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Mitsugirlys FASCINATION with San Juan-review & pictorial


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Of course this concerned me because I knew that below the dock (at a certain point) there were huge rocks that I had snorkeled earlier. The last thing I needed was for one of them to jump and hit a rock and break something. I had to go over to investigate.

 

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The monkey sitting on Sakari's shoulder.

 

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Now I know these guys walk up and down the beach (and in port) letting you hold and take pictures of the monkey for $5 each. This guy never mentioned anything about having to pay anything and he was sitting on the dock for hours. He was letting the kids play with the monkey for a good portion of the day. I went over to talk to him. We talked for quite some time and I told him how my daughter (Kendra) has been wanting a monkey forever. He mentioned they sell them for $100. Oh wow, because they are thousands back home. He also mentioned they can ship to the US. I went over to tell Kendra and she came running. She would spend probably the next 2 hours talking to him about the monkey and holding it while also taking pictures of it to send to her fiance back home telling him she wants it...That would be followed with her being on the phone with him for another hour. LOL She was bound and determined that she wanted a monkey. Not any monkey, but THIS monkey. LOL

 

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The kids continued to jump and Kendra continued to talk monkey talk.

 

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The guy gave Kendra his social media site for her to add him and told her everything about this monkey. He had went into the forest to get the mother and she had 5 babies. This was one of them and he was 4 months old I believe. He said they were all pretty tame and they had removed their fang teeth. He said they can only ship to 2 places in the US (Miami and Arizona I think). She would have to arrange to have an address in one of those places to accept the monkey and then have to pay shipping for it to get there (COD). She would not pay for the monkey until it arrived in the US.

 

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I told her that no matter "how" he said it's done, I still can't believe that US customs would allow some animal from a different country to just be shipped there with no problems due to diseases and such. But she was on a mission.

 

(Update since we returned...still no monkey, of course, and the guy won't answer her on SM so....)

 

A video of the kids (and the hubby) jumping off the deck.

 

 

[YOUTUBE]7SpAEKZiSog[/YOUTUBE]

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Sakari found a sand dollar. This entire cruise she kept asking me how much is this worth? She just couldn't put the name "dollar" together with "it's not real money".

 

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The hubby, Sakari, and I decided we were going to go for a "walk". I knew I wanted to see if I could find this "black" sand that everyone talks about down by Ship Wreck. After leaving Carambola, we started to see some blackness in the sand. Cool

 

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This stuff really sparkled in the sun

 

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It was getting blacker and I was getting excited

 

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I just couldn't believe how it sparkled in the sun. It was like little diamonds in the sand. So pretty. I really wish the camera could capture what I was seeing.

 

 

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Watching the ocean water rush up, it would turn brown, then when the water went back out, it would be black.

 

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We came to another beach club and it was deserted. Not one person there. They had chairs put out and what looked like a little bar with (maybe) the owner sitting there. But not a single person there.

 

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We arrived at Ship Wreck:

 

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I do have to admit, my first impressions of this place was not a positive one. I was prepared for it not to be a luxurious place, and I was expecting kinda rustic, but I didn't really picture this. It didn't look rustic to me, it kinda looked run down. It looked like there were weeds growing and the place hadn't been "swept" or anything. I don't know, I just wasn't too impressed.

 

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I mean I know you are going for a different kinda feel here, but I would at least think you might rake the beach from all the sea weed and get rid of some of the debris in the area. Make it a little more appealing. I know a lot of people on here love this place. But, I'm glad I made the decision to stay a Carambola instead. I really don't think this place is for me...and not just because of the beach or area.

 

So, I know it was mentioned that this area was good for snorkeling and Sakari and I decided to take a look around. We headed into the water...this is what you'll be walking on:

 

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It pretty much had the same "look" as it is down by Carambola...with the "ledge" running up and down the beach with a few things to see there.

 

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However, there were TONS...I mean TONS of black spiny sea urchins.

 

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I really didn't think there was much to see in this area and definitely no different than the area over by Carambola.

 

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It was pretty shallow in most areas, but man the sea urchins. They were really making me nervous. Although Sakari and I had brought our snorkel mask so that we could look around, I did not bring any flippers and with all the sea urchins everywhere you turned, it was making me super nervous.

 

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They were seriously in every crevice. One wrong turn and you could be scraped by one or put your foot down on one.

 

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This was also floating at the top of the water in the entire area...which made it kinda creepy when it was constantly rubbing up against you.

 

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We were only in the water about 10 minutes before I tapped Sakari on the shoulder and told her "Let's get out of here". I was just too nervous. I really don't know how anyone can swim in this area with all the sea urchins...or maybe they had an area on down that had a sandy entrance. The area we were in was directly in front of the Ship Wreck and to the right.

 

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It almost looked like oil mixed in with the sand when you picked it up. So cool though.

 

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We started heading back and I was glad that I took the trip to see the black sand. I REALLY like it. It was beautiful and so unique. I just didn't care for Ship Wreck itself.

 

Sakari ask if she could run back to Carambola and the chairs and she scurried off. I don't know where she gets her energy.

 

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Once away from Ship Wreck, the sand turns back to brown (which is weird) and then it would turn back to black once we got back to the other little beach place with no people, then it would be black again.

 

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We did this in the sand in front of that other place.

 

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It really was a pretty place. I'm not sure why no one was there unless people are just not aware of it. It liked the natural shade with the palm trees.

 

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It's definitely a place I could see myself staying at. It's very simple, but yet gorgeous.

 

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Discovery Beach Bar I guess is the name. I'll have to do some research on this place maybe for the next time.

 

Their rental was the same as Carambola....$10 per chair.

 

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A big open area in between this place and Carambola. The hubbys wheels were turning...buy this place and make a beach club and work from the beach every day...haha...um yea, I'm game, but somehow I think it's too close to Carambola, which seems to get most of the business and is well known.

 

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From here, you could see the new tunnel they just built

 

 

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Once I got back to our chairs, I was showing Kendra my black sand and what she had missed out on by being on the phone for an hour with her fiance talking monkey talk. I put some down on the sand and showed her the difference.

 

 

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It looks like a bag of charcoal.

 

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As you can see, a lot more people have showed up at Carambola now.

 

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This would be a shot I took with my phone to post for back home...with a phone filter added.

 

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We decided it was time to grab a bite to eat and headed up to the restaurant. THE SAND IS SCORCHING HOT!!! Every place we went the sand was hot. I always thought people said that the sand never gets hot in the Caribbean like regular sand will. What gives?

 

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The hubby went up to the bar and placed our order, got him a beer, and only had a few $$ left over. I ask where mine was at and he said he was a few bucks shy of being able to buy me a drink. Really?

 

The restaurant

 

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At one point, Kendra and the kids had sat down while they were waiting on their food. Someone came along and told them they could not sit there. She told them she had ordered food and was just waiting on it, so she was not just sitting there for the heck of it. She had food on the way. They proceeded to tell her that she would not be able to eat in there either. Um, ok. Then she said they told her that all boys had to have a shirt on as well and girls needed clothes on.

 

Do you see the guy in this picture? He doesn't have a shirt and neither does his son. His wife was also in a bathing suit. They sat down and ate with no problem.

 

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As we continued to wait for our food, yet another couple came in and sat down and ate their food there...with bathing suits and no shirts on. I mean I understand it's a restaurant, but it's also a beach. Where are you supposed to eat your food? There were no other places to sit to eat. They didn't bother saying anything to the other people that were sitting down and eating.

 

The hubby bugged the guy at the bar for so long until he finally gave in and gave me a dirty banana for the rest of the dollar bills the hubby still had in his hand.

 

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We got our food and were forced to go back and eat at our chairs.

 

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Hubby enjoying his Stag.

 

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There were a lot of people that came in and just put their towels down instead of paying for chairs and umbrella. The lady I had talked to earlier was one of them. She had put her things down directly in front of a round chair beside us and they would use the chair to lean on... then they would eventually move up into one of the round chairs by the end of the day. She was also from our ship. She was traveling just her and her daughter. This was her daughters graduation gift. She said she lets each one of her kids pick where they want to go and what they want to do for their graduation. Then she proceeded to tell me she has 10 kids!!! 10!! Of course I had to ask if they were all hers and she actually birthed them all...the answer was YES! Mad props to her for being able to raise 10 kids and give them each a once in a lifetime graduation present. She was extremely nice and we actually talked for hours while standing in the water. This was her first cruise. She ask me A LOT of cruise questions and where to go and what to do. She was super nice.

 

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We had another family (of women) who came in and tried to get some chairs (for free) and the staff stopped them. They had to move. Then the couple beside us were leaving and they ask if they could have their chairs. Of course the couple didn't mind...they were leaving. It wasn't long before the staff came to collect their money and a huge argument broke out. "They gave me their chairs. Those chairs were already paid for"....and so on. Really? That's not how it works people. You relinquish your chairs and are done for the day, you can't just take over their chairs because someone else paid for them already. You are coming in new, you must rent them yourself. They really tried. But, they were a huge group and they were not about to pay $10 pp. They must have had at least 8-9 people. Remember, it's $10 per chair and $10 per umbrella.

 

Kendra and I decided we would head out one last time to snorkel. I talked her into going over to the rocks by the dock and we would go out a little further than I did. It did get a "little" more interesting I guess.

 

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But still nothing I would call amazing and not much fish either. We finally gave up and headed back to shore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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...

However, there were TONS...I mean TONS of black spiny sea urchins.

 

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In Antigua a few years ago our snorkeling guide told us that the black spiny sea urchins were destroying the reefs. He took us to one spot full of dead coral, looked a little like your pictures.

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:D I could only WISH mine was OUT of NOLA this time. We will be out of Port Canaveral and hitting up the Eastern Caribbean once again. We will only being going to St Thomas, Tortola (new port for us), and hopefully make it to the private island this time (last time with the family we had to miss it due to the weather). You cruise sounds much better to me!!!:)

 

 

 

We are absolutely no half and half nor either 1/4 and 3/4. No one is interested in doing the ruins. I'm sure maybe some day we will. But Sakari is going to have to grow out of the "I only want the beach" attitude. Who knows if that will happen. However, that beach sounds like heaven. I will definitely look it up. Is it doable just to go to the beach or is it just too far away to travel there just for the beach only?

 

btw: just looked it up. That beach does look amazing!

 

Too far away and too many hurdles to jump just to go for that beach.

Tortola is another piece of heaven.....with windey twisting roads from hell! We usually go to Cane Garden Bay and plop on the beach.

Edited by Arzeena
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Check out the island of Bonaire for snorkeling. We went with Woodwind tours. It was the best snorkeling tour I have been on....even beats Hawaii (Kauai).

 

We have snorkeled between the Pitons twice and thought that was great, but Bonaire is definitely our favorite. We also used Woodwind Tours. We took the 4 hour snorkel, but they have a 3 hour one, too. The 4 hour tour has 2 stops while the 3 hour one has 1 stop. There is a guide I. The water that dives down and points out things. You can stay with the guide or go on your own. There is a photographer who takes pictures. You can but the memory stick for $40.

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The guy gave Kendra his social media site for her to add him and told her everything about this monkey. He had went into the forest to get the mother and she had 5 babies. This was one of them and he was 4 months old I believe. He said they were all pretty tame and they had removed their fang teeth. He said they can only ship to 2 places in the US (Miami and Arizona I think). She would have to arrange to have an address in one of those places to accept the monkey and then have to pay shipping for it to get there (COD). She would not pay for the monkey until it arrived in US.

 

I told her that no matter "how" he said it's done, I still can't believe that US customs would allow some animal from a different country to just be shipped there with no problems due to diseases and such. But she was on a mission.

 

(Update since we returned...still no monkey, of course, and the guy won't answer her on SM so....)

 

 

 

As pet monkeys are illegal in Arizona, I'd have been really surprised if you could ship one here. Also, how exactly would you go about shipping a monkey?

 

I'm really enjoying your review (as usual)!

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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wow I don't think that would be for me either even though the sand is beautiful

 

Yea, I know some people may really like this place, but I don't think I would be one of them. I'm more of a "middle" beach girl...meaning the beach I found in between Ship Wreck and Carambola.

 

10 days until I leave on this cruise. Thank you for your review. It has helped me tremendously.:)

 

 

I'm jealous! I wanna go back! :D

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I am loving your review Kim. I just got my kids into snorkeling so I cant wait to try it out with them on our Nov cruise.

 

Thank you so much. Glad you are enjoying the review. I hope the kids love snorkeling as much as mine does.

 

In Antigua a few years ago our snorkeling guide told us that the black spiny sea urchins were destroying the reefs. He took us to one spot full of dead coral, looked a little like your pictures.

 

Oh really? I didn't realize they do that. Interesting. Well this place could definitely benefit from getting rid of some of them. You would think they would be collecting here and eating them.

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Too far away and too many hurdles to jump just to go for that beach.

Tortola is another piece of heaven.....with windey twisting roads from hell! We usually go to Cane Garden Bay and plop on the beach.

 

Oh ok. Well, maybe some day when we no longer like the water we'll try it. :eek: :p

 

Thanks for the detailed review! Did you happen to notice the wifi package price? I wondered if the prices have changed at all on the Fascination, since some threads report there's been a package price increase.

 

 

We got the internet package for $99

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