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Honeymooners REVIEW of the SUMMIT in the S Caribbean on 22Feb in AQ AFT w DIETARY Req

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Glad to hear that you are enjoying it. The stateroom will be the first things I talk about when I get to the cruise - I made sure I took lots of pics for fellow cc! Hang tight! ;)

 

Thank you. :)

 

Oh, I forgot to mention earlier that when we were last in San Juan, we stayed at the El Convento and were under impressed. The B&B looks and sounds much nicer.

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So this is airport at Culebra..

 

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Once it was all the paperwork was sorted it was DH’s turn to drive. On. The. OTHER. Side. Of. The road. Something he has never done before. I never thought about the motion of driving in any detail – until this trip. It was an interesting experience, especially in Culebra where the roads could not have any more pot holes if we tried to find spots to dig them ourselves! (Glad we hadn’t booked a golf cart at this point!) Portions of the road were wide enough to fit one economy car. Not 2 x new jeeps! It was fun & games all the way around!

 

We stayed in Casa Resaca, one of the handful of b&bs on the island. It has many positive reviews on trip advisor & found the accommodation to be clean, simple & very basic. The only negative thing? The roosters nearby did what they do best – wake you up at all hours of the morning. I enjoy my sleep but i did not enjoy farm animals disturbing it in Culebra. During one night DH & I swore that we will be eating chicken for the remainder of our trip to see if we can make a dent on the population. (harsh, i know, sorry).

 

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One of the drawing points of the island is that it’s ‘untouched’ by tourism so there are no world renowned resorts or 5 star dining. It’s a simple island life of living. With lots of potholes. Still now convinced? Have a look at their beaches.

We have Flamenco Beach, rated one of the most exotic beach in the world. Sand is soft like powder, long stretch of beach & the water was just amazing. There are amenities & food kiosks, where the cocktails are lovely...the food..mm..not so good.

 

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We also took some pictures in the afternoon which I love

 

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We also went to Playa Tamarindo for some snorkeling.

 

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It was much quieter than Flamenco & is known for the turtles in the area. This is the amazing part. We actually swan with wild turtles! We didn’t have to feed them, they just swam towards us. We were beyond excited!

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Now because i love food i’ll chat a little about that in Culebra.

Our fav place for breakfast was Vibra Verde ‘Green Life’ A vegetarian, organic, live loving place. My go-to mean was Quinoa made with coconut cream topped with fresh fruit for a handful of dollars. And it generally served as brunch which took us all the way to dinner time! Beat that! :D

 

 

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Zaco Tacos was an awesome find. I’m pretty confident in saying that I had the best tacos in the world. This is what they looked like... with the optional sauces :p

 

 

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Dinghy Dock’s is a popular place for dinner, a restaurant by the dock, literally. People who throwing food into the water where schools of fish gathered. We headed over at 7pm & had to wait 2.5hours for a table! We wanted to leave but there was no other place open by the time we came to that conclusion.. but do not worry, it was the first & last time we headed to dinner late..

 

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Barbara Rosa’s was the most authentic place i have ever eaten. It’s BYO. We wanted to go early. We went back to Dinghy Dock’s for some take away cocktails & a bottle of wine (we were the most prepared in the ‘restaurant’ :D) - in fact, the drinks cost more than dinner this night! SO this restaurant was literally someone’s Barbara Rosa’s house. She has a daily special & cooks each night in her kitchen. You line up & order whilst standing in her living room. The patio had a few tables scattered which was the open air dining room. The car park was a front lawn. We were seated & ordered by 5.30pm. I’m pretty sure it was the earliest dinner we have ever had! But guess what, it was 7pm & she had sold out of her food & was literally turning people away. At this point we were quite pleased with ourselves :cool:

 

 

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Our last place was at Susie’s. We called earlier in the day to make a reservation for a decent hour – 7.30pm. I loved Culebra’s restaurants! We were seated in the courtyard of a converted home. At one point it started raining so they moved the tables undercover. Easy, simple solution. It was the loveliest, no frills fine food on the island. DH ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigio, we found the wine to be pot luck. Long & behold, the bottle arrived & it was actually from Italy. Well impressed! We found it sweet that our waitress was actually the same lady who took care of us at Dinghy Dock – it seems that there are a small number of employees on the island who work at ALL the restaurants. Where else is that the case??

 

 

 

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I am absolutely loving your review! The pictures of the sea turtles are amazing! All of your photos are making me want to go back to Puerto Rico. I can't wait for the rest of your review!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Great review. I must say the little plane was pretty scary looking, but the beautiful beaches look like they more than made the journey worthwhile.

 

Looking forward to reading more :)

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I have several friends that left on this same trip 2 days ago. I am enjoying your review so far.

 

Sent from my SPH-D710 using Forums mobile app

 

I have a slight feeling that they are currently having the time of their life :p

 

Thank you. :)

 

Oh, I forgot to mention earlier that when we were last in San Juan, we stayed at the El Convento and were under impressed. The B&B looks and sounds much nicer.

 

Oh that's interesting, what was it that gave you that opinion? I imagine the rooms there to be much bigger & possibly more staff = better service?

Whether that's worth double the price though.. I'm unsure.

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Loving your review,,,, sounds like your having a great trip so far !! :)

 

Thank you! I'm very glad to hear that you are enjoying reading about it. Also helps me re-live it to be honest :D

 

I am absolutely loving your review! The pictures of the sea turtles are amazing! All of your photos are making me want to go back to Puerto Rico. I can't wait for the rest of your review!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Thank you :) We simply couldn't believe that the sea turtle were JUST THERE! It was so intimate, wild that I'm not sure how else I could describe it. Whilst taking the pictures I was literally just pointing & shooting hoping they were in the frame. Luckily for me my aim was accurate :cool:

 

PR is a chance destination & we went thinking it was once in a lifetime trip - but we are already discussing the hope of returning for a significant anniversary. Fingers crossed!

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Great review. I must say the little plane was pretty scary looking, but the beautiful beaches look like they more than made the journey worthwhile.

 

Looking forward to reading more :)

 

Thank you - now, it's official. I got into work this morning, was listening to the radio where they mentioned Trip Advisor has released the top 25 beaches in the world. Guess what? Flamenco rated number THREE!! (still unsure how Bondi Beach didn't make it on the list :confused:)

That little plane - totally worth it!

 

Wow, loving your review.

 

Thank you! I must say that these positive comments are certainly encouraging me - I haven't missed night's worth of typing yet!

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Three nights later it was time to leave. We arrived at the airport early & Cape Air was kind enough to place us on an earlier flight which was leaving in 15mins – beautiful! I loved this flight back because there were only 4 passengers; the pilot was a very cool lady who wore aviators- As all pilots should. And few more pics..

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Flamenco Beach from above.

 

 

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And i’m throwing this one in because i would just laugh each time we drove past it!

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Overall Culebra was a fun experience. Coming from Aus we found everything to be relatively cheap AND we ate out for every meal. I know that there are apartments for rent with full kitchen so you could do it even cheaper by cooking your meals, especially with kids. Culebra was a laid back feel where everything ran on island time. No one is in a rush because there is nowhere to go by any particular time! It’s the type of place you go would go back to your accommodation for an afternoon nap just because. Isn’t that what a vacation is all about?!

 

 

Well that’s the Culebra portion; I’ll do a similar format for our stay in EL Yunque before I start on the cruise! My typing has definitely picked up some speed!

Edited by Xcitdcruiser

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A quick side question, I'm going to start organising the cruise portion in term sof the 'Dallie's / Celebrity Today as I've noticed that they are in hot demand :p

 

I'm assuming I'll scan these in, upload them to Photobucket & link them the same way - my question is:

 

Which part of Celebrity Today is of interest to you? The front page? The activities for the day? Or all of it?

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Loving your point of view, and review. The nachos from Zaco Tacos look amazing, (except I'd have to have them leave the pork off of mine) and I love the snaps you got of the turtles.

Don't you love how trips that start out as 'once in a lifetime' are always the ones that produce the best memories....and morph into how soon can we do this again?!!

 

thanks again for spending the time to share such a detailed review.

 

Tutu

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A quick side question, I'm going to start organising the cruise portion in term sof the 'Dallie's / Celebrity Today as I've noticed that they are in hot demand :p

 

I'm assuming I'll scan these in, upload them to Photobucket & link them the same way - my question is:

 

Which part of Celebrity Today is of interest to you? The front page? The activities for the day? Or all of it?

 

 

We like all of it! We leave in two days for the Summit and I am curious as to what day the Reidel wine class is, hoping it is on our only sea day!

 

Thanks so much for your lively review!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Cruise Critic Forums mobile app

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Ok, we are are upto El Yunque – this means that it’s almost cruise time! I read a lot about cruisers debating whether or not to go to El Yunque whilst in Puerto Rico so hopefully this will help-

We arrived in Culebra & waited for our shuttle pick up from Charlie’s Car rental. We went with them because they are local & have glowing reviews on the Trip Advisor forums. DH was NOT looking forward to driving in the big city. We received a map in hand & off we went. There were times in the car that resembled the National Lampoons Family Vacation (i love those films!) We were directed onto the highway – straight ahead, you can’t get lost....well we did. But only because we were trying to find some shopping. With my bad Spanish & a lot of sign language we finally found the Barceloneta outlet mall. Our check-in wasn’t until 3pm so my leverage was good :p

 

You may wonder why I was so excited about this mall, well, goods are completely overpriced in Australia so is much cheaper to buy up in the US. But in an outlet mall?! You get can double of what you originally planned!

We hit the road to find our accommodation for the next three nights, The Rainforest Inn. Off the highway we had to wriggle through the windiest roads with many blind spots. The directions given were very clear & in-depth - we arrived without getting lost – wo hoo!

This place was amazing. I’ll let the pictures do the talking. But before that i will just add that we were actually greeted with a Pina Colada. SOLD!

 

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This was a picture looking at the back of our room.

 

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And the view from that patio. Absolutely breathtaking.

 

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They even have their own yoga room!

 

 

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One of the biggest draws of this place was the much talked about breakfast at 9am. We did not miss these! They were vegetarian but satisfied the meat eater. Couldn’t resist taking a pic of their menu.

 

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This was my fav – polenta made with almond milk. YUM.

 

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Now, what did we do in El Yunque?

Went to the Rainforest. Obviously... If you are driving I would highly recommend going earlier rather than later as there are not very many car parks. We were quite lucky in getting one but there were lots of U Turns to be had.

We first stopped at a tower which should it have been a clear day, would have given you a beautiful view. It was fun none the less.

 

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The trail we decided on was the Big Hike Trail.

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IT wasn’t too strenuous & it was completely paved. We thought that this would be a good start. Take a guess what happened when we got to hiking in the RAINforest. It rained. A LOT, within 5 mins of starting our hike. We took some shelter & waited a little with another couple who were pregnant. When they continued in the rain We figured we SHOULD be able to do a bit more than her...competitive much? At points the rained eased, during the rest of them time we laughed like crazy hyenas. We were soaked! I’ll be honest & say that i’m not even sure if we completed the hike – we kept walking & walking waiting to see a big tree (hence the name) but we got to a pretty waterfall & decided that THAT was what we were aiming for. Still not sure....

 

 

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The Bio Bay in Fajardo was also on our list. Im glad we pre-booked with Kayak Puerto Rico, the day we arrived in Puerto Rico the main tour operator for the bio-bay in Vieques (said to be much bigger & brighter) had cancelled all tours! It sounded like those visitors scrambled to get on any tour they could. DH & shared a kayak. We were very worried about our relationship as we realised how much teamwork was involved. I’m glad to report back that we came out of it even stronger!

 

It started off by going through a few mins of open ocean. This was probably where the muscles were most used due to the wind. We then continued through a canal / mangrove where there were iguanas casually lying on the branches of the trees. Above our heads. We tried to paddle a lot faster. Soon enough we entered this lagoon & watched the sunset– it was a lot bigger than what i expected. It became pitch black & sure enough with each movement in the water it would glow! Magical! You could literally splash some water into the kayak & it was like a sparkly rainbow – sorry i’m not using any of the scientific terms – just trying to get you visualise it :D

 

The canal

 

 

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Sunset in the lagoon

 

 

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After everything we had heard about the bio bay, i must admit, we were a little underwhelmed. We are glad that we did it, but somehow expected glowing fish to be circling the kayaks (wild imagination, i know).

Well the adventure wasn’t over. To return we had to go through the canal again. In DARKNESS. The only thing you could see was a tiny dot on the back of the kayak in front of you. We had to keep to the right whilst the second tour groups were entering the lagoon on the left hand side. And this canal was not wide by any means. I was on the receiving end of people trying to kayak through the open air. Yes, they hit my head! And remember those iguanas that were laying in those branches? I have never concentrated on a tiny dot so hard in my life. I figured the more concentration I had, the faster i could go & the sooner we got out! And we did. Safely. Without seeing any flying iguanas. We were lucky.

 

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We had pre-booked a mini-boat island excursion but the morning of they cancelled due to weather. We were bummed as we were REALLY looking forward to it. Off we went & found something different – ATV tour! It wasn’t long before I was very excited all over again. I enjoy a little bit of adrenaline pumping & was ready to ride through the mud! Well....it was nice but we only got to15mph. During the tour we stopped off at a stream where the water was WAY too cold for me. DH jumped right in! We got a little dirty as we rode through the mud but nothing too adventurous. Overall it was a good way to spend a few hours.

 

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We also booked a couple of massages though the inn, the masseuse came to us & one at a time, we both had a massage in the yoga room. It was lovely. In fact, i thought it was the best massage I’ve had. (spoiler alert – it wasn’t .The best was yet to come during the cruise!)

 

Now to the food in El Yunque

 

 

 

 

Our first dinner came from a recommendation at the Inn. Desperados. Now when i heard that i wasn’t too keen on heading to an American franchise. What we arrived to was the complete opposite. A family run business in a narrow building wedged between a tyre place & a church (the reason they are unable to serve alcohol apparently). The dad was the cook, mum the waitress & the child, well, the entertainment. The waitress was wearing a leopard print cowboy hat. That alone allowed me to fall in love with this place instantly! I had the mofongo & DH a churrasco; with some drinks it came to $42. Highly recommended!

The Luquillo kiosks were a massive hit with us; basically about 60 little huts/restaurants lining the street visible from the highway. We frequented Ceviche Hut a couple of times & were not disappointed. They would have a daily special which would be a dish off their menu at a discounted price so we figured we would go with that. The first time we had a seafood paella. The best paella we had. We figured some sangria would be the perfect accompaniment. Cost = $23. I’m pretty sure a single alcoholic drink can cost that much back home & we had just stuffed ourselves!! The second time we went back we had..wait for it.. in Ceviche Hut....ceviche! I t was nice but i did preferred the paella.

 

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The other kiosk we visited was Vejigante but did not rate anywhere near as Ceviche Hut.

 

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El Verde BBQ was a roadhouse / take away type establishment that surprisingly rated very highly. We were keen to enjoy our accommodation so thought it would be a good reason to get take out. I’m glad I’m familiar with another Latin based language because they did not speak a word of English & their servings / prices are by weight. Ordering was interesting! We got a portion of ribs, mofongo, chips, sweet potato, 2 x Heinekens & a snicker bar. It came to $18. DH & I were on cloud nine. At this point we just wanted to move to PR because it wouldn’t be worth cooking over here! And the food. YUM. AGAIN!

 

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And that is all for El Yunque - I hope you got a little taste of what it was like. We really enjoyed it here. Again, me more than DH & I think that was purely becuase he was the designated driver. I don't think he ever got comfortable behind the wheel. Everything seemed to be a little more of a drive (vs Culebra only a few minutes away) but i would certainly return for the Rainforest Inn alone. The only reason we didn't spend more time there was because I felt guilty that we SHOULD be exploring!

 

If anyone has any questions about anything please let me know as I'll be happy to help-

 

Next I will start on our fav part of our trip - Celebrity Summit!!

 

I will scan in the Celebrity Today's & go in a little bit more detail day by day. I'm excited! Thanks for reading :)

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Well the adventure wasn’t over. To return we had to go through the canal again. In DARKNESS. The only thing you could see was a tiny dot on the back of the kayak in front of you. We had to keep to the right whilst the second tour groups were entering the lagoon on the left hand side. And this canal was not wide by any means. I was on the receiving end of people trying to kayak through the open air. Yes, they hit my head! And remember those iguanas that were laying in those branches? I have never concentrated on a tiny dot so hard in my life. I figured the more concentration I had, the faster i could go & the sooner we got out! And we did. Safely. Without seeing any flying iguanas. We were lucky.

 

 

Ha, ha, this gave me the best laugh! You have some great memories there Aussie friend! Look forward to hearing about the cruise :)

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I continue to enjoy each day's installment. I really appreciate your attention to detail and all of the research you have done. I am taking notes. I have never been to culebre and I have added it to my bucket list.Would you stay at the same place if you go again?

 

You seem to like to hike. We have found our favorite place so far to hike and snorkel. St John 3/4 of island is a park with lots of trails. There are remote areas to stay. It keeps bringing us back each year.

 

Looking forward to the rest

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