More San JuanDecember 11, 2018 in Puerto Rico ⋅ ⛅ 79 °F
Enjoyed walking around fort...very interesting
Beautiful ice skating show on ship!!
Enjoyed walking around fort...very interesting
Beautiful ice skating show on ship!!
Santa and elves made a special visit! 🎅
Up most of the night packing so finished at 2am and had to get up at 4am for our 8am flight. The US airports can take alot of time to check in and get through TSA so I like to allow enough time. Also with car rental dropoff you often have to get shuttles.
Bought the plastic bags that need a vacuum to seal them so that squashed all our winter clothes and our puffas. Normally I bring the ones that you hand roll but I knew I would need the big guns for this trip!
Getting to the aiport was stressful as our sat nav doesn't give clear directions and fails to direct you to entries. Added to that the main road to the aiport was closed for construction and our sat nav couldn't redirect. Luckily I had looked at the route and vaguely knew what direction to head so did that until the sat nav came good again.
It was pure luck that I found the entry to the carpark return when I turned around when a car beeped at me! Thank you beeping car! And thank goodness I had allowed enough time.
Miami airport is huge as you would expect with a shuttle train to some of the gates. For some reason we are flying business class which is nice. Only a short 2 1/2 hour flight to San Juan.
Our luggage is crazy but I have worked out how to carry/wheel 2 large suitcases, 1 large duffel bag, 1 small duffel, a heavy handbag, a carry on bags and a backpack! This was worked out quickly when I discovered there were no carts at San Juan airport and expensive porters for a distance of a few minutes was the deal!
So taxi to the ship then standing in line in the sun to drop the bags off then thankfully we could get a wheelchair for mum then straight to our cabin.
We are so tired we collapse on our beds only to wake when its time for the mandatory drill.
Then back to bed! We are so tired. We don't even open our bags or have dinner. We barely look at San Juan port - photos are from when we returned to start the next cruise. They don't encourage me to get off the ship and explore.Read more
Four of us who started together at Illiois years and years ago have since separated and are now teaching in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada. I am the only one still at Illinois. We are now in year 13 of an annual trip, and this year our choice was San Juan. We are in a hotel right on the water, spread across a number of colonial houses with nooks and crannies, lots of little outdoor patios, called The Gallery Inn. There’s a rooftop patio looking straight out over th watr, it is glorious.
These trips are not for touring and museums, mainly for just walking and talking and eating. We got here yesterday afternoon and had our first meal of mofongos. We were all pretty exhausted because two had been on the red-eyes and the other two had left home on 5 am flights. In bed by 11, up at 8 and then the day was just as we envisioned — started with a good coffee, then a saunter through Old San Juan, lunch in a great little empanada place. After that we went to the forts, pretty amazing. We just walked and talked and ate, just as we had planned.
Many of the old colonial houses have been restored since the hurricaine, so the old part looks amazing. We are so lucky to be able to do this, here’s hoping for many more.Read more
Tedious day today after a tedious night of packing. The same cabin wasn't available for the next cruise. Had to be out of the room by 8am. Then at 9.30 immigration came on board to check those who were doing consecutive cruises.
Then had to hang around until the rooms were ready at about 2.30pm. The consecutive cruisers as they call us were invited to an 'exclusive' lunch which was total shite. Had to send back an inedible pasta and ended up having bread and butter for lunch. Menu was crap.
By this time weirdly we were exhausted so had a nap until the compulsory drill.
Then potatoes beans and rice for dinner followed by tv. Exciting.
New room a long way from the food. When you cruise the food is at the back and the entertainment at the front - well at least on Celebrity. So I prefer the back of the ship.
Also previously we were on level 11 as part of a few staterooms and now we are on level 9 with an obstructed view which wasn't disclosed by Celebrity when we booked. Its not a real obstruction by ship standards but its annoying. I guess it will provide shade.
Next was an announcement that they are fixing the ship's navigation system so we will be delayed in leaving San Juan by an hour. That was two hours ago.
My guess is if they can't fix it in two hours then they need more expertise.
We didn't bother to leave the ship as San Juan does not look enticing.Read more
We didn't make it out of Puerto Rico. They are now flying in experts from America to fix the problem.
So we get to stay in San Juan another day and a day is cut from Aruba as we were to spend two days there.
Wish we had broken down in Barbados or Antigua.
So after a sleep in I use the free wifi they gave consecutive cruisers to do the feedback survey to go through 1000 emails. With the little time I had left I managed to do some banking. Its been so difficult to get strong enough wifi to upload this blog and do any banking. Needless to say the survey didn't get done.
Next I decide to go a shore as I am going mad couped up on this ship with its crap TV. If they had movies I would have been quite happy but I am not paying over $20 to watch a movie.
Decide to go to the biggest shopping mall so that keeps me occupied for the rest of the day. Spying a Macdonalds I go in to get a chocolate milkshake which I am craving. But they don't do milkshakes!
I cannot begin to explain my devastation on hearing this.
Next I hit Walgreens for Pringles and Cadbury chocolate. Eat Cadbury's in one hit.
Had to be back on ship by 6pm then more announcements that they are still working on the issue.
I start to think about what I will do if the cruise is cancelled.
Then I walk aimlessly around the ship.
Eat ice cream.Read more
We woke up this morning with no idea of what we were going to do. Breakfast first, in a great outdoor cafe. Then a couple of hours circling the governmental capital. Beautiful capitol building, statues of every U.S president who has visited. So far Trump’s statue has not been erected, but we think he should be represented with a roll of paper towels in his hand.
We hopped in a cab and went to the closed Puerto Rican Museum of Art. But it has lovely gardens, and we got to see the weekly iguana hunt. The guards told us that the have between 30 and 80 babies per year and eat everything in sight. Saw a Botero statue and sat on benches in the shade gabbing away.
Tonight we have a fancy dinner in a restaurant called Marmalade, and then tomorrow we head home. Old San Juan is a great place for a short break. Lots of walking, beautiful views, and great food.Read more
So we cruised out of San Juan at about 10pm.
Lots of cheering and clapping from the passengers as we cruised out.
We stood on our balcony and did the same.
It was nice seeing the lights of San Juan and the fortress as we cruised out.
Spent most of the day in bed going back and forth getting food. Why am I so tired. Need a port day!Read more
I write this with a bit of melancholy because it is the last port on this incredible adventure around South America. I feel fortunate that we have a home we love going back to, but the 60+ days we have spent on this trip have become a very special home-away-from-home. Nancy and Jim have been great traveling compadres and I’m sure that I have been working my “core” with all the laughing. We have all developed close relationships with many of the staff, some of whom we met when they were working on the Silver Whisper when we did the World Cruise 3 years ago.
But, after visiting San Juan 3 years ago, we were looking forward to our visit here. Old San Juan is a lovely, colorful town with beautiful blue pavers on the narrow streets and alleyways. The terrible tragedy this island suffered 6 months ago when Hurricane Maria struck has not broken the spirit here. We saw many indications of the damage that was was inflicted here. I know a good portion of the island is still without electricity, but the locals are working hard to regain their tourism business.
Jeff and I stopped into a little restaurant called “Istanbul” when we were here 3 years ago. Their Turkish food was outstanding and I have craved it ever since. I thought it was a stretch to think it survived time and the hurricane, but there was our tiny restaurant! Jim and Nancy were curious since I had been talking about it for so long. It did not disappoint. Fabulous hummus with fresh-baked pita,
Imam Bayildi, Greek salad, Kofte, and their signature dish, Ottoman casserole. Paired with sangria, it was an unbeatable meal. We fell on our lunch so fast, we forgot to even take a photo to share! A great top-off to our wonderful trip.
Two days at sea lay ahead of us, which will include packing, working on some projects we brought along, reading and getting ready to live real life again.
Signing off for this journey!Read more
Old Town San Juan, Puerto Rico
Wir dachten Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 wäre ein unscheinbarerer Zwischenstopp auf dem Weg von der Karibik nach Mexiko, doch erwies sich als echte Latino Perle. Das kubanisch/mexikanische Flair und die spanische Amtssprache lassen (fast) vergessen, dass wir uns in einem U.S. Staat befinden. Fast. Bis zu dem Moment, wenn die (amerikanischen) Touri Ströme von den dicken Kreuzfahrtschiffen im Hafen von San Juan die Insel stürmen.
Eine geschichtsträchtige Altstadt begrüsst mit wunderschönen, doch in die Jahre gekommenen Bauten - neben der Landesflagge etwas Weiteres, das an Kuba erinnert. Leguane sonnen sich hier und dort auf den Stadtmauern. 🐉
Am 2. Tag herrscht auf der ganzen Insel Stromausfall. Wo sich sonst bei lateinamerikanischer Musik alles Leben auf den Strassen abspielt, herrscht auf einmal Totenstille. Bis auf das Summen einiger Notstromgeneratoren. Wir gehen auf Nahrungssuche; nur wenige Restaurants können noch auf „Sparflamme“ kochen. Auf einmal wird einem wieder bewusst, wie wenig man ein so selbstverständliches Gut wie Strom zu schätzen weiss. Nachts gehts das Licht auf einmal wieder an und sorgt für Freudensprünge im Bett. 😀
Die wohl sehr häufig auftretenden landesweiten Stromausfälle sind noch immer den Auswirkungen des Hurrikans Maria (Sept. 2017) zuzuschreiben. So viele Monate später gibt es noch immer Versorgungsausfälle; 20% der Insel sind wohl 8 Monate später noch immer ohne Strom. Ein Taxifahrer berichtete uns von seinen ganz persönlichen Geschichten, wie er sich mit der Familie im Keller versteckte. 12 Stunden lang mussten sie das Wüten des Wirbelsturms ertragen, das wie ein dauerhaft vorbeifahrender Zug in den Ohren hing.
Apropos Wind: Seb hat hier noch einen genialen Kite Spot auskosten können, mit sauberer Welle am Korallenriff vor Punta Las Marias.
Fazit: eine schöne, sehenswerte latino Überraschung nach all den Pirates of the Caribbean Eindrücken und dem nun folgenden Maya Kulturprogramm.Read more
You might also know this place by the following names:
Puerto Rico, ፖርታ ሪኮ, プエルトリコ, 푸에르토리코, ເປີໂຕລິໂກ, ព័រតូរីកូ, ପୁଏର୍ତ୍ତୋ ରିକୋ, เปอร์โตริโก, Borikén, Borinquen, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, i-Puerto Rico, Mpotoriku, Orílẹ́ède Pọto Riko, Pɔrotoriko, Portó Ríce, Portorico, Porto Rico, Portoriko, Porto Riko, Porto Rîko, Pôrtô Rikô, Porto Rikoo, Portoryko, Potoriko, Pɔtoriko, Puerto Rikas, Puertoriko, Puerto Riko, Puerto-Riko, Púertó Ríkó, Puerto Riko nutome, Pueto Liko, Puɛto Riko, Puwetoriko, Pwetoriko, بورتوريكو, پورتوریکو, پیورٹو ریکو, פורטו ריקו, Πουέρτο Ρίκο, Порторико, Порто Рико, Пуерто Рико, Пуерто-Ріко, Пуэрто-Рико, პუერტო რიკო, पर्टो रीको, पोर्टो रिको, प्युर्टोरिको, પ્યુઅર્ટો રિકો, పోటోరికో, ಪ್ಯೂರ್ಟೋ ರಿಕೊ, பியூர்டோ ரிகோ, പോര്ട്ടോ റിക്കോ, পুয়ের্টোরিকো, ပေါ်တူရီကို, 波多黎各