When the Norwegian Sun stopped in dreary Puerto Rico on Wednesday, Nov. 9, we didn’t really know what was going to happen. Unlike the other shore days, we hadn’t booked an excursion. We had to fend for ourselves. While we found plenty of things to do, I wish we had booked something.
We arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico to overcast skies and some sprinkles. After some breakfast at the Great Outdoors, we made our way off the boat and out into the great unknown. We pulled up a map of the area while we were in St. Thomas the day before using my 3G iPad service, but we really didn’t find what we were looking for. I think we were both hoping to find some scooters or even Segways and just go exploring. We weren’t looking for a guided tour, we just wanted to hang out.
Being that we got off the boat at like 8:30 a.m. and didn’t have to be back on the ship until 3:30, we had plenty of time. We spent the first while just trying to get out bearings. In the end, we visited a local post office, which had a map. We talked to some employees there about where we might find bikes, scooters, etc and they pointed us in the direction of another pier just a few blocks away. We walked down there only to find it much abandoned and the only person who could help us didn’t speak English. Since we speak no Spanish, the conversation was pointless. However, on the other side of the building, we saw a Segway rental place. We felt like we were on to something…except it didn’t open for another half hour. Luckily, the owner came by early and we asked him where we might rent something like that to go exploring. He said he only did tours. No luck there. We didn’t want to pay for a tour.
We headed across the street to an information center (ah ha!) and found out it would be quite a hike to rent some scooters, so we picked up a map and headed out to explore on foot.
We were sidetracked by shopping!
Since we were in no rush to get to an excursion, we spent some time picking up souvenirs for our family. This gave us the chance to sight-see as well. Once the stores seemed to end, we just kept walking, enjoying the buildings, houses and infrastructure of Puerto Rico. My husband thought the road was super neat. It was brick with some sort of protective coating over it.
We walked and we walked and we walked. Finally, we reached the Castillo de San Cristóbal, which is a fort that extends out into the ocean. There is a wall encircling much of the city, which kept it safe back in the day. I guess i can say that. Anyway. We walked over to the wall. While there was a charge to go in and explore the fort, we were mostly just interested in walking around the outside, which we did. It really started to rain while we were out there but with temps in the 80s, it really was a blessing in disguise, except that we had lots of bags to carry and we were worried about everything getting wet.
We walked around the fort from wall to wall before deciding to head back into the city and over to the other side to see the Fort San Cristóbal. We stopped in the city again and hit up some shops we didn’t get to the first time. in each city, we nearly bought the Bamboo sheets sold by Cariloha. This was the closest we came to buying them, but they weigh a good amount and we were just so sick of lugging things around. They said they could ship them, but we just felt weird about that.
We kept walking around and participated in a raffle for a Pandora bracelet offered to cruisers from the Norwegian Sun. We didn’t win so we walked over to the Plaza de Colon to see the Cafe Puerto Rico that my boss recommended. We checked out the governors mansion along the way.
We were starting to get hungry for a bigger meal and we just didn’t want to pay for more food off the ship so we headed back to our boat. We had some lunch, a nap and by that time we were on our way toward another evening at sea.
This was the evening we decided to have dinner at a specialty restaurant. We got dressed and headed up to East Meets West Steakhouse for dinner. I reviewed the meal already, but just to recap….AMAZING. After dinner, we headed down to grab some wine before going to check out the evening entertainment–juggler Charles Peachock, a former contestant from America’s Got Talent. AWESOME. We had so much fun watching him and it felt like the show was over shortly after it started. It was so great.
Before the show started, we purchase these ship scratch-off tickets. We took them back to our room and opened them up to find out we’ve won $3. Big crazies! So we took it down to the casino to cash it in and took the money and played the $.25 slots. In the end, we won $50 so that paid for our scratch-offs.
We checked out the photos for the day on the boat, walked the deck and then headed down to the chocaholic buffet. Essentially the ship opens up one of the dining rooms and offered a bunch of different chocolate desserts. Chocolate cake, brownies, chocolate-dipped apples, chocolate candies, chocolate mousse. Oh, it was awesome. There was a huge line for it, though it moved pretty quickly. We filled up some plates and took them up to our room. After wine, juggling, walking and exploring Puerto Rico, we were beat. We watched some crappy TV and headed to bed.
The next day was another day at sea, but we had to be up and out of our room by 9 a.m. for massages.
Next time we take a vacation, remind me not to schedule everything right away in the morning and instead stretch it out over the day!