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October 24, 2015 / oneworld82

Honeymoon Part I – New York, NY to San Juan, PR on American Airlines Business Class

After coming back from Europe, only one week of work divided us from our honeymoon. As Thuy and I are expecting a baby, this would have also been our babymoon, and something eminently relaxing was called for.

After floating various ideas, we decided to jump on some good fares that Carnival was having out of San Juan on its Liberty cruise liner, and so here we go headed to a Southern Caribbean cruise.

If you had asked me even only six months ago, cruises would have been very low on my pecking order. In fact, we had already started planning our trip to DR Congo to see the mountain gorillas in Virunga, but the wonderful news that we’ll soon become parents made us, of course, change plans a bit for now.

While we wanted something relaxing, we also wanted something that would allow us to explore, and a Southern Caribbean cruise seemed to fit the bill. The Liberty sails between Puerto Rico and Barbados, stopping in St Thomas, St Kitts, St Lucia, and St Marteen during the week-long itinerary. Six countries/territories in 7 days seemed pretty exciting, and so here we go ready for our cruise.

After a few days spent in NYC for work (where we went to a George Ezra concert, which was very good), on Friday night we took the 8p American Airlines flight to San Juan.

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Flight AA158, JFK-SJU

July 31st, 2015 – 08:00p – 12:15+1

Boeing 737-800

Business Class, Seat 3F

Our upgrade cleared at the gate, and so business class it was.

We reached JFK around 2 hours before departure, and it was quite crowded. After checking in our baggage in a somewhat confusing way, we headed through security and in around 30 minutes we were headed to the Admirals Club.

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We used the Club located in the satellite part of the terminal. The lounge was quite crowded with people heading to South America, but we were able to find a seat in the quiet area, that featured reclined seats with ottoman. I roamed the food selection and I noted two types of soup, together with vegetables, cookies, and brownies. I feel like AA should invest more in its food offerings, so that people could have a proper meal if they wanted to. I am not talking anything fancy here: something like mini burritos or cold sandwiches would do it.

After a few brownies and a gin and tonic we headed to our gate for our flight. Boarding happened on time, but we ended up leaving about 30 minutes late from the gate, as catering had some issues with the truck (apparently).

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After waiting in line for 30 more minutes, we finally took off for SJU. The plane was a standard B738 in domestic configuration – nothing to tell home about. Business class passengers were offered a blanket and headphones, and that was it. No pre-departure drink was offered (except for water).

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Once airborne our young and attentive flight attendant took dinner orders (cheese ravioli or beef tonight) and then brought out some hot towels, before offering a pre-dinner drink. I, of course, got another G&T with the usual warm nuts.

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Dinner ensued shortly after, all on one tray. There was a chicken appetizer with orzo salad and some sort of basil-mayo sauce (very good); a salad; and the main dish, a sort of sliced stewed beef with rice. I must say, it was pretty good, so much so that I finished it all although I wasn’t really any hungry! On the downside, a drink with my meal was never offered, not even water.

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After dinner dessert was brought out – ice cream with chocolate chips, but I declined.

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After dinner I blogged for a while, before falling asleep for a good couple of hours. We landed in SJU at around 1am, and after collecting our baggage we took a taxi for our ten minutes ride to the Condado Plaza Hilton.

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