Hello, San Juan and Jewel Of The Seas

Mar 19th, 2017, 05:53 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,080
Hello, San Juan and Jewel Of The Seas

In a few hours we will embark on our first sailing from San Juan and we are looking forward to discovering some new ports of calls including St Croix, Bridgetown and St George's.

Let “The Fun” begin!
DMBTraveler is offline  
Mar 19th, 2017, 06:04 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Very nice. I hope you had some time to explore SJ.

Have to been to Barbados before? There is a cool subterranean cavern there, Harrison's cave. Pretty neat.
jacketwatch is online now  
Mar 19th, 2017, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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I love embarking from San Juan. It is such a great place to explore pre-cruise. Have a great time!
Sassafrass is online now  
Mar 23rd, 2017, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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I have been thinking about booking this cruise. I will be reading your reports. Bon Voyage!
Janig is offline  
Mar 29th, 2017, 08:30 PM
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Spent day and half in San Juan.. but need to go back.Next time we sail from San Juan will spend more time there.
DMBTraveler is offline  
Mar 29th, 2017, 08:48 PM
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Night has already fallen and the twinkling lights of Old San Juan are soon becoming distant as we head south for hopefully seven days of fun. Our first “After Dark Sail Away Party” is underway as the Jewel Of The Seas navigates to our first port of call.


A planned late disembarkation has us roaming around the quaint cruise port city of Frederiksted. With only three cruise ships calling here a month it seems that many of the businesses here have “closed shop” and the town has almost an abandoned feel to it.

We are told by a “Tourism” information representative that Christiansted which according to her was only a half an hour away by local bus had a lot more to see and do. After waiting about 45 minutes for the bus a group of us are on our way after paying a $1 fare. Turns out it is an hour and a half bus ride.

While for us it was an adventure seeing and experiencing the island on a hot and crowded bus. I think for most others the $8 per person taxi shuttle is probably a better option which we chose for the return trip. Christiansted definitely warrants a return visit especially for another slice of ”Pistachio Rum Cake”.

Back in Frederiksted just outside of the cruise terminal we have some beach time to enjoy the clear and refreshing waters of St Croix. At 4:30pm we are back onboard the Jewel Of The Seas for a second night of fun. It starts of in 60 Seconds Or Less then we are “Rolling On The River” before ending the night with push ups on the dance floor.


Although we have previously visited St Maarten and Maho Beach, a return trip is always fun. A last minute car rental for $83 which now includes a $15 “Cruise Terminal Tax” and we are off to Maho. On a warm afternoon this makes a $1 ice cream at McDonald's seems like such a bargain as we drive to Princess Juliana Airport.

Our next bargain courtesy of “The Driftwood Boatyard Bar” is $6 rum punches made with 5 different rums including “The Kraken” a black spiced rum. At Maho we enjoy the beach as airplanes pass less than a hundred feet above us then I join a few others and get blasted my Jet Blue. Not the same as when I held onto the fence a few years ago but still fun having hurricane force winds slapping you in the face. Next it is some other St Maarten sightseeing with a stop at Friar's Bay.

A Guavaberry Colada then BINGO it's the always revealing Love & Marriage Show followed by “Shots,Shots, (Almost) Everybody” at The White Party.


A beautiful day under the tropical sun and it is time to make a splash at the pool. Fortunately, not any splash will do and only those with a 24 Pack should attempt this feat. The International Belly-Flop Competition draws a tough field of competitors who for the most pleases the crowd except for one. To his apparent disappointment sagging “Speedo's” and shallow flops are just not that appealing.

However, a crazy Brazilian disappoints no one in Dancing With The Stripes neither does three guys from Las Vegas as they hit the high notes in The Coral Theater.


It is less than a 45 minute walk (or a $5 per person one-way cab fare) from the cruise terminal to a nice beach. Our walk gives a chance to stop at the local fish market and chat a few minutes with a friendly local vendor.

Across a small bridge in town and we are now less than 15 minutes from The Boatyard. A $20 fee gets us private beach access, a welcome drink, a free shuttle ride back to the ship and use of their facilities including beach chairs, umbrellas and Wi-Fi.

Not long after we arrive a loud siren goes off then we are told to evacuate the beach and head to the bar.
“Shots, Shots, Shots”... and this time it's “Everybody”.

Another great day at the beach and I am in the swing of it especially when it comes to a 70's Party!


A quick walk by Sendall Tunnel (1894) then we climb a steep set of stairs towards Fort George where we get an offer to consider. Outside of Fort George where the entrance fee is $2 person I make a quick calculation and a case. Coming to an agreement on our plans for the day in light of the offer we got a few moments ago we define our roles in the negotiations. I am going to be the “Good Cop”.

It does not take long and a deal is made. For $35 plus a tip we are going to get a 2-3 hour tour with a visit to Annandale Waterfalls. Anthony turns out to be a pleasant guide and gives us some insights about this tropical paradise. Unlike some of its neighbors, Grenada produces a majority of its own food supply. With over 160 inches of rainfall a year a huge part of the landscape is filled with vibrant green vegetation.

I pass on the option to dive at Annandale Waterfalls but a swim is very refreshing. On the road we pass an appreciation mural for the US liberation of Grenada in 1983 as Anthony recalls a time when Grenada was under a government curfew. Anyone found on the streets during the curfew was shot on sight, no questions asked.

From Prisoner's View we get one of the best views of the island then Anthony drives us to the school he attended some maybe 60 plus years ago. He still has memories of standing in front of it waving a flag as Queen Elizabeth's motorcade drove by.

Our next stop is at the largest and best known distillery in Grenada. At the producers of Clarke's Court Rum along with sampling the products and purchasing a few of them I make an attempt to get one of the employee's mother secret “Rum Punch” recipe.

We say goodbye to Anthony at Coconut Beach as we all honored our deal.

A swim offshore from Coconut Beach presents a multi-spike threat beneath the warm waters. Lying on a grass bed are multiple sea urchins waiting to inflict some pain on the unaware. I know from personal experience.

A $5 person water taxi and we are soon about to begin our journey back north to San Juan. Just past 5pm the Jewel Of The Seas begins its separation from Grenada. Soon it is The Battle Of The Sexes which turned out to be no battle at all as the stronger sex won. However, The Quest is never over until the tables are turned...and “Man!... I Feel Like A Woman”.


Beautiful weather along with another sea day provides the opportunity for more fun outdoor activities. From “The World's Sexiest Man” competition which turns out to be too much for one judge to handle, to “Pool Volleyball”, a “Mini-Golf Tournament”, a “ 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament” won by the “Old Guys” and “Dodge-ball” our last sea day is filled with FUN.

A Farewell Show along with laughs at The Late Night Comedy Show and it seems like another cruise vacation is ending too quickly. However, this cruise on The Jewel Of The Seas will be one of our most memorable thanks in part to a great Cruiser Director Simona and her entertainment staff especially "Erika, From America".

DMBTraveler is offline  
Mar 30th, 2017, 10:56 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Did Chrisainsted also have ship stops? I would think so as if Fredricksteds 3/month were it so would be tourism there. I did hear ships have cut back on St. Croix due to high crime.

I'll bet seeing planes land at St. Maarten is amazing. Been there but missed the airport.

I had no idea martial law in Grenada was so extreme.

We toured a rum distillery in Martinique. I enjoy those too. Got a nice bottle of aged single barrel stuff too, nice!
jacketwatch is online now  
Mar 31st, 2017, 09:39 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 329
Hello DMBT, glad to hear you are enjoying yourself. There was a great rum factory in St. Croix, I think it was the Cruzan Rum Factory. It's been a long time since I have been there but it was cheap for quick tour and after its over you come back to the bar and drink all of the favors of rum included in the cost of admission. Also most of the shops, jewelry and souvenir shops had self serving rum sampling .

In St. Marteen, we rode the bus and later rented a car. We were there for a week. There was a place to eat called JB under the Tree that had jerk chicken and lobsters.

I was in Barbados for five days and used public transportation to go to Bridgetown. I used a driver for Oistin's fish fry and Harrison Caves.

Yes you must go back to San Juan for a stay, I loved old San Juan.
I have yet to visit Granada.
tch912 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2017, 09:41 AM
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Yep I am pretty sure its Cruzan rum too.
jacketwatch is online now  
Mar 31st, 2017, 12:38 PM
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Sad to hear if it is true about St Croix. Speaking to one of the guards at the port, he basically blamed it on St Thomas flexing their "muscle" in the cruise business.

As far as I could tell...Christainsted did not have any cruise ship stops.

The martial law in Grenada was under Maurice Bishop pre-invasion. We were told he was executed at Fort George
DMBTraveler is offline  
Mar 31st, 2017, 12:41 PM
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Based on JW and your Barbados info... I need to go back there too..

The one downside of this type of cruising is so much to see, so little time.
DMBTraveler is offline  
Mar 31st, 2017, 01:03 PM
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Then no wonder crime is up if money coming in cruises has dropped. That's sad.

I do recall Ronnie sending the troops in. They cleaned it up pretty quickly.
jacketwatch is online now  
Apr 1st, 2017, 05:50 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 329
DMBT, l loved your video. I recognised the planes in St Marteen and St Croix's yellow buildings. Is Royal Caribbean still leaving from the Pan Am dock? I am looking to go to Grenada for week within the next year.
tch912 is offline  
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