There are usually a few to pick from, depending on the cruise line and the time of your return flight. On Carnival Destiny (2001) we took a tour that showed us a bit of the city, went to a museum, they dropped us in Old San Juan for shopping and lunch, then to a hotel where we could use the pool, casino,etc. My flight was at 5:30pm, I think there was a shorter tour for earlier flights. There is usually a Rainforest Tour also, again depending on your flight time. After any tour you book, the bus will drop you at the airport. I hope this helps.
The ship docks right near old San Juan. You don't need a ship tour. You can take a cab about 1 mile to old San juan shop and see the old fort, nice places for lunch. That should just about time is right for you.
the big plus with taking a ships tour after disembarkation is that the cruise line takes care of your luggage and gets you to the airport. If you go off on your own, what are you going to do with your luggage? and then you need to get a cab to the airport when your tour is done.
Depending upon your timetable look into a tour of Old San Juan/Fort El Morro or a tour to the rainforest.
We did what Sal said. We left our luggage ( for 8 people) at Barrachina Restaurant , then walk to el Morro, the fort is amazing. Then went back to barrachina had lunch there and took a taxi to the airport. The person in charge of the luggage only wanted a tip.
You didn't say which cruise line you are on or when you are going. If you are on Carnival, they dock near Old San Juan, but if you are on Royal Caribbean or Princess, they dock at the International pier and you would have to take a taxi to go anywhere as it is not close to anything. I don't think there is anyplace to leave luggage near there, either. We left from there on Adventure of the Seas last year, so if that's your pier, you'd be better of on a ship's tour. Also, depending on the season, there can be heavy rain at times, so that can be a factor in going out on your own. I love cruises out of San Juan, the itineraries are the best. You'll have a great time!
We were in the AOS last year and took a taxi to the restaurant in Old San Juan where we left the luggage. There were 8 of us and had 14 pieces of luggage. There are taxis and van type taxis right at the pier, we didn't have any problem.
Thanks for the great info! We are sailing Feb. 19 on the Constellation. Not sure where ship is docked. I was concerned with the luggage, but the Barrachina Restaurant sounds like a great idea!! I'm finally getting excited about this cruise now that USAirways (our airline) seems to be okay until the summer!!
Constellation usually docks on the Panamerican Terminal, sharing the dock with RCI Serenade of the Seas on Saturdays. This dock is the one right by Isla Grande airport the small general aviation airport 9, as oppossed to Luis Munoz Marin International which is about 5 miles East.
Anyway once you disembark there'll be plenty of taxicabs available to take you to the Old SanJuan which is about 5-10 minutes from the dock. If you leaving your luggage at Barrachina you'll be pretty much in the center of the old city, so you'll be equally near the old forts of the North side or the shops on the Southern part of the city overlooking the bay
Explorer of the Seas 2003
Adventure of the Seas 2004
Golden Princess 2005