Tuesday/Wednesday: San Juan and St. Kitts

Thought I’d forgotten about you, huh? Of course not. But yesterday – San Juan – was somehow a very busy day and I ran out of time. And perhaps the various cocktails I sampled during the day tuckered me out just a tetch.

So, in brief, I thought I’d share our day in pictures with you. Not much narrative, just what it looked like. Is that OK with you?

Before that, however, here are a couple of pix from our own AAC CPA at Qsine, the specialty restaurant where we dined on Monday night. I told you about it in a past entry. The thing I forgot to mention is that your menu is actually an iPad, and you scroll through and add to “my favorites” all the dishes (tapas-style) that you want to sample. It can quickly mount up and get out of control. But then Yelena comes up and tells you what to do. Relinquishing control makes it so much easier. So:

Qsine AAC
AAC CPA self lubricates at Qsine.

qsine Sushi
Sushi lollipops with dipping saucesI

Qsine Spring Rolls
Vegetarian and Short Ribs Spring Rolls

Qsine Crab Cake
Amazing crab cake, which somehow has spaghetti, too

Next day around 2:30 in the afternoon, we arrived at San Juan.

San Juan Docking
Buenos tardes, San Juan!

San Juan Arrival - 01
AAC CPA disembarks

San Juan Arrival -02   And more disembarkation

And now we set out on a quest to find an excellent Piña Colada, a most important mission. We’d been told, by one whose credentials on such matter are beyond reproach, to seek out a place called Barrachina, and so we did. And, within a matter of minutes:

San Juan Barrachina
   And there it is: Barrachina

And, should you visit their website, it clearly states that Barrachina is “birthplace of the famous Piña Colada”, so there it is in black and white.

San Juan Drinks
  And there they are, in living color – note the umbrellas, by the way

After our cocktail, we took a little stroll through Old San Juan. Here’s one of the indigenous places we found:

San Juan Flip Flops
You never know when you might need a pair

More interestingly, AAC CPA and stayed many, many years ago in a charming former convent appropriately called El Convento. According to google maps, it was literally a stone’s throw away.

San Juan El Convento
Brings back very sweet memories of a long-ago time

Then it was time to head back to the ship. Just before boarding we saw a lovely almost full moon rising over the city.

San Juan Moon
Moon over San Juan

A little later we saw this amazing sunset:

San Juan Sunset
Nice, huh?

And then it was time to meet our group at the Sunset Bar for – what else – cocktails.

San Juan Group
Here we are: The Might Eight: Steve, Ian, Jamie, Kurt, Linda, Dave, AAC CPA and – behind the camera – your faithful servant.

After a shower and change of clothes, AAC CPA and I made our way up to deck 15 for a lovely dinner at the Lawn Club Grill:

San Juan - AAC on deck.JPG
AAC CPA on the way to the Lawn Club Grill for a sunset dinner

And here he is at the Grill:

AAC Lawn Club Grill
Feeding time, so AAC CPA is very happy

By the way, the Lawn Club Grill has a great concept: al fresco dining, 4 course meal, beginning with a flatbread that you can make yourself (including twirling the crust), generous salad bar, following by the grill course – steaks, lamb, fish, seafood, vegetables grilled to perfection, with yummy sides and then, finally, dessert – the cobbler and chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream are the ones to take. 

And while we were enjoying our meal, we began our departure from San Juan. The ship’s movement provided a gentle breeze as we headed out to sea.

All in all, a lovely way to end the day.

This morning, we landed in St. Kitts. Here are a couple of shots:

St Kitts.JPG       What we saw from our veranda this morning

And look what’s next door to us:

St. Kitts Ships
Yes, it’s a Celebrity sister ship

And now it’s time for lunch, so that’s all today, kids. Enjoy your pre-holiday and we’ll see you next time!

Monday – At Sea but Not AT Sea

So you probably know that AAC CPA and I love traveling by ship and what we especially like are sea days. Our friend, Kurt, invited us to join him on Celebrity Silhouette for this 7-day cruise round-trip from and to Ft. Lauderdale and visiting 3 ports in the Caribbean. The best part for us is those sea days: 3 of them, in fact. Today is the first of them, and it’s been delightful. Nothing to do and all day to do it!

Here’s what I saw from our veranda first thing this morning:
Celebrity AM Shot
  Aren’t sea days the best?

We started with a lovely breakfast at our designated restaurant, Luminae. Everyone there is so friendly and eager to please. Of course, there is way too much food. I thought I’d just have a couple of eggs (over medium) but how did it happen that out from the kitchen came home fries, hash browns, a broiled tomato, sautéed mushrooms, corned beef hash and rye toast? I haven’t even mentioned the pastry cart, from which this nuclear Danish leapt onto my plate.

From there, we went to visit our concierge, Jola (from Belgium), who’s been amazing. AAC CPA and I have decided that we want to host our group (there are 8 of us altogether) for a Thanksgiving dinner in our cabin. It looks like that’s going to happen, so now we’re determining the logistics. Stay tuned, as I think it’s going to be a fun experience.

On the way back to the cabin from Michael’s Club, we passed by the Molecular Bar and vowed to have a cocktail there this evening.

Celebrity Molecular
  Wouldn’t you want to drink at this watering hole?

Then back to the cabin, as we like lolling around the suite. We have a wonderful butler, Alex, who’s taking excellent care of us. The cabin was all made up and we could just set up with some nice morning music (Duke Ellington) and some light reading on the veranda.

Celebrity AAC on Veranda
   AAC CPA peruses the Sunday NY Times on Monday.

Before we knew it, it was time to eat again. We exercised some restraint, because we have great dinner plans tonight – the 1st of our specialty restaurants: Qsine, which has a really cool dining concept. Here’s how they describe the food: “Flavours originate from around the world to fuse in delighting ways at Qsine. Sushi lollipops, lobster escargot and popcorn fish and chips all feature on a menu designed to evoke your senses.” Who wouldn’t want to try that?

Celebrity Qsine1
And here’s the entrance to Qsine

Celebrity Qsine2
And here’s some of the wacky innovative Qsine cuisine

After lunch, it was time for a stroll up on decks 14 and 15, where the pools and other fun things are. Did you know that there’s a real grass lawn up on deck 15? And that’s where the Lawn Club Grill is located and where we’ll be having dinner on Tuesday evening. They also have some funny furniture up there:

Celebrity AAC Chair
AAC CPA channels Edith Ann, “and that’s the truth!”

Later, it was time for AAC CPA to try out the veranda Jacuzzi, for real this time. You may recall that Kurt photoshopped AAC CPA into the Jacuzzi, which appeared in a recent blog entry. Here’s the real deal:

Celebrity Jacuzzi.jpg
Isn’t he a cutie?

And here’s a late day view from the veranda, much like this morning’s but yet different:

Celebrity PM Shot
   Watching the world go by

Now it’s time for a little nappy and then it’s a dress-up night. We’re going to try and have that cocktail at the Molecular Bar and then off to Qsine.

Oh, and yes, tomorrow mid-afternoon we make our first post, San Juan.

San Juan
Lovely San Juan

Watch this space for more schmoozin’ and cruisin’. Buh-bye for now.