Well, we have returned from our honeymoon cruise and had an AWESOME time.
I have alot of catching up to do at work, so I can't post a full review yet, but I will mention a few highlights:
First, we went down to San Juan a few days early and spent a day hiking around El Yunque rain forest. This was one of the best, if not the best, parts of the entire vacation. It was so beautiful and peaceful, and you can get an amazing view if you make it to the peak (if the fog permits it). I highly recommend everyone try this if given the chance.
The Adventure - we really enjoyed the ship. We are both very athletic, so it was great to have all the volleyball, dodgeball, basketball, and rock climbing tournaments. I'm proud to say that I had a hanger full of medals from the various events by the end of the cruise . And after all the activity, I had some of the best naps of my life while laying around the Solarium. The ship had so many different "areas" - you could always find something you liked, whether it be more quiet and cozy, or more of a party atmosphere.
The staff was very good - we have a few connections, and got to meet some of the higher-ups, all of which were very cool, and beyond nice. The CD (Mike S) was very naturally funny and entertaining. Be sure to see the “Fountains” show – it was hysterical, and I hear it was Mike’s personal creation. As a plus, I don't think I ran into a single rude cruiser, and we made some very nice friends throughout the week.
The food was good, but I give the edge to Carnival.
The ports were all very good - we had a few free days passes to Sandals (St. Lucia and Antigua) and had a ton of fun. We did the Loterie Farm Tree Top Adventure in St. Marteen, which was fun, but not worth the $90.
Overall, it was a fantastic honeymoon cruise. It seemed to last forever, and it was very difficult coming into work today. Sorry for the short review, but I’d be happy to answer questions if people have them.
I forgot to mention the hotel in San Juan. We stayed at the Embassy Suites for two days and it was a great choice.
The cost was $160 per night, plus tax, and there should have been an additional "resort fee" of 11% (this is pretty standard for San Juan hotels). However, they made some mistakes, and took the fee off for us.
So, each hotel room was a suite, which essentially meant it was very big, had a living area, a small "kitchen/bar" (fridge, sink, microwave), and a nice sized bedroom. The bathroom was large and very nice. Each room opens out into the center of the hotel, which is basically a huge courtyard with trees, waterfalls and bridges - so each room has a very nice view (we were on the 6th floor, so we had a great view of the courtyard on the inside, and the pool area on the outside)
Included in the price of the room are breakfast and the “mangers reception”. Both were great - you get tons of choices at breakfast, including made to order omelets, french toast, pancakes, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, juices, yogurt etc. The managers reception is basically a free happy hour, with a full bar - they will make you nearly anything you want (even some frozen drinks), you can have as much as you want, and they even have some snacks. Great deal.
In addition, there is a shopping center with a big supermarket nearby so you can get food or drinks on the cheap if you don’t mind packing your own. We made our own sandwiches before hiking El Yunque.
The pool area was very nice looking, and included a hot tub, waterfalls, a bar and plenty of lounge chairs.
Overall, a very good choice. Since it is only 5 min from the airport, it was great for a pre-cruise stay.
Welcome back newlywed, glad to hear it was a success. I understand the work thing, always seems to get in the way. I can't wait for a full review and maybe some pictures. Where are you going on your next cruise? What ship? Get busy booking, it helps so very much. Much happiness and best wishes!
Thanks! My plan is to add some pictures as soon as I get a chance - took well over 300, maybe even 400 (lots of the rain forest). We are busy moving into the new apartment, so it may be a while before I have some time to actually do it. All we had last night was an air mattress and a nice new flat screen TV we got as a gift haha.
As for the next cruise, my friends and I were in the middle of discussing next years vacation when we left for the wedding. We were mostly looking at Carnival ships for late August. I want to get the ball moving again as soon as I can.
the wedding was perfect…since im a guy, I had never really dreamed of how my wedding would be….but if I had done that, I prob would have imagined it exactly how it went
the weather couldn't have been any better, all of our friends and family were there, and the ceremony was fantastic....we are catholic, and had a traditional ceremony with a mass, and i was a little worried about my non-religous friends being bored...but the priest did such a good job, and her side of the family sang an acapella (sp?) song together, and our friend sang the Ave Maria - it was so good that the friends i was worried about came over and were like "that was amazing - i now understand why you believe what you do"....felt really nice to hear that
the reception was so much fun - not to toot my own horn, but it was prob the best wedding reception ive ever been to....i think it was largely due to the high percentage of fun, young people (who drank alot haha), but the dance floor was packed the entire time and people had a ball....the DJ and reception hall staff each came up to me separately at the end of the night and said that it was one of the best parties they have ever seen
so that’s all a long winded way of saying it kicked @ss….thanks for asking!
Oh, and one other thing I forgot to mention – we had something that I bet NOone else can claim they had at their wedding…we are friends with some Franciscan Friars of the Renweal, which are basically a catholic religious group that have a vow of poverty (among other vows, of course)…so all they have are these gray robes with hoods, and sandals, and they all have shaved heads and beards….so to people who don’t know them, they are a bit of a sight to see….now, a few of them came, and one of them happens to be a very young guy who is very into music, and is an amazing beatboxer (if you don’t know what that is, it means he can make incredible beats and music with his voice alone, while singing at the same time)…so as a gift to us (cant afford a material gift), he grabbed the mic and did an amazing beatbox and a rap in front of everyone….so we had a beatboxing, rapping friar at our wedding hahah
I can truthfully say, I've never been to a wedding reception with a beatboxing, rapping, Friar. You'll need to upload that to YouTube!
You're newlyweds, so you don't need much more than the air mattress. Ok, the flat panel for breaks I absolutely hate moving! I hope some of your friends that enjoyed your reception will pitch in and help y'all.
Congratulations on your marriage!!! Sounds like you had a great honeymoon. I am considering doing the southern caribbean cruise in 2010. I've done the western & eastern but I've been told by others that the southern is really one of the best. What do you think? Thanks for the info since this will help when I am ready to book. Now I just need to find someone to go with. Looking forward to seeing your pictures.
yeah, i guess the air mattress is the most important hahah....but i love to cook, and its hard to just look at my new cookware and japanese knives without really being able to use them till we are fully moved in
if i can figure out a way to post that beatbox portion of our wedding video, i will
as for the southern caribbean, we liked it alot...i dont know if we can give a fair opinion of it since we didnt do too much exploring - two days were at Sandals (st. lucia and antigua), spent barbados at a nearby beach (boatyard - very cool), st. marteen did an excursion, and didnt really get off the ship in st. thomas....so all the ports were beautiful (more so than some other ports ive seen), but we never really saw an entire island, or got into the heart of any downtown area....what i did notice was that the ports were less crowded....we were the only ship at all the ports, except for st. thomas when the Carnival Miracle was also there
having said all that, i would love to do the southern caribbean again