After lunch we went back to our cabin where I finished my blog and posted it before lying down for a nap. It’s worth noting that hand cleaning stations are placed at every eating location, in bathrooms, and at other appropriate locations around the ship. Passengers and crew are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and the ship’s crew is obviously eager to encourage people to do everything they can to avoid the spread of the various ailments that have plagued some ships in recent years. The entire ship is kept scrupulously clean.
Nearly four thousand people eager to hit the shops and walk the streets create quite a crush at the gangways, so we went back to our cabin to wait until the rush to exit was over. We then strolled down the pier and into the city. San Juan features narrow, cobbled streets whose houses are painted lovely pastel colors. As we moved away from the vendors and past the standard tourist stores found around where tour boats unload into a more residential area, we were occasionally able to get a peek into a courtyard or apartment. These buildings present a closed face to the street and then open into spacious courtyards inside. Unfortunately, Monday must be trash collection day, because trash bags littered almost every corner and the odor was strong. We walked across the peninsula past small parks, along the wall of an old fort, and eventually emerged to see Morro Castle spread out below us. It was closed and we wanted to get back to the ship for dinner and the evening’s bluegrass event. I’d like to see something of Puerto Rico away from the immediate tourist area, which is always crowded; even more so because of the picturesque narrow streets of the old city.
Steve Wallach - Host and Emcee
The evening’s program presented two great bands and an award winning singer. We lingered a little long before getting to the Sphinx Lounge for the evening program where Mark Newton was already on stage when we arrived. We had never heard the Mark Newton Band before. His personnel are all very solid with Beth Lawrence on bass providing a solid beat as well as a lovely singing voice, whether harmony or lead. Tony Wray on banjo is a fine player who has until recently played with the John Cowan Band. Newton played a set which offered bluegrass standards and more recent tunes. His sound is pleasant and provided a good start for the evening.
The Mark Newton Band
We headed for bed around noon and slept soundly as The Liberty of the Seas headed for St. Maarten.