The ship leaves at 11pm on a Saturday from San Juan, PR. For most people it might not be a problem to leave very early the day of the cruise, but from the West Coast or Canada this could be a problem. If you come the night before, be aware the cost of hotel rooms in San Juan is prohibitive!! Taxi TO port from Juan Marin: For two persons $21.50 including luggage. Very well organized taxi stand at Juan Marin. Make sure the dispatcher/taxi driver knows the pier to go to. Summit leaves from Pan American Pier. Port: There is no place around there to leave the stuff after checking in to spend some time in San Juan. You need to take a taxi for that. We elected to stay on the ship. Check in is anytime from 2pm onwards. Check in was very fast indeed and this set the tone for the cruise: Very relaxing, very well organized and an excellent vacation.
There was a good welcome as you entered. The Room as you enter is very well set up with maple walls, polished nickel hardware, stylish lamps etc. However, the bathroom was an oddity. Specifically it was not well done at all. Chipped sink, basic apartment type hardware, caulking, tile work etc. Bear in mind they do not have very good storage of cosmetics, etc. You have to use the below sink cabinet.
The food was also an oddity. For what I would consider a premium cruise, the food at dinner was more like hospital food in terms of taste, not quality of ingredients. The latter was excellent and top notch, however very few of the dishes had any taste at all. I like my food heavily seasoned but it appeared they tend to cater to bland tasters. This was a disappointment. The food on deck 10 Waterfall Cafe was excellent. They had pasta (al dente always), sushi etc. Breakfast was very good.
My observation was this line caters to the 45 onwards crowd. At the dinner formal black tie night, I thought I was on a ship with CEO's. At one of the Frequent Cruiser Cocktail mixers, I entered when they were playing Moon River. Enough said. The rest of the events were better.
Excellent theater shows, the magician and comedian was so so. Oddly, this ship for a Caribbean itinerary had NO Caribbean music or bands. Not sure why. In fact, the line appeared to deemphasize the Caribbean. Even the wait staff tended to be from Europe. Odd. The cuisine also had nothing to do with the Caribbean.
Excellent and varied. We docked at Saint Maarten, Granada, Dominica (not Dominican Republic -- I wouldn't go there), Bonaire, Aruba. The best was Granada and Dominica. Both islands have the only rain forest in the islands except Puerto Rico. Bonaire and Aruba were great if all you wanted was the beach. I liked the varied landscapes rather than just beach.
Very well organized. We should all remember that it's not the cruise ship that delays us off the boat. It is the long lines for Department of Border Security. Hope this helps.
A very relaxing and above average cruise experience. We are doing this again on a different itinerary in a few months time with the same cruise line.