Date of Trip: November 2005
We travelled on the Serenade of the Seas, leaving from San Juan. We want to provide a brief overview of the ports and my impressions of them:
Embarkation was a breeze using RCCL’s new online forms. We stayed in Puerto Ricoat the Ritz Carlton (which was very pricey), but still got to spend a few days in the sun before the cruise. I absolutely LOVED the Ralph Lauren store in Old San Juan– great buys on logo Polo shirts!
This is definitely the shopping capital of the Caribbean. There are great deals on booze, fragrances and (not so much any more) jewelry. Don’t be afraid to put a bottle ortwo in your carryon to takeback to the ship. Most cruise lines are prettycasual about sneaking stuff on, if you don’t make a big deal about it.
This was our favorite port! Head over to Orient Beach (Bikini Beach is great too!). There are cabs right at the port waiting for you, and even if your driver doesn’t meet you, there are tons of others there who will take you back to your ship. Remember,”Don’t worry, mon– you’re on island time!”
When we arrived here, there were tons of drivers eagerly awaiting us. Tell them what YOU want– not what they want to sell. We went to Reduit (pronounced re-dwee) Beach. This beach is kind of getting too popular, and there were a few too many beach vendors last time, but it was still a nice day on the beach.
When we got here, we decided to do the snorkeling/rum boat excursion. Watch out for the rum punch. Seriously. It tastes like fruit juice (I’m a big drinker), but it packs a WHALLOP just when you’re not looking.Three guys on our tour literally fell onto the pier and had to help each other getting up (in the rain!).
Head over to Crane Beach via taxi. The resort charges $50 (barbadian) per person, which you can apply to lunch in the dining room. The beach and resort are lovely and quiet. It’s a great escape from the hordes of cruisers.