Tuesday, May 15, 2012

San Juan Arrival

Alright, I may as well get started.  I have a ton to write about, believe it or not I jotted down notes in the notepad app on my ipod while on vacation!  I know, I know, crazy eh?!  But I had to keep up on what was going on not just to blog but because I want to give a good review to all the tour guides we used.  If it wasn't for the tour guides we wouldn't have had as great a time... believe me, it was the itinerary that made this cruise and not the ship!!

So lets get started...

Tony and I planned this vacation almost a year ago and as soon as we made the deposit I installed a count down app on my ipod.  I took it upon myself to do plenty of research online since it would be our first time there.  We finished packing up the last of our stuff on Friday night, took a run over to see our Moms for one last hug before leaving then came home, got three hours of sleep then got up at the crack of dawn to grab a cab to the airport.

Ahh... the airport.... 

It was now Saturday May 5th, the crack of dawn and we were in line for customs or whateverthefrance that is. 

The man traumatized me! 

He grumbled something about me not filling out the customs declaration form properly because I had a sandwich with me and I didn't declare any food items on the form.  I told him I planned to eat the sandwich before we got on the plane so technically.... He told me to stop arguing with him, so I shut up. But I was stressed out and traumatized by the ordeal.  Thought for a minute I wouldn't be getting on that plane.

Anyway, we got on the 6:15am flight from Montreal Canada to Miami USA, then we had about two hours to wait for the connecting flight.  As per usual, we used that time to stretch our legs since the economy seats on the plane don't really accommodate folks that are 5'10" tall. They may claim to do so but it's a lie.   We strolled around the airport and found the restrooms and made use of them.... and that's when I noticed that THE HIVES ON MY FACE CAME BACK!

I glanced at my reflection in the mirror and my jaw dropped!  My cheeks were swelled like a chipmunk and full of red hives welts.  sigh.  Was there a tomato in that sandwich?  Seriously!!!

We arrived in San Juan just after 2:00pm and grabbed a cab to the hotel.  The cab cost $21.00USD from the airport to Old San Juan where our hotel was located. 

We stayed at the Chateau Cervantes for one night before the cruise.  We wanted the Sheraton Old San Juan but they had a two night minimum so we were located just a street behind them, still within walking distance of the port.  As you can see in that photo, the hotel is on the right, with the little beige covers atop the door.  Across the street (on the left of the photo) is the parking garage for the Sheraton. 

The Chateau Cervantes is a small inn, with only 12 rooms.  Eleven if you don't count the penthouse suite that will run you an arm and a leg for one night. The room was somewhat small but it was just fine for the two of us for a one night stay and the bathroom had an awsome sink!

The room was clean, cool, and in a great location so it suited us well especially since I had to dope myself up on Benedryll that knocked me out for a couple hours.  It poured rain that night so we didn't really get to see much if any of Old San Juan until the next morning.  We did stroll along the port and to the CVS pharmacy to pick up more Benedryll and then hit Subway for a sandwich and got caught in the rain but that pretty much was it for our first day there.

We had to check out by noon Sunday May 6th so we used the early hours to take a stroll to the San Cristobal Fort and along the port as the cruise ship was now docked.  We took a couple of photos from the fort, paid only $3.00 to get in and take a peek around.  It started to drizzle so we headed back to the hotel where we had a continental breakfast that was included in the price of the room then grabbed our luggage and headed to the port.

The ship looked huge when it was docked, but was even bigger the closer we got to it.  We were excited!  I was bothered by my red face of hives but I wasn't about to let it get me down... I was on vacation with my hubby and we were going to have big time fun!

Stay tuned, more to follow!..........

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