Day 1 of the Cruise - San Juan, PR

Trip Start Dec 13, 2008
Trip End Dec 21, 2008

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Flag of Puerto Rico  ,
Sunday, December 14, 2008

What a relaxing and exciting day! I am sitting here out on our balcony on the Caribbean Princess as we dock in San Juan overlooking the Pan-American Pier, with the cool evening breeze coming off the water. Back to the morning...

We had a buffet breakfast back at the Caribe Hilton and took a taxi back to the pier. Our cab drive was
awesome - he jumped a curb and drove over a few places that he shouldn't have in order to get us to the ship quicker. We got to the embarkation site at the port a bit after 12:00pm and there were hardly any other people there with no line-ups. Checking in was a breeze and we were happily in our stateroom by 12:30pm.

Our room is on the Riviera Deck 14, room 704. The room has a great big king-sized bed with all of the basic room things (a big closet, as always!) and a fabulous balcony! They freshly varnished the balcony railing before we arrived - it is still a little bit wet (signs are posted). The balcony is fully covered and is very private with walls on either side. Right down the hallway is the Terrace Pool (for adults
only), and the one floor directly above us is the Horizon Court / Cafe Caribe buffets. Our room is also in a great location right across from the elevators - very convenient!

We spent the first part of the afternoon exploring the ship - the Caribbean Princess is the largest ship we've ever been on, yet it still feels like a smaller ship with many different rooms and lounges. We also went for lunch today at the Horizon Court buffet. Not very crowded at all, and we had a big tasty salad and a few other things. I somehow managed to get ranch salad dressing on my  sunglasses and in my hair...classy! :)

After exploring, we went to the Spa Pool (near the Lotus Spa) that had a swim-against-the-current machine that you could turn on or off. There were hardly any people around - we were the only ones in the pool for most of the time. I had fun "picking up" Poolie in the water and
swimming around with him in my arms to embarrass him! We swam around together and sat in the sun for a little while, and then went back to our room to unpack. We met our room steward, Alvin, who is very nice and  friendly. He helped us figure out the dry-cleaning since some of Poolie's formal clothes got quite wrinkled in our luggage - Alvin took some of his clothes to be pressed, which was very helpful! At this point, we also decided to get changed before going out to dinner and a show because the Muster Drill was at 7:30pm.

The show was in the Explorer's Lounge and it was called "Puerto Rico Folkloric Showtime" starring Juan Carlos and his Traditional Latin Show. It was such a good show - one night only, while we were in Puerto Rico. Juan Carlos played the Spanish guitar and did all sorts of traditional songs - many people in the audience sang and clapped along. He spoke Spanish, English, and even some French! He had some dancers as well. A fun part of the show was when his dancers wore belts with maracas around their hips/bums and shook 'em - and two guys from the audience were volunteers who had to wear the maraca belts around their bums, too. The one guy really shook it! :) A great show - Juan Carlos played the guitar really well and it was nice to have some authentic Puerto Rican talent on board!

Then, the typical Muster Drill at 7:30pm in Club Fusion. After that, we threw our life jackets back in the room and went to the Dining Room for dinner, at the Palm Dining Room.

I have to say, it is the first time we have ever had bad service in a dining room on Princess - easily corrected mistakes, mind you, but I think we will try the Coral Dining Room tomorrow. We ordered the Vegetable Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce, a Watercress/Radish/Iceberg Lettuce salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, and a shell pasta with broccoli florets in tomato sauce. The salad was great - the dressing was very nice. The spring rolls were very yummy too, although Poolie didn't get his until I had to ask about it - at the same time when I had to ask our waiter for new main courses because our pasta had chicken in it. He wasn't paying attention when I ordered it off the vegetarian menu (Poolie and I are both vegetarians). When he brought Poolie's spring rolls out, they didn't have the dipping sauce. Thankfully, the waiter's assistant was a bit more on the ball than he was, and was able to pick up the slack. The pasta ended up being very nice and light, and the tomato sauce was delicious.

For dessert, Poolie got the apple streudel and I got a Banana and Nut Parfait with Caramel. It was super yummy - almost a frozen banana ice cream in two slices, topped with nuts and little chocolate shavings, surrounded by caramel. It was a unique dessert and had great flavors!

After dinner, we decided to go back to the room and just chill out on our balcony. We'd like to get a good night's sleep before going to St. Thomas tomorrow!

Here is a video compiled from our first day on the cruise in San Juan. The first part is a ride up the mid-ship atrium elevator. The second part is three clips from the Puerto Rico Folkloric Showtime starring Juan Carlos.

Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Caribbean Princess Cruise Ship
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loolie on

Re: Stunning photos.
I must say we're a little bit addicted to cruises now, lol. We've taken 3 in the Caribbean now! If you ever get the chance to go with Princess Cruises, let me know and I can 'refer' you and give you $25 per person on board credit to spend... it is so much fun and they sail around Australia / New Zealand... in fact, they go all over the world!

I'm a bit of a Princess Cruises cheerleader, just because we have so much fun every time we go!! :) hehe

Jen on

Great photos.. I just came across your blog as my friend & I are taking the Caribbean Princess on May9th to the E. Caribbean - same as your itinerary I think. This is our first cruise in many years & we're now really looking forward to it after reading your comments.

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