The First Stop: San Juan, Puerto Rico

20 Apr

Y’know, I can’t really decide whether or not I liked the ‘itinerary’ of this cruise.  Some cruises, at least in our limited experience with them, have you in a port for a day, then at sea for a day, then another port, another sea…This one had all the ports back-to-back in the middle of the week, bookended by two days at sea (four total).  I think I’m leaning toward liking this new arrangement.  It was nice to board the ship and have a few days of nothing but relaxation- the biggest decisions being which pool to lay by and which drink to order next 🙂

Hmmm...Let's do the top deck of the main pool today, darlin' 🙂

First full day at sea...

To cap off what’s likely to be the best Monday any of us will have for a while, we had the first of two ‘formal nights.’  I may be nerdy, but I actually kinda like these- excuses to get a little bit dolled up (for you cruisers, no, we don’t do the whole tux and gown thing) and practice your big-boy-and-girl manners :).  And before anybody freaks out that there aren’t any food pics, no worries- I’m saving those for a WHOLE food post!  Y’all know me…I’m such a foodie….You’re in for a treat.

Our prom pic- ha!

This is one of my favorite pictures of my parents ever, even though it's a little blurry. They didn't know I had the camera out yet, so I got to capture a 'real' moment. Real moments are the best.

Now y’all know I can’t do a new city post without giving a little bit of history, so here goes…San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, was founded by Spanish colonists in 1521.  It’s the second oldest European-established city in the Americas, after Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.  Today, nearly 2 million people (over half of the islands population) live in the greater metro area, making it Puerto Rico’s most important seaport, as well as its manufacturing, financial, cultural and tourism center.  Like many European cities, San Juan is divided into Old Town (which, in our opinion, is ALWAYS the best part of the city!) and New Town. Known for its blue cobble stone streets and rainbow-colored stucco buildings, it’s really one of the prettiest island cities we’ve ever visited.  And what made this particular stop on our trip all the better for John and me was that we’d already been here a few years back, so now we got to share it with my parents, who also loved it.

Pulling into San Juan...

Our first stop...The only brewery on the island 🙂

Exploring Old Town...

Old Town, of course...

Fort del Morro...Built in the 16th century on the northernmost point of the city to protect its bay from seagoing enemies...

From the Morro, looking back at Old Town...The famous San Juan Cemetery is in the foreground.

San Juan was a walled city to protect itself from seagoing enemies. The red gate, the San Juan Gate, was only used by royalty.

CHEESE! 🙂

'The children are the future of Puerto Rico and the world.'

Walking to the San Cristobal Castle

Stopping for a Puerto Rican classic, a cod fritter from a food truck 🙂

Sitting down for more Puerto Rican favorites, empanadas and plantain nachos 🙂 YUM!

Our biggest gripe about cruises is that they don’t give you long enough in any given port to really explore it.  Y’all know us- we love to fully immerse ourselves in new places…To get lost on their side streets and to scour the nooks and crannies in search of all things unique and funky (and delicious!)  Alas, we made the most out of our one day in San Juan and the time came to head back to the Solstice to set sail for our next adventure, St. Thomas.  More on that tomorrow!

Good night, San Juan...

One Response to “The First Stop: San Juan, Puerto Rico”

  1. WENDY April 20, 2011 at 4:59 PM #

    LOVE the pix of mom and dad! 🙂 Have fun, be safe!

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