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Old February 4th, 2006, 01:05 PM
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Default sailing out of san juan????

I have heard that when you sail out of san juan the cruiselines discount the open cabins to locals, is this true? I was looking at going on May 14 on the Adventure and didn't know if the majority would be english speaking
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Old February 4th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
I have heard that when you sail out of san juan the cruiselines discount the open cabins to locals, is this true?
This holds true in any embarkation port IF If a ship isn't selling well, and it's getting close to sailing date, the lines will often put on resident specials for the local state.

There's nothing to say that is going to happen to every ship, because these days most ships are selling very well, and sailing over capacity.
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Old February 4th, 2006, 08:24 PM
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The locals do speak Spanish, but they are also American citizens and most speak English, too.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 10:47 AM
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We sailed out of San Juan on Adventure in Feb. '04 and had a great time. There were a lot of local people, but we never had a language problem. In fact, whenever I found myself near people speaking Spanish, I tried to keep up with the conversation, since Spanish was one of my teaching fields. Like any language, if you don't keep up with it and speak it every day, you lose it. But when we were in Spain in '83, I had just come off a year of teaching Sp. I part-time and found it's like riding a bike--you never really forget. Of course, native speakers really rattle it off and it's hard to think fast in Spanish when you're not used to it. But I could get snatches of what they were saying and I could read the signs and billboards and other things written in Spanish--more time to translate in my head.
The cruise staff all speak English and that's what matters.
We did the Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, St. Thomas itinerary and hope to do the other one some day.

1/02 Explorer E. Carib.
1/02 Explorer W. Carib.
8/03 Summit Alaska cruise/tour
2/04 Adventure S. Carib.
2/05 Galaxy Panama Canal
6/06 Jewel Brit. Isles/Nor. Fjords
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Old February 8th, 2006, 12:50 PM
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Default Sailing out of San Juan

There are 2 ordeals ahead of leaving from this port - I have experienced both.

The Airport and Dock Process - BAD, it is slow and confused. The facilities are not really meant to handle the volume of cruise passengers. Enough said.

The Discounting Of Cabins - December

If you are politically correct, stop reading now. Otherwise proceed.

Be very careful when you depart. In December, in particular, some sailings are patronized by local people. There are BIG problems on these cruises. Many couples (like myself) sail in December to avoid kids and large groups and they end up exposed to the below. Check the many different cruise boards for sailings on RCL ships with a December date (Explorer and Voyager I think) and read the reviews - chills down your back. It happened to me and I fortunately paid via Sears (pay after you return) and I put up a fuss and never paid................

The sailings generally profile as follows:
1) Totally oversold - every cabin full including berths
2) Massive numbers of kids
3) Massive numbers of unsupervised kids
4) Massive numbers of loud individuals everywhere
5) Significant lack of public decorum (pushing, shoving, butting into line ups, garbage strewen everywhere)

Appalling. The conduct must be part of their culture. I know some will "apologize" for these folks as part of the politically correct, multicultural cult philosophy.

The cruise lines are well advised to review the practice of dumping their cabins to the SJuan locals - RCL in particular. The line CAN NOT provide their normal product offering because of the clients. I know about this, so do all the people in my office who cruise, my cruise agent does etc - on and on it goes - word of mouth is powerful.

Make sure there are no national vacations in San Juan BEFORE you book, then you should get the normal RCL experience

Cheers and Happy Sailing

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Old February 9th, 2006, 08:36 PM
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ABoatNerd--Maybe Dec. is a bad month for sailing out of San Juan. We sailed in Feb. two years ago and had none of the problems you describe. There were plenty of PR locals on board, but no rudeness, etc.
We would not hesitate to sail again out of San Juan. We are planning to do the "other" S. Carib itinerary some day i,e--Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia and a couple other stops.

1/02 Explorer E. Carib.
1/03 Explorer W. Carib
8/03 Summit Alaska cruise/tour
2/04 Adventure S. Carib.
2/05 Galaxy Panama Canal
6/06 Jewel British Isles/Nor. Fjords
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Old February 10th, 2006, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmm44
ABoatNerd--Maybe Dec. is a bad month for sailing out of San Juan. We sailed in Feb. two years ago and had none of the problems you describe. There were plenty of PR locals on board, but no rudeness, etc.
We would not hesitate to sail again out of San Juan. We are planning to do the "other" S. Carib itinerary some day i,e--Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia and a couple other stops.

1/02 Explorer E. Carib.
1/03 Explorer W. Carib
8/03 Summit Alaska cruise/tour
2/04 Adventure S. Carib.
2/05 Galaxy Panama Canal
6/06 Jewel British Isles/Nor. Fjords
You must be talking about the Serenade of the Seas. I took it over Thanksgiving. A lot of PR locals, but no obnoxius behaviour. That itinerary on Serenade is fantastic.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 09:31 PM
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As you can see from my cruise list above, it was on the Adventure. But no problems with any passenger behavior.
We'll be doing a summer cruise this year and probably next. We want to do the 11-night Med. cruise on Galaxy with a five-day land tour of Italy beforehand in June of '07. Unless I can get DH to fork over for two cruises a year, we will have to wait till winter '08 for another cruise out of San Juan. Of course, since our 11-night Panama Canal cruise on Galaxy last year we are spoiled for longer cruises. The June cruise is 12 (with a 3-night pre-stay and touring) and the hoped-for Med. cruise is 11. We may decide to take a 10-day S. Carib. out of FL instead of a 7-day out of San Juan, but it won't be because of behavior problems.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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I've sailed from SJU 5 times. 1 time with Princess and NCL and 3 times with RCCL. Only once, this past Sept. on the Adventure, did I have a complaint and that was the number of unsupervised children and teenagers. We sailed 9/11 and I suppose school is still out at that time because we had never seen this volume of children in our winter and early spring sailings. The people did not exhibit all of the behavior described above but the Puerto Ricans are culturally different. I did not find them rude or slovely but they do approach things a bit differently. My biggest peev I guess was the kids seemed to live on the stairs and each one had a cell phone permenantly attached to his head. I seldom take the elevators so this made navigating a bit difficult.

I'm not sure how you get around this situation but I would not hesitate to sail from PR again.

I disagree with the original poster about the airport and cruise terminal. I found both of them efficient and user friendly. This year, though, RCCL did have a bizarre practice. You stood in line to check in your bags then you proceeded into the terminal to check in. In the past you simply gave your tagged baggage to the porters and off it went. This time it was necessary to personally hand it over to RCCl personnel. Maybe it's a security thing, but I've sailed SJU since 9/11/01 and had not done this before. Once we were in the terminal our on line registration really paid off. We were though the line and on the ship in less than 10 minutes.

Now, the airport is crazy on going home day but no crazier than any other busy airport. We always go the day before and frequently stay a day after which also cuts down on the airport craziness.

Enjoy
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 05:43 PM
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Yep, SJ has changed some of its baggage policies. There is nothing to stop some nut with a suitcase full of explosives from just "leaving" it for someone to pick up & put on the ship.

I don't know about you, but we don't need a modern Titanic situation. So, just like the airport or Amtrak, you have to hand your bags over.
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