August 21, 2018

Monday August 20 Arrival in San Juan

Today we arrive in San Juan at about 3:30.  We have been cruising at 20 knots since leaving Miami. Captain Kate says she is expecting to arrive on time.

The influence of the female touch is evident in my cabin. Celebrity is one of the few cruise lines still (or again) placing a little square of dark chocolate on our pillow each night.  Each cabin also has a vase of fresh flowers. Little extra touches you don't often find anymore.

There is lots of hype about the new Celebrity Edge, due in Florida the first of December.  Entirely new design of cabins, many more speciality restaurants, and of course a much expanded presence of suites and special areas for exclusive use of suites guests. The good news is the passenger capacity is just a little more than here on the Equinox. The  largest of the suites has more square footage than my house, and I am sure a cruise fare to match.

Over night the winds have increased to 25 knots, and the seas have increased to 2 meters. Just enough that there is a slight motion to the ship. Skies remain clear and temperatures are still in the mid to upper 80's. I heard someone mention that we  had a few showers yesterday, but you couldn't prove it by me.

I will get off the ship this afternoon, but I am not taking an organized tour. I hope to post the first few days to my blog and download all the emails. I'm sure the proud parents will send me a few new pictures of Eliza.

I discover the first thing that I have forgotten to bring. Any pens. Usually I have half a dozen in my computer bag and they are not an item I specifically have on my packing list.  No computer this time and therefore no pens. A brief walk to guest relations resolves the shortage. Also a note to  myself to revise my packing list for the future.

Probably a destination I will never get to, but I attend a presentation on Celebrity trips to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu. A little detail I was not aware of, the Ecuadorian government requires that all crew members of any vessel visiting the Galapagos be Ecuadorian.  Celebrity is building a new ship to service the Islands, and the accomodations will all be suites. I haven't placed a deposit.

We arrive on time under clear sunny skies. I retrieve my phone, and am deluged with text messages and emails as soon as I turn it on. No need to walk into town just to get cell service. It works fine right here on the ship. I just hope I am connected to the right carrier. I didn't get any messages from any carrier, so if there is a large bill I will have to deal with it when I get home.

The "Hot Glass Show", one of my favorites, is no longer sponsored by Corning. It is now operated by a studio from Hollywood, Florida. The Venue  is unchanged with the electric fired kilns on deck 15, but it has now been turned into another profit center. Glass blowing lessons are offered, and are usually sold out before sailing. They also sell glass objects made by the artists priced from $150 and up.

Captain Kate did a fine job docking, I think many passengers were watching more closely than usual. There was an ambulance waiting on the pier, bringing back memories of my  ambulance ride from a cruise ship eleven months ago. The rumor mill hasen't reported anything.

I think we are the only ship in port, and will be leaving at 10PM, leaving lots of time for many passengers to have dinner on shore.

To share a little of Captain kate's personality, when she announced that the ship had been cleared and passengers could disembark she also passed on the weather forecast and reminded everyone to carry photo ID, sea pass card, and half an umbrella since there was a 50% chance of showers.

I changed my mind and stayed on the ship. Jason Bishop was the guest entertainer for tonight. Probably one of the best slight of hand magicians I have ever seen. With so many passengers ashore, the theater was barely half full. 

I will skip the late night dance party on the pool deck. It is a short cruise to our next port of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. We expect to arrive by 8:00 AM