B. B. B. B. D. '08 San Juan Puerto Rico to San Francisco, California

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This year we went on a 14-day cruise (our first) aboard RCI's Serenade of the Seas departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico April 19, 2008 with ports at Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic; Cartagena, Columbia; Panama Canal transit; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Huatulco, Mexico; Acapulco, Mexico; Cabo San Lucas, Baja
then arriving in San Francisco, California on May 03, 2008.
 

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This one we dubbed the B.B.B.B.D. (Baby Boomers Boozing thru the Big Ditch). It was a repositioning cruise transiting through the Panama Canal and well, we did some "pub" crawling.

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Here's the intinerary map courtesy of Royal Caribbean along with a picture of the ship. Our Cruise Critic group logo's on the left and right.

     Serenade of the Seas        Panama Canal Cruise Map   

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We departed on Thursday April 17th bound for San Juan as per our usual pre-cruise MO. Our stress level increased a bit the week before departure. American Airlines took all of their MD-80 aircraft offline to inspect the wiring cancelling more than 2500 flights. They got them all back online quickly though so we were relieved. As it turned out the MD-80 flight from OAK to DFW was on time and uneventful. The flight from DFW to SJU on a 757 left the gate on time but had to return due to a mechanical. Captain said he had a "light on the dash" and had to get it checked out. 1 1/2 hours later the mechanics determined there was no problem so we finally took off. After a perfectly fine MD-80 the 757 was a disappointment creaking and groaning on takeoff and landing. We made it into San Juan though and to our surprise our friend Ted was late getting in from FLL and had just arrived about 15 minutes before. We met up as planned and took a cab to the hotel. We settled into our rooms and then headed out across the street to Miró Marisquería Catalana for dinner. It's a nice place in the lobby of Hotel El Portal however we opted for the outdoor tables in front. They have great seafood so we had a light dinner and a few Modello's. We needed some supplies so we walked down to Walgreen's and found a "liquor" store for some take home beers. After walking back to the hotel, past Condom World (open all night!) we dumped off our purchases and headed down to the lobby bar for a nightcap. Good but expensive drinks, unnecessarily loud acoustic music.

On Friday we grabbed some breakfast then headed out to Old San Juan and Castillo San Cristobal. This and San Felipe Del Morro are old forts built by Spain to defend San Juan. These are the two largest forts built and all are part of the US National Park Service.

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Pool at Marriot Stellaris

Pool at Marriot Stellaris

Ted & Bill at the Marriot Stellaris pool bar

Castillo San Cristobal

Castillo San Cristobal

Views from Castillo San Cristobal

Ocean views from Castillo San Cristobal

Diagram of the construction

Barracks in Castillo San Cristobal

Barracks in Castillo San Cristobal

Flags above Castillo San Cristobal

View of Old San Juan from Castillo San Cristobal

View of San Juan from Castillo San Cristobal

View of San Juan from Castillo San Cristobal

View from Castillo San Cristobal

View from Castillo San Cristobal

Patti & Bill atop Cristobal

Patti & Bill atop Cristobal

Ted & Bill

Cristobal

Patti & Ted in Cristobal

Heading to the pigeon park

Patti at Parque de las Palomas (pigeon park)

Patti at Parque de las Palomas (pigeon park). I think they remembered her.

Patti and all her friends

We needed some refreshment after all that walking

Old Town San Juan

Miro, the restaurant across from the hotel. Great seafood and drinks.

Our bartender at Miro

Unique store

Unique store

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LINKS:

San Juan

Marriot Stellaris San Juan

Castillo San Cristobal

 

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