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Old 01-18-2013, 04:27 PM   #106
SrisonS
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Day5: Survivor - Puerto Rico

Day 5: Survivor - Puerto Rico


Disney's Human Element - Hola, Puerto Rico!!!! by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr



Disney Cruise Line has finally made it to Puerto Rico!!!!! It was pretty cool being a part of the first group of DCL sailors to visit PR. And because something like this is a rare opportunity, it was a MUST to be up on Deck 13 as we entered the port. And of course, I definitely had my camera with me. But for a little while this morning, it was my “poor, poor” camera. I think I might’ve mentioned earlier in this report that when I go from a cold room, to the really humid area, my lens fogs up inside. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to me this morning. But to tell the truth, it started off completely fine. I started off more to the side of the ship, taking pics of the eventual sunrise. But when I moved to the very front of the boat, that’s when the fog issue happened. And I sooooooo had shot ideas already in mind. I did have my iPhone with me, so I could at least get something. But the photog in me definitely didn’t want to resort to that. Because I was unable to snap away like I wanted to, I decided to do a real-time play-by-play on what I was observing:

“Being that my camera isn't acting nice right now, as we are entering the PR bay, I figured I'd do a play by play. Entering PR is a beautiful sight. You see the gradient look of the mountains/hills out in the distance. The famed PR fort is to your left. Water hitting the rocks is to your right. And from the front of the ship, the forced perspective makes you feel the ship is too big to even enter the bay. Looking at the sunrise, and seeing the sight line from the fort, all the way along the oceanfront resort area is a sight to be seen. People are lined up on deck 13; just snapping away as DCL enters for the first time into PR waters.
My camera is now functioning, and I am able to get some shots as the ship pulls along the dock.”



iPhone pic…..
IMG_0794 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr



iPhone pic (the Fort)….
IMG_0796 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr



iPhone pic….
IMG_0797 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr



As I said, I was at the very front facing part of the ship at this moment. To the left of me, I notice a couple standing center stage, with a Puerto Rican flag draped over the railing. Immediately, memory kicks in and I realize that these are some DISers I saw the day we arrived in Port Canaveral (they had the red Election Escape shirts on). I didn't speak to them either of those times, but I still took notice. I later found out that the woman is “disneyfan888” here on the boards.




IMG_1289 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr


IMG_1306 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr


IMG_1319 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr


IMG_1324 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr




But back downstairs to catch a tad bit more of sleep. We had no set plans for anything here; but we eventually found something to do. It ended up being quite the adventure.


My Disney Pics on Flickr!!!
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:11 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SrisonS
when I go from a cold room, to the really humid area, my lens fogs up inside. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to me]
I had the same problem a lot on my recent cruise unfortunately. The pictures you did get turned out stunning though, you have an excellent eye for composition. Your pictures are very inspiring.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:49 PM   #108
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Pool shot with the slide on both sides is my favorite. Nice update too!
I had the same trouble with the humidity back in 2011 at WDW. I would come out of Port Orleans Riverside and my lens would fog up and it would take several minutes for it to clear. Such a hassle as I wanted to start shooting before the rest of the family would make it out of the door.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:41 AM   #109
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I had a look through your flickr photos yesterday and all I can say is WOW! Some serious photo envy going on here.
I just love, love, loved the Harry Potter Land album and the Disney's Human Element one. Well done.

My camera doesn't have the capabilities yours does, but you have given me some inspiration for the sort of thing I would like to take pics of. :-)
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:26 PM   #110
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GORGEOUS pics! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:29 AM   #111
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Love your report! We are going on the Fantasy in November, and this is helping to get me excited - love your pictures!
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:41 PM   #112
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Thanks again, everyone!!!!
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:42 PM   #113
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Day 5: Survivor - Puerto Rico

I know, this is a completely random shot. But I really liked the look of the public restrooms on this ship. For something that could’ve been kept plain, and not had anyone complain about it; they really did a nice job with them. This is the one near Palo.
IMG_1329 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr



We go straight from breakfast, to off of the ship. I'm not sure of how busy a port of call San Juan is supposed to be, but we were the only ship out there the whole day. But as we got off, we noticed the lighted traffic board stating "Welcome Disney Fantasy…. To Puerto Rico”. We didn't have any excursions planned for the day; so our initial goal was to walk around the area near the ship. There aren’t too many options when you have a 2 year old in tow. And a simple beach excursion was way too much money. But as we passed the gates, we were greeted by someone from a local tour company, asking if we wanted to do a 1 hour tour for $10 a person. I was a little hesitant; but my wife decided we should just do it. Part of his quick pitch noted that we would be in an air conditioned bus/van. So that's what really hooked us. It wasn't just us on there, but a few other families as well. So off we go on a tour of San Juan!!!



IMG_1335 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr



I should start by saying that San Juan isn't just all about tourists. At the very beginning of our tour, we drove past quite a few rundown areas. There were abandoned buildings, as well as quite a bit of graffiti (some pretty interesting "art" though) around. We start to see some familiar sights (McDonald's), and have a 'what the ....?' moment (the gas prices showed $.95 and $1... but that was per liter... Multiply that by 3 or 4, and you get the gallon rate). We then approached a really nice marina, and saw where the really nice hotels were located. It was in this area where we started the started to circle back to where we started. But this is where the tour truly began.



IMG_1343 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr




We saw the sight of the 1979 Pan American games. We passed a great viewpoint of Puerto Rico’s beautiful waters. We drove past their Capital building; that houses the original Constitution of Puerto Rico. We passed by the Castillo de San Cristóbal; the largest fort in the Americas. But it was on the opposite side of the Capital building where our adventure took an unexpected turn.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:12 PM   #114
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Like everyone has said I am loving this report! And your photos.... Well are the reason we booked on to the Fantasy last week! These are hands down the best pictures I have seen of That ship! we are headed to the Eastern Itinerary on November 16th. We don't get San Juan but.. We were there with Celebrity in November. I have a pretty good picture of the fort as we were coming in to the harbor. I absolutely must know where your wife got that dress! Tell to send me a PM, I am begging!
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:48 AM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PATTERSON PARTY OF 3
Like everyone has said I am loving this report! And your photos.... Well are the reason we booked on to the Fantasy last week! These are hands down the best pictures I have seen of That ship! we are headed to the Eastern Itinerary on November 16th. We don't get San Juan but.. We were there with Celebrity in November. I have a pretty good picture of the fort as we were coming in to the harbor. I absolutely must know where your wife got that dress! Tell to send me a PM, I am begging!
Thanks a lot!!!!! I hope Disney sends me a commission soon. And everyone seems to love that dress. She got it at Dress Barn.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:56 AM   #116
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Great pics and reports! Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to our March 23 Fantasy cruise!
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:09 PM   #117
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Day 5: Survivor - Puerto Rico

IMG_1362 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr



Our tour stopped for a bit, to let people get out and observe the Walkway of the Presidents. There are statues of about 6 U.S. Presidents; with a plaque behind each of them, giving a brief description of their time in office. In this area, there are also a couple of other memorials; one of which represents the Holocaust. My wife is quite fascinated with any of the Holocaust Memorials we come across; so she took her time to read some of the plaques. When we finally emerged from this area (I should note that it was a little out of view from our bus) we realized that we had been left behind. We immediately wondered how in the world we would get back. But one of the first things on my mind was that our stroller was still on that bus!!!



We were walking around here before getting left behind.
IMG_1390 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr



Luckily for us, there were 2 other buses from that tour company that were also stopped there. So we had the opportunity to finish our tour. But in fact, we were just beginning a new one. One would assume that all of the tour buses take the same exact route. But that was not the case. As chance would have it, this new guide had began his tour at Presidents Row. So after leaving there, we passed the same rundown area.... the same McDonald's.... the same 'what the----???' gas station... the same fancy resorts. And again, we saw The Pan American games stadium.

But instead of driving right past the great viewpoint of the water, we actually had a chance to get out and snap a couple of pics. We also stopped at the Capital building for a restroom break; and were able to look around inside of there for a bit. We not only saw the original Constitution of Puerto Rico; but we got a chance to see the beautifully done underside of the domed ceiling. This amazing piece of art was completely composed of small tiles, and took less than 3 years to complete. Directly across from this building was a statue of John the Baptist, with the lovely backdrop of the blue/green waters behind him. From there, we headed over to the fort you see as you’re entering the San Juan Bay; El Morro. We only stopped to get out for a few minutes; so we weren't able to get too close to the fort itself. There was quite a long walkway leading up to it. So besides the ride back to the ship, this concluded the main part of the tour. All in all, everything worked out for us. We ended up with a great tour guide (Javier Lomba... Highly recommended!!!); and we got to see a bit of San Juan, and learn a little of its history. And in the end, we got our stroller back!!!!! They also didn't take the payment until the end of the tour. So it was nice to hand our money over to the guy that didn't leave us behind. We also gave him a nice tip, because he was so good. I'm also not sure if they were charging for toddlers or not; but we paid for our 2 year old daughter anyway..... Or at least gave him a REALLY nice tip. Also, the name of that tour company is “San Juan Happy Tours”. And I have Javier’s business card, in case anyone would like his contact info.



The Constitution is right on the other side of those ropes…
IMG_1418 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr



That beautiful ceiling….
IMG_1402 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr



Leaving the Capital building. I wish I had more time in this area to do some shooting; especially right near that statue of John the Baptist.
IMG_1419 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr



El Morro….
IMG_1436 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr



One of my favorite pictures from the entire cruise (and currently my desktop picture). And there was a nice breeze over here. We try to keep her hair a little more under control than THAT.
IMG_1433 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr



My Flickr Pictures!!!!!!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:20 PM   #118
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Day 5: Survivor - Puerto Rico

IMG_1451 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr


IMG_1440 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr


Our stop for a cheap quick San Juan souvenir (a magnet). When we went to Cozumel a few years ago, we bought a magnet from Senor Frog’s. So of course we had to get one from here as well.
IMG_1449 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr



After we get back on the ship, we headed to Royal Court for lunch. Next, we decided to do the Midship Detective Agency game again; but this time, the version with the classic Disney characters. For some reason, that seemed to go faster than the Muppet one. But it was still a good time. A little while later, we decided to check out Wreck It Ralph, in 3D. Although we wanted to see the movie, this was more of an experiment than anything. Our daughter has never been to the movies. So this was a test to see how she would do. I'll say upfront that I had no complaints whatsoever. We weren't sure how she would deal with the whole 3D aspect. She kept the glasses on for a few minutes, before removing them. But I was checking every few minutes at the beginning of the movie, and the picture didn't look too too bad when you didn't wear the glasses. Also, she fell asleep for a good part of the movie (as did my wife); so I guessed that helped some. Will we take her to the movies when we have to pay admission???? I have no freakin' idea. But at least we know there's a chance she'll be alright. Oh, and the movie was pretty good. I didn’t have super high expectations going in. But it was definitely better than I thought it would be. So I’m glad we had the chance to see it.

After the movie, it was about time for the ship to leave San Juan. So I headed up to deck 13 to take in the view. This would also give me the opportunity to get some of the pictures I was unable to get when we pulled into port (remember, the camera issues?!?!?). I probably should’ve had my zoom lens on my camera for this; because I found myself really wanting to get in close on the fort (El Morro). But oh well, it was unwanted learning experience. I at least got a few decent shots from up there though. So I’m not complaining too much.



IMG_1463 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr


IMG_1468 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr


IMG_1475 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr


IMG_1477 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr


IMG_1490 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr




After our great dinner at Enchanted Garden (I can’t remember the details… but I’m sure everything was good), we went to see ‘Buckets N Boards’ comedy duo. This is a “comedy percussion show” where they basically use buckets as drums. There is also a tiny bit of tap dancing and playing guitars. I found the show was definitely geared more towards the kids than the adults. My DD really liked the drumming. But their comedy is very very corny, and pretty flat. They had an adult show the next night. And although we probably wouldn't have been able to attend (because of the little one); I think we would've opted out anyhow. I can’t imagine their comedy chops would’ve been stepped up that greatly for the adults. To contrast it; the comedy team of Alfred & Seymour (when we were on the Magic), had such a great family show, that we HAD to see the adult version. And we were in no way disappointed. So it can be done.



IMG_1513 by Scott Smith (SRisonS), on Flickr
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:37 AM   #119
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Those sleepy chocolates are so cute. I love little touches like that.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:23 PM   #120
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Great Pictures!

Like everyone before me has said, Incredible pictures!!!! I'm really enjoying reading all of your experiences in detail! We are taking our 2.5 y/o daughter on the Fantasy May 18th. We are not going to Puerto Rico, but we will be doing St. Marten. I plan on doing the Sky Ride to Paradise Point with Riley. I think we'll leave the stroller behind it sounds like! Thank you so much for the advice (whether you realized you were giving it or not!) Your family is beautiful and overall it looks like you had a wonderful time; minus the first day! I look forward to more of your posts!
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