This was an amazing cruise, but for me it was all about the ports. The ports are beautiful and you can definitely do as little or as much as you want in each port. I chose to see as much as I could and am happy I did.
4 out of 5
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
The MDR was just ok. Chops was exceptional, as was Sabor. I was a little disappointed in the risotto from Giovanni’s but not the tiramisu which was so rich and creamy-almost like ice cream, so delicious.
Ienjoyed the pizza from Sorrentos and never had to wait more than a few minutes (if at all). I had an ice blended latte daily from Cafe Promenade (usually when returning from a day in port)- again if there was a wait it was minimal- the coffee drinks were on par with any specialty coffee house, and blended ones were very refreshing. Also, if you like mojitos try their blended version (with or without alcohol very very good).
5 out of 5
We only had 1 sea day and the rest of the days I was up early, back late and in bed- so I didn’t do much on the ship. On our 1 sea day I got a pedicure. I read mixed reviews about getting spa services onboard, but this was perhaps the best pedicure I’ve had. So relaxing and 3 weeks later the polish was still perfect. Chanelle was the woman who gave me the pedicure- if you can request her you should.
5 out of 5
Honestly the only entertainment I experienced was the live music at the Bull & Bear Pub- very good musician & I enjoyed it very much. The pub has a cool relaxed vibe and the music was great.
Service and Staff
4 out of 5
My room Stewart and the waiters were top notch. Customer service was a bit lacking and gave me conflicting information from the shore excursion representatives. One individual who was in charge of one of my RC excursions was down right mean and certainly detracted from the experience.
5 out of 5
I thought the ship was lovely. I know its going into dry dock soon so it will have an overhaul, but I loved it. Easy to get around, I like the idea of a promenade where pretty much everything is located, this easy to find.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
7638 is a “hump balcony” with beautiful views. The room itself was comfortable and all I needed. The balcony was not necessary but so nice to have the tropical breeze and a place to just relax in such nice weather.
This particular itinerary can be overwhelming if you want to do and see a lot at each port- consider how much down time you want when booking excursions so you don’t exhaust yourself (unless you want to :)
I booked a tour with Thenford Grey Tours (The Grand Tour of St. Kitts). I loved this tour & recommend it highly if you want a great tour of the island with a beach break at the end. You hit all the highlights of the island and end up at S. Friars Beach with a cute bar that serves food. The beach has chairs, lots of shade, hammocks. It was the perfect day and got you back to port with plenty of time to do a little shopping (if you want) and make it back on the ship in plenty of time.
I did the RC Old and New San Juan City. I booked this excursion to get a quick history and overview of San Juan. If you have enough time for a tour its a great way to see a bit of San Juan before you go. There is a guided bus tour with stops, including El Morro Fort, and a 45 minute stop in Old San Juan. I think this is a good tour if you’ve never been and don’t have time to explore on your own. I enjoyed the information and seeing areas outside of Old San Juan-worth the price. I actually stayed in Old San Juan for a few days after the cruise and loved loved loved it! If you can stay before or after I would recommend it. The Decanter Hotel was quaint and perfect. The food is delicious in OSJ. Also did a sunset sail on the Amazing Grace sailboat through East Island Excursions- Another A+ excursion- smooth sail, nice crew, food and drinks plentiful, beautiful scenery and spectacular sunset.
(1st Excursion)- RC Swim with Turtles, Shipwrecks, Snorkel and Beach. This was NOT the Tiami Catamaran. I chose the one that was 3 1/2 hours bc I also wanted to do an afternoon excursion. The crew wore shirts that said Oceano Adventure, this was not a catamaran but more like a big fishing boat/pontoon boat (sorry not a boat girl). The crew was fantastic, plenty of sun or shade on the boat. There was a nice bar and homemade local cakes. The snorkeling with the turtles and shipwreck were all in the same area, maybe a half mile apart. Then when you anchored for the “beach” part it was in the same area- no more than about 20 minutes from the port by boat. Saw a ton of sea turtles- great pictures, very clear water, lots of fish, wonderful! The shipwreck was also very cool, with a ton of fish. Both spots were perfect for snorkeling- very calm and clear with plenty to see. The beach area was also gorgeous- crystal blue water, light surf, easy to walk the beach or swim around. This was another perfect excursion. (2nd excursion)-RC 4 x 4 Adventure and Green Monkey Encounter: Fantastic! Of course I wanted to see the monkeys in their natural habitat (not the sad ones on the leashes) and man were there a ton of them. They are not captive but at the nature reserve they take you to they do daily feedings at 2 pm and all the animals come out to eat. I saw so many monkeys, a mom holding a baby, young ones playing around in the trees...plus a Mara, parrots, peacocks, tortoise aplenty, and some Brocket Deer. Amazing, and the grounds were lush and beautiful. It took about 30-40 minutes to get to the reserve and we were there for about an hour. From there our driver took us to a beach on that side of the island called Bathsheba where you could roam and explore and there was also a restaurant/bar there called De Garage Bar & Grill. This area was stunning, rough, dark, with huge rocks- a stark contrast to the crystal blue sea from the a.m. excursion. Then back to the port with a quick tour of downtown Bridgetown on the way. Another memorable and amazing excursion. We left Barbados at 8 pm so there was plenty of time to roam the port and shop (we were supposed to leave at 5 but it was changed to 8pm which was nice).
I booked a day pass with Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa (booked with them directly), and through them booked the Snuba Adventure at Pigeon Island (which was the same one RC has, as there were people who’d booked through RC and another cruise line on the same excursion). Bay Gardens Resort- the beach is beautiful, there are chairs, umbrellas, and a beach bar- it has it all and you are free to use it all during the day (9-3:30). The day pass comes with 4 drinks, lunch (the food was excellent!) and a massage (1/2 hour) or use of water sport equipment- I chose the massage. I had the massage after I’d returned from the Snuba and it was very relaxing. The Snuba Adventure- I got picked up at Bay Gardens Resort at about 10:45, short drive to Pigeon Island (inside the National Park, you can walk to the fort after the dive if you want). There was a safety briefing and then we were off. Here there was much more coral and a lot of sea life- eels, crabs, anemone, urchins and plenty of fish. The snuba was about 2 hours, and was great, would definitely do it again. (Side note: they also do the Sea Trek adventure in the same spot and I spoke with some people who did that and they raved about it). I was taken back to Bay Gardens where I had lunch, a massage, sat on the beach for a bit with a pina colada, and then at 3:30 we were taken back to the port (20 minute drive) with enough time to wander the craft booths and shops before getting back onto the ship.
(1st Excursion) RC excursion Stingray Swim and Snorkel- I will be honest, I did this bc everyone I knew who had done it said I “had to do it”. I was skeptical and a little scared. I loved this!!!! Initially you take about a 10 minute ride on a small boat (that goes pretty fast) to the reef where the stingray swim around (they are not captive but come to the area for feedings). The boat trip is stunning- the area is really spectacular-so many shades of blue and reefs surrounding you. The stingrays are very tame and fun to watch swim around. I also did some snorkeling by the rocks/reef and saw some pretty fish (including a flounder-very cool!), not much coral. I am so glad I did this excursion. (2nd Excursion) RC Catamaran Sail, Snorkel and Beach Cruise- this left at 1 p.m. and though a RC excursion the catamaran said Wadadli Cats and the crew were wearing t-shirts with the same logo. The catamaran was large with a large shaded area, a nice bar with sodas, alcoholic drinks and snacks. The sail to the snorkel area (paradise reef) was lovely, smooth and relaxing, about 1/2 hour. The snorkel spot was nice, lots of fish and interesting rock formations, not a lot of coral. Some felt the area was a little rough to snorkel, I didn’t think so- but you are in the ocean not in a cove or bay. After about 45 minutes of snorkeling (you could follow the guide or kind of go on your own) back on the catamaran for about a 10 minute sail to a secluded cove where there was a beach break for about 45 minutes. This cove was beautiful, tranquil, with calm turquoise waters. I swam but there wasn’t much to see by way of snorkeling. The sail back was about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. This was a great excursion, the snorkeling only so so, but the sailing, the atmosphere (the crew was friendly, helpful, fun) and the beach/cove were outstanding.
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