Feed on

We awoke to sunny skies in our chilly hotel room. After getting dressed and sorting out our packing, we headed out for a coffee and morning stroll. This morning, we headed down to the pier to see where the ships were so docked. Carnival Victory was docked right the heart of Old San Juan, while Adventure of the Seas and Caribbean Princess were located across the channel at the Pan American pier (so much for walking to the ship).

We strolled along the waterfront. I have to say, we were once again struck by the beauty and charm of San Juan! It’s much nicer than we’d expected. Indeed, I think I’d actively look to sail out of this port again. Anyway, we walked to the Cathedral and enjoyed a bit of the Easter mass, which was broadcast into the plaza on loud speakers. It all felt right: San Juan is a good place to visit on Easter.

After returning to the hotel to checkout, we had lunch at the Parrot Club. We enjoyed some riffs on traditional Puerto Rican cuisine: chicken pinchos, mofongo (a kind of plantain and yuca dumpling), and fried yuca. I also had a local beer (Medella — unremarkable) and a sort of Caribbean quesadilla (pulled pork w/ tropical fruit salsa).

Following lunch, we hopped in a taxi for the 15 minute drive to ship. Check-in wasn’t supposed to start until 2:00. We arrived a bit early at 1:40ish. But, operations were already underway. We checked in without a wait and were aboard the ship well before 2:00. Our cabin, B201–a forward balcony–was also ready.

I’ll write more about the ship later. A couple of quick notes: the decor is a little underwhelming compared to what we’ve seen on same vintage or newer RCI, HAL, and Celebrity ships. The upper outside decks, however, are very impressive with a range of pools and seemingly ample space. The casual dining options look good (yet to eat there) and have excellent operating hours. We also found the soda package and specialty coffee cards to be of excellent value on Princess! Upon embarkation, we also booked ourselves in all of the speciality restaurants, plus reserved “ultimate balcony dining” for tomorrow night.

Tonight, we had Easter dinner in the Island Dining Room on Deck 5. With programs like Anytime Dining, we’ve found that service can be lacking. Not tonight! This was some of the most efficient and helpful service we’ve ever had on a cruise. Better still, the food ranged from good to excellent. We both started with a twice-baked goat cheese tart (wonderful). Libby then had a salad (fine), and I enjoyed a bowl of mushroom soup (very good). We then had a wonderful strawberry and thyme sorbet (excellent). Libby’s entree was a cocoa-crusted pork tenderloin (good flavor but overcooked) with truffle mashed potatoes (excellent). I had diver scallops with roasted red potatoes (good). Our desserts and coffee were also very good (Libby had a fudge cake; I had a trio of delights). Indeed, this was probably the beat regular coffee in a main dining room on any cruise ship.

Well, we’re off to the muster drill (at 8pm!). I’ll leave you with photos of the ship’s Easter decorations and my trio of sweets:



2 Responses to “Cruise Day #1 — San Juan, PR”

  1. Dick says:

    Sounds like you are off to a good start.


  2. Paul says:

    @Dick — yeah, I’d have to say that I think you’d really enjoy Old San Juan. Charming atmosphere and good food!

Leave a Reply