Tuesday, March 29, San Juan
- Good sleep and enjoyed the complementary continental breakfast, good selection of pastries and fruits – just hit the spot. Now looking forward to wandering around old San Juan and then on to our cruise ship. First we toured around the hotel and had a very pleasant chat with Jan who told us all about the history of the Inn and Old Jan Juan.
- Old San Juan does have a Mediterranean feel to it and many of the buildings reminded us of Spanish and Italian cities. Stopped for a beverage, and Peroni (an Italian beer which we had enjoyed in Italy) was on the menu and just called out to us. We talked to Sharon, who was from Brooklyn, NY, followed her ex-boyfriend artist to Puerto Rico a few years ago, loves the lifestyle, and vows never to return . She is very politically and environmentally aware and was an absolute delight to talk to. (http://www.sol308yoga.com/p/about-sharon-carlaine.html)
- The port was so close to our hotel that we were able to walk there with our luggage. We had a very fast and easy check-in and in no time at all we were taken to our cabin. This is our first cruise on Silversea. We did not have one of the larger suites, we booked a mid-ship verandah cabin and it was perfect, on the 9th deck, so a short hop from the pool on deck 8, large sliding glass patio doors leading to our balcony, walk-in closet, tub and separate shower, plenty of space for everything. A bottle of champagne on ice was waiting for us in our room, and our butler was soon there to ask what we wanted our in-suite bar stocked with.
- Next we toured the ship, had a tasty lunch (excellent Italian style pizza), attended the mandatory emergency evacuation drill, and made some dinner reservations. The ship has 3 restaurant options other than the main restaurant. More on those choices later.
- After talking to one of our servers at lunch, we opted for poolside dining for our first night. It was a perfect choice. They offer a “hot stone” experience; they bring a hot stone to your table that stays hot for about 45 minutes, and then you cook whatever your orders on the stone – fish, steaks, chicken, etc. The benefit of that is that you can cook exactly the way you want and you can keep your food hot as you are eating it. Overall, it was a very good meal, but there were items that we felt needed attention.
- I ordered Caesar salad and it was not as I have come to expect or would make myself. The lettuce was iceberg, not romaine, and the dressing was very pedestrian – bereft of flavour
- On the menu was the “fresh catch of the day”. The server said it was telapia. I asked where it was from and she said Asia. She agreed with me that it should not have been called “fresh”. I do expect that if one is dining in a region such as the Caribbean, that a fish dish on the menu called fresh, would have been caught that day locally, or possibly the day before.
- The other puzzler, and one we will delve into more was the wine selection. The menus list one red and one white as the feature wines and there is the reference to the connoisseurs wine selection, which offers wines for purchase. However, our server advised us that there were many other wines that were also complementary other than the wines listed as features, and that we just needed to ask. We then asked if a list of these was available and were told that there was not. That does seem very strange.