I am not a fan of large airplanes. I have a ritual: book a trip, book the flight, get excited, and then, as the tip grows near, get increasingly nervous about the plane ride. Call Leah and beg her for a Klonopin. The night before, talk myself off the ledge, mostly by reminding myself what an asinine fear the fear of flying is. Sleep fitfully. Get up. Take aforementioned Klonopin. Get to airport. Get ill in bathroom. Squeeze El Cap’s hand with a crushing force until we take off. Relax.
JetBlue does make this marginally better with the TVs at your seat, and I like to think I’m getting better. I like to think that, but ask me again the hour before our return flight at the end of the week and I’ll likely give you another story. Nevertheless…
We land in San Juan and I am impressed with the warmth. We get through what seems an interminable line at the cruise port and end up not having the time we’d hoped to see the fort in Old San Juan. I make a note to come back with Maricris. I also make a note to spend more time with my Rosetta software, because my lack of Spanish is just damn embarrassing at this point. I can say mujeres, llave, and bebe, which are not terribly helpful in any combination. Ella bebe llave? I don’t think so.
Anyway, we board the boat, find our room, and do all the usual cruise things. I forgot to pack socks, so the pair I put on at 4 a.m. will just have to do for another eight days. Fortunately, it’s about 90º, so I think I’m good. I love the heat. I hate the crowds on the ship. I booked this week because it had a substantially lower rate than the others, and my buddy at Carnival, David, assured me there was no reason for the low price except that the week after Thanksgiving was a wildly unpopular week for travel, and it seems that the low price and the possibility of a not-so-crowded ship lured in roughly 2,000 other people. The ship, it seems, is packed. Thank god we booked the balcony; we can sit and watch the beryl and cobalt water turn to aquamarine as the days pass without leaving our room if we so desire.
Things I love about cruise ships: unpacking once, seeing new places with relative efficiency, and being on the water. The shows and the little piano-type bars aren’t bad, either. I also like being one of the most fit people on the boat.
Things I hate about cruise ships: The crowds, the drunks, and the noise. Also, I am one of the most fit people on the boat. Think about what that means.
San Juan, though, is beautiful, even from our cruise ship balcony.