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Aboard SeaDreamII – Puerto Rico and nearby islands

We arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico late at night. One of our bags (my large one) did not make it, and by the time we’d completed all the paperwork and caught a cab to the hotel it was well past midnight. We had planned on staying two nights prior to embarkation, so the delayed luggage proved not to be a big deal, but it is still stressful.

Puerto Rico is fun! The people love their music and enjoy one another and life. Their care-free spirit carries over onto the highways.

We wandered around old San Juan. The architecture reminds both of us of Canary Island homes, with wooden balconies and vivid paint schemes. Hardly a surpirse, the Canaries being the Spanish jumping off point for the New World.

Street in old San Juan
Street in old San Juan, Puerto Rico

It felt strange to be so clearly in the States, yet in so utterly a Spanish culture, with the post office personnel speaking Spanish, and English only secondarily.

On Friday, December 19th we boarded the ship for our 9-day cruise. The SeaDream II is tiny, around 4000 tons with a capacity of 110 guests only. But it is a very nice little ship and we have a nice cabin on deck two (steerage with porthole windows). Similar to Seabourn, the service and cuisine are top notch, with everything included.

We left San Juan for two other Puerto Rican islands, Culebrita in the morning, Vieques in the evening. Culebrita is a small island and wildlife refuge, unpopulated by humans. Mel and I hiked to a nice beach and sunned and swam awhile.

Tortuga Beach, Culebrita, Puerto Rico
Tortuga Beach, Culebrita Island, Puerto Rico

We reboarded and had lunch en route to the second island of the day, Vieques. We anchored off of Esperanza. At 7:00 pm we had a shore excursion to Mosquito Bay on this island renowned for its bio luminescent plankton (dinoflagellates). We motored around on our electrically-powered pontoon boat and marveled at the glowing wake and the glowing paths of fish that were spooked by our vessel. We moored in the middle of the bay and had the opportunity to swim in the water. What fun! Every move you make creates a glow, and the sparkling of these animals as the water ran down your arms and chest was fantastic. Impossible (for me, at least) to photograph., but here is a pic of the bus and our compatriots.

Bus to BioBay, Vieques, PR
Bus to bioluminescent bay (Mosquito Bay), Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

We were informed on this day that our itinerary had changed completely around due to a storm northeast of us in the Atlantic that was expected to bring high winds and large waves. So on Saturday the 21st we sailed for Saba and St. Bart’s. When we arrived at Saba (Netherlands Antilles) the winds were too high to allow for the tenders to take anyone ashore, so we departed immediately and arrived in Gustavia harbor, St. Barts around noon. We will overnight here and leave late tomorrow night, completing our cruise going eastwards with the wind and swell.

Happy travels!

-Steve

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