State is playing Florida!
My policy is to never trust the airlines to get my luggage where it's going, so I carry at least one change of clothes and a swim suit in my carry-on bag along with all my important documents, prescriptions, etc.
I've never had a problem with any cruise line losing my luggage.