We are going on the Carnival Destiny in June. We leave out of San Juan at night, and we'll be there the night before. Were looking for a fun bar/club to go to the night before. Any suggestions? Also, where is the best place to get liqour out of San Juan, Barbados, Aruba, and Dominica? In addition, any suggestions of fun places to go in these ports would be great. Thanks!
I did a similar itinerary last year except for Aruba. I leave for my next cruise on 3/30 where I will go to Aruba so I will respond to that later. As far as the booze thing, we found the prices to be the best at the San Juan airport. Before leaving the airport, stop in a few of the duty free shops and note the prices. If you see it better while hitting the various ports then buy it. The only problem is Carnival will take it away from you when you return to the ship. We could not believe that the SJU airport had the best prices. If you buy some at the airport and you want to take on the ship to enjoy in your stateroom here is what you do. Bring some bubble wrap with you in your suitecase. After you make your purchase and check in the hotel, wrap the bottles in bubble wrap and pack between your clothes. I have saved 100's of dollars over the years of cruising by taking my on liquor on board.
As far as a San Juan hotel. Try and stay in the Condado Beach area. It's only a 10-15 minute trip to the pier. Stay at either the Wyndam Condado Plaza (best rate for the quality) or at the Marriott (has a better beach). Tons of bars/ clubs along Condado beach but the Marriott has the nicer club. Enjoy.
My hobby and I went experienced Dominica, that island is a paradise. If you ar looking for white sand beaches you will not find any in Dominica but you will be amazed by the breathtaking natural beauty of the island. The island has beautiful clean rivers and forests. If I am not mistaken, the island has 365 rivers, one for every day of the year. While there we went to the sulphur pool, it is filled with water coming down a sulphuric mountain, the bath was very soothing and aromatic. We also went to the emerald pool, the water is so refreshing there. Just driving around in the on the vehicle viewing the birds and the trees was a stress relieving experience.
The taxi driver was great, he was very knowledgeable of the island and filled the trip with well needed humour. He was recommended to us by a co-worker who had used him before. We contacted him via email before we left for the cruise. We did not regret it at all. Let me see if I can find the address....his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We bought duty-free drinks at a french liquor store called COCORICO (I dug up the receipt to put in the name correctly) and at the land Boutique right to the back. Both places are right in front the harbour where we got off the ship.
We just did that cruise last April and it was the best cruise we have done so far.
Hotel - We stayed at the Wyndham Condado for the reasons listed above. Very clean and affordable.
Bar/Club - There is a Hard Rock right by the pier along with other places. One thing to remember is that things really dont start happening until about 12am. We were walking the streets at about 3am and everything was still going strong.
Booze - We did take our own booze on board to save some money but we found the best prices in St. Thomas. BTW, did you know that Carnival now allowes you to bring your own wine on board for dinner when boarding? You can give it to your waiters along with your room number and they will bring it to you at dinner for a $10 corkage fee.
Dominica - Like the above posted noted, you will not see any white sand beaches but you will see black sand beaches. Do not be intimidated by this undiscovered paradise. Get out and see this island. We were lucky enough to have friends who moved back there and took us around. Our favorite spots were the Emerald Pool and visiting the Carib Indians
Aruba - This was by far the best island we have ever been to! It is very clean and very safe. We rented a Jeep (make sure you get a Jeep and not a Tracker) from a rental agency right off the pier and it cost $80 for the whole day. Navagating in Aruba is very easy as it is a very small island...whichever way the divi-divi trees are pointing is the way back to the ship. If you do decide to do this look for signs that say "CONCHI" or "Natural Pool" and go there. It is about a 25 min drive through the desert part of the island and it will take you to the most amazing and beautiful Natural pool you will ever see. We have been to about 14 different islands and consider that to be one of the most amazing experiences we have ever had!
Did you book your jeep ahead of time for Aruba or did you just wait until you got there? I have read that people could not get a jeep because they were already sold out before they got to the rental places. We really want to rent a jeep in Aruba and would be so disappointed if we couldn't get a jeep. Please let me know