Welcome to cruise-chat.
Yes, it won't be long now before you are on your cruise!
Sometimes there is really only one way to do things as you have noted about Samana.
One word of caution about Antigua. As you may have read, back in September some American cruisers got into trouble when they foolishly decided to fight with police after they were allegedly ripped off by a taxi driver. Be aware that if you use a taxi on Antigua you need to be very clear on the price. Make sure you understand (both you and the driver) what the total cost will be if you are doing a round trip. Apparently there have been several problems with Antiguan cabbies being vague about initially quoted prices only being for the first half of the trip. Sort of a bait and switch. Just be clear and you'll be okay.