While on the wonderful cruise we took in May we made a stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Now, this is not a beach destination unless you’re going to take an excursion a distance from the port. Most of the beaches on the island are rock and not something you would want to play on. That does not mean you are bored while there though! As you pull into port you see the large fort, San Felipe del Morro Fortress, and it is beautiful. *and I took way too many pictures of it as we pulled in*
My mom, sister and I love to go to the shopping show they have onboard during the first day at sea. During the show, you can buy coupon books that you can use on the islands (well worth it if stopping in 2+ ports OR if you have children they act as a scavenger hunt for free things). They also tell you areas to avoid and areas that will treat you the right way. This cruise we made friends with the man behind all of the shops on the ship and in charge of telling you all of about shopping off the ship. Ryan was AWESOME!
In Puerto Rico, he took a large group of us off the ship and took us on a walk through town to get to the shops he recommends and has partnerships with. After walking with Ryan for a bit we decided we wanted to try something else other than shopping. Remember like I said in my last two blogs (Cruisin’ with Carnival & A Little Time in Little Grand Turk) my family does not do excursions with Carnival due to cost. We walked from the stores and ran into some police who we asked for directions to the fort in San Juan. Unfortunately, they said it was much further than we had thought and we were not up for walking that far in the heat (especially with a 10-year-old).
We got really lucky though as we found out the Governors Palace was having tours that day! We found out the time we had to be back and then went to sit in the square for a bit. We took some photos by the fountain and the youngest fed the pigeons. When an older gentleman saw her walking towards the pigeons he walked up to her and put seeds in her hand, next thing you know she had a massive group of pigeons all over her.
We then went on over to check in for our tour of the palace. Before you can start the tour you must hand over your passport or I.D, fill out a form saying your responsible for your own health and any damage you cause to the palace and then you must leave your bags in a checked room. However, you can bring cameras and phones. While on the tour you’re followed by a security guard, you pass a few more and if you look into the ocean you’ll notice a boat that says Policia on the side where a few more guards with guns are waiting in the water for you to screw up. Through the tour, you hear the history of the palace and the guest house, as well as get to see the governors adorable dog if you’re lucky enough. I would highly recommend going over towards the governor’s palace and finding out if a tour will be taking place during your visit. I should probably add in there is no fee to take part in this!
We did not actually spend much time there, as we could not find a place we wanted to eat, and had exhausted the list of things we wanted to without traveling further (with limited time). We wrapped up our time in San Juan very sweaty and exhausted from the heat. I would say one of my favorite parts of San Juan was all of the color and the streets. I loved how bright things were and made sure to capture it.
Next up, we discuss my second favorite stop on the trip, St. Kitts! So many funny details to talk about with St. Kitts!