Refreshing & Relaxing Cruise
Sail Date: September 01, 2009
Reviewed: 7 years ago
Traveled As: Couple
Room Type: Inside
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: The ship docked in walking distance of Castillo San Cristbal, so we dressed in cool clothes and drank lots of water -- necessities in this rather hot climate. The views at the fort at the top of the hill are well worth the hike, and admission to the fort is also worthwhile, as there is a great deal of interesting history presented at this national park. I especially enjoyed looking out the thick walled windows to the sparkling sea, and seeing presentations describing the military history and strategic importance of San Juan through the centuries.
LABADEE: The third stop was to the RCI private island of Labadee, where we took advantage of the train shuttle to various beaches, and ended up resting on a beach (and hammock) near the barbecue... with burgers and chicken and side dishes from the ship. The beach was hot so shade was much appreciated that day... and while we waded into the water, the sharp coral proved a challenge to our bare feet. This port was accessible only by tender... so there were lines of people waiting to get to and from the island, since this was the one port of call we could not just walk to from ship to shore.
SCHOONER BAR: Kory Simon played fabulous piano and sang oldies-but-goodies, and encouraged the audience to participate with pass-the-mic singing games. We were glad we found him toward the end of the cruise, and only wished we had more time with Kory!
GYM: The punching bag, weights, and machines were marvelous to utilize... and not crowded, either. This gym has lots more to take advantage of than most cruisers seemed to be making use of, and I greatly appreciated all it has to offer. The stairs on the ship act as another form of gym I loved... since the stairs are carpeted and the ship is air conditioned, and the Windjammer buffet is on level eleven... it's possible to get lots of exercise!
POOLS: While I loved the Solarium's peace and quiet, this section of deck eleven was always too crowded to properly enjoy. On two occasions, my companion and I circled for some twenty minutes without finding deck chairs... ending up looking out one of the windows to see flying fish, a sea turtle, and a jelly fish in the water down below. We would have loved to have been able to make better use of this deck with it's shade and poolside presence... but it was just a bit too popular, even with the guideline/rule that people who leave chairs unattended for more than 15 minutes would lose their spot. The truth is that many chairs were left empty... with just towels and books and such... while we circled around, seeking a place to rest for a while. The hot tubs were very nice, and seldom crowded... and offered a fun crow's nest view of the sea. The noisier pool section featured a wonderful frozen yogurt machine, where people were always lined up waiting for cones... and occasionally, there were some fun events happening on this side of the deck, such as the Belly Flop Contest.
ACTIVITIES: We observed people on the FlowRider, and saw the Rock Climbing Wall, but did not partake of these. There were lots of things for kids and young adults to do on this ship. There were so many things we did not do that looked wonderful, as there were always so many things happening at the same time. Some fun sounding things we didn't do included: Karaoke, the Quest Game, the Love and Marriage Game, music at the Hoof & Claw Pub, wine tasting, and the art auction.
Pros: Excellent service, great food, great entertainment
Cons: Crowded Solarium