We're planning to stay in Puerto Rico for 3 or 4 days prior to our cruise on the AOS in July. We'll be staying in Dorado at the Hyatt Regency Cerromar and plan to spend a lot of time in their 'river pool'. Once we muster up the energy, what else should we do while in Puerto Rico?
Is the road to El Yunque very winding and curvy? Our two sons (10 & 12 yrs.) both get car sick, so I didn't think this tour would be a good option. Am I right or wrong about the road?
Would our kids be able to do the Bacardi Rum Factory Tour? Would they enjoy something like that?
Lady Jag....San Juan is a very historical town as well as other towns in Puerto Rico. Should be very interesting to you and your children. Read up on it on the internet. Never studied abot Ponce De Leon in school?
Have fun, enjoy your vacation.
I was wondering if El Morro was worth seeing. I was a history major, so ofcourse, I am very interested in it, but wasn't sure if there would be anything of interest to the kids. Thanks so much for the information!
By the way Lady Jag, take a ride to Ponce on the Caribbean side. There is a world class art museum in Ponce, a very colorful fire house(closed on Tuesday) the kids will enjoy as well as the adults and some nice shopping. Lots to do in Puerto Rico. Enjoy
There is so much to dao at these two hotels and it is so beautifull that ypu will not want to leave. We stayed there two years agoe for a pre-cruise and loved it. Food is expensive, but the two palces are awesome!.
I've never heard of a well-known art museum in Ponce! What is the name of it? I'd love to go. I'll take my 12 year old son who has an appreciation for fine art and leave the two heathens (husband and 9 yr. old) at the hotel! :o)
Pam - Do you know what museum "Godfather" is talking about? I figure you'd know better than anyone.
Do you think the aroma (putting it nicely) from the Bacardi factory would really bother the kids? Would they smell it only inside or outside or both?
What is the ferry you are talking about?
To get to the observatory, do you go up a winding road? My youngest son, who will be 10 by then, is a big science nut.
Thanks for the website link! I will definitely check it out. Can't wait to see the Hyatt and the pool. I think it will be hard to pull everyone away from it to go on tours, but I can pull pretty hard sometimes. I just don't want to miss some of these sites!
p.s. - Just read your article in Cruise Travel. Just got it yesterday. Great advice, well-written and a good read.
Okay, just read the article and found out about the ferry. I had read the article about 8 months ago, but forgot all about it. Thanks for reminding me.
Here's another question:
Should we rent a car and drive to the Hyatt Cerromar and keep the car for the 4 days or should we get some kind of shuttle to the hotel? Do they have those? Are they available late, around 8:30 pm, when our plane arrives at SJU?
We will probably have tons of luggage and there will be the 4 of us, so a regular taxi cab won't cut it. What about limo service? How would I find transportation of any sort?
I know the hyatt has a shuttle -- sometimes you can get it as part of the hotel package -- but its kind of pricey , when we checked a few years ago it was $45pp. I don't know about renting a car -- it might be cheaper , but I wouldnt recommend driving around in San Juan -- its an accident waiting to happen --- the traffic is terrible and the roads are very narrow-- I am sure there are driving customs that you wouldn't know about.
Since Old San Juan is quite a distance from your hotel -- check to see if you have some time the day your ship leaves. You could probably see it in a few hours just walking.
We have walked to old san juan f rom the port twice -- the kids would like the fort, but there really isnt too much to see --- my kids are not into museums, so we spent about 30 minutes there. The boys did like it more than the girls.
We did the Rum factory/old san juan last apr. with the kids. It was interesting, but I think the kids could have skipped it.
You might just get a great view of the island on your way to and from the hotel---
Thanks, Barbara. I just got an e-mail from the Hyatt Concierge. They are SO good about getting back to e-mails quickly. Anyway, they said the rates for airport transfers are $22 per person, so with 4 of us, it would be $88 one way or both ways, $176 total. I think it would be cheaper to rent a car for 4 days, wouldn't it? We'd only be driving in SJU for a few minutes and then we'd be on our way to Dorado.
Can you tell me why the kids didn't enjoy the Bacardi Rum Factory? Was it "boring"?
I think they did think that the Bacardi plant was boring, though they didnt complain too much. THe girls didn't like the smell of one building-- its what they talk about still. THe bottling plant was interesting , and they did seem to like that. I am not sure they were old enough to appreciate how important rum was in building the economy. they are older than your kids ( 12 and 14) and pretty much if it doesnt involve shopping its kind of boring for them. You stay in a tour group -- there really is no wandering from the group or going at your own pace. THe trip in the van getting to the plant was actually more interesting as the driver talked the entire way -- explaining things we went past, gave some history , etc.
You didnt say when your flight leaves, but alot of people take this tour from the ship's excursions and I think it drops you off at the airport when you are done-- might save on taxi fare to the airport.
I guess it would make sense to take the car vs. the transfers. I know I wouldnt pay that much for hotel transfers.
Barbara - Thanks so much for your honest insight into the Bacardi factory. Our sons will be 10 & 12. They are interested in mechanical things like bottling plants, how things work and processes. (They are very math-science based.) Shopping is the very last thing on this Earth that they enjoy doing!! They would rather scrub the kitchen floor with a toothbrush than go shopping. How nice to have kids that enjoy it!
I was prepared to *not* go to the Bacardi factory until I told my husband about it. He was so excited and interested that now we can't NOT go. Ofcourse, his first question was, "Do we get samples?" I can see my husband stocking up on bottles to send home right now....me and my big mouth!
Rent a car... but take your time. Driving in Puerto Rico is very challenging. The rules of the road seemed the same as here, but there are a lot of cars on the roads. I personally would not want to drive very much in the old town San Juan, but the rest of the island has normal streets and lots of cars. Rent a car. Drive to El Junque and put a patch on them or have them take dramamine. If they get sick... they can do what I did as a kid and puke out the window. Most of the highways are like highways here. So if they don't get sick here they probably won't get sick there.
Have fun... we are going in February and will tell you all about our experiences then. We went for 3 days in 99 and had a blast staying at the El Conquistador. But getting around takes more time than you would think. Lots of stops and lots of traffic.