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Old 02-24-2013, 09:42 AM   #91
cblack
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Why, Thank You, San Juan! I Love Rainbows! (Part 2)

We made it back to the ship around 2. When we arrived at the dock, there were quite a few vendors setup selling items and selling the chance to have your picture taken with various animals. We skipped all of that and headed back to the ship. We got all cleaned up and went out to see a few characters. Tinkerbell was out this afternoon. Let me just say that this woman is incredibly tiny...for a while, I thought they had recruited a 10 year old to fill this role:



We also saw Aurora again, because, you know, her and Jayden are on a first-name basis:


Jeremy and I were going to Palo for dinner tonight, so we grabbed Jayden something from Flo's Cafe and went out to our verandah to eat it while we sailed away from San Juan.





We dropped Jayden off at the Kid's Club and went off to dinner. I didn't take any pictures at Palo, but everything was amazing. I did get two chocolate souffles, but couldn't finish them. They were really good, but not as good as last time -- I probably escalated their goodness in my mind over the last two years

When we went to pick Jayden up, she was having a blast! Pluto was there for the pajama party and Jayden was shakin' her groove thang for sure! It took me a while to get her out of there, and I quickly realized that she had picked up some serious dance moves from her friends in the club.

After this, we had pictures taken with some more characters. Jayden finally got to see Tiana, and she was very pleased. We also dropped by to see Aurora (again). I died laughing because Jayden was the only one in line when Aurora made it there, and Aurora got down on her knees by Jayden and said, "well, hello, Jayden...what have you done in the last two hours?" Ok, Ok, I get it Aurora...we are stalking you. The Shutters guy asked if I wanted a photo, and I told him, "no, at this point, Aurora is in more of my photos than I am." We also saw Cinderella and Lilo and Stitch.

We closed the night by going swimming until around 11. When we came back to our room, we had a nice little cabana and bracelets waiting for us for our day at Castaway Cay:


We also had this nice guy waiting for us:


Next up - our last sea day! Even getting to this point in writing about it makes me a little sad. I think you would really need to be set on having a bad time on vacation to not feel a little sad at this point in the week.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:53 AM   #92
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Beautiful photos of San Juan! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:58 PM   #93
Ensusieasm
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Love your photos !

Thanks for the great reporting about The Kon-Tiki and Isla Verde. Your photos are beautiful. What a nice rainbow greeting in San Juan. My favorite photo is the fort in San Juan. Looks like the view from up there would be magnificent. What was the name of it? I may want to head over there when we arrive. Jaden looks so happy and cute in the pool riding her floating penguin!

Well, I can't wait to see a paper cabana in our room on the night before we're castaways, because I was just lucky enough to suddenly see one become available while online a couple days ago! Just 12 days before we fly to Orlando for our cruise on the Fantasy! Hope to hear about your cabana experience before we leave. Thanks for your great TR!
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:08 PM   #94
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Another good thing about the excursion was the food - it was really good. I would say it was tamed-down Puerto Rican food, but good! After lunch, we had about an hour to swim before leaving. FYI - take a watch or phone on this excursion, as no one will tell you when it is time to go. We watched closely and followed people around, but our tour guide did not ensure we headed back to the bus.
I agree on the food - made better by the company!
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:24 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MomToPrincePhillip
Beautiful photos of San Juan! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensusieasm
Thanks for the great reporting about The Kon-Tiki and Isla Verde. Your photos are beautiful. What a nice rainbow greeting in San Juan. My favorite photo is the fort in San Juan. Looks like the view from up there would be magnificent. What was the name of it? I may want to head over there when we arrive. Jaden looks so happy and cute in the pool riding her floating penguin!

Well, I can't wait to see a paper cabana in our room on the night before we're castaways, because I was just lucky enough to suddenly see one become available while online a couple days ago! Just 12 days before we fly to Orlando for our cruise on the Fantasy! Hope to hear about your cabana experience before we leave. Thanks for your great TR!
I don't know the name of the fort, but hope to visit it while in San Juan next year. If you visit it, please report back!

Awesome score on the cabana! I will try really hard to get to CC before you leave. I will tell you that it probably won't happen until next weekend. Sorry!

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Originally Posted by Conorama

I agree on the food - made better by the company!
Couldn't agree more...the company was awesome!
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:02 AM   #96
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Loving the report!
Did you by chance scan your navigators? Hoping to see a more current version.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:50 PM   #97
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We are on the second southern Caribbean, so we will just miss you. We are also planning a WDW trip for December of this year.
I just booked my trip! Our trip. Me and... someone else TBD. I can't wait to see Disney in December.

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Originally Posted by Ensusieasm View Post
Thanks for the great reporting about The Kon-Tiki and Isla Verde. Your photos are beautiful. What a nice rainbow greeting in San Juan. My favorite photo is the fort in San Juan. Looks like the view from up there would be magnificent. What was the name of it? I may want to head over there when we arrive. Jaden looks so happy and cute in the pool riding her floating penguin!
Castillo San Cristobal! I believe it cost... $5 to get into that one El Morro, per person. My husband and I did both; we walked EVERYWHERE. It was just amazing.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:49 PM   #98
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Thank you sarbah77 !

Sarbah77, Thanks for the name of the fort in the photo. When you said you walked everywhere, did you mean right off the ship and no taxi? How far from the ship was the fort in the picture ?
Thanks! I leave in 11 days!
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:52 PM   #99
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Actually the fort shown in the picture is El Morro. Castillo San Cristobol is located in town and can't be seen from the ship easily when leaving port.
The walk from the ship to San Cristobol is about 10 minutes and El Morro is about 10-15 minutes from there - it's all uphill to get there. Old San Juan has free trolleys that run on a continous basis and stop at both forts.

The forts cost $3/per adult for entry into 1 fort. If you want to go to both you can buy the 2 fort pass for $5/person. This info and more is located on the US National Parks website since the forts are past of the US National Parks. The National Park Service also offers other types of passes, such as annual or lifetime - that info is also found on their website.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:59 PM   #100
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Thanks!

Couldn't agree more...the company was awesome!
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:03 PM   #101
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Actually the fort shown in the picture is El Morro. Castillo San Cristobol is located in town and can't be seen from the ship easily when leaving port.
The walk from the ship to San Cristobol is about 10 minutes and El Morro is about 10-15 minutes from there - it's all uphill to get there. Old San Juan has free trolleys that run on a continous basis and stop at both forts.

The forts cost $3/per adult for entry into 1 fort. If you want to go to both you can buy the 2 fort pass for $5/person. This info and more is located on the US National Parks website since the forts are past of the US National Parks. The National Park Service also offers other types of passes, such as annual or lifetime - that info is also found on their website.
Aw, curse it. Thanks for the correction.

We walked from San Cristobol to El Morro and back again (my husband was feeling very nervous, so we stuck to what we knew for paths). It was as quick as the tram... but we ARE walkers. It worked for us. And it was so worth it!
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:26 PM   #102
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Love your report! I especially appreciate the details of everything.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:31 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by lizzyb View Post
Loving the report!
Did you by chance scan your navigators? Hoping to see a more current version.
Thanks! I did not scan them, and I already gave them away to another family cruising in April. I will tell you that they were VERY similar to the ones posted by Disneyfan888 (I think that is her screen name). She was on the first cruise to San Juan.

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Originally Posted by sarbah77 View Post
I just booked my trip! Our trip. Me and... someone else TBD. I can't wait to see Disney in December.

Castillo San Cristobal! I believe it cost... $5 to get into that one El Morro, per person. My husband and I did both; we walked EVERYWHERE. It was just amazing.
WDW in December Thinking we will visit one of the ports during our next cruise!

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Originally Posted by jilljill View Post
Actually the fort shown in the picture is El Morro. Castillo San Cristobol is located in town and can't be seen from the ship easily when leaving port.
The walk from the ship to San Cristobol is about 10 minutes and El Morro is about 10-15 minutes from there - it's all uphill to get there. Old San Juan has free trolleys that run on a continous basis and stop at both forts.

The forts cost $3/per adult for entry into 1 fort. If you want to go to both you can buy the 2 fort pass for $5/person. This info and more is located on the US National Parks website since the forts are past of the US National Parks. The National Park Service also offers other types of passes, such as annual or lifetime - that info is also found on their website.
Thanks, Jilljill!

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Aw, curse it. Thanks for the correction.

We walked from San Cristobol to El Morro and back again (my husband was feeling very nervous, so we stuck to what we knew for paths). It was as quick as the tram... but we ARE walkers. It worked for us. And it was so worth it!
Which one was better? Is it something Jayden could at least tolerate if we bribed her?

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Originally Posted by MDennis28 View Post
Love your report! I especially appreciate the details of everything.
Thanks for reading along! Sorry for the long hiatus!
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:50 PM   #104
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Which one was better? Is it something Jayden could at least tolerate if we bribed her?
Since jilljill is a mom, she might have a better answer... but my guess would be Castillo San Cristobal (the closer one). There's a huge grassy area that was had fun just walking on. I could see a young kid having fun just being let loose to run. The other one has more stuff to climb... but more stairs and more steep angles and the like.

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Old 03-06-2013, 09:07 PM   #105
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Our last sea day :(

Up next...our last sea day, or if you want to cheer yourself up, the day before going to the most beautiful island in the Caribbean! I will warn you, I don't have many photos for this day, but I do plan to provide some details about our Ultimate Indulgence experience at the spa.

We decided to sleep in since we knew it would be our last chance on vacation. Jeremy and Jayden went to Cabanas to grab breakfast while I grabbed something from the concierge lounge and went to get in line for the Princess Gathering. There was another couple in line and they are on the Dis and were on our Facebook page, but I didn't realize it until we got home. I spent the next hour or so visiting with them. A little before the gathering started, their twin boys and Jayden showed up...those boys were just darling! Earlier in the week, Jayden met a little boy dressed up as Prince Charming. She asked him to dance and his response was a very crabby "NO!" So, not to be deterred, Jayden asked one of the twin boys to dance, and he gave a resounding yes. Then Jayden wouldn't dance with him. Not exactly how you play hard-to-get, but she has plenty of time to perfect it

We saw all of the princesses again, but this time, Tiana was there too. Jayden was so excited! Oh, yes, Aurora was there, too. After the princess gathering, we let Jayden spend her souvenir money, and she decided she wanted the Jasmine costume. Jayden became a bit fascinated with Jasmine on this trip because she was in the shows, but not available for photos/autographs. We ran into Brent (the cruise director) right after Jayden spent her money, and she kindly and politely voiced her displeasure with Jasmine not coming out to take photos. So, if you talk to Jayden about Jasmine and our cruise, she will tell you, "Brent is working on it."

After Jayden was changed into her Jasmine outfit, she was all ready to go to the kid's club. This would be the biggest test of the clubs, as we would be gone for at least 3 1/2 hours for our spa appointment. We made sure she was well-fed and sent her on her way. She didn't hesitate much, but didn't take off running in there either. Unfortunately, I worried about her the whole time we were gone, and I had severe "mommy guilt" for dropping her off. Either way, we went on to our appointment. We booked the Ultimate Indulgence, which is a couples experience with a 90 minute treatment, time in a hot tub, relaxing, etc.

We started by signing in at the front desk. They took us to our locker rooms, gave us our robes, and asked us to come to a waiting area when we were ready. From there, we met the two girls who would be doing our treatments. Jeremy couldn't understand the girl working with him, so it was kind of tough. They took us to the couples villa (think massage room large enough for 2 beds) and talked to us about the treatment options. We both elected to have a 75 minute hot stone massage and 15 minute facial. From there, they take you out to the verandah connected to the room and give you a sea salt foot/leg scrub. After they are done, they tell you that you have 30 minutes to enjoy the view on loungers, sit in the hot tub, or shower in a massive shower. OK, this will sound really dumb, but the hot tub was HOT!!!!! <---- That isn't pixie dust, it is me exploding! I have been in lots of hot tubs, but never one this hot. I couldn't stay in very long, so I hung out on the lounger and fell asleep.

After 30 minutes, they knock on the door and ask you to come in. From there, they do the massage and facial. We both fell asleep because it was AMAZING! The hot stone massage was different - I tend to go with swedish massages, but the hot stones definitely made it better in some ways and not in others (every time she used a new stone, I tensed up until I got used to the heat).

After our treatments, they tell us to enjoy the verandah for another 30 minutes or so and bring out fruit and tea. I cannot drink tea after a massage because the tea smells the same as the oils they use...just can't get past it. We sat in the loungers and talked about the trip, talked about the packing we needed to do, talked about definitely going on another cruise, and of course our sweet little bug. We don't get uninterrupted talking time very often, so it was nice to reconnect. I will say that I was ready to go get Jayden when they came to get us, again, mommy guilt and I was missing her. This is the second time we have done the Ultimate Indulgence, and while nice, we probably won't do it again. We both thought that the treatments were longer the first time we did the Ultimate Indulgence (in 2011), and the shorter treatments just didn't feel like a good value. I will probably try to book a 60 minute massage next time and will likely feel just as relaxed.

Ok, this is where the mommy guilt gets even worse...we walked in the kid's club, and Jayden was laying on one of the padded benches almost asleep. Yep...felt pretty awful. I asked what was wrong, and she said she had just had a really long day. We took her back to the room, and she took a nap while I packed up most of our clothes/stuff. This way, I didn't have to worry about it while at Castaway Cay!!! The concierge reception was during Jayden's nap, so I went up to the sundeck to get Donald's autograph:



When Jayden goes through her autograph book, when she gets to Donald, she says, "Mommy took care of Donald." That has gotten a couple laughs.

On our way to dinner, we got our lithograph from Julia - I really like this one and I think I will have it framed and put it in Jayden's room. Dinner tonight was at Royal Court and the food was really good. Jayden had lobster and lots of corn...I don't think she could have been any happier with the food.

After dinner, we went to see Cinderella. This is one of the few pictures I have of Jayden in her Jasmine outfit:



From there, we saw Chip and Dale and Daisy and then saw Disney Believe. This was, by far, my favorite show of the entire cruise. Jayden absolutely loved it, too! After the show, we made a quick stop at the lounge to see "the girls" as we were saying by this point. Jayden and Jeremy went swimming while I finished up the packing. Around 11pm, I went down to the pool to get them so we could get some sleep before getting to Castaway Cay.

I almost forgot something...



We walked into the room, Jeremy saw this and was in heaven. His quote..."THIS.IS.IMPRESSIVE!"

Sorry for the text-heavy update!

Up next: The most magical island EVER! It really was a perfect day!
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