On Wed March 23rd, 2016 – Kashif decided to book a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico for the upcoming weekend. With nothing else but flights booked, we packed two duffle bags and backpacks and headed to the airport right after an entire work day.
As we sat at the FLL airport for our 9:30PM flight (#yikes) Kashif looked up the hotel and reserved the Sheraton Hotel & Casino with points from his app (kids these days, huh?).
We landed in the middle of the night and ended up looking up a rental car as we stood there staring at all the rental signs. We originally booked an off-site car rental but it never came after 30 mins of waiting. Sorry E-Z Car rental…we pay for convenience.
Switched to National. Booking took 45 seconds on the app, walked over in 2 mins, went straight to the lot since we’re emerald club and skipped the counter. Picked our car of choice despite paying for an economy size car. We ended up getting a Nissan rogue SUV. Which is great based on some of the anticipated terrain we may need to cross.
When we arrived at the Sheraton we asked for lounge passes which are typically reserved for platinum members and the nice woman at the counter happily obliged even though we weren’t actually entitled to them. Lounge is 24 hours and offers free snacks and water so you don’t have to shell out your first born for a Dasani.
The lounge also has a beautiful view of the bay. Must stop for pictures if you can get in LOL – Don’t forget the very generous breakfast offering. All it took was just simply asking!
After breakfast and breathtaking views we took our Rogue and headed toward the ferry that takes you to Vieques Island for only $2 – what a bargain…until you get on the ferry and realize why it is only $2. If you get motion or sea sick bring a barf bag or take some dramamine before you get on. I almost lost my lunch right on Kashif’s lap…love you honey! Make sure you leave enough time to travel from San Juan to Fajardo – with traffic it can take over an hour.
When you exit the ferry port at Vieques, there will be plenty of locals waiting to drive you to your hotel. It only cost $5/pp to get to the W. But be patient, they will want to wait until the car is full before they will leave.
Remember when your mom told you not to get into unmarked cars with strangers? Yeah, that doesn’t really apply in the island life. So forget it all and embrace Puerto Rico and all that the island and people have to offer.
We booked the W resort which is absolutely beautiful – you can see a trend going here with apps ruling our life! You can see the ocean as soon as you walk in the front door through the open air lobby. Eat your heart out, house hunters international!
The eating area overlooks the ocean with panoramic views from the outdoor lounge area. Highly recommend the fish tacos and lemongrass drop. The beach is just a short walk away with stairs laying down to a very private and serene escape. Lay by the pool or jump in the ocean, either way relieve all your work-week stresses because you won’t see anything else like it.
We booked a tour to see the water glow through Biobay.com. We had a great tour guide who knew his stuff and saw spectacular things out on the bay – I don’t want to give away the experience, that is just something you are going to have to do on your own, but trust us – it’s worth it. All we are going to say is that we saw Jupiter and satellites roaming the gorgeous night sky.
After the tour – our bus driver dropped us off in the middle of town where we found a place to eat and listen to the band play upbeat Spanish music until the wee hours of the night. We called our taxi driver, and I say our, because he was the one who picked us up and dropped us where we needed to go throughout our trip.
The next morning we woke – feeling refreshed and amazed to see the sun out and calling us to the pool. After enjoying a breakfast at the W in-house restaurant beachside, we stretched out by the pool and enjoyed refreshing beverages and snacks. Kashif has a knack for getting what he wants and got us a 4 PM checkout of the W!
We headed back on the cheap ferry ride back to Old San Juan where we ended up staying at the Sheraton. We sure do love SPG! Since it was Easter Sunday many restaurants and shops were closed – so we were glad we spend those few extra hours soaking up the sun in Vieques.
As we got closer to San Juan – Kashif pulled out his phone yet again to make reservations on OpenTable after he Yelped a restaurant with the best reviews.
We were not disappointed as we took the last seating slot for Marmalade, eating and drinking our way through a superb 4-course meal, meeting interesting friends along the way. The very best dishes included; Ceviche and Popcorn Shrimp, Lobster Risotto, and Hand-Rolled Black Truffle Pappardelle Pasta, Moroccan Lamb and Beef Tenderloins. #SoFull
We took a morning flight back to FLL – with a full stomach and a tan – Puerto Rico was a memorable experience and well worth the quick trip. There’s lots more to see and we’ll be back with another itinerary.
Tips to Remember:
- Stick with car rental companies actually located in the terminal
- Pay very close attention to turns indicated in your GPS – many times the streets in the GPS do not match actual street names
- Ask for Lounge Passes for free snacks and water
- Bring Cash – no one takes American Express
- Bring some Dramamine for the ferry ride to Vieques & sit at the top
- Book the BioBay tour – well worth it
- Sorce @ the W in Vieques
- Marmalade in Old San Juan
- Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino
- The W @ Vieques
- National Car Rental