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Old January 1st, 2017, 08:46 AM
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rollerdonna rollerdonna is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Caribou River, Nova Scotia
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Default Koningsdam Cruise Part 8 Dec. 2016

Koningsdam Cruise December 2016
Tuesday Dec. 20, San Juan Puerto Rico

We experienced a more restful night while docked in San Juan, no more rocking! When we arrived at the main dining room for breakfast we were told that service might be slow (slower?) due to a "technical difficulty in the kitchen". The dining room was almost deserted and unusually quiet, there seemed to be fewer servers, but service was no slower than usual, just as inattentive. For instance, I asked for ketchup twice and waited a long time for it, and we asked for two teas and only one came.

As we were not getting off the ship in San Juan, we had two missions for the day. One was to visit the Crow's Nest, the beautiful lounge located on Deck 12 forward, overlooking the bow of the ship. This was also the location of Explorations Cafe, which is not only a cafe, but a reading room, internet centre, and a place to play board games and do jigsaw puzzles. My plan was to find out from the IT guy how to cash in a coupon we got in a booklet in our cabin that was to give us 15 free extra minutes of internet once you purchased an internet plan (which we did earlier in the week), 100 minutes for $55 or 75 cents a minute. That was taken care of immediately with polite helpful service from the IT guy on duty.

Next on the list was redeeming another coupon we found in the booklet in our cabin (some good deals in there, be sure to check them out). This was for 1 free hour in the Hydratherapy Pool and Spa, so we headed down to Deck 9 to the Greenhouse Spa to see how this was done. They told us the coupon was good only on port days (this was a port day), so we went off to change and came right back to claim our hour. I have to say, it was the best hour we spent on the ship all week!

The Hydratherapy Pool is like a huge hot tub, inside a room like a sauna. There are rainforest showers with varying degrees of spray/streams/jets, and in the pool there is rainfall all around you, and at the centre, a spot to stand where you can be massaged by strong jets of water. Totally decadent and relaxing. When we'd had enough of hot bubbles and massages, James tried out the hot steam sauna, while I opted for the hot stone beds, which at first glance look uncomfortable, but oh, the soothing heat! Wonderfully relaxing, with soft spa music playing, free juice and water available, plush towels, totally relaxing. We didn't want to leave.

However, our time was more than up, so we then headed to the Lido pool where the roof was still partly covered (it had rained all morning), and very humid. There were lots of seats as most people were off the ship visiting San Juan. Disappointed to find the Dive-In still closed, we went instead to the N.Y. Deli/Pizza one deck up. This time we ordered their deli sandwiches, were given a buzzer, and waited about 20 minutes, during which time it started to rain again and they closed the roof completely over the pool. Our lunch was finally ready and worth waiting for; the most delicious tuna salad and turkey club sandwiches, served with potato chips. We each ate half of each other's sandwiches, had to try them both!

At 1 p.m. we found ourselves back in the Crow's Nest for Pub Trivia, which had a good turn out and had fun general questions. With not much else going on for the rest of the afternoon, James headed back to our room for a rest, and i went back to the Lido Pool, where the roof was still closed and it was still raining. Around 1:30 p.m. I noticed that the Dive-In had re-opened, but it was too late, I'd already had lunch. At 2 p.m. there began a non-stop barrage of heavily accented information over the loudspeaker, but because of the noise, the roof being closed, and general distortion, I had no idea what it was all about, I couldn't understand a word. I tried to escape the noise by going to the aft pool, but the same commentary was being broadcast there. Apparently it was some visitor information about the port of San Juan, broadcast as we were sailing out of San Juan. "Highlights of San Juan", AFTER we leave the port. Brilliant.

After escaping the noise and the rain for a nap in our room, we got ourselves ready for our pre-booked dinner at the Pinnacle Grill, the extra cost, specialty steakhouse on board, and it was here that we had our best meal of the week.
The deliciousness started with a wine I had not had in years, but remembered from another cruise; Conundrum, a light fruity rose wine set the stage for the meal to come. First, I had a Caesar salad, made just right. James had a spinach salad with mandarins and green apple which was also good. For my main meal I ordered the lamb chops, and they were done to perfection and were oh so tasty. James enjoyed the crab legs (and thighs, they were so big), and we shared the sides of creamy whipped potatoes, grilled asparagus, and for him only, brussels sprouts. Dessert for me was a Grand Marnier chocolate volcano cake served with a side of whipped cream. It was to die for. James had a lemon tart with blueberries and whipped cream. Everything was exquisite, including the service; quick, attentive, friendly, efficient. We were in and out in one and a half hours, way better than the main Dining Room. Wished we could have eaten here all week...

On the way to Billboard tonight, we stopped for a while to listen to a pianist who played every night all alone in the Ocean Bar lounge. There was never any mention of his name, just listed as "Piano Music" and the time posted in the daily Navigator. He was very good, and we enjoyed hearing a few Christmas tunes and other pop and classical standards the few times that we saw him in the lounge.

By 8 p.m. we made it to Billboard for Name That Tune Trivia; tonight's theme was Elvis. Apparently I don't know as many Elvis tunes as I thought I did, but it was fun to hear them all!

Immediately following Elvis was the World Stage production show Off the Charts, featuring Billboard #1 Hits through the decades. Tonight, the stage was truly in the round, with 3 singers, 4 musicians, and dancers who came up the aisles and danced on and off the stage through a myriad of hits from 1957 (the first Billboard Chart) to present. The songs were great, the performances were energetic and brightly costumed, it was a whole lot of fun and the best show all week.

As if we couldn't get enough of Billboard Hits, following the show we headed back to the Billboard Lounge for some more hits by the singing piano duo of Emily and Jonathan, and this time we stayed through the hor d'oeuvres buffet right up until they took a break at 11:15, then it was off to bed.

To Be Continued...
Photos can be viewed at: https://www.facebook.com/donna.belan...0547804&type=3
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