a visit to old san juan

Another sunny day in the 80s in Puerto Rico. After checking out of our hotel, we headed for Old San Juan for a ½ day of sightseeing before we boarded the ship. This city is insanely busy with parking at a premium. After scouting fro a parking space for 15 minutes, we found a convenient parking deck and were off for some exploration.

Old San Juan is a very quaint place with narrow cobblestone streets lined with colorful Caribbean buildings and tropical foliage. Shops run the gamut from upscale designers to the trashy trinket vendors. We happened upon a plaza with artisans and craftsmen with nice handcrafted merchandise.

One of the highlights of Old San Juan is the stone wall and fort that encase the city. This centuries old structure is very photogenic and makes exploring the city easy whether you do it from the top or the bottom to the wall. I highly recommend spending a night in Old San Juan in one of the quaint historic hotels.

By early afternoon we were ready to board the ship. Serenade of the Seas stuck out like a sore thumb. It was the only ship in port which was only a few miles from Old San Juan. Boarding was so easy. We have never boarded a cruise ship in such a short amount of time. Keith and I waited for Brett and Al to return from the airport where Brett retuned the rental car. It was only 15 minutes from luggage check-in to opening our cabin door.

Brett and I met up with Louie and Mike from NYC, a couple we had been chatting with for a few months, at the pool bar. I can already tell that we are going to have an enjoyable week with them. In the early evening, the Pied Piper welcome reception was a madhouse. There are 450 people in the group. Offer this many people an hour of free drinks and you get pandemonium. Our first dinner was very good. Afterwards we attended the show for the evening in the theater. It was comedian that was quite good. Exhausted at midnight we turned in for the night since we have an early morning wake-up call for our first shore excursion.

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