Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
— Mark Twain
Finally! We woke up to a sunny day in Puerto Rico! I was beginning to think that it was going to rain the entire cruise. But thankfully, we could see blue skies as we docked in Old San Juan.
We decided on an early breakfast so we could get an early start, since we were only in Puerto Rico until 1:30 pm. We went to the Windjammer Buffet and had a quick breakfast. Since it was a port day, it wasn’t as crowded in the Windjammer, and it was a better than normal experience. There were plenty of tables to go around.
Old San Juan
There were three ships in port, so we knew it would be crowded in Old San Juan. We decided just to tour ourselves since we’d been there before a couple of times. It’s a beautiful city, and very historic. But be sure to bring good walking shoes because some roads are cobblestone and hard to walk on.
We started out by stopping at the Walgreens right across the street from the port because I wanted to get a bottle of Gatorade. The nice thing is that you can use your credit cards in Old San Juan. He was looking for some clip on sunglasses because his got broken during the cruise, but Walgreens didn’t have any, so we decided to walk to CVS, right down the street.
Paceo de la Princesa
He found some that worked, then we decided to walk on the street to the left of the ship that went alongside the ocean. We’d never walked down that street before. FYI – that street is the only street that we found that had public restrooms, and they were clean. That street was Paceo de la Princesa (click here for a good walking tour map) and winds along the bottom of the city wall. It’s very picturesque. If you’ve ever seen the Christmas movie, Christmas in Paradise, this is where they were after supposedly exiting their ship, although it’s nowhere near the pier. But it is pretty, you can get a good view of the ocean, and it goes past the tourism office.
We went into the tourism office, and they had a pretty Christmas tree in there, and a lot of frogs painted by Downs Syndrome children. Very nice. Then you go by the Princesa Fountain. That is where we saw a small amount of hurricane damage, one of the wooden piers was broken up. We took that road all the way to the red San Juan Gate, then went through the gate into the city. We traveled along, and I was taking pictures of many of the feral cats that roam the streets of Old San Juan. They are all over the place. An organization called Save a Gato is trying to help them by spaying, neutering, deworming, and giving them shots. They also offer adoption of them. Poor little kitties.
Catedral de San Juan Batista
Most of the time we were in Puerto Rico was spent walking through the picturesque streets. You can see that some damage was done during the hurricane. We first stopped at the Catedral de San Juan Batista (Cathedral of St. John the Baptist) and went inside and toured around. It’s a beautiful church. You can tell that it was damaged. Some of the outside needs work, and they are trying to restore some of the paint on the ceilings and inside. But most of the church is fine, and the statues and paintings looked good.
After that we decided to do some shopping. Most of what we saw in Old San Juan was looking pretty good after the hurricanes, but some of the stores were using generators, some were open in the dark and using cash only. We saw Electric Company trucks from New York in some of the streets working on the lines. A lot of stores had moved to other areas, some were being re-done inside. But a lot of the shops in Old San Juan were doing business as usual. We saw where some trees were down, but a lot of them had been hauled away.
We stopped at one of the squares and watched as two men on stilts, and some other characters, were doing a congo line with visitors. I got a video of that, lots of fun. We went through a couple of markets. I didn’t buy much, just a couple of small souvenirs for the family. We didn’t really have a lot of time in Old San Juan, wish we’d had more because I would have liked to walk to both forts and go through them again. Maybe next time.
We came back to the pier area because they had local vendors setting up along the sidewalk, and then we noticed that the line to get back onto the Oasis was a mile long. I’ve never seen a line that long before to get back on board. So, I got in line and he looked at the booths while I waited. The line moved fairly quickly though, and we were back on the ship. I did notice that there was another line with no one in it, so I have no idea why everyone was waiting in the long line. The short line must have been for special people.
Finally…my hot dog
Once on deck we decided to get some lunch. I decided just to go and finally get my hot dog on the Boardwalk, and he went to the main dining room. The main dining room is very nice for lunch, and much more pleasant than the Windjammer. But I wanted a hot dog. And then I did my blog, and after than went to the Park Cafe for some chips and dessert. Then we took a break in the cabin.
Someone knocked at the door, and they had a box of four Red Velvet cupcakes from the chef. If you’re wondering about the VIP list, mostly it’s just coupons to buy things that I could not possibly afford, and the cupcakes. And then I got a phone call from the Cruise Director’s staff to set up my interview with the Cruise Director. It’s going to be on the last sea day at 2:30. And since this is my first interview since my high school newspaper day, this should be interesting. His name is Tim Connor, and he’s a very good Cruise Director. That should get me some brownie points!!
Dinner in the Main Dining Room
We went to an early dinner, and once again sat by the normal couple that we sit with. It was a very good meal, Lelia and Kadek were very good, and the food was delicious. It was elegant night, so I got the New York Strip steak, which was delicious, and he got the Lobster tail. I had the strawberry bisque for an appetizer, and it was delicious. Then I had apple pie a la mode, which was also very good. After we ate we got a few photos done, which we always do on elegant night. I like to buy one picture per cruise to hang on my wall at home. The cruise pictures are great because if you don’t like them you don’t buy them. I always seem to find something I like.
We had no reservations, so we walked around a while, and ended up at the Aqua Theater on the Boardwalk and watched part of the new Spiderman Movie. Then we had a bogo coupon for a milkshake at Johnny Rockets, so we got that. Then we decided to go to the room and relax. One thing about the room that I’ve been meaning to tell you about is the bathroom light. There is one light over the bathroom sink that you cannot turn off, even at night. It drives me crazy because it puts off a lot of light in the room. Plus, the sink is so low, I feel like I’m really tall although I’m only 5’3″. And that was the end of day number five.