Sunday, April 21, 2013

San Juan

Tonight I'll finally finish recapping our honeymoon. Our last day was spent in San Juan, before a late afternoon flight home. Rather than sit at the airport all day we booked an excursion through the cruise line which included a transfer to the airport. This worked out really well because we got to explore a bit and they transferred our luggage to the airport where it was waiting for us.

The tour started with a short drive to Old San Juan, where we got about an hour to walk around. The problem with this was that hardly anything in Old San Juan is open on Sunday mornings. We walked to one of the forts and enjoyed the view.
 The streets of Old San Juan are also pretty gorgeous!
 The second half of this tour is a trip to the Bacardi Rum factory. The tour includes two free drinks per person, so we wasted no time and had our last rum punches of the trip. The tour continues with a tram ride over to the factory buildings where you learn more about the history of Bacardi Rum.
After the rum factory tour it's off to the airport. We were really pleased with this excursion. The only issue was that we didn't find out about it until we were on board the ship. We'd been struggling to find an airport transfer and tour before our trip and couldn't find anything. We were pleasantly surprised though when we went to the excursions desk and found this tour.

By this point in the trip we were EXHAUSTED and just ready to be home. What a memorable two weeks it had been with all the last minute wedding prep, the wedding, and then our honeymoon.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

St. Maarten

St. Maarten
Our last island was St. Maarten/St. Martin. About half of the island is Dutch and the other half is French, hence the two spellings of the islands name. We never made it to the French side. St. Maarten was the only island where we truly had nothing planned. We’d considered booking an excursion, or going to the famous Maho Beach by the airport, where planes take off and land right over the beach – but by this point in our trip – we were tired, y’all! The week before the wedding was pretty much non-stop, then we had the wedding festivities, and were up bright and early the next morning to stuff cash and checks in an ATM and make our way to the airport. If you’ve read the posts about the other islands, you’ll see that we made the most of the other islands, and just wanted to sit on the beach! Also, truth be told, you know that point in your vacation where you start to get depressed cuz you have to go back to “real life” soon? Yeah, that happened. I’d been off work for two whole weeks (more than a week without access to internet) so I was starting to worry about what might be awaiting me. Sad but true.

Anyway, we woke up later this morning, took our time having breakfast and then headed off the ship. You can buy a day pass for a ferry that takes you into the downtown Phillipsburg area, just a few minute ride from the cruise terminal. We got off and walked around the shops, buying a few souvenirs and sampling some very strong guavaberry liquor (blech, not for me!) After making our purchases we headed back to the ship for a snack and to put away the things we’d bought. Eventually we went back over to the beach, swam for a while, and then grabbed a bite to eat before heading back to the cruise terminal.

View of the cruise port from our balcony

St. Maarten flag on the ferry from the cruise terminal to downtown/beach.