Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cruising the Caribbean Continued

After getting to bed early on Day 1, we decided to get up early to do the spin class. It was 12$ per person, but it was not worth it.

I found the instructor to be uninformed on certain basic aspects of spinning. The set was badly set up and once he had people going side to side while standing, I knew something was up. I ended up doing my own thang for the 40 minute spin class and then jumped on the dreadmill for a Half Mile run. My new philosophy is that for all indoor rides/spin classes and many outdoor rides I will do a short 5 to 15 minute run off the bike. Even though this is the "off season", I think it is a good idea to keep your legs used to the act of running off the bike. What made the ride and the run especially challenging was that the ship was seriously rocking. During the run, I had to hold onto the dreadmill to keep from falling off it. I thought it was one of the toughest run I ever did.

After showering and having some breakfast, we headed to their "Port and Shopping Show". This gave us the info we needed on where to go at the various ports. Royal Caribbean has certain Trusted Sellers that they guarantee for 30 days. That night was the first formal night in the dining room and we had lots of great pictures taken. If I get a chance I will scan those photos.

What made Day 2 interesting was the waves and the wind. I was glad neither of us got sea sick, but many people did on the ship. It was often tough to walk a straight line. It was so bad that they had to close the pools, the rock wall, and the flowrider.


When we got back from dinner, we found our first of many towel animals.

I got up that morning and headed to the gym for a 3 mile run. The seas were still rough, though not as bad. I have been taking a 1 min walk break after each mile. After I finished my run, I did the 20 minute yogamazing yoga for runners podcast to stretch out.

After that, we just chilled out till we got to San Juan. We were supposed to get in about 3PM, but we didnt get in till almost 6PM due to the rough seas. This meant that all the touristy things to do (shipping, forts, Bacardi tour) were shut down.

As we got close to the island, we went out to the heliport to take in the sights and take pictures. Since we wouldnt be able to tour the fort, at least I could take some pictures

When we got off the ship, it was 6:30 and it was already dark. We decided to find somewhere to eat. We walked a few blocks into Old San Juan. We came across Restaurante Raices. It had tables outside that were all full. We figured this had to be a good restaurant. We were not disappointed. The food was absolutely delicious. We both had the local specialty, Mofongo. It is a fried green plantain mashed with onions and mine had mahi mahi and Cathy's had shrimp. Cathy had a killer mojito and I had one of their local brews. We finished it off with the best flan eva.

We are already trying to find a local Puerto Rican restaurant here in Atlanta so we can have it again. This restaurant must also be the place that locals go to when it is their birthday. They had this whole singing and dancing routine they got the birthday people up for that was definitely entertaining. I only wish I knew what they were saying/singing. I found a video of it on the net

After dinner, we headed back to the ship. We decided to go to the spa and see if they have any free slots. Not only did they have open slots immediately, but they were running a special. Cathy got the seaweed wrap and massage and I got the hot stone and full body deep tissue massage. The massage bordered on torture, but it is definitely what I needed.

When I woke up, we were pulling in close to the island. Because we didnt have to meet our tour until 9AM, we got some breakfast and took our time getting ready.

We were supposed to be touring with Sunny Liston Tours, but he overbooked and he had us go with Godfrey Tours instead. The tour was the same layout as the one we booked. We headed first into the main shopping area. We spent most of that time looking for a new engagement ring for Cathy. She wanted one that she could wear all the time. We found a really nice one for not too much. Once we were done shopping, we met back up with the tour guide to do the island tour. We stopped at the so-called "Famous Mountain Top"

It had a great vantage point of Magens Bay, one of the best beaches on the island.

It is also the home of the banana daiquiri. Cathy and I split one that had lots of rum. It was pretty good.

After that, we saw other sites around the island.

We saw Drakes Seat

Sapphire Beach

And a variety of other landmarks. We had the option of swimming at the beach, but chose not to because traffic on the island is a mess and we booked this tour on our own. We headed back into the port where there was more shopping. We hit up the local liquor shop to pick up a variety of libations to bring home for ourselves or as gifts. I found a new Fossil watch at a great price.

We sat down and had a bite to eat at a local eatery with an entertaining singer/guitarist. We had pretty good crabcake sandwiches and a bucket of my new favorite brew, Caribe.

After lunch, we headed back to the ship. We saw an interesting sight. Apparently Santa Claus was taking an early vacation on a Norwegian Cruise Line Ship.

When we got back to our cabin, we found our next towel animal

We were so tired after walking and splitting a bucket of Caribe that we crashed and missed dinner in the main dining room. After eating in the buffet, we saw a great magic show. I tried to take pictures, but because flash photography was prohibited, I couldnt get a good shot with the digital. Then, the battery on my camera died. Of course ths happened after the day where we could have gotten an extra battery cheap.

After the magic show, we stuck around for Win a Cruise Bingo. Obviously we didnt win. After bingo was one of the funniest things on the cruise. It was their version of the Newlywed Game called Love and Marriage. They found three couples, one newly wed, one married over 50, and one in between. We were cracking up the whole time. Our cruise director was a ham. He really made this show entertaining. What was great was that they replayed it all week on the tv. After all that, we hit up the midnight buffet.

Well that is enough for this post. I will finish up Days 5-7 in my next post


Sarah said...

Funny, we've taken a bunch of Caribbean cruises on RCI and I feel like I'm reliving my vacation! We took Godfrey's tour and my camera wiped all of my shots from that day. Sounds like a great vacay!!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Sounds great so far. Looking forward to the final installment.

and those towel animals are a hoot!

Karen said...

The towel animals are one of the best parts of the cruise!

Wes said...

Awww! You guys got engaged! Again!!! :-) You are making this whole thing sound like TOO much fun :-)

Shannon said...

Just got back from a "Disney Cruise" and NO I DIDN'T TAKE THE INDOOR CYCLING CLASSES. I was afraid of what I might see representing my profession.


J~Mom said...

Too bad about the spin class. At least you still got a workout in! We went on a cruise a few years ago and I intended to run but never got around to it. LOL I love the towel animals!

Gotta Run said...

The last towel animal is my fav. You know it is bad when you can lead a cycle class better than the licensed instructor. Glad that you did your own thing and made the workout count.

Your weather looks much better then all of the wet rain we have had.

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Wow! That cruise sure looks like a ton of fun. Now you have me itching to do one.