I consider myself objective and open minded and thought I would respond to this post.. The positive attributes I saw while touring the area was that the beaches were pretty and very clean. The surrounding plants/ foliage were vibrant and abundant. It appears that much commercial development will soon take place to build and/or rebuild many of the existing resorts. That will be an absolute plus and will enhance the area.
The negative attributes are there as well. It seems that part of the problem is due to the local tour guides. They appear to get a "kick" out of taking tourists to the poorest neighborhoods. This goes on in other islands as well. My tour guide managed to show me a prison, a welfare condominium with junk strewn all over the balconies, numerous homes and schools with bars on the windows. He explained that crime was so high in the area that the window bars are needed to protect residentís from theft. I thought some of the local store owners were a little rude at times. Since that the majority of the stores closed at 6pm, the store owners became annoyed if you ventured into their shops at 5:55pm. How ridiculous is that?? The ship docked at the port around 3:30pm and the stores closed at 6pm. That didnít sit well with me. I would think that the island would rely on revenue generated from tourism and stay open until 9pm. Since everything was closed, I checked out the Casino Hotel across from the docks (Wyndam Hotel??) and was shocked to see slot machines in such shabby condition. Some were missing lights and others were missing buttons. Rather than feed the broken machines in San Juan, I chose to gamble a little on the ship.
Sorry if these comments upset anyone but this is the reality of the trip. This is what I saw and was taken to see while visiting San Juan.
In conclusion, I would like to comment that St. Thomas and Tortola were ABSOLUTELY gorgeous!!! No complaints here!!!!.