This year we went Eastern Caribbean with ports of call in San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Martin, and Nassau. We went on Navigator of the Seas, which is the same size/class ship as Explorer and laid out almost exactly the same – hence few pictures of the inside of the ship. We went with our usuall dive/cruise buddies, Heather and Aaron and Aaron’s brother Ryan also joined us with his friend Angie.
San Juan was great. The port is in Old San Juan and therefore that is where we spent our day. Heather, Aaron, Ryan and Angie opted for a guided walking tour of the historical city. JDB and I stopped in the information center and got a free map. We walked the narrow old city streets, stopped in a small shop for $1 beers and ultimately ended up at the same fort – El Morro – as the guided tour.
Our beer-brewing buddy from back home happened to be on a business trip in San Juan the same day we were in port. We found a cool-sounding brew pub right near the docks and tried to meet up there. JDB and I found the place just fine around 5pm. We started with a sampler and each picked a beer we liked – mine tasted like ice coffee. We held off on ordering food as we figured we’d wait for George. An hour later he called and said he was on his way, so we had some more beer. An hour after that he called and said he can see our ship, but can’t find the pub, so we had some more beer. An hour after that he called and said he missed the exit and had to turn around, so we had some more beer. An hour after that we tried calling him and the cell phones weren’t working, so we had some more beer. Eventually, we had to get back on the ship, so they wouldn’t leave without us, so we skipped dinner and headed back to the pier – hence the parrots (they seemed like a good idea at the time).
When we got back onboard, we found out just how cool our waiter, Hasan, was. Heather and Aaron told us to hurry to dinning room because he had saved us some of that evening’s desert – chocolate cake. Once we got there, he asked if we had eaten. We said, “no” and he came back with a big plate of chocolate cake AND a big plate of giant shrimp. MMmm.
Tuesday we went diving in St. Thomas. We dove a wreck & a reef from the same anchor spot which was kinda cool. The dives were a little rushed though since the dive shop had another group going out at 12:30pm and were in a hurry to get back to the pier.
Wednesday we went hiking in St Martin. It was gorgeous. We hiked about 3 miles on a rocky mountainside overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at the edge of the Caribbean Sea. We saw cacti and mountain goats and butterflies. The midpoint of the hike was a rock beach in a cove where the crash of the surf sounded way more relaxing than those cds you buy in Brookestone. After the hike we went to the downtown shopping area and discovered Guavaberry Coladas and Good-ass ribs.
The last stop was Nassau – been there, done that. It was kinda rainy, but we walked around a bit and Heather and Aaron showed us the Queens Staircase. Check out the pictures, there’s probably some stuff I forgot.