Friday, January 19, 2024

December 15, 2023 – San Juan, Puerto Rico – Mostly Cloudy – Drizzly – 75F

I had a nice view of the sail in from the Windows Café at breakfast.  I should mention that I was able to get some sour cream for my waffle.  Yesterday, the wait staff tried twice to bring me sour cream but both times it was yoghurt.  So a great breakfast today. 

When I got back to the room, Ellen was already eating breakfast – she missed the time change as well and the food was delivered “an hour earlier” than she thought.

We don’t have an excursion today so we are going to walk through the pier area, which has a lot of things to see.  We were in San Juan just after the ships started cruising again after the Pandemic but we did not get off the ship. 

We disembarked mid morning and walked the short distance to the pier entrance.  The ships dock very close to the city in San Juan.  That means that there will be a lot of pictures of Onward docked.

Our main destination is Plaza Colon, just a few blocks from the ship if you make a right out of the pier.  Cristobal Colon’s statue still graces the Plaza even though the great explorer has fallen out of favor recently due to his harsh and brutal treatment of both indigenous peoples and his own crew.  I don’t do my Christopher Columbus talk anymore.

Just up the street from Plaza Colon is the Castillo San Cristobal – one of the fortresses that protected the island. This fortress, a UNESCO Historical Site, was built in 1783 to repel attacks on land from the East.

We fulfilled the requirement to take a picture with the City Sign before starting our walk.  The sign must be relatively new since it wasn't there on our last stop here.

We walked along Calle de San Francisco, the street bordering the Plaza Colon in an effort to reach the other fortifications that overlook the Bay.  That took us into Old San Juan.  Brightly colored buildings (some with balconies reminiscent of New Orleans) and cobblestone streets.  We passed by the Carlos Albizu University, a private University specializing Health, Psychology, and Education.  

Lots of restaurants and bars lined the street.  

We reached the Plaza De Armas, which was decorated for the Holidays but pretty much devoid of people.  

The weather looked threatening so we decided to stop short of the Fortaleza and walk along the wall overlooking the bay. From this vantage point, I was able to get a nice picture of Onward docked.  

We looked down over the wall and saw a garden of sorts with various types of statues.  

We went down the hill and turned right into the Jardin de la Princesa.  

There were lots of interesting plants and statues but one particular set of statues caught my eye.  It was located in the Plaza Heritage of the Americas.  

There are several groups of sculptures in the Plaza: Heritage of Faith; Intellectual Heritage; Heritage of Blood (not about war but about integration of various peoples; Hispanic Heritage; the Central Group (representing the five major universal values of mankind.  There was supposed to be water flowing through these statues but I don’t recall seeing any (turned off).

From there, we walked to the street across from the pier (Highway 1) – we needed something from the Walgreens

which is on that street (along with a CVS) and right across from the cruise port.  We got the item and just as we started to return to the ship, it started to rain.  We got on board just as the rain worsened.  Visibility across the bay dropped to near zero but we were safely on board. 

We had lunch on the Sunset Veranda – away from the back railing to get away from the sprinkles.  I ordered a Beyond Burger and Onion Rings for lunch and Ellen got stuff from the buffet.  The burger was good but it was more like an Impossible Burger – I can tell the difference.  In any event, it was very good.

Along with the burger, I had one of my favorite beers, Leffe from Belgium.

The rain then came and we still stayed dry.   

We had dinner out on the Patio – Grilled Salmon, mashed or baked potato, corn on the cob, and artisan bread.  The dinner was good but I should mention at this point that the Patio was not open again for dinner the remainder of the cruise.  Who knows why?  It is a good alternative if there is nothing on the buffet or downstairs. 

Tonight’s Show is “Club Crooner” – this show, which we have seen before, is about the goings on in a club featuring singers and dancers.  The songs actually involved very few “crooners” – “Fly Me to the Moon” was an exception.  

The Signature Singers and Dancers did a version of “Anything Goes”, 

which takes place on a cruise ship – so a nice tie-in. 

Amanda did a nice job on “Over the Rainbow” 

and the whole troupe did a silly version of “Delilah”, a Tom Jones song I never cared for.  

They are a talented bunch of entertainers.

Stopped by The Den and caught a bit of Bob Style’s set.

A nice albeit soggy and gray day in San Juan.

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