Saturday, March 29, 2014

Class Reunion Eastern Caribbean Cruise - Arriving in San Juan

Waiting for the red-eye.
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Over a year in the planning (special thanks to Cathy), the Class of '68 45-year Reunion Cruise came together before we knew it. With about 20 cabins reserved – some by classmates, some by family members, some by friends – it was going to be a whirlwind of activity, friendship, and reconnection. At least, that was our hope.

You may wonder why we would embark on such an undertaking on such a weird anniversary. Not 40. Not 50. But 45? Well, here's the thing: Our class gets together every five years. We're strange that way, but we like each other a lot. We had been losing boatloads (no pun intended) of classmates all of a sudden. It was sort of panic inducing, really, to think of waiting another five years before doing something really grand together. Most class reunions take place in one lovely soiree. You get to the hotel ballroom (or the high-school gym), you have a nice dinner, you dance a little, and you spy so-and-so from across the room. Maybe you get a chance to go over and say, “Hi! How have you been? Oh, look! There's so-and-so!” And maybe you don't. But, either way, you've done nothing more than intend to have a conversation that never really happens. And then you go home, and you wonder why you're disappointed and don't like class reunions. So you don't go next time. You don't realize that what you're missing is relationship. We didn't want that to be us.

A contingent from our part of the country traveled together to San Juan, taking the exact same route as Harry and I had done for our wedding anniversary cruise. It was equally fabulous, so I won't recount it here. We were excited to meet up with another classmate at the Charlotte airport for the last leg of the trip, so it didn't matter that much that I still can't sleep on planes and still need to remember to bring Benadryl or something and still didn't do so. Okay. I've carried on enough about that. So what, right?

Selfie with Bob & Karen, hanging out
in the lounge in the lobby.
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
The happy news is that there were no luggage issues this time around. Nothing was stolen out of our bags, no bags went missing...all good! We all climbed into a mini-van cab and were happy to pay the $20 (split amongst us) plus $1 per bag to go the one mile or so to our hotel, the Hampton Inn in Isla Verde. The same Hampton Inn we stayed in previously. It had lots of things to recommend it, besides being highly ranked (#1) on Trip Advisor: cozy in size, affordable, convenient, comfortable, available, poolside restaurant, swim-up bar, and with breakfast included. Surprisingly, the front-desk staff remembered us...or the computer remembered us, whichever! Still, it was nice to check in to a warm welcome.

The beach at the Courtyard. Kinda makes you want to
see it in person, doesn't it? Your hammock awaits you...
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
As more of those of us who were staying there for the night arrived, we gathered in the lobby and poolside. We had intended to go sight-seeing, but we were all exhausted and settled comfortably in our deck chairs, forming conversation groups and happily greeting each other. Later, after perhaps one too many appetizers (free on Friday night) and some adult beverages (free on Friday night) at “our” place, we walked along the beach to meet Cathy and Fred and others at “their” place, the Courtyard by Marriott Beach Resort, for a lovely buffet dinner with too many salad options to mention. I'm sure you can look it up on their website if you're interested. The Courtyard is just a few bucks more than the Hampton Inn, is much larger, and is right on the beach. If that's what you're looking for either before or after (or both) your cruise out of San Juan, stop reading right now and make your reservations!

Some of our classmates arrived several days ahead of the cruise to explore the island. Some of us opted to arrive just one day before, giving us an opportunity to rest, rejuvenate, and spend a little time together before boarding the ship. Some of us (ourselves included) were planning to spend a few extra days on the island after the cruise. Whichever way you decide to do it, you'll have a wonderful time in beautiful Puerto Rico. Please don't just stay in San Juan overnight and think you've seen the island. Although San Juan is a lot of fun, come to think of it...


  1. How cool that you are blogging the cruise :) It's fun to read this and remember our adventures.

    1. Hope you'll enjoy reliving the memories, Marsha. And here's to many more adventures together!

  2. Love reading about it - looking forward to the next cruise/reunion! Eileen

  3. I hope you guys will be able to come next time, Eileen. We had a blast!


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