Tag-Archive for » San Juan «

Friday File: Cruising And Works Of Art

Wherever your cruise ship takes you, one thing you can be certain of is that you will encounter local artwork. It may be a statue, or a mural, or a sandcastle or something that you’re not quite sure what it is, but it will always be interesting. In years of cruising, we’ve admired (okay, at least looked at) a variety of such works of art…

Puerto RicoOn this street in San Juan, Puerto Rico…a powerful message open to interpretation.

Alaska museum

If you can't find the real thing in Alaska, and often you can't, there's always a museum version.

Arica

The pretty town of Arica in northern Chile always has to make its statues earthquake-proof.

Valencia

In Valencia, Spain, a colorful expression of nations sends travelers looking for their 'home' statue.

Murals-Pier 39

If you've ever departed from or arrived in San Francisco, you know all about this part of Fisherman's Wharf.

Bermuda

Bermuda has no shortage of works like this, which add to the charm of a charming island.

In the news…

• Tampa port recognized by NOAA as "storm ready" for extreme weather
• Huge Princess sale offers $300 savings on cruise plus $300 on airfare
• MSC Lirica last of four ships to be 'stretched' to add 800 cabins

Today at portsandbows.com: Suite news for Holland America fans


Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas
3 nights
December 11, 2015
Miami (return): CocoCay, Nassau
Inside: $169
Cost per day: $56
www.royalcaribbean.com

Friday File: Statues Live For Eternity

The thing about statues, which anybody who cruises sees in any number of places, is that they’ll take you as far as you want to go. Just admiring the talent it took to make it can be enough. Go a little deeper and read the inscription, if there is one. Or go whole hog and find out why the person was famous enough to warrant a statue. We’ve done a little of all of that in showing you some people you may have heard of, and some you may not know at all…

1-Van GoghIf ever a famous man appears to have been captured just as he was, that man might be Vincent Van Gogh, whose statue is in the courtyard of the insane asylum where he was imprisoned for 10 months in Saint-Remy, France.

2-New Orleans

New Orleans is a popular departure port for Caribbean cruisers, and New Orleans means the French Quarter, where you’ll find memorialized this trio of jazz or blues legends — Fats Domino, Al Hirt and Pete Fountain.

3-Columbus

In Barcelona, Christopher Columbus stands high above the street pointing to the sea, and what humored us is that because the city's on the east coast of Spain, so is the sea and Columbus is pointing AWAY from America.

4-Lima

She lived in the Casa de Aliaga in Lima, Peru and the city’s oldest mansion is featured on many cruise shore excursions…but we have no idea who she is or why she’s cast like this for eternity — can anybody out there help?

5-San Juan

Arturo Somohano (1910-1977) went from child prodigy to founder of the San Juan Symphony Orchestra after a composition he played for U.S. troops during World War II (“Songs of the Americas”) became a U.S. Army anthem.

6-Michaelangelo-Florence

Italians know Michelangelo wherever his work is found, and his most famous statue (David) is found in Florence, where on the street is this replica of the original marble statue that was started 40 years earlier by another artist!

7-Bermuda

In his time, the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Admiral Sir George Somers was known as a British naval hero from the Anglo-Spanish War but when a hurricane drove his sinking ship ashore, he became the founder of Bermuda.

In the news…

• Norwegian considering two options: a ship to Asia…and a ship for Asia
• Low water levels on European rivers forcing more itinerary changes
• Six millionth cruise ship passenger recognized in Victoria, B.C.

Today at portsandbows.com: The next two mega ships going to Costa

Celebrity Infinity
7 nights
October 29, 2015

Fort Lauderdale (return): CozumelRoatanBelizeCosta Maya
Inside: $609
Cost per day: $65
www.celebritycruises.com

Friday file: The 'Rich Port' Of San Juan

Of all the ports in the Caribbean, and there are hundreds it seems, one that keeps attracting more attention is San Juan, Puerto Rico (translation: “rich port”). Strategically positioned just east of the Dominican Republic, it can be either a port to visit on the way to the Southern Caribbean or a place to embark on a Panama Canal cruise. We have done both and today’s photos reflected our visits to Old San Juan…

Pina Colada

Shouldn’t we all know the who-when-where of the whole pina colada thing?

Fort-1

From inside San Cristobal, and what it must have felt like a few centuries ago.

Fort-2

Also inside the fort, another era’s “weapons of mass destruction” remain.

Seahorse sculpture

The first statue of a seahorse that we’ve seen in the Caribbean (or anywhere).

Starbucks

In Old San Juan, seats in Starbucks are rare, and everybody’s on a device.

Free trolley-1

Free trolley the best way to get around Old San Juan, where you need a day.

Horse-carriage

If bus is too crowded, there’s always the (not free) horse and buggy option.

Arturo Somohano Portela-musician

Conducting an orchestra in perpetuity: Arturo Somohano Portela. Google him.

Today at portsandbows.com: Another 'Port' (Canaveral), one that's getting more options for passengers

Norwegian Dawn
7 nights
October 16, 2015

Boston (return): King’s Wharf 
Inside: $629

Cost per day: $89
www.ncl.com

Puerto Rico Plans to Market Cruisers

News item: Puerto Rico is doubling the number of hotels, and doubling the number of hotel rooms, over the next decade because of an annual increase in tourist traffic of three per cent (2013) that is topping out at 1.6 million.

For the cruise community, Puerto Rico is San Juan. In a one-year period, San Juan visitors will include eight ships from both Carnival and Holland America ships, seven from Royal Caribbean, four from Norwegian, Celebrity and Silversea, three from Old_San_JuanOceania, two from Regent Seven Seas and one from Disney, Princess, MSC Cruises and Crystal.

You get the idea.

Almost half of that 1.6 million tourists arrive (and leave) on a cruise ship. To fill those hotel rooms, Puerto Rico's tourist people say they need to convince cruise passengers to stay for two or three days. This, of course, is only possible if you either board or get off your ship in San Juan.

Not many cruises start in San Juan. We flew there four years ago to get on the Celebrity Millennium for a cruise through the Panama Canal. That's the kind of thing that will convince cruisers to go a few days early or stay a few days late. Looking ahead for the next year-plus schedule, we couldn't find one major cruise line starting or ending a cruise in San Juan.

So Puerto Ricans might want to change their marketing strategy as the hotels increase, and convince cruise passengers to come back to this island jewel…or convince cruise lines to start and end more cruises in their charming port.

Today at Phil Reimer's portsandbows.com: The latest in cruise news

Carnival Valor
7 nights
July 6, 2014
San Juan (return): St. ThomasBarbadosSt. LuciaSt. KittsSt. Maarten
Inside: $429
Cost per day: $61
www.carnival.com

Covering The Caribbean From One Ship

– map by cartographer Karl Musser

When taking a Caribbean cruise — the most popular cruises anywhere — sometimes the trick can be to find ports less-visited. That's less-visited by you.

As interesting as places like Nassau and Cozumel and Barbados are, how many visits are too many?

Carnival has an interesting twist, set for late next year and early 2016.

You can take a cruise from the "heartland" of American cruising, Galveston, to the heart of the Caribbean, San Juan. It's an 11-day trip with six port stops. And then you can cruise back, with six more ports in 10 days.

That's three weeks on the ship, which will be the Triumph, and 12 ports. And here's the best part: Only one port is a repeat. In other words, you can see 11 places in the Caribbean on the same trip…okay, a two-in-one cruise.

The concept is not all that's new for Carnival. So are many of the ports. Carnival ships have never been to Bonaire and have rarely taken passengers to Antigua, Grenada and Martinique. Also on the port agenda are Aruba, Grand Cayman, St. Maarten (once each way), Grand Turk, St. Thomas, St. Kitts and Half Moon Cay.

Get out your map and take a look. Draw a line through the Caribbean from Miami and around the east end of the world's most famous islands and back via Grand Cayman and you'll see that you'll see a generous part of the entire Caribbean.

There are only two opportunities. The Triumph will leave Galveston in October (2015) and again in January (2016), with the return trips in October and late January, respectively.

You can do one of the two, of course, but that means flying to or from San Juan. Double up, and forget the air fare.

Oh yes, you do need a three-week vacation.

Today at portsandbows.com: The latest in cruise news

Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam
12 nights
May 24, 2014
Venice (return): OlympiaAthensIstanbulLesbosEphesusSantoriniArgostoli
Inside: $929
Cost per day: $77
www.hollandamerica.com

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