On our full day in San Juan, Puerto Rico, we got up and went out on the balcony to see it in the daylight.
Soon after that we hit the streets looking for somewhere open for breakfast.
It was probably about 8:30 and not a lot was open yet. We ended up at a cafe inside the Restaurant Barrachina.
They had a small menu with a wide variety. Rob had the French Toast Casserole and I had a Sausage, Egg, and Cheese sandwich.
We left there full and walked around some more. Here’s a google map of many of the spots we walked to in San Juan.
This map doesn’t clearly illustrate how much we walked, but at the end of the day my fitbit said we had walked nearly 25,000 steps which equals about 10 1/2 miles!
I love the streets of San Juan with the bumpy brick road and eye catching colored buildings.
Rob was navigating our walk from the map we had picked up from the hotel. We decided to see if Pigeon Park really had pigeons.
It did not disappoint as there were 100’s of pigeons from the normal gray ones to white, brown, and even purple. There was a family there feeding them and boy, when they threw out the food we ducked to protect ourselves from possible bird bombs as they flocked towards the kids and the food that was being offered up. Luckily we didn’t get hit.
This park provides some nice views too.
It was getting closer to 11, which is when we planned to check out of our hotel and check in at the cruise port, so we headed back in that direction. I knew there were a couple things I needed at CVS, so we stopped by there. Rob managed to find a new soft drink to try; a Coco Rico. I’ll admit I was not a fan and Rob thought it was just ok.
Back at the hotel we had to pack up, check out, and walk over to the cruise port. We were able to pull our bags to the pier where a porter was waiting to take our bags (don’t forget to tip $1/bag). From there, we were able to walk much easier to embarkation. There was no line. We walked straight up to the counter and was on the ship 10 minutes later.
We were on the ship by 11:30, where we went to Guy Fieri’s Burger Bar on Lido Deck. This an addition from what used to be on carnival ships. They always had great burgers, but now they’re even better. They’ve also added a little side bar with toppings (bacon, grilled onions, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes, etc).
After lunch, we snuck down to our cabin to drop off a couple bags that we didn’t check. The ship’s cabins are usually closed off till 1 or 2 on embarkation day so that the room stewards can clean. The big doors that usually shut off those areas weren’t closed on our floor, so it wasn’t a big deal.
After dumping some unneeded stuff in our cabin, we got back off the ship for more fun in San Juan. We had talked about renting a car to explore more of the island since we’ve been there a couple times already, but decided instead to stick around and see more of Old San Juan and surrounding areas by foot.
The night before during our taxi ride from the airport, we passed a street with several monuments and Rob wanted to go see them in the daylight. On the way there, we noticed a guy selling something cold and frozen out of a cart, so we stopped and got one. I think he had coconut, pina colada, and maybe, mango. We got pina colada, which was yummy.
We finally managed our way over to the road we had been looking for. We walked passed the capitol, Walkway of the Presidents, as well as a couple other monuments.
We walked the block and ended up on the other side of the capitol, where we basked in the beauty of such picturesque surroundings. We walked over to Plaza San Juan Bautista.
We saw this really interesting statue that shadowed down on us.
We couldn’t read the placards that talked about him and the monument because they were in Spanish. I figured we’d just google it later, but actually I’ve had a hard time finding much about this plaza and all that it stands for.
Regardless, it’s a gorgeous spot. There’s a stairway that takes you down the beach called Playa Capitolio.
We walked down to take in the views and the relaxing sounds of the waves. We didn’t want to get sandy so we didn’t actually step down and walk on the beach, but apparently further down around the bend there’s a small ruin as well as lots of sea glass. We’ll have to remember that for next time.
Just a little further past Plaza San Juan Bautista, we came to the entrance to Castillo San Cristóbal. The last couple times we’ve been to San Juan, we only saw it from the outside. However, this time we decided it was worth the $5 a person. Well worth it as it covers you at Castillo San Felipe del Morro (El Morro) as well.
There was a brief video that you can watch before exploring the forts. I enjoyed learning about the forts before heading out. We walked around and took some nice photos. Here’s some pics of San Cristobal…
We got off the beaten path to look at the vastness of the fort, when I noticed this pile of rocks. Movement caught my eye and I noticed these cool guys hanging out.
I stood, watched, and took pics for awhile. I could have sat down and just hung out with them if we hadn’t need to continue on.
Walking and walking and walking was getting to us so on our way over to El Morro, we stopped to get a Coke and take a load off in an open area in between forts.
Entering El Morro
We stayed at El Morro for about an hour. Here’s a few pics of El Morro. Since this post is pretty long already, I didn’t share details about the Forts. I’ll probably do a post about the forts after I finish all the cruise posts.
After that we walked back to the home of the piña colada, Restaurant Barrachina, where we both enjoyed the best Piña Colada we’ve never had.
Pina Coladas aren’t usually my first choice when it comes to frozen drinks, but if they were all this good, I would drink them much more often. We also got an appetizer called Puerto Rico delights, which included assorted fried delicacies (turnovers, corn fritters, and croquettes). I wasn’t a huge fan of the croquettes, but the sauce really helped. The corn fitters and the turnovers were both good.
There were several groups that were doing a scavenger hunt where they had to learn a dance in 5 minutes. Made for some interesting entertainment.
Our legs were jello and we were eager to get back to the ship to rest. We stopped by a shop to get postcards. However, we didn’t have stamps so we asked where the post office was. We walked there and found they were closed so the postcards would have to wait till the next day. We headed back to CVS for some OFF! bug spray with DEET because we had gotten a letter from Carnival saying one or more of the islands we were visiting has mosquitoes infected with Zika virus.
When we got back to the ship, we headed to the Mermaid’s Grill for dinner. Rob had pizza at the 24 hour pizza. One thing we found out had changed is that pizza is no longer just ready when u walk up. Instead they are made to order.
We endured the mandatory life boat drill, where we noticed they’ve added quite a bit of verbiage about fires as well as what to do if we see someone fall overboard. People always complain during life boat drills, but it’s a necessary evil that is required by law.
As soon as the drill was over, we left our muster station and hiked up many flights of stairs to the Lido deck to watch us leave San Juan. There was a dance party in front of the pool, so we watched as probably 20 or so passengers danced their cares away with the Cruise Director and his staff.
We hit the 24 hour ice cream. Hung out in lido deck for the sell away party.
Here’s some snippets of videos from the day:
More posts from our trip:
~ Atlanta to San Juan ~ Day in St. Thomas ~ The Best of Antigua Highlight Tour and Dickenson Bay Beach ~ Dominica Highlights ~