Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico

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  • Day66

    San Juan, Puerto Rico

    March 10, 2018 in Puerto Rico ⋅ ⛅ 81 °F

    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!
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    Mark Zimmerman

    I wanna humnus with yall too!!!!

    Cheryl Hassan

    Four of you on this bike in transito to WV will be worth a story or two!

    Cheryl Hassan

    Gracias a todos por sus notas Durante este viaje grande! safe travels back home!

    3 more comments
  • Day13

    Old San Juan

    March 4, 2020 in Puerto Rico ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Soon we were at the meeting point in the theatre at the forward end of deck 3. This time heading ashore was just a case of stepping out onto the wharf which projected out into the azure blue water of the San Juan bay. Although we had been among Caribbean islands for days, our passage and other ports had all faced the Atlantic; the water in this sheltered bay was somehow more Caribbean in character.

    Nana Visitor and her husband appeared among us; she was extremely sweet and immediately asked Alex if she was wearing sun screen, showing an earnest and heartwarming concern about Alex’s pale skin. San Juan is a large city covering several small islands, peninsulas and a substantial area of Peurto Rico’s mainland - we had landed on isla San Juan, the smallest of the islands and tour buses took us on a short hop to the opposite (northern) shore to begin our tour. We began at the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th century fort and UNESCO world heritage site; the local guide talked us through moments in it history from Sir Francis Drake’s attack in the 1500s through to pointing out the naval gun emplacements added to defend the harbour during the World Wars.

    The top of the battlements had great views over the bay and isla San Jan; a large iguana was sunbathing on them (Dan quipped that he was there for the Star Trek cruise because he had guest starred in the episode lifeline). The tour then meandered through small streets which retain a strong Spanish influence, back towards the harbour, the Caribbean heat and humidity really hitting us for the first time the entire trip. There were a couple of minor culture shocks like a gentleman selling crumbs to feed the pigeons (a practice banned in London decades ago) and a police officer directing traffic whilst armed with a pistol.

    The tour, which had lasted a little under two hours broke up once we were in view of Explorer (plus another two large cruise ships). Nana was kind enough to pose for a selfie with us, before we headed to the ship.
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  • Day13

    San Juan, Puerto Rico

    March 4, 2020 in Puerto Rico ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    By now beginning the day with Dan fetching coffee from the cafe on Deck 5, had become established as the routine. Over coffee we decided what to do with our morning; Dan decided to go to the ‘behind the episode’ session on directing with Roxanne Dawson, whilst Alex opted for some more time in bed.

    Dan ran into Kimberly at the directing session, we had been expecting to see her at the party the previous evening, but it seems her pre-party nap had turned into more of a sleep. As the session kicked off and it became apparent Roxanne intended to screen the entire episode Riddles (her directorial debut) Dan felt a little short changed (other talented celebrities were doing all-new shows elsewhere on the ship after all) but that soon changed. Its rare to really watch an episode (as opposed to just listen to the story whilst going about other things). The opportunity to ask the director a question really focuses things; choices like the one scene that uses hand-held camera jump out in a way they don’t normally (even with nobody pointing it out at that time).

    When Roxanne re-took the stage, she spoke for only spoke for about 20 minutes, out of her 60 but she got a lot across with the time. She spoke about the value of not knowing how unusual it was for women to direct in the 90s, and her explanation of coverage and episodic direction finally joined the dots with remarks other directors had made in their DVD commentaries. In the mean time, Alex had found that Kate Mulgrew’s interview was being streamed on the in cabin TVs; with a long day ahead that seemed like a great way to squeeze in an extra event.

    No time to hang about; we had a walking tour around old San Juan booked and its hosted by Nana Visitor.
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  • Day13

    San Juan Bay

    March 4, 2020 in Puerto Rico ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Not fancying our chances of finding tasty plants to eat ashore, we headed to the windjammer cafe for lunch and virgin coladas. Between the heat and the late nights we were feeling pretty sleepy, so we followed that with coffee and a look at some of out fellow travers’ door decorating efforts. After that we tried heading up on deck for some air and a view of the bay, but it was no substitute for sleep and we spent a good chunk of our time in Puerto Rico napping, emerging around 18:00 (about an hour before we were due to leave port).

    A little before 19:00, and after a quick trip on deck or some last pictures of San Juan, Kim was kind enough to join us for dinner again. This time dinner went off less like a Fawlty Towers sketch and we were on time for the evening’s show: John Delancie’s Dover Trial play. Its a court room drama based on real court transcripts concerning the teaching of ‘intelligent design’ in science classes. Stopping back in our cabin to into our outfits for the evening’s heroes and villains party we found another gift from the organisers: cruise baseball caps.

    For the party we both went with Original era Starfleet uniforms: a Science division commander for Dan, and an Operations division lieutenant or Alex. There was an another amazing array of costumes, every flavour of Starfleet uniform was joined by Ghost Busters, Storm Troopers, the Fifth Element and Ursula from Dinsney’s Little Mermaid among others. Dan said “what’s shakin’ Dix” to a passing Dixon Hill, and was pleasantly surprised to be offered their business card, which they had made as part of their cosplay. We met back up with Kim to people watch and nibble party snacks, before retreating to the quieter Q bar a few decks up for a drink and a chat.
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  • Day35

    Despacito "Puerto Rico"

    April 19, 2018 in Puerto Rico ⋅ 🌧 26 °C

    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.
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  • Day8

    Nuestra Senora de la Providencia

    November 3, 2018 in Puerto Rico ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Ein letztes Mal für diesen Urlaub laufen wir nochmal los, um uns die katholische Kirche im Zentrum Old San Juans anzusehen. Von dort aus geht es nochmal quer durch die Gassen zurück zum Treffpunkt. Schön langsam wird es dann doch Zeit für die Rückreise.Read more

  • Day8

    Zurück in San Juan - Puerto Rico

    November 3, 2018 in Puerto Rico ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Heute heißt es das Schiff verlassen und den Heimweg antreten. Aber noch nicht ganz. Unser Flieger geht erst um 16:40 Uhr, so dass uns noch genug Zeit bleibt, einen Teil von San Juan zu erkunden.

    Zu diesem Zweck haben wir einen Ausflug gebucht: Besichtigung von Old San Juan auf eigene Faust. So können wir unbeschwert von unserem Gepäck durch die Stadt stromern und werden hingebracht und wieder abgeholt. Unser Gepäck wartet dann bereits am Flughafen auf uns.Read more

  • Day8

    Old San Juan

    November 3, 2018 in Puerto Rico ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Das alte Stadtzentrum ist wirklich schön anzusehen, super in Schuss und gepflegt. Außerdem gibt es viele kleine Parcs und Statuen und Plätze. San Juan hat definitiv viel zu bieten und lädt zum Wiederkommen ein.Read more

  • Day1

    Willkommen auf der Celebrity Summit

    October 27, 2018 in Puerto Rico ⋅ 🌙 28 °C

    Frisch gelandet geht es zunächst durch die Passkontrolle, danach ans Gepäckband und durch den Zoll. Und schon beginnt der Urlaub. Hinter dem Zoll werden wir nämlich bereits von Celebrity Mitarbeitern erwartet und müssen nur noch unseren Namen sagen und den Voucher abgeben. Unsere Koffer bekommen ihre Luggage Tags und werden verladen. Wir werden zu einem Bus geführt und von einem Guide begrüßt, der uns auf der 15-minütigen Fahrt zum Cruise Terminal einen kurzen Überblick über Puerto Rico gibt. Da unser Flieger wohl mit die letzten Gäste bringt, geht das Einchecken flott voran und schon befinden wir uns auf den letzten Metern zum Schiff. Wo uns gleich die obligatorische Seenotrettungsübung erwartet. So stehen wir also noch ein ganzes Weilchen in schwülheißer Luft herum und lassen den Drill über uns ergehen, bevor wir uns auf die Suche nach unserer Kabine machen.

    Da unsere Koffer noch in der Auslieferung sind, erkunden wir zunächst die Kabine und machen uns dann auf zum obligatorischen Schiffsrundgang. Die Celebrity Summit Ist ein älteres Schiff, das 2016 renoviert wurde. Beides merkt man dem Schiff auf den ersten Blick auch an. Die Bauweise zeigt ganz deutlich das Alter des Schiffes, aber man sieht genauso deutlich, dass kontinuierlich gearbeitet und erneuert wird. Auf den ersten Blick gefällt uns das Schiff gut. Mal sehen, was die Woche so bringt.

    Nach unserem Rundgang packen wir die mittlerweile eingetroffenen Koffer aus, ziehen uns um. Und gehen ins Blu zum Abendessen. Nach dem Abendessen verziehen wir uns auf die Kabine, der Tag war lang. Das Ablegen beobachten wir von unserem Balkon aus und danach ruft der Bettzipfel.
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  • Day2

    In Old San Juan

    April 14, 2019 in Puerto Rico ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    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.
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    Jill Hill

    Girls-friends one has known forever are a treasure (I refuse to saddle them with “old!”). Enjoy your time together.

    John Lopatka

    WHAT!? I thought you were supposed to call last Thursday or Friday. And now this! I haven't heard yet about your Christmas trip to Italy. Have a blast, though. Looks terrific.


You might also know this place by the following names:

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