September 12, 2018

CARNIVAL FASCINATION & OLD SAN JUAN CRUISE PORT


Our last cruise was out of Puerto Rico.  Having never cruised from there in the past, I wasn't sure what to expect.  Fortunately, it was a great experience.  I would say it is easier than Galveston or New Orleans though my last cruise out of Galveston was a breeze.
























The San Juan Cruise Port is the largest and busiest ports in the Caribbean.  There are 4 cruise ship piers and 2 modern terminals along the southern shores of historic Old San Juan with a total capacity to accommodate 7 ships at once.  The best part is that it location is an easy walk from Old San Juan and it's attractions.  

September 7, 2018

BACK IN BARCELONA


When I went to Europe in 2014, I thought it was a once in a lifetime trip.  I was enchanted with Europe and it felt like I was in a dream the entire 16 days we were there.  It was just my daughter and I, alone on this exciting adventure.

I raised her as a single parent and we lived vicariously through Rory and Lorelai Gilmore.  We always dreamed of going some place exciting and far away, never dreaming that it would actually happen.  

I should say that I never dreamed it would happen for me.  My daughter had always wanted to study abroad and knew that she would go some day but for me it was always just a dream.



We both had just graduated from college.  I had a year left and waited until my 40's to finish but I now have a business degree!  Yay


This was a gift to ourselves since we had struggled for so long.  It felt like we had finally finished a long race.  

    

September 3, 2018

EXPLORING ST LUCIA - Part 2


As I mentioned in part 1 of my visit to St Lucia, we visited a banana plantation, stopped at breathtaking lookout points, ate local food, took a water taxi to the Pitons, ate some of the best homemade bread, and played in mud.


Breakfast was included with the tour but it was close to lunch time when we arrived.  We pulled up to a building where several other tour vans were pulling in.  There were tables set up with an assortment of food.   We tasted a variety of fruits along with some local specialties.



BEAUTIFUL ST LUCIA - Part 1


I have been to many of the Caribbean islands and they have been beautiful...... each with their own personality, but I'm going to have to say that I have truly fallen in love with St Lucia.


My daughter and I only booked two excursion before our cruise, St Maarten and St Lucia.  We did not book through the cruise line but through Cosol Tours.  They met us just outside of the cruise port where they divided everyone into groups.  Each group left with our guide where we boarded an air conditioned minibus. 


This was one of the most amazing tours I have ever been on and probably why I fell so in love with St Lucia.  The whole tour lasted around 6 hours and is the best way to see the island.  


You will see a banana plantation, stop at breathtaking lookout points, eat local food, take a water taxi to the Pitons, and eat some of the best homemade bread, and play in mud.




I took more photos here than any of the other seven countries I visited on this vacation.  You have the Piton Mountains, beautiful beaches, banana plantations,  tropical rain forest, waterfalls, and a drive-in volcano.  See what I mean?  Paradise!


I have read that the Pitons are to St Lucia what the Eiffel Towel is to Paris. If you were to do a google search of St Lucia, you would see pictures of these ancient volcanoes in almost every photo.  

SUGAR BEACH  - (JALOUSIE BEACH) 




July 30, 2018

EXPLORING SAN JUAN BEFORE A CRUISE



If you plan to stay in San Juan before a cruise, stay in Old San Juan and not in some hotel near the airport. You will just need to pay for a taxi from the airport to Old San Juan and then you won't have to worry about transportation again until your cruise is over.

Staying in Old San Juan makes exploring the town easier.  You can leave your luggage in your room until it's time to check out.  When it's time to check out, carry your luggage to the ship, drop it off, and the go back out and explore until your ship leaves. 

You can read about our stay at the Casablanca Hotel in Old San Juan HERE:  http://southernbluetraveler.blogspot.com/2018/07/our-stay-at-casablanca-hotel-san-juan.html




July 21, 2018

OUR STAY AT THE CASABLANCA HOTEL ~ SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO



This quaint Old San Juan Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico on famous Calle Fortaleza. It is near shops, restaurants, and close to the historic Forts of Puerto Rico.  It is also near the Old San Juan Cruise Ship terminal which is why we chose to stay there.


When I was searching for a place to stay the night before our cruise, I was looking for some place affordable.  The night before a cruise, hotel prices are much higher.  The room we stayed in is around $107 except on cruise weekends.  We paid around $179.
09 10