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Mitsugirlys FASCINATION with San Juan-review & pictorial


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These things were like $4.50 or something. I really wish we would have just brought some over with us. That's ridiculous.





I ordered a cheeseburger and fries





Sakari had the chicken nuggets and fries





And the hubby got a pizza





It was so hot that we were going back and forth taking a dip in the water, then trying to eat, dip again, trying to eat. Sakari decided that she would grab some of daddy's pizza and just eat in the water. Of course B seen this and took his whole plate out.





Sakari accidentally dropped a piece of her pizza and the fish came outta nowhere.






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I kinda sorta got a shot under/over with the fish under.





Sakari had a friend that found her there on the island (from the kids club). She played with them a little bit and then Kendra started pointing at this island in front of us. I said "Kendra, that's the other island we could have went to". DUH...she didn't realize that was the other island and said "Oh, I didn't know it was that close. I would have went there and then here, since it's on the way". Sigh


Ok, so let's start to pack up and head back and we'll take time to stop at that island on the way back.


At that point, we seen a guy walking down the beach with a head of lettuce. He was going to feed the iguanas. The kids grabbed their lettuce from their plates and headed over too. Ouch ouch, hot, hot...across the sand we ran.





I guess Mr Iggy knows the real animal lover








It would only smell B's lettuce.









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Believe it or not, she managed to climb up in it without tipping the kids over and the water was up over her waist at that point.





We gave her some extra man-power for the trip home so she didn't say it was unfair 3 vs 2 people. Sakari is an experienced kayaker.





We had also been told, by Caribbean Paddle, that it was a much easier trip back because of the waves and wind. So, she shouldn't have any problem or complaining.


However...that was not the case (both in her complaining or easier). It actually wasn't easier. The wind kept blowing us to the left and we would struggle to go in the direction we needed to go in. I couldn't wait to get to the other island to rest.








We arrived at the island and notice a family was there...and then the trouble began...





It was a VERY small beach and VERY small area of sand in front of it. Beyond that was nothing but sea grass and it was so shallow that you couldn't swim.






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We pulled our kayaks up to the side of the beach area and we were being stared down by the rather large family. They had came there by both kayaks and a boat. They had taken over the entire area. By taken over...I do mean taken over. They had a grill there, they had a tarp strung across all of the tree area for shade, they had their stuff spread out and they were all spread out. We got the "you're unwelcome here" feeling from them as they continued to stare at us like we had invaded their space on their private island.


There really wasn't anywhere to sit other than in the water. The kids decided to explore a little around the rocks.





The hubby called me over to the edge of the sand/sea grass. There was also another not-so-friendly welcome coming from that direction too.





He was spread eagle and was ready for attack, going back and forth as if he was saying "puttem up!"









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This was how far we had to go to get back.





Snails all over the rocks








About that time I hear Kendra screaming at one of the other ladies on the beach "Don't you yell at my kid and snatch something from his hands like that! Don't you touch my kid".......bleep....things went silent and I had no idea what just happened. Apparently Sakari found a broken up conch shell and she handed it to Brayden to see. Since it was already broken and had several pieces missing, Brayden decided to throw it over in the rocks (of course in a place he knew that Sakari was not going to climb up that far to retrieve), which pissed off Sakari because she wanted to keep it anyhow. So B went over to retrieve the shell again and one of the lady's from the beach ran over real fast, said a few choice words in French in a scolding voice and snatched it out of his hands. Um, ok! Kendra went off and her temper was flying high at that point.


I told her to calm down and let's just go. But, she wasn't about to let anyone run her off like that. She's gonna plop right down in the water on the beach and be pissed.






My attempt of over/under while we were just sitting there waiting for this thing to pass.






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I was finally seeing a smile out of Kendra.




So I took that as a hint that she had recuperated and decided it was time to leave and get out of this unwelcome area. We went over to get the kayaks and Kendra still had her stink eye going on I'm sure and we pulled them out and headed back.


I do want to say that this is the French side of the island, which means that topless (and sometimes nudity) does exist over here. When we were at Pinel, there was a lady walking up and down the beach and in the water from one end to the other without a top on with her (I assume) husband and son. She seriously did it all day...one end, turn around, go back to the other end, turn around, go back.


At this small island, the children were also running around without their tops off (girls).


So, if this is something that might offend you, I just want you to be aware. It doesn't bother me one bit. I've seen it all before, nothing phases me. It's like another day at work.


Our dry bags attached to the back
















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It didn't take long before this was in my rear view mirror





We had to stop for awhile and let them catch up.





Resting on the job





I think she was really worn out...at least that was what her body was communicating to me at this point.





No problems here





I will admit though, it was rough coming back with the wind constantly pushing us the wrong way. But I just didn't complain about it like she did.


As we got closer to the shore, all of a sudden it was if someone has just dumped raw sewage a foot beside us. Barf






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Oh my goodness...seriously couldn't stand the smell. What the heck???




Are you noticing anything about some of these pictures? Sakari seems to be the only one paddling.






The hubby was the only one smiling at this point and that was only to pose for the picture I was taking. Look at the faces on Kendra and B.








The color of that water...ewy





Over yonder is the ferry house...which we should have used as transportation instead.





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So hot and humid...hubby ran to get me a cold drink









Hubby told the guy at the concession stand selling the pop that he would be sure to let his wife know to tell all those cruisers out there to get their CHEAP drinks here at this stand and support his business. He's not out there ripping anyone off like the islands are.





Once we returned we had to still sit in the blazing sun while we waited for our ride to return to pick us up. We came back about 20 minutes earlier than we had told him, so no fault of theirs of course.


We did get a chance to sit around and chit chat. He told us about the smell there and the sea weed. He ask about our experience, we told him about the island being over ran by another family...and he said "Oh yea, the barbecuers". He said that he was planning on getting a better building and also a covering for people to stand/sit under out of the sun. I honestly don't remember anything else about the conversation. My brain was melted from today, my body was drained, and I think I was drifting in and out at that point because I was so tired. We did pay our balance at this time. When you book the trip and put your deposit down using a credit card, he can run your credit card for the remaining balance if you want. I thought that made things nice.


Our cab arrived at 3pm and she immediately got out and greeted him with a kiss on the cheek and we all piled in.


Once again, not talkative AT ALL...nothing to say. She did keep looking back in the mirror and I felt like I was on a school bus and we weren't allowed to make a sound. She caught me taking a picture out of the front window and look at the look on her face. Clinching jaw and all.





So what I was actually trying to get a picture of was the concession stand that the hubby bought drinks from.






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Ta Ta the bus driver. LOL








We made it back to the port in silence and felt relieved to get out of the van. Remember what I posted earlier about the perception of the island people on the French side? Where was that "friendliness"?






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Parking lot








We did a little shopping and I bought Sakari a magnet to add to her collection.





That kayak must have not worn out Kendra too much...she was sprinting to get to the ship.






Or either I was really tired and dragging. Man everyone is ahead of me.






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Yes every one has their own immigration form. For both Barbados and Puerto Rico immigration. That is why we have to get off boat and we have to go through immigration interview. Process not long and we don't have to wait theu give us a sticker to put on clothes so we don't have to join the lines the persons disembarking have to coming back on board we walk straight in once sticker is visible and its after 12pm. Also with Barbados boarding our luggage is collected in the morning not the night before. Guess fewer persons to handle.

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Kim, I am loving your review. It brings back fond memories of our valor cruise in 2013. We stayed in Luquillo beach for 3 days afterwards and did the bio bay (it was awesome) but did the kayaking. Ended up in the mangroves and had to be saved by the guides aka hauled to the bay (embarassing). Pinel island looks wonderful but every thing I read warned about getting a taxi back to the port and how risky it was. Who did you book your transportation with?

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When we returned to our room, we had this waiting on us. This is a first and honestly, although we may go to the casino every night, we don't spend a lot there. I actually spent $20 total on the first 3 days before I put another $20 in. So, I was shocked but yet grateful. Another thing I found out this cruise is that once you reach 500 points, they give you a free $5 to play.






MACADAMIA NUT!!!! Yes please!








I got in the shower and by the time I got out...we had more gifts. This time from our wonderful TA. He spoils me rotten.





We also received this card as well. I didn't use it of course and I'm beginning to think they give this to everyone.





While I sat around munching on the goodies, I was busy packing as well. I seriously hate this day and this was even worse since we had just spent an entire day on the island and had worn ourselves out. I always enjoy that last sea day being able to pack a little, go play, pack a little more, go play. But not this time. It was a race against time and I was forced to do most of it now, otherwise I would be in a frenzy that night.


After packing as much as I could stand, we headed out to go check out the rest of our pictures from Pixels. We located all of them and put them in the very bottom, last row, with a bright orange outline on the top so it could be easily spotted. We decided we would buy them after we returned from the casino because I didn't want to carry them around with me and I sure didn't feel like going back to the room with that mess and luggage thrown across the bed calling my name.


We dropped the munchkin off at the kids club and we headed to the casino. We stopped by the bar and received our free "gold member" drink. I feel like I have been upgraded.






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I did not do too good at the casino tonight. I played all my favorite games that had treated me so well during the cruise and not a one of them paid me any respect tonight.


We left the casino and went out to find the kiosk to see what our balance was. We still had $68 on the account. Well, that was supposed to be casino money so the plan was to head back to the casino and we would split the money and play a game we never played before.


The hubby and I ended up along a wall with some games that honestly didn't look that interesting to me, and quite honestly, I hadn't seen one person on them at any time that I had been in there. I picked the one at the end and he sat next to me. I put my money in and was spinning over and over and didn't hit one thing and I had spent $5 so far. Not one. Not even a nickle. I was not happy. I told the hubby "I hate this game and want to move"...pushed the button and hit the bonus. Well, it's about time. I walked away with a $146 win. Ok, I'm done and away I went to cash out.


We headed back to Pixels to buy our photos AND THEY WERE GONE!!! This seems to happen a lot with Carnival. It has happened to me several times, it has happened to Kendra. Are people just mean and move your stuff? Do they walk by and decide to pick your pictures up and throw them away? I can guarantee that my pictures where not anywhere on any of the walls and it had only been about 2 hours since I put them there. The staff (2 of them) looked at EVERY picture on every wall and behind them all. They were gone. So then I was forced to look at this small screen on their hand-held computer and pick out all of our pictures so that I could order them. It took awhile (and Kendra had to do the same thing), but we found them, ordered them, and paid for them and received even more free stuff (made it to 20 pictures total for the cruise between Kendra and I). I was now the owner of a free black bag that you could put pictures in it on the outside. I purchased my scrapbook as well. They let me know that I would have to pick up my pictures in the morning before getting off.


We headed out to pick up Sakari and she was busy watching a movie at the kids club. They were watching Hercules and even though she had seen it before, she was really into it. So, we stepped out and went to the comedy show instead. Once it was over and we went back, of course there was a mile long line.


The kids club people gave the kids a special cookie, that was decorated, as a goodbye gift. How nice. We had also brought her a "Goodbye" gift...her drink for becoming a gold member.







We decided to head to the back of the ship and get a sandwich before I had to endure some more packing. After all, we had not even ate dinner yet. Anything I could think of to postpone having to do this, I thought of.


I had a grilled cheese and the hubby had a turkey wrap.





We headed back and our bed was completely made and turned down and I think our room steward is a wizard at this point because it looked like our luggage and stuff spread out all over the bed hadn't been touched. It's too bad he didn't decide to wave his magic wand and finish packing for me.


Sakari ate her special kids club cookie.





I finished packing and set my bags out by 11pm, finished off our wine from our TA, and reluctantly went to bed. Even though our cruise was over tomorrow and we would be forced to get off the ship...our vacation was still going strong and we had a day in Old San Juan tomorrow and still needed our rest. ZzzzZzZzzzZz

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We also loved the black sand and because of that, we just had to get there. I'd never seen it before, but always heard about it from those who have been to Hawaii and seen them there.


OMG, your poor DH, that would have been miserable and to have issues that long...so glad it finally seems to be over with. Mine busted as a baby, 6 months old. My mom had no idea, I was not screaming at the top of my lungs like most babies do with an ear infection and never fussed or cried. She only realized something was wrong when getting me out of my crib one morning, she kissed me on the cheek and I screamed bloody murder. The doctor YELLED at her, but she let him know that I was happy and apparently when she had me in his office, I was smiling away so I he realized it wasn't a case of neglect. I've been lucky in that I've never had any issues other than "swimmer's ear" a couple times, but drops consisting of half rubbing alcohol/half vinegar take care of that. The only time I even think about it is when I get that pressure/pain in that one ear, kind of like you mentioned you felt, if I dive to a certain depth.


Sakari probably doesn't have anything wrong with her ears since you said she's never had problems before. I'm pretty sure with planes it's the change in pressure from the changes in altitudes. I even get that when we drive over the mountains to get home to the Pittsburgh area and yawning (or gum) usually takes care of that (those are the tricks I know).


Yea we have tried the yawning, gum, holding the nose and blowing, airplane ear plugs with the sound deadening head phones over top of that. Nothing works. :(


I'm still here following along:)


Thanks for still following.

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Yes every one has their own immigration form. For both Barbados and Puerto Rico immigration. That is why we have to get off boat and we have to go through immigration interview. Process not long and we don't have to wait theu give us a sticker to put on clothes so we don't have to join the lines the persons disembarking have to coming back on board we walk straight in once sticker is visible and its after 12pm. Also with Barbados boarding our luggage is collected in the morning not the night before. Guess fewer persons to handle.


Oh wow. That's crazy but at least it sounds like it's not too bad (the line, not filling out the forms :eek:).


Just spent my evening catching up! I love this one Kim :) Another fabulous review! Your Puerto Rico stop has me itching for that port. I'll be re-reading your Costa Maya review and Cozumel if you have been there. Our Escape cruise next year is the Western itinerary. All new stops for us.


Thank you and glad you are enjoying this report as well.


I have been to Costa Maya and Cozumel plenty of times. I have tons of reviews on those ports in my signature line. Definitely check out Blue Kay in Costa Maya. Cozumel...well there's TONS of choices. :D

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Kim, I am loving your review. It brings back fond memories of our valor cruise in 2013. We stayed in Luquillo beach for 3 days afterwards and did the bio bay (it was awesome) but did the kayaking. Ended up in the mangroves and had to be saved by the guides aka hauled to the bay (embarassing). Pinel island looks wonderful but every thing I read warned about getting a taxi back to the port and how risky it was. Who did you book your transportation with?



See, your description of what happened to you going to bio bay is the description I gave in my essay. :D Now after our day going to Pinel Island and the fiasco with the kayaks and Kendra, I'm pretty darn glad we didn't do the kayaks in PR in the dark. I guess the plus side is that Kendra wouldn't have been with us. :p


We did not book the transportation. It was all included with the price of booking with Caribbean Paddling. They take care of everything. :)

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Ok, so that's all I have for tonight. That finishes up our last day on the ship other than getting off. But, I still have our day in OSJ if anyone is interested. I will get those pictures done and at least start on it some time this weekend. I have to finish up my paper I have put off today, do my charting still, and I must clean my house...there's obvious neglect going on around here these days. :p :)

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