Tropical storm Don forced the Captain to make a decision yesterday, and he made the right one. Instead of risking a port call in Aruba, then Curacao, he decided to take the safe route and alter our itinerary. Instead of Aruba, today we docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The cruise staff did an admirable job of accommodating guests who had shore excursions in Aruba and Curacao by refunding all purchases and putting together alternatives available in San Juan and St. Maarten.
By 9am this morning, Carnival Vista guests were beginning to trickle off the ship en route to a multitude of shore excursions. We decided to let the crowd of disembarking guests dissipate a bit before getting off to do a little exploring on our own.
We stepped off Vista about 10:15am and, after walking through the terminal building, found ourselves on a busy sidewalk filled with tourists from two megaships: Carnival Vista and Harmony of the Seas! The sidewalks were lined with local merchants selling all kinds of souvenirs.
We found a CVS pharmacy across the street and decided to look for a sewing repair kit (I lost a button on a pair of shorts). CVS was the busiest place in town! With sewing kit in hand, we set out to explore the area near the port. We have been here a couple of times before and are familiar with the general area. Guests who want to experience some of the local cuisine can find a few food carts near the port.
It was nice to get off the ship for a while and get some exercise. However, it is very hot today (common for San Juan) so we headed back to Vista in time for lunch at the Lido Marketplace, Carnival's buffet. We decided to give the Carnival Deli, located aft on Deck 10 in the Marketplace, a try. The deli has a very nice selection of sandwiches, hot dogs, wraps and even salted chocolate chip cookies.
Rickee had a hot dog with sauerkraut and I had the Cubano. Both were very good.
We always try to avoid crowds as much as possible and dining in The Lido Marketplace while most guests are off the ship is the perfect time to enjoy this venue. The Lido Marketplace also has several drink stations where you can enjoy complimentary coffee, ice water, tea or lemonade. And, the lemonade is very good.
After lunch, we could not resist the temptation to return to Ocean Plaza to once again try to bring home the gold. By gold, we are referring to the coveted Carnival "Ship-On-A-Stick". After several attempts at a variety of trivia contests, I finally won! Now Rickee and I each have bragging rights. Another guest claimed that these "trophies" are selling on eBay for up to $20! Who'd uh thunk?
This evening, we decided to check out some of the lounge acts around the ship. Our first stop was Ocean Plaza where we enjoyed the acoustic stylings of Lennox Lust.
When Lennox Lust took their break, we had about 45 minutes before the next show started in Ocean Plaza so we decided to enjoy a light dinner at Bonsai Sushi again. This place is just so convenient and easy. And, the prices are reasonable. Rickee had a wonderful Shrimp Tempura for $7 and I had another Spicy Tuna Roll. Both were delicious.
By the time we arrived back at Ocean Plaza, The Shipsie Kings were well into their first set. We sat and listened to them play several popular classics. We have been very impressed with the quality of the lounge acts on Carnival Vista. Not only is the talent very good, but there is a wide variety.
We spent the entire evening in Ocean Plaza enjoying the musical acts.
Tomorrow, Carnival Vista will be in St. Maarten.