We were woken up early to depart the ship. The cruise director called our floor to depart around 7:00 a.m.. We didn’t have any time to eat and we barely had enough time to get ourselves together. I didn’t think that we would be awoken at the crack of dawn to depart. We had pre-paid for a airport drop off and pick up, however our flight wasn’t departing San Juan until 2:45 a.m.. We had an entire day and some of the night to spare. When we got off the ship we didn’t have a clue what to do with ourselves. People kept trying to sell us tours to the forts in old San Juan, but we already did that on our own on our first day in San Juan. We decided to forgo the airport transport that we had pre-paid for and got ourselves a taxi to a beach in Isle Verde. The cab driver looked confused because apparently Isle Verde is the name of the town and beach. I specified that we wanted to go to the beach and we were off.

We got to the beach and rolled our suitcases through the sand. It wasn’t even 8:00 a.m. yet. As it was so early in the day, we were a few of the only people at the beach so far. We dragged our suitcases under the cover of palm trees to relax in the shade away from the strong early morning sun. This was going to be a long day with our luggage.

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After sitting for a short while, there was finally a breakfast spot open close by, facing the beach. We dragged our suitcases in, receiving some amused glances along the way. An older couple next to us started asking our story. We told them about our red eye flight out of San Juan that night and about our failure in preparing for what to do with our luggage. We discovered that they were departing for the same cruise we went on. As they had more experience cruising, they told us that we could have gotten something to eat before departing the ship. They also suggested that we check our luggage at a hotel in the area for the day. There was an Inter Continental around the block where we could do this. When the couple left, they stopped at our table to let us know that they had taken care of our breakfast bill for us. It was the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for me. They were like our saving grace.

Following the couples advice, we walked over to the Intercontinental. They bell man allowed us to store our luggage in this beautiful hotel. We were finally free of our luggage and ready for a full day at the beach.

We spent the entire time at the beach. As the morning became the afternoon, the beach quickly packed up. Isle Verde was no longer our personal oasis. I spent the entire afternoon swimming, sunbathing and relaxing under our palm tree.

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From our spot under the palm tree, we were conveniently by a food stand. I watched as people walked back from the stand with fresh coconuts and Puerto Rican food. Whenever a breeze kicked up, it brought the waft of BBQ our way. When we finally got hungry for a late lunch, the smells of the stand were so enticing that we had to get food from there. I initially got a hot dog, then had to go back to get Pinchos to try because they smelled so good. Pinchos is chicken on a stick and it was marinated to perfected.

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We went swimming and I dried off periodically by standing in the sun because we didn’t have towels or chairs. Whenever I was in the water, I didn’t want to leave. The water at Isle Verde was wavier than the other beaches we went to during our cruise. Yet, it was still equally as salty, warm and blue. The waves also allowed us to jump and play more in the water.

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Later, I walked down to see the actual Isle Verde, which the beach was named from. It was quite literally a green piece of land in the middle of the water. This chunk of beach had so much seaweed that the waves were black and my feet got tangled in the seaweed as I walked along the edge of the water.

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As the sun began to set and the day was coming to an end, we made our back to the Intercontinental to retrieve our luggage and call a cab to take us to the airport. As it was only around 7:00 p.m. we still had a long evening ahead of ourselves at the airport.

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Details:  7 Day Southern Caribbean Cruise with Carnival Cruise!