Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vacation Journal, part 3- First day on the ship!

The next morning we woke up and got ready quickly so we could have some time to look around the fort, El Morro. We walked to the lobby and were just walking outside when it started pouring.  Not the start I wanted to our vacation.  So we just decided to hang out in lobby and use the internet there until rained stopped.  It didn’t take too long and we were on our way to El Bombonera for breakfast.  It was just 2-3 blocks down from our hotel.  The food was great, we split an omelet and then walked on to El Morro.  The entry fee was $3 per person.  We spent some time there exploring and walking around.  Tim, the history buff, read most all of the plaques and signs giving all the historical information.  A lot of it was really interesting.  The weather was still cloudy but at least it wasn’t raining. 
 At the fort entrance

Tim in one of the lookout towers.                            History buff!!
Looking to the east along the coastline

At the top by the lighthouse

Right when you come in the entrance

On our way back we stopped in a few shops and picked up a few essentials (shaving cream, extension cord, etc.) and a few gifts for Kaydin.  Checkout from the hotel was quick and easy and we hit the street to walk the 3-4 blocks to the pier at about 12:15pm.  The walk was pretty easy even on the cobblestoned streets and towing a 51 pound bag.  Just as we were getting close to the pier it started raining hard.  We got through the jumble of people at the terminal entrance to show our boarding pass and passport, easy enough.  We then walked on and got to the entrance of the building where we dropped off our checked bags.  We stopped in the liquor store on the main level of the terminal and I grabbed a bottle of coconut rum for $4.00!!! Up the escalators and we were in line to check-in.  The line didn’t take too long, got checked in and directed around the corner to the security checkpoint.  I did put the coconut rum in the backpack to see what would happen.  Our bag was tagged and once we went around a few corners and hallways we were to the entrance of the ship.  There was an area where you have to forfeit the liquor that was found in the bag. The guys at that area almost didn’t notice we were tagged and we started to walk right on.  What could have easily been done was switch one of our wine bottles for the liquor bottles.  I was carrying on the wine, Tim had the liquor.  When they looked it would've been just wine in the tagged bag which was allowed.  Oh well! While we are on the subject of alcohol I did bring a small amount in my checked bag but did not even open it once the whole week. One quick picture for the sign n sail cards and we were inside our new home for the week!! I think at this point it was probably 1:00pm or so.  Since the rooms were not to be ready until 2:30pm we went to Lido- Deck 9 for some lunch and a phone call home to Kaydin since rates were lower in Puerto Rico than the others islands (69 cents/minute).  By now it was about 2:20.  We decided to see if the rooms were ready yet and they were. 

We planned on walking Old San Juan and seeing the other Fort, San Cristobal, but since the weather was crappy, we decided to just search for some sunglasses for Tim and hit CVS for some bottled water and more wine (you are allowed one bottle per person in your carry-on bag.  We brought one each through the first time and wanted to bring one more each if we found something decent.  Tim decided against a new pair of Oakleys (even though he tried on 10 pairs, a few of the same pairs several times). I was the good girlfriend picking out my favorites and letting him know the ones I didn't like.  It was a good choice though because they would’ve gotten banged up throughout the trip.  We got our stuff from CVS (it’s located just on the west side of Senor Frog’s) and headed back to the ship in the still rainy and cloudy weather L

Here's all the freebies we found in our bathroom.

The bathroom.  The hairdryer did NOT work well so hair pulled back all week for me!


Our room!

This is a map that showed our route through the ocean.  Tim was still trying
to figure out which islands we were stopping at.

Me outside our stop at CVS. Tim says this is his fav pic from the trip because
 I kept mentioning going to CVS for water. LOL. I just wanted to be prepared!

In our bathroom we found a packet of goodies!! Tim was happy that a good razor was included.  We showered and got ready for dinner.  On the first night it is open seating in the dining rooms.  For the rest of the cruise we were assigned to Deck 4 in the Atlantic Dining Room.  The food was great but we found the desserts and appetizers to be better than the main courses.  Most nights we both ordered two starters, a main course, and I sometimes ordered two desserts, including the Chocolate Melting Cake every night! YUM!! The majority of the time though, they were a little undercooked for my liking but still great nonetheless, obviously since I ordered it every night!! I told Tim before we got on the ship that I would be eating a lot during the week and not to judge me!! I actually didn’t eat quite as much or as bad and I originally thought.  Well, if you don’t count the two desserts per night ;)  I have to have my sweets! The first night I ordered the cream of sun ripened tomato soup, shrimp cocktail, and the tilapia with mac and cheese.  All were very good.  Tim ordered the Caesar salad and was not impressed. He also got the chicken tenders and the chicken a la Greque, which was a chicken breast with a pesto sauce.  We ordered crème brulee for dessert too.  I thought it would be better, but still good!

Tilapia

Tim's chicken
Vanilla Creme Brulee

Chocolate melting cake!

Raspberry mojito that I didn't like. It was too bitter.

After dinner we made our way to Deck 9 for the sail away party.  There were lots of people and some games going on.  It didn’t last too long outside though because it started to rain.  Tim and I decided to head to deck 3 where you can be outside but the lifeboats are above you so it shielded the rain.  There we watched as we sailed away from San Juan and on to the next island.  Also, when we were standing outside we kept seeing fish jump.  There were some really big ones right beside our ship!  After we sailed around El Morro we decided to make our way back inside since it was really windy and chilly outside. Next, we checked out the casino.  Tim was excited about a casino being on the ship because he usually has pretty good luck playing Blackjack in Vegas.  I spotted a fairy game that I thought was calling to me so we sat there.  After only a few pulls (a couple from Tim) we won $40!!! I NEVER gamble and was really excited! Well, cautious and superstitious, me we cashed out and I was done for the night.  I watched him play, or lose, a few hands of blackjack and we called it a night.  By now it was about 12:30am so we were pretty tired and ready for bed.  Had to get some rest for our day in St. Thomas.