Caribbean Islands Adventure 2022 – Part 1: San Juan, Puerto Rico

January 10 – 13, 2022

Our long awaited Caribbean adventure began when we landed in San Juan, Puerto Rico on a Monday night in January. Spending two nights in a hotel and two nights on the ship was a perfect way to begin the journey.

During the almost 400 years Puerto Rico was under Spanish rule, Spain constructed forts and city walls around San Juan for protection. In 1898, after the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rico became a United States Territory.

On our second day in the hotel we wandered around the area close to the hotel. We were determined to find an old fort visible from our hotel room. It wasn’t easy to find but with the help of a Viking representative at the hotel we were able to walk to the fort and spend a little time exploring and learning about it’s history. Fort San Geronimo Del Boqueron was built during the 18th century. Along with several other forts, it part of San Juan’s first line of defense.

Back at the hotel we enjoyed listening to the waves and watching an American Oyster Catcher searching for a tasty morsel. Dinner outside by the pool was a great ending to the day.

Click on a photo for a closer look.

The next morning we boarded our ship, got checked in, unpacked and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon and evening. After a good night’s sleep we took a walking tour of Old San Juan with a knowledgeable guide. As we followed our guide uphill on old cobblestone streets we passed through colorful neighborhoods and businesses in Old San Juan. Many of the streets were paved in blue cobblestones which had been used as ballast in the ships.

Our tour included a visit to one of the oldest buildings in San Juan, the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista. We stopped for view of the Palacio de Santa Catalina, the residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico. We continued up the hill to Fort San Cristobal, a National Historic Site which dates back to the early 17th century.

That evening as we left San Juan we sailed by Castillo San Felipe del Morro.

Coming soon, our next adventure in two of the United States Virgin Islands.

18 thoughts on “Caribbean Islands Adventure 2022 – Part 1: San Juan, Puerto Rico

  1. I looked at the photos closer up by Clicking on them and glad I did because you have us nice details – like the old stone street and oyster eater etc
    And glad to see trip photos again because it means COVID must be on its way to Becoming history

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for taking a closer look at the photos. The oyster eater is one of my favorites. I was relaxing in a lounge chair by the water and I didn’t see him until I got up for a closer look at the rocks. So glad I had my camera with me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Now that we’ve given up full-time RV travel, I’m starting to think about other adventures to add in to our travel mix. Over the last year, I’ve been looking at Viking Cruises, so it’s really fun to see your posts. Your photos are gorgeous and make me even more interested. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Laurel. We’ve only been on this one Viking cruise so I can’t compare it to any other cruise line. I would highly recommend Viking. I’ll sharing more about the ship and our onboard experience in a later post.

      Like

  3. We were scheduled to sail out of San Juan in early January but elected to pass for now. We were to be on NCL’s Epic. I’m curious about the Covid testing and mitigation protocols required by Viking. We had issues with testing requirements between NCL and Puerto Rico making our 3-day stay require a total of three Covid tests. We’d have been fine if we’d only spent two nights in San Juan before the cruise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. John, I’m pretty sure we saw that ship in one of the ports. We arrived in San Juan on a Monday afternoon. At the time Puerto Rico required a COVID test within 48 hours of arriving in Puerto Rico so we had a rapid antigen test at a CVS near our home on Sunday morning. Viking required a test before we boarded and they arranged for everyone who was at the hotel to be tested at the hotel on Tuesday. On Wednesday we boarded the ship, went straight to our staterooms and did another test. We were not allowed to leave our stateroom until they got the results but we had lunch provided in the room and we could get room service. We got our results a few hours later and immediately took a walk around the ship and went to one of the lounges.
      Everyone on the ship, crew and passengers, were tested every day. We called it a “spit test”. We spit into a test tube each morning before eating or drinking anything and left it to be picked up. As far as I know no one tested positive on the ship.
      It was really no big deal and it was worth it. FYI, there is a Walgreens and a CVS a couple blocks from the cruise dock.
      I hope you still get to go on your cruise!

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