Embarkment: This was the hardest part of the trip. We arrived at port at 10:00 AM, a little ahead of schedule. They let us go ahead and check in. They issued S & S card. Then we were sent to wait. Being early I expected that. Then we were called about 30 minutes later. By now it was nearly 11:00 AM. Lots of people in line to go through the metal detectors and scanning. We waited in line about 20 minutes for the scanner to open. Then were went through and to another line to wait. Here, we waited another 30 minutes. Turns out theyy were still getting folks off the ship from the previous cruise. We were finally let go only to be ushered to another waiting area but at least got to sit. They called us in sections according to where you were sitting, and processed our picture for S & S and finally we boarded at 12:30.
On Board. Rooms were to be ready at 1:30. We went up to Lido and had a very nice buffet lunch. We spent a few minutes becoming familiar with the ship and then went to our cabin. We had a Gty on the Riveria. Was upgraded from IS to OV. We actually had a very nice view. The room was large and roomy. Is was near the aft elevator which deposited us both right out side our dining room and right into the mediterranian lounge which was were all the food was. Ended up being a great location. Beds had those nice white comfortors. Bathroom was nice and roomy. Our Stateroom steward, Nannah, did a great job all week. Very friendy.
The ship is in great shape and very pretty. We encountered only a few lines all week and never waited over 5-10 minutes. I was pleased. The ship is layed out just like the Conquest. You cannot move from end to end on deck 3 & 4 due to both dining rooms. You had to walk to the forward elevators to access that part of the ship.
The food was great all week, and we enjoyed our share. I am quite tired of eating! The shows were very good. The magic show was excellent and very touching. The comics were good all week and the dancers were very talented.
San Juan: We docked early at 2:30 instead of 5:00 which was good for us. We walked and toured the city. Was able to buy some items to display in our home at great prices. Probably the best prices of the trip. We learned later that a crew member had become ill and was taken off the ship, thus the reason for our early arrival. We also learned that they were doing well after a few days. We left at night and city lights were beautiful. Temperatures were pleasant.
St. Maarteen. Hot, Hot, Hot, and I am talking about the weather. This is a very beautiful island. We went into town which actually sits right on the beach. We shopped and then went to the beach. The water was warm, clear, and very nice. You can rent umbrella's and chairs for $5 bucks a person. We then spent some time touring the city and saw some of the history. Visited and Art Gallery of the guy who desgined the Star Wars Figure "Yoda". He was there and would sign any art you purchased. His name, however has left me for the moment .
St. Thomas. My favorite of them all. WOW, WOW, WOW. This Island is beautiful. We took a tour with Godfrey. $20 bucks a person and we ended up having a longer tour than he advertised. He is great and very knowledgable about the area. He took us around and up over the top of the mountains. The scenery is breath taking. You can see St. John and many other islands. One island is for sale for a mere 10 million, if you are intrested. We stopped at a little village on top and had a spectacular view of Meaghans Bay. He then took us to Cokie (spelling?) Beach. You could stay here for a few minutes or for a while and he would return to collect you later. This beach was free. It was also very beautiful. Clear water with sugar white beaches and an area of rock formations. We saw people here swimming and snorkeling. We were dropped back off near the ship where there is a ton of shopping. This is a place in which we will return either by ship or air. We could have spent a few days there.
Two sea days on return was very relaxing. The sea was bit choppy at times but Not overly so or at least I didn't find it to be. I would gladly do this ship again. I would definately do this itinerary again.
I would be glad to answer any questions.
Post Edited (05-10-05 21:22)
On Glory - 05-06-06
Sensation,Jubilee ,Maj.of the Seas,Conquest, Victory.
It certainly was a very enjoyable cruise, outside of the normal hassles of embarkation and debarkation.
Some off-the-wall and not-so-off-the-wall observations:
The America's Cup Challenge excursion in St Maarten was even better than I had hoped, and I would highly recommend it. The opportunity to not only sail on but be part of the crew on those fabulous racing vessels was not to be missed. I will do it again on my next visit.
The Belgian Chocolate shop across from the Yoda guy had excellent chocolates, made there in the store (with some interesting variations on shapes available - trust me on that one). No credit cards accepted, though.
I felt like I was in a canyon walking down the pier in St Maarten between the 4 huge cruise ships.
In San Juan the sea-side walk (Paseo de le Princesa?) outside the walls below El Morro was a beautiful walk at night, and populated by at least a hundred feral cats. The sight of several lined up 10 feet away from a group of men fishing, waiting expectantly for an errant fish was surreal. It is a romantic walk for couples as well. It closes at 9:00 PM Eastern time in case you head that way. There was also some sort of cultural demonstration of dancing not far from the pier (near Calle Comercio I believe) that I lingered at on the way to the walk.
On Monday evening a few of us caught a glimpse of a killer whale doing back flips off the starboard side. That was completely unexpected and made me wish I had had my camera.
The sight of the seaplanes taking off and landing in the harbor in St Thomas made me want to get on one and go tour the rest of the islands.
Make friends with the bartenders in the Trident bar (next to the casino). They will test you with all sorts of bar tricks and appreciate a little competition from those who know a few themselves.
Didn't mean to butt in on your review TC, but didn't want to start another thread.
Thanks so much for the reviews... Glad everyone had a great time. I can't wait to go!
Did either of you keep your capers? I was just wondering if so, could you possibly scan them and e-mail them to me? Just hoping to get an idea before I head out.
No problem. Glad you also had a good time. GEEZZZZ, I would have loved to have seen that whale. Darn! I also noticed quite a few others from Atlanta. As a matter of fact, our table mates were from Kennesaw.
Yeah, we also observed that chocolate shop. I had forgotten that until you mentioned it.
Watching the planes take off and land on the water was neat. Our tour up and over the mountain gave us mutiple birds eye views. Godfrey made frequent stops for kodak moments. It was awesome! Meghans Bay was the most beautiful. We could see many islands from up there. If we go back, we will probably ride over to St. Johns.
Dayzy, I do have my capers. I haven't quite gotten unpacked yet. Send me your e-mail and in the next day or so I will do my best to get you at lest the at a glance section. That gives you all of the daily activities.
Thanks for the great review of Victory. We're on her late summer. But also thanks for the review of the islands. I'm really glad now that we have booked Godfrey. Hello to you other Georgia folks too. Go DAWGS!
Thanks LandLocked. I'm accumulated all the good info I can from this website. I just appreciate so much a positive review! I also appreciate that you put Go Vols at the end of your email. My niece, who is also a DAWG fan, just married a Univ of TN graduate. Someone gave them a chip and dip set that they made in ceramics. One side of the chip section is in black and red and the other side is orange and white. The dip bowl is divided right down the middle. We all got a kick out of it!
We had a balcony cabin on the Verendah deck, and as far as I know, it did not have a mini fridge. Now my brother and his wife took a cruise, out of CA, to the Mexican Riveriea and she said they had a mini fridge. I think they were on the Inspiration.