Carnival Freedom Monday May 25
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Today was essentially another Sea Day, since we weren't due into San Juan until 5 p.m., however, the captain somehow managed a 3 p.m. arrival!
The day was warm, with a mix of sun and cloud, and a light breeze, with temperatures in the high 80's.
Since I hadn't made it to Pilates yesterday due to illness, I went to a class this morning instead. There were only 3 of us, a set of 20-something twins, and myself!
The Pilates, Stretch and Yoga classes are held in the main Gym area, surrounded by people on stationary bikes, treadmills, and weight machines, and bombarded by loud techno-pop music designed to make you work out hard and fast. Not exactly the "zen" relaxing atmosphere that Pilates or Yoga should be.
I would certainly like to see these classes held in a seperate area, quieter and more private, with soothing relaxation music.
However, we made do with what we had, and part of that was Daniel, a handsome, body-builder type from London England, who put us through our paces. He was demanding and challenging, with many repetitions and near impossible poses, but it was a good workout just the same.
Following Pilates, I enjoyed some sun-on-the-pool-deck time, before Trivia at 10:30. This one was TV Show trivia and I scored 13/20; passable, but not good enough to win.
I did however, manage to win a later Trivia, this one with music sound-bytes. With 19/20 correct, I won a Carnival medal on a ribbon.
For lunch this day, we ventured up the stairs past Lady Liberty, to the second level of the Lido dining area, a well hidden secret!
Up there on Deck 10 is the Fish'n Chip station, and an excellent meal to be found. Unfortunately, the "chips" were more like McDonald's skinny fries than real English chunky fries, but they were good anyway, and we really enjoyed the fish.
The rest of the afternoon was spent up on the outdoor deck in the sun and wind, and I awoke from a hazy nap to see land off the port side of our ship!
We were sailing just alongside Fort Morro at the tip of San Juan.
We could see people climbing the rocks around the old Fort, and they waved at us as we waved at them.
Our early arrival in San Juan surprised a lot of people, and it seemed everyone rushed off the ship as soon as we were docked, because we were left virtually alone on the pool deck, to enjoy the rest of the afternoon by the pool.
Since our scheduled arrival time in port was 5 p.m., plans had been made to open only 1 dining room this evening, with open seating, since most passengers were already onshore.
We decided to eat a little earlier, so we could also go ashore for awhile after dinner.
We arrived at the Chic dining room around 6 p.m. to see hordes of waiters standing around, waiting for someone to serve! We were seated off to one side, in an area completely unpopulated by anyone else, and we had the full attention of every waiter in the vacinity.
I took the time to appreciate some of the detail in our dining room decor.
There were multiple panels such as this, which continuously changed colour as you watched them.
We enjoyed an excellent meal, served quickly and with much attention to detail (water-filling, bread refills, and anything else our hearts desired!).
I decided to make notes of what we ate, just to satisfy the curiosity of our VTJen:
I had a delicious Petite Marmite soup (vegetables, barley and beef), and the most scrumptious Australian Lamb dish I've ever tasted, followed by a to-die-for dessert of Almond Phyllo pastry with cream. Yum!
James chose a wonderful Pea soup, and Lasagne Boulanaise, with a White Chocolate Bread Pudding for dessert that he said was "out of this world!"
Once again, our tastebuds were not disappointed!
After dinner, we had a nice long chat with our main waitress Harlene from the Philippines, about her life and her work on the ship. It was nice to be able to spend some time getting to know the staff, as usually dinners are so rushed.
Following dinner, we decided to go ashore in San Juan and have a look around.
Basically all we did was wander a little ways from the ship, take some photos, pass back through the port building where most of the shops were closed, and then came back onboard. It was very hot and humid and we were glad to get back in the air conditioning!
Once onboard, we just relaxed until showtime at 10:30. This evening's featured entertainer was "Puck", a hypnotist, who's show was fairly entertaining, but certainly not as much fun as the hypnotist Fernando who we saw on Princess earlier this year.
The show was followed by a midnight sailaway party up on Lido deck, with live Latin music, dancing, a Mexican food buffet, flavoured Margaritas, a limbo contest, and a conga line, which of course, I just had to join!
The party was well attended and a lot of fun, but we were exhausted and headed off to bed around 1 a.m.
Goodbye to San Juan, and goodnight to Doggy!
Smart choice going to dinner while everyone was on shore. Your pictures make me want to get back on the Freedom. I love the Fish N Chips on deck 10. My favorite was the Seafood Bouillabaisse it had so much favor. I agree the fries were a little whimpy. I'm really enjoying your reviews.
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RD I am really enjoying this review. The Fish and chips restaurant brings back memories of taking Patty on the Glory. She loves fish and would have eaten up there every meal if I had allowed it. Thanks for taking the time to write this. I remember reviews of the past that you have written. You should keep them all and publish a book of your warmly written reviews.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.“
OMG....food....love reading about it - yes a weird fetish I guess.
Thank you RD for indulging me.
I am a big fan of fish and chips - more the fish than the chips, so I guess the wimpy chips would have been acceptable - tho' I do love a real "chip" - but if eating with the fish, vinegar on them is a must. With a burger I can go either vinegar of ketchup.
The picture of the panel was pretty, but then when I read the colors changed I think that maybe might ruin it...(?)
Your meal sounded divine - lamb...and the deserts? Both sound so good.
I wonder if I could replicate them?
I couldn't load the second installment. I will check back later.
Just remembered I need to unlock the church....I got so transported I forgot!