5 Things Not to Miss in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Old San Juan is a beautiful city that has many historical sites to visit.  Blue cobblestone streets and fortresses make you feel as though you have taken a step back into history.  The people and the food only add to the magic of this historic city.  Aside from the obvious fortresses and beaches, here is a list of 5 things that you must see in Old San Juan. 1. Cathedral of San Juan Bautista San Juan Cathedral a massive church that is located in the center of town.  Originally constructed in 1521, it has been rebuilt multiple times due to hurricanes and pirates.  The current building was finished in 1917.  The exterior of the building is quite unremarkable and plain but in the interior is incredible. 2. Tomb of Juan Ponce de León Spanish explorer and seeker of the fountain of youth, Juan Ponce de León is buried at the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista.  Just inside the main cathedral and to the left is the tomb with a lovely statue depicting a woman drinking from a fountain.  3. La Rogativa A seaside statue paying tribute to the women of the city, along with the bishop, who paraded through the streets at night singing hymns, carrying torches, and bells. The British mistook this as evidence that reinforcements that had arrived to protect San Juan.  4. La Casa Estrecha (The Narrow House) Who wouldn’t want to take a peek at one of the narrowest houses in the world… La Casa Estrecha was originally an alleyway before being built.  It is about 5 feet wide, goes back 36 feet and is two stories tall.  I have heard that this will someday be turned into an art museum. Address: 101 Calle Tetuan  5. Paseo de la Princesa Paseo de la Princesa is located on the south side of Old San Juan near Plaza de Hostos and Plaza Darcenas. This is a beautiful tree lined area to walk through and quite often there are performances and food vendors present.  We found one evening that there was a craft fair set up for some local shopping. Like this Post?  PIN IT!  

MSC Divina Review Part 1

When I booked our trip on the MSC Divina I had never even heard of them.  After looking at photos of their ship I was really excited to see it for myself.  Everything looked very nicely decorated and I read some wonderful reviews.  The trip started really rocky…it was October 2014 and I was flying on Spirit Airlines from Phoenix to Miami the night before the cruise on a red eye flight.  After arriving at the airport, I found out that there was a massive line of storms going across Texas and all the airports were shut down temporarily.  Shortly after that I started hearing that the airline might possibly cancel the flight and re-book people for the next day.  Not normally a problem but this time it really was…Spirit has very few flights to Miami and the flight the next day would get me to Miami way to close to the boat departure time.  After a little last minute scrambling, I finally found an alternate option that luckily I did not end up needing.  With the flights finally sorted I was on my way to Miami…late but still arriving way before boarding time. Arriving at the port I found that Miami finally finished work on the new tunnel that takes you right into the cruise terminal instead of having to navigate the downtown area.  It was super convenient!  The shuttle dropped me off right at the cruise terminal building and I went in to get checked in.  Cruise terminal felt small compared to some of the other terminals but it was nice and they had some fruit flavored water dispensers available.  I stood in line for a while waiting to get checked in, but I was too excited to mind.  One thing I noticed while standing there was that a lot of the people around me held foreign passports.  Turns out that MSC is very well known to European travelers.  After I finally made it through the line I was directed up an escalator and I went straightaway to board the ship.  No waiting for a group to be called to board…I think I liked this way better. The lobby atrium was one of the first things I saw after boarding the ship.  It was spectacular!  Not to mention the Swarovski encrusted staircases..WOWZA!  I read that each stair costs about $3000 and there are about 100 stairs on these staircases.  They are beautiful to see in person and a photo doesn’t really do them justice!  Everything was super shiny and sparkling with lots of seating around for passengers to sit and relax and just take it all in. The colors and patterns of the decor were all very warm and inviting… nothing gaudy or tacky about this boat.  On the ground floor of the atrium, there is a piano that quite frequently had a piano player or one of the highly trained singers performing.  MSC definitely felt like a step up in the world of cruising. After seeing the staircase and …