Did I forget to tell you that Odette found us in the middle of the Atlantic? Alas, she would say her goodbye on Christmas Day, but she brought Stinky and Blinky joy for a few days every time they returned to the cabin and found her in a new pose.
Blinky and I were up bright and early on Christmas morning to meet Santa. He made his grand entry via elevator where lots of squealing kids were eagerly awaiting his arrival on the Royal Promenade.
As we were following him to Studio B to collect Christmas presents, we stumbled upon this elf who clearly had too much eggnog the night before. We also ran into my mother-in-law who joined us.
After literally the longest wait ever, Blinky finally had her picture made with Santa and was able to collect her Christmas present: a pair of RCL sunglasses. For some reason, she thought she would actually get one of the items on her wish list. She also thought this was the real Santa.
According to the schedule, we wouldn’t dock in San Juan until lunchtime. So we raced back to the cabins to wake everyone up to go ice skating in Studio B. Almost two hours later, when we finally made it back, kids were still in line waiting on Santa. Bless his heart.
Blinky ice skated beautifully. She said if anyone from RCL were watching and needed a little girl for the ice skating show, she wanted them to choose her. All the heart emojis!!! I hung around the perimeter in case I fell. Which I did. And Stinky did his best but clearly needs more practice. He spent most of the time picking himself up off the ground. I was so proud of him for not quitting.
After a quick lunch, we headed out to explore Old San Juan. The tour we wanted was booked solid, but we were able to arrange a taxi tour at the port which accommodated everyone in our group. Our guide was very knowledgeable and kind, and graciously gave us a little extra time since the traffic on Christmas Day was horrendous!
We covered Old San Juan and New San Juan – the Condado district. The juxtaposition between what is clearly a well-planned out Euopean city model, and a high-rise, shopping district was classic.
The reason there was so much traffic Christmas Day is because families will flock to Old San Juan on holidays to fly kites, have picnics, and spend time together. This is Puerto Rican tradition.
Our 2 1/2 hour tour lasted a little over three hours. The grandparents, Stinky and Blinky, and my brother headed back to the ship. But since we were in port until 9 pm, the DH and I set off to explore some more on our town. We backtracked to the area of Old San Juan leading up to the Governor’s mansion.
This iconic shot is on La Fortelaza de PR. Colorful umbrellas cover the street and it is a selfie magnet!
At the end of La Fortelaza de PR is the Governor’s Mansion.
Near there is the gate to Old San Juan.
Here’s how it looks from the other side. There’s the Governor’s Mansion in the background.
Doesn’t this look like it could be a house in New Orleans?
On one side of the gate is an uprooted tree that an artist used as his canvas to paint the Puerto Rican flag. It was dated 2017. I imagine the tree was a casualty of Maria. As you can imagine, this was another selfie magnet.
We did some shopping, stumbled upon a Christmas market, and enjoyed watching the transition from day to night.
It was a beautiful day and one of our most memorable Christmases ever!
Check back tomorrow for Day 5, a review of St. Maarten and Maho Beach.
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