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Free....dom to Relax- Trip Report: Dec. 2, 2018 Sailing of the Freedom of the Seas- Travel Day

First I want to start by thanking everyone for following. If you did not follow this, all I would be accomplishing is annoying my brother, his wife and my DW.

Travel Day:

Well four hours of sleep is not bad before a full day of travel. Then again, 4 adults, one room, and a whole lot of snoring will probably do tha t. Walk up call at 3 am for a 4 am shuttle to MSP airport. Arrive around 430 am at the airport and boy were we in f or a major surprise. This was the first time flying Southwest Airlines and this is how we were greeted.

Not sure this is a good sign or not

Not a bad way to start out our vacation. Took a half hour to get through check in and security. Got held up a bit when my phone was "randomly selected" for extra screening. I kind of think it was profiled. I knew that guy looked like an iPhone fanatic. But at last we all made it through screening and onto the gate where our charity awaited.

First Flight ever on Southwest. I saw two wings and two engines so I think we are good

I have to say for this being our first time flying Southwest Airlines I was really impressed. I stood at the gate and asked about the big boned passenger policy.  The flight was not full so was able to get the reserved seat for extra room. With not so great knees, back, hips, and a few extra lbs this was wonderful. Hats off to Southwest for the customer service and flight today. They were great. Marty the flight attendant kept things light and had us laughing right after we boarded. We departed on time and arrived early for the connecting flight in Baltimore. Had just enough time to get McDonalds and catch the connection. Once we boarded, we were informed the plan was mostly full but not completely, which was great- extra room again. Then "Houston we have a problem." The captain got on the PA and advised use that Southwest had OVERBOOKED the cargo hold. You have to be kidding, the plane was not full and they overbooked the cargo area. I knew I should have packed lighter. All joking aside, took a few extra minutes to add luggage and remove cargo. No big deal after all we are on vacation. Again flight was great and staff were friendly. 

Once we arrived in San Juan, caught a cab to our humble abode for the night the Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde. We were met at the door by James who was super helpful. Gave us some tips on where to eat and got 4 free Pina Coladas.

After getting settled in, we check out the hotel grounds. I can tell you I was pretty impressed. The reports on the sand fleas or bugs or sand mosquitos based on the bites were pretty accurate. There were some bites but not to bad. After all our state bird is the mosquito. Found the hotel property well kept and very clean. Nicely decorated for Christmas as well. We then left on a walk for dinner.

Despite James advice about area restaurants we settled on Chili's in Carolina. Was about a 10 minutes walk, no big deal. I would not recommend it. Food was okay, but there are better options. We then walked back to the hotel and got the free Pina Coladas. Nothing fancy but tasty. Spent sometime on the patio and beach and watched the Jewel of the Sea head out on their voyage. It was then back to the room for some R and R before embankment day. Woohoo!!!!

One other thing of note about the Marriott. It is located right by the runway of SJU. There will be plane noise if you stay here. It just all depends on how much you can tolerate. I am pretty easy going about this type of thing so no big deal. Also cost of cab was $12 plus bag and airport fee which came to $20 plus tip for 4 people and six bags. Not bad. 

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