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Published: December 23rd 2007
Shea and I left a cold and rainy Los Angeles today bound for the sunny Caribbean. For the past few weeks, visions of sipping pina coladas under a palm tree with calypso music playing in the background had been dancing in our heads. We arrived at LAX with plenty enough time to spare. We were well aware of how long it can take to get through the check-in process with American Airlines. Our first flight was a red-eye flight into Fort Lauderdale, FL landing at 5:00am. From there, we had a flight at 6:40am for the 2 1/2 hour flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico. We arrived in San Juan a little after 10am and immediately caught a taxi over to the Pan American Pier to hopefully check in early on the ship. The drive from the airport to the pier took about 20 minutes. Once we got to the pier, there were a few people waiting around to board the ship. We got in line and waited for about an hour before they finally took our luggage from us. Afterwards, we had to wait around for another half an hour before we were allowed entry into the terminal to
begin the check-in process. After all the check-in formalities were completed, we were finally able to board the ship and check out what was to be our home for the next 7 days.
Our ship, the Serenade of the Seas, was huge and looks like there were plenty of things to keep ourselves occupied during the next week. We checked out the pool which wasn't as big as I had envisioned. but at least there were 2 bars within close proximity. The welcome lunch started and I was excited to see what kind of food was going to be served. I had heard plenty about food on cruises and wanted to see if the food was going to live up to expectation. The lunch was buffet style and was absolutely amazing. They had so many different types of things available. I filled up on the delicious garlic mashed potatoes and seafood paella. Once we were done engorging ourselves at lunch, we were able to go check out our rooms. The balcony room we had paid for was spacious. It was made even better considering we had the handicap room which meant more space and automatic doors. We had
one queen size bed which we would have split into 2 double beds. There was also a nice sitting area with a sofa and a love seat. The bathroom had a lot of room but the shower was one of those that you commonly see in Europe where it was just a shower curtain. If you weren't careful, you can easily get the entire bathroom floor wet. After resting for a bit, we decided to make the most of our only day in San Juan.
We got off the ship and caught a taxi and asked to be taken to the main part of the old town. The $12 ride only took about 8 minutes and we were dropped off right in front of the entrance to the El Moro fort. After paying our entrance fees, we walked around the fort taking photos inside and of the views of the Atlantic. Despite the high humidity and our sleep deprived bodies, we decided to continue and walk around the Old Town. The cobblestone streets and architecture of the Old Town were very reminiscent of something from Europe. Even more, it very much reminded me of the French Quarter in
New Orleans. Puerto Rico is known for having some very good looking people. While walking around and checking out the locals, I was looking for any Ricky Martin or JLO look alikes. Unfortunately, none were to be found. We continued to just wander around without any real destination before we just decided to just head back to the ship.
For the rest of the evening, we just continued to walk around getting better acquainted with where things were on the ship. We decided to forgo the dinner in the formal dining room and just have dinner buffet style at the Windjammer Cafe. Being quite tired we just were not in a mood to be sociable with the others at our dinner table. After the mandatory evacuation drill, we just continued to walk around and have a few drinks while listening to the music in the Centrum Lounge before calling it a night.
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