Sailing on Century next month and scheduled to arrive at 4:30 PM. What time do the forts shut down? Being there until midnight, what else is there to do except the casinos and walking around? What time do the shops close? I believe I have read that the ship sometimes gets there early, which would be nice to have time to visit the forts. Can anyone confirm? Thanks.
Have heard that they close fairly early, but if you get in early you may be able to get to at least one of them. There are 2 fairly close to the pier and in MHO they are worth seeing. On your way out of the pier area you will go right by El Morro and if you are out on the deck it truely is a sight to see, to me it was kind of spooky?? Hope you can catch that. Would be even nicer if you can get there
when you dock, good luck, hope you can, its worth it for the scenic view from there alone and also the history behind it.
We arrived about the same time you do. We just went right to the ship. However, if you return to San Juan at the end of the cruise, maybe you will have time then to do an excursion. We did the Forts then. Depending on what time your plane leaves, you may even have time to do the Rain Forest which I understand is a "must see". I think that even if the ship doesn't leave until midnight, you have to be on by a certain time.....but, I'm not sure about that.
We just used that time the first day to rest up, get to know the ship, etc. We ate dinner on the ship that night.
If your flight arrives in San Juan at 4:30, the practical reality is that it probably will be around 6:30 or so the time you get your luggage and ground transportation, transfer to the pier, check in, and go aboard. I would not plan on much time for sightseeing that evening.
A good tour available, if you have time following your cruise, is the bus trip to the rain forest, El Yunque, a few miles east of San Juan. My ship docked at about 8 AM and my return flight didn't take off until 4PM so I had plenty of time for this tour. I bought the tour on the ship, the Norwegian Dream, so we were one of the first to disembark the ship directly to the tour buses waiting at the dock.
The tour first took us through Old San Juan for some sightseeing and then to one of the downtown forts for about a 45 min. stop. Then we headed east to the mountain range where the National Park, El Yunque, is located. On the way we stopped at a road-side gift shop for a beverage and shopping stop and then to the rain forest.
The rain forest exhibited quite a bit of damage from the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico the year before, but the flowers were all in bloom and the water falls were at their best. The bus stopped to let those of us off that wanted to take a short hike through the forest and we met the bus a few hundred yards down the mountain for our return trip. The final stop in the rain forest was at a stone observation tower that you can climb for a fantastic view east, to the end of the island and the sea. And right on cue, it started to rain, in the rain fores,t as we departed.
The tour bus took us directly to the airport for our flight out. The tour was about 4 or 5 hours in length. We arrived at the airport at 3 PM, one hour before departure. All our luggage went directly to the airport from the ship so we didn't have to worry about it.
Anyone with a late departure form San Juan might want to inquire of their cruise line if they have for sale, this or a similar tour, on board their ship. In my case, my flight arrangements were made through Norwegian and my flight out was a Delta charter flight to Atlanta. There was a whole plane load of people needing something to do between 8AM and 4PM. A number of buses made up the tour of these waiting passengers. My trip was in Jan. '99 on the Norwegian Dream, a great ship!