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Celebrity Summit Cruise: Day 1: San Juan

This is the beginning of a series of blog posts about a southern Caribbean cruise I took back in December. I went with Celebrity Summit, which travels between San Juan, St-Maarten, Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire, and Aruba in the winter.

This is the first time I’ve been on a cruise, and overall the experience was pretty good! Many people say that cruises are for older people, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true. You can do many of the same things on a cruise that you would do if you were to go to a destination yourself and stay there for a week. One of the things that you can’t do is to get piss-drunk every night, unless you want to buy the cruise’s liquor!

The main advantage of the cruise is that you can tour several different destinations, some of which you would probably never go to if you were just planning a one-week vacation somewhere.


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Our first stop before sailing off was San Juan, Puerto Rico. Originally, the city used to be called Puerto Rico, and the island San Juan, but the names reversed sometime early in the island’s colonial history. 

The weather on the island was nice and warm, although the water was colder than I expected. It was sunny in general, with a few short spurts of rain.

Day 1 - San Juan, Laguna del Condado, Castillo San Cristobal, Old San Juan. and first day on the Cel
 
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19-Dec-2008 11:15, CASIO COMPUTER CO.,LTD. EX-Z600, 4.3, 6.2mm, 0.002 sec

 
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20-Dec-2008 15:33, CASIO COMPUTER CO.,LTD. EX-Z600, 4.3, 6.2mm, 0.002 sec

 
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20-Dec-2008 15:33, CASIO COMPUTER CO.,LTD. EX-Z600, 4.3, 6.2mm, 0.001 sec

 
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07-Dec-2008 04:40, NIKON COOLPIX L10, 5.6, 6.2mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 64

 
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07-Dec-2008 07:16, NIKON COOLPIX L10, 6.3, 7.6mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 64

 

This is a city where everyone seems to drive, even though the public transportation was free when we went. We explored the nearby Isla Verde and then went over to Laguna del Condado and El Condado beach. We then went over to Fort San Cristóbal, which is next to historic Old San Juan and is a pretty nice place to visit. We took the free trolley all over the old city, which is charming with its traditional Spanish architecture.

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08-Dec-2008 08:59, NIKON COOLPIX L10, 5.6, 6.2mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 64

 
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08-Dec-2008 09:00, NIKON COOLPIX L10, 5.2, 18.6mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 64

 
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08-Dec-2008 09:12, NIKON COOLPIX L10, 5.6, 6.2mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 64

 
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08-Dec-2008 09:38, NIKON COOLPIX L10, 5.6, 6.2mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 64

 
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08-Dec-2008 10:06, NIKON COOLPIX L10, 5.6, 6.2mm, 0.007 sec, ISO 64

 

Finally, it was time for us to make our way over to the cruise. We originally thought it docked in Old San Juan, but it was actually located across the bay next to a small airport and was only reachable by taxi. We went about half an hour earlier than the suggested boarding time in order to beat the crowds.

Security at the check-in was fairly tight, but not more so than an airport. Any alcohol bought at the nearby duty-free shop had to be checked in, as it couldn’t be brought into the rooms. Everyone had their photo taken and an ID card issue that made them a citizen of the boat, although the pictures got mixed more than few times.

Once on the boat, we were treated to complimentary champagne, and then had to take part in the lifeboat drill. Everyone looked ridiculous in their life-jackets.

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08-Dec-2008 10:51, NIKON COOLPIX L10, 5.6, 6.2mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 64

 
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20-Dec-2008 22:38, CASIO COMPUTER CO.,LTD. EX-Z600, 2.7, 6.2mm, 0.067 sec

 

We then set sail for St-Maarten…

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