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.

Here's the intinerary map courtesy of Royal Caribbean along with a picture of the ship

      Serenade of the Seas     Panama Canal Cruise Map     

 

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Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is actually part of the island of Hispaniola which is also home to Haiti. Casa De Campo is actually a resort area developed by Gulf Western on former sugar mill land. It is also known for a world class golf courses designed by Pete Dye. However our only plan was a tour of Altos De Chavón. This is a re-creation of a medieval European village conceived from the imagination of Roberto Copa, a former Paramount Studios set designer, and Charles Bluhdorn, GW's founder and CEO. Construction began in 1976 and was completed in the early 1980's as an 18th birthday gift to Bluhdorn's daughter, Dominique, who is the current president of the Altos de Chavón Cultural Center.

 Many well known artists including Julio Iglesias and Andrea Bocelli have performed at the Altos De Chavón amphitheater. On the bus over the driver told us that many celebrities have houses here like Sammy Sosa (a Dominican native) as well as many other Major League baseball players and champion boxers. Nearby La Romana claims the world's largest cigar factory. There are however many cigar factories in DR but they are many bus ride hours away so it was not a viable option.

Though it was hot and muggy we enjoyed our tour. The guides and all the shop owners were very nice. Steve and I found some habano's too! We didn't smuggle them back to the U.S. though, we smoked them on board :)

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Casa De Campo view from the ship

Casa De Campo port area

Casa De Campo port area

Altos De Chavon church. Weddings are popular in this church.

Altos De Chavon

Altos de Chavon

Altos De Chavon. View of the Chavon river

Altos De Chavon. Patti and a friend :)

Altos De Chavon. Cute hat too!

Altos De Chavon amphitheater

Altos de Chavon amphitheater

The BBBBD Crew

Altos De Chavon gardens

Altos De Chavon

Altos De Chavon

Altos De Chavon church

Altos De Chavon. What a crew!!

Altos De Chavon. There's the smiles!

Altos De Chavon river views

Altos De Chavon river views

At the restaurant/bar for much needed cold one!

Afternoon serenade :)

Altos De Chavon arch view

Altos De Chavon fountain

Altos De Chavon fountain

Altos De Chavon gardens

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LINKS:

Dominican Republic

Casa De Campo, DR

Altos De Chavón

Cruise Critic

Click on the ship to keep cruising

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