Planning a cruise seemed simple. We called our CruiseOne agent, picked a date, picked an itinerary, made a deposit, booked our air transportation, and made hotel reservations. All done.
The most difficult cruising decision so far is what we want to do at each of our ports-of-call. Obviously, we went on-line to the Carnival site and reviewed their shore excursions. We contacted our terrific CruiseOne agent, who provided some great advice and suggestions. We searched the web for cruise related sites, of which there are many, and joined a forum. We read hundreds (not kidding) of reviews and even watched scores of YouTube videos!
Next, we had a group meeting to talk about what each of us would like to get out of our vacation and what we would enjoying doing at each port. Our meeting was very helpful. Armed with loads of data and the desires of our travel companions, we made some decisions!
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll share the highlights of our plans with you!
We fly into San Juan, Puerto Rico the day before our cruise departs, which gives us two half days to explore San Juan.
Because it is the first day of our vacation, we decided to stay at the Marriott San Juan Resort and Stellaris Casino – a beautiful property on the beach but only minutes from the port and Old Town San Juan.
Our plans for San Juan are flexible. We will take a taxi into Old Town, where our camera’s will be working overtime to capture the flavor of that historic city’s Spanish townhouses with wrought-iron balconies and the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro. With any real luck, we will find Barrachina – the birth place of the pina colada!
An old family friend lives in San Juan, so we will be sure to enjoy a visit with him!
Back at the resort, we plan to enjoy the beach and the swim-up pool bar!
Since this is a family trip, our night-life will be limited to family friendly activities – maybe a moonlight swim in the pool after some delicious paella! Yum!
The next morning we plan to check out of the hotel and head to the port to check in for the cruise! If luck is on our side, the process will go smoothly and we will have ample time to wonder back out into the city for some more exploration and photo opportunities!
Back onboard the Carnival Victory, we will be meeting some of the fellow cruisers we met through an on-line forum on the Lido Deck for the bon voyage party!
NEXT STOP – BARBADOS!