Puerto Rico
San Juan

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33 travelers at this place:

  • Day66

    San Juan, Puerto Rico

    March 10 in Puerto Rico

    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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  • Day35

    Despacito "Puerto Rico"

    April 19 in Puerto Rico

    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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  • Day7

    Activities that we DIDN'T DO!

    January 17 in Puerto Rico

    Hello from San Juan.

    We offer full disclosure: EXCEPT for the running/walking track we did NOT do the following:

    Carousel
    Ultimate Abyss
    FlowRider
    Zip Line
    Perfect Storm Waterslides
    Rock Wall
    Basketball Court (full court)
    Miniature Golf

  • Day71

    Puerto Rico

    December 27, 2016 in Puerto Rico

    Tourists, spanish and crazy, crazy drivers.

    We just ticked off the western most point of our sailing route. Unfortunately, that coincides with the leeward most point, which means we have several days upwind sailing ahead, but that be tomorrow's problem!

    We planned this sail for Boxing day but the wind we woke to almost forced us to postpone. We did our due diligence and decided to have a crack. Although it was rough, we had protection from Culebra and some outer reefs and were running a deep angle which, in the end, made for a really enjoyable sail. Felicity's fishing rod hooked us a mackerel in the late stages of the journey which saved us another night on canned chicken. Phew! Fish tacos instead! We're in a little conundrum with our fishing. Two, actually. The first is that we're not marine biologists, and none of us have knowledge of the local fish. Hence, we don't know what's good for eating, what's good size or in general, what the hell we're doing. The second is that reef fish here may have Ciguatera, a food borne toxic disease. The combination of these two is what makes it difficult. The food gods looked upon us once more that day, and put us within reach of google. Confirmation was all we needed. We're making in roads on our marine biology, when we have to. Soon enough we'll be able to leave our good friend google on the mainland.

    We're tucked up in the lee of Isleta Marina. An odd spot, consiting of two small islands connected by a shallow reef. Isleta Marina, as you could guess, is and island with a marina, a very unloved marina at that, and towering apartment blocks for the unintrepid holiday goer. An overwhelming sense of neglect struck us before we even got close. Shipwrecks litter the anchorage, marina and harbour. I'm not talking the Titanic, not even Rainbow Warrior. I'm talking Carlos Sanchez' 15 foot dinghy, or Gomez' 25 ft yacht. In fact there are even sunken boats still in their slip at the marina. Loads of them! I would take a stab and say less than half of the boats in the water here are in a useable state. How sad.

    The issue only got worse ashore on the mainland. Direlect houses, businesses, cars, and infrastructure - the whole town of Fajardo appears tired. Except for the dry stack. Four stories of pristine boats, stacked on the hard and sticking out like a prince amoung plebs. It's obvious maintenance is a struggling aspect of this culture. The marina manager agreed. Noting that often these things were passed through generations, and some younger generations were reluctant to spend money on their inheritance.

    We allowed ourselves on full day in Puerto Rico. Hardly generous but we have a schedule to stick to (believe it or not). Hence when I say 'full', I'm packing that day like Fraser's lunchbox at high school. Speaking of lunchboxes, fuel for the day started with homemade toasted french baguette, fried eggs, beans and sausages, woo! We took our dinghy to the marina and ferried ashore. We met a top bloke on the ferry who offered us a ride to the car rental. We were on our way by 9.30, pretty good considering our starting location. After the first acceleration, first bump and first requirement to brake, I was entirely confident our rental car was not up to the challenge. Warning lights on an a busted dash were the least of our worries, was we dodged potholes, a million lunatics and lanes that end without warning. A very stressful drive.

    Our first stop was El Yunque NP, the only tropical rainforest America. Given that it's not in America, this is, in fact, a useless fact. Nonetheless, it was a rainforest and boy did it rain. This didn't deter the hoards of tourists idling about, obstructing our mission. We're talking, queues for the visitors centre, queues to park, not being able to park at all, single file continuous moving queues on the tracks. On a rainy tuesday in the middle of nowhere, I couldn't believe it. The rainforest itself exceeded expectations but the excursion was marred by the crowds and the rain, which entirely obscured our view from the peak. Anyhow, a leg stretch/workout was well overdue and much appreciated.

    From El Yunque we travelled west to San Juan, stopping only for mexican on the road side. Bloody good mexican.

    With minmial research and even less time, our expectations for San Juan weren't high. But they were blown away. San Juan is the beating heart of Puerto Rico, and it's port delivers life blood to the country. Without it, Puerto Rico wouldn't be.

    Old Town is on San Juan island at the mouth of the harbour, joined to the mainland by a short bridge. Since the 1500s it has been fortified to protect to port of San Juan, Puerto Rico and hence the shipping entrance from Europe to the 'New World'. The significance of this port to trade for the spanish empire can be seen in the size and complexity of the fortifications or 'Castellos' which overlook and protect the port and city. Now a World Heritage Site, the fortifications cover the island from tip to toe, and make a coastal spectacle for visitors; avid sailors and ghastly cruise ship guests alike.

    Inside the towering walls and fortresses is the town on Old San Juan, a cross polenation of Spanish and Caribbean architecture, resembling something one might imagine Cuba to be, cobblestone streets included. Interestingly, and reiterating above, a coastal suburb outside of these walls, hundreds of houses on prime beachfront property were all direlect. Historically being an area for slaves and theives (outside the walls) might have had an influence here. Heavily rennovated and adapted to the foreign crowd, the town inside the walls is stuffed with high end clothing and jewellery shops, arts and craft stalls, the odd pub and restaurant (not as many as we had hoped) and of course, all the american wonders; starbucks, pizza hut, Wendy's. ... you name it! We dined at a local joint, couldn't read the menu, ordered something that resembled unripe banana, got something that looked like a muffin, thoroughly enjoyed it and were on our way in the pouring rain, back to Fajardo. On the way we took advantage of a Walmart and stocked up. We've learnt to love a Walmart, that's for sure. Reversing the morning's commute, we caught the last ferry back and got back to the boat around 11pm. All in a day in Puerto Rico.

    It was disappointing we couldn't make it to Rincon, the surfing capital of Puerto Rico or to Ilsa de Mona for some world class diving. We would have worked these in if our cruising grounds permitted. Another time.

    I'm writing this one from the boat. We're broad reaching in 12kts and blue skies. The boys are in kindle klub, rolling through the books. We've topped off the diesel, gas, and water and have Vieques in our sights. We'll spend the next two nights there before battling back up to St Thomas to collect Cat and Dave. Bring on the New Year!
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  • Day135

    San Juan, Puerto Rico

    April 28, 2015 in Puerto Rico

    A great city to end our round the world tour. Beautiful but hot weather and a very clean and welcoming city. We were the last cruise ship in for a while but during the season they have up to 8 at a time with some as big as 8000? passengers. That sound huge compared to our little boat with 380. Some of the shops didn't even open today for such a small boat but we were through touring and back on the boat early just because we were exhausted.Read more

  • Day73

    San Juan, Puerto Rico

    March 26, 2017 in Puerto Rico

    Puerto Rico ist ein Freistaat und das größte und einwohnerreichste (3.412.000) Außengebiet der USA. Puerto Rico bedeutet 'Reicher Hafen', für 95% der Bevölkerung ist Spanisch Muttersprache, Englisch wird aber überall gesprochen. Dank seiner Lage im Nordosten der Karibik wurde Puerto Rico im Zuge der Eroberung und Kolonisation der neuen Welt wichtig für das spanische Imperium, im 19. Jahrhundert nach dem spanisch-amerikanischen Krieges beanspruchte die USA dann die Insel für sich.
    Wir durchlaufen hier den "Einwanderungsprozess" in die USA: "stay in a line!!", Fingerabdrücke, Foto, ESTA-Einreisevisum, all das dauert über eine Stunde. Dann nehmen wir den Shuttlebus nach San Juan, der 1521 von Spaniern gegründeten Hauptstadt mit 395.000 Einwohnern. Die schöne Altstadt mit den bunten Häusern und kunstvollen Balkonen aus Metall oder Holz und die Festung von San Juan sind UNESCO Welterbe. Nach 3 Stunden Erkunden der Altstadt, die heute am Sonntag aus allen Nähten platzt, kehren wir auf unseren Mariner zurück.
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  • Day7

    It keeps on coming....

    January 17 in Puerto Rico

    We were treated to another Broadway stage production by the cast of Grease. Columbus, The Musical! Again, the music, sound and costumes were of a caliber not found on many ships.

  • Day8

    Puerto Rico, San Juan

    January 28, 2015 in Puerto Rico

    Már szerda, hajnali 8-kor zaklatott éjszaka után kikötünk azon a szigeten, ami a West Side Story kezdődalából ismerős- és engem mindig nagyon izgatott. USA-hoz tartozik, San Juan régi belvárosáról csodákat írnak- majd meglátjuk...Ma is 27 fok körüli, döntően napos időt ígérnek, nem is baj szegénymegpirult bőrünknek.Jó délen vagyunk, Kuba alatt valamivel, ami január végén is jó időt jelent.Sajna holnap aztán indulunk felfelé utolsó port of call-unk felé, a fagyos Bahamákra :(Read more

  • Day18

    San Juan Puerto Rico

    November 15, 2013 in Puerto Rico

    Arrived in San Juan, at about 5.30am and we all had to clear US immigration before we could go ashore, that's 3600 passengers and 1500 crew.
    I must say that for Sheila and I it went quite smoothly, we were done and dusted in about 30 minutes, which for Homeland Security was quite good.
    The really good thing about it is that we don't have to clear immigration at Ft Lauderdale, just customs.
    Maz, Sue, Eva and Jim, were jumping a taxi to a shopping mall they knew, so not wanting to shop Sheila and I went for a stroll around the town in search of some wifi.
    We tried Burger King but connection was rubbish, so we walked down by the fort and found an ice cream parlour which have not only brilliant wifi but brilliant ice cream, well frozen yogurt actually.
    Sheila managed to phone the kids using Viber, and I checked some emails.
    We then strolled back to the ship passing the market and lovely sidewalk cafés,
    I like San Juan, it's one of my favourite ports of call.
    Even though we didn't do much this time, there is lots to see.
    One thing I usually do when here is walk to the cemetery at the top of the town, it's a beautiful and interesting place, with spectacular sea views.
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