I have a question about the the departure time of 10pm on the cruise out of San Juan Nov 10 on the Serenade of the Seas. Why is the departure time so late? What time will we be allowed to board the ship? Seems like we are being charged for a 7 night cuise when in fact you are only getting 6 nights. Is there a seated evening meal and a show on the first night?
Did this cruise about 3 years ago, so if memory serves:
We boarded ship around 1PM, so early boarding is available. We had arrived in San Juan two nights early to settle in before the cruise.
The dining room did serve dinner.
Can't remember if there was a show, if so, it was late, after the muster (which, again, if memory serves, was around 8PM, between early and late dinner)
There were dances and parties going all night. It leaves late since St. Thomas is only a stones throw away.
and soone to come
When you board somtime around the noon hour, you will most likely find the buffet available for lunch. It is nice to get settled into your stateroom and then get off and explore San Juan or get a car and head out island. The late departure allows you time in port.
Leaving the bay of San Juan, position your self on the port side to view the fort of El Morro as you sail into the open waters.
Hello Sun&Ship, welcome to Cruise-Chat. It sounds to me like you think you're being cheated on a night of your 7 night cruise. Once your on the ship your vacation has started. Everything functions the same on the ship whether you sail at 5pm or 10pm. Sailing at 10pm is kind of cool because you're able to walk off and on the ship to see some of Old San Juan. It's just like any other port that you visit. I usually board the ship aroung 11:30am and go straight to the Windjammer for a great lunch. You can use the pools, walk around the ship, take a nap in you stateroom, or get back off the ship and do shopping or site seeing in San Juan. Personally, I prefer a later departure than the normal 5pm departure.
I agree with Sunny(except the part about posting when you are cruising). The 10 PM departure can save money and anxiety about departures. You can schedule your flight for the day of the departure and not worry about flight delays. If you book an early morning flight and it is delayed (or cancelled) you still have plenty of time to catch the next flight. This saves you from having to fly down the day before and pay for a hotel- or sweat the snow/rain/ATC delays that we have all experienced in the past if we elect to fly down the day of departure.
You can board the boat, catch the lunch buffet and lounge around the pool with a cold one. If it is your first or even second time in town you can even do sightseeing and shopping - all within easy walking distance of the pier.
You don't need to feel shorted - you really do have an opportunity to eat, drink and be merry (or if you are single...meet Mary)at the ship's expense with the 10 o'clock departure.
Just be sure to pack walking shoes, bathing suit, book,sun screen, etc. in your carry on because your luggage probably will not be delivered to your room until much later. You will want to have all the necessary accouterments with you for your day of leisure.
Just one experience to add to this. We were sailing out of San Juan as well. The ship was scheduled to depart at 10:00 pm and due to weather delays, didn't arrive in San Juan until 11:00 pm. I thought for sure we had missed the ship, but since we had arranged the flight through the cruise line, the ship was still there....mainly because to Sonny's point, St. Thomas is so close. Since then, I have learned my lesson, get to the departing port at least a day early, enjoy the sights, relax, and board the ship as early as possible so you can be settled in and relaxed.
You see, Carl, there is one good reason to book airfare with the cruise line. However, if you go with your idea, (which I think is a good one) getting there a day ahead and having good insurance, it's no sweat.
Well last year I travel in “the adventure of the seas” and I remember that we arrive at 11 am. And enter the ship around 11:30 am. But trouble is you can’t use your cabin until 2:00 am. So if you arrive early I suppose is the same case in your ship you have to stay in public area until then. Also all ships sails from San Juan at 10 pm. Even carnival and princess is just giving you time to go to all San Juan and see the Island before you departure… Ahh!! Also you can use any facilities in the ship after 2 pm. Even the main seating at the restaurant the very first day enjoy your cruise…
Thank you so much for all the wonderful responses and ideas. I had no idea that I would be able to board so early and then just treat it as a normal port visit (being allowed to leave the ship). That was a big concern now gone. BTW SailorJack...I won't be looking for "Mary", but if I am lucky, I might meet Peter or Paul ;-) And thanks ChefKen for the advice, but what is the port side of a ship?? (is rum punch served on the other side)