I took this cruise last year when Carnival was using the Destiny. Had a blast. There are a few things you should know about this cruise but I will discuss at the end of this post.
I stayed at the Hilton which was a short cab ride away. I stayed at this hotel because (1) my friend had a voucher for a free night's stay and (2) this was a beautiful hotel right on the beach. The hotels closest to the ship's terminal do not have beachfront property. There were a few other hotels close to the Hilton which were also very nice.
I did not care for San Juan. The day I was there, it rained all day so I couldn't really enjoy the pools or the beach or any of the outside stuff at the hotel. In my opinion, there didn't seem to be much to do on the island of San Juan. Plus, I don't know if it was the rain but San Juan is infested with mosquitos. It was really bad. If you plan on spending time on San Juan, make sure you pack plenty of insect repellant.
Lastly, I enjoyed the cruise immensely. It was the second time I had taken this particular itinerary out of San Juan so I knew what to expect and the one or two things about it did not affect my ability to have a blast. However, it is a bit of a different cruise experience.
I will not start a debate on this board so if you want to know my experience on this itinerary, PM me and I will share it with you.
However, I highly, highly, highly recommend this cruise if you like port intensive cruising. There are NO sea days. Every day you are at a different port. For me, this was wonderful b/c I will not take a cruise that has more than 2 out of 7 sea days. There is just not enough to do on the ship to fill more than 2 days out to sea. (My opinion only).
Anyhoo!! PM if you want to hear more.
(cruzin' solo by design)
Freedom ('09), Imagination ('08), Victory ('08), Destiny ('08), RCCL Navigator ('08), RCCL Majesty ('08), Glory ('07), Liberty ('07), Fantasy ('07), Destiny ('06), NCL PofAm ('05), Fascination ('04), Victory ('04), Fascination ('04), RCCL Voyager ('03), Fantasy ('99)
I returned March 22 from this cruise......I am not fond of San Juan either......no advice on places to stay as we flew in and out on embark and disembarkation day.
I am strongly thinking of doing the exact same cruise next year. This was my third cruise and it was the best. We didnt plan excursions every day, actually every other so that we wouldn't be exhausted......like IBCRUZIN stated.....there isnt enough to do on a ship with alot of sea days......dont get me wrong I enjoy time on the ship, but I also cruise to see different places.....and we really enjoyed waking up each morning and going out to the balcony, seeing a different port
For anyone who has taken this cruise, what hotels by the San Juan port do you recommend? I'm considering taking this cruise in 2012.
Also, are any vaccinations required/suggested if you are going to P.R.?
I'lil assume that a traveller's VISA is not necessary?
2012? Wow, I cant figure out what to do this summer not to mention 3 years from now. For all we know cruise lines will be out of business or Castro's brother will be ruling PR too...
2008-Valor and Glory
2009-Spirit and Splendor
2010-Freedom of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas
2012-Allure of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas
Last on the Destiny I did the same itinerary.
I loved Old San Juan. The history, the massive castle-like forts, the ambiance of the old world which is more like Spain than Caribbean.
St Kitts and Antigua were my favorite islands, not that the others were that bad.
If one loves ports of call, this is THE cruise for you. If however, "fun days at sea" floats your boat, then book something else.
PAST TRIPS= Enchanted Capri
Carnival: Inspiration, Legend, Valor, Destiny, Holiday, Triumph, Splendor, Fantasy
HAL: Maasdam twice, Statendam, Oosterdam
This is a cruise Ive been eyeing for a couple of months, I just need for everything Ive got going on to fall into place and I will be booking it. I too think St Kitts and Antigua are my favorite islands. Ive done a similiar itinerary on the Monarch of the Seas and Dawn Princess. I just fly in and out the day of embarkation and debarkation.
Monarch of the Seas 3-92
Celebrity Century 7-96
Dawn Princess 2-97
Enchantment of the Seas 11-98
Rhapsody of the Seas 8-99
CCL Inspiration 8-08, 8-11
CCL Valor 1-09
CCL Glory 11-09
Did this cruise about one year ago, also on the Destiny. The itinerary has changed a little since then (I believe they added St. Lucia and dropped St. Martin, probably to break up the cruise to and from Barbados. It felt like the ship was moving pretty quick on those two nights.) I also flew in on embarkation day and with I hadn't. Puerto Rico is a US Territory so there are no required vaccinations or visa requirements. Remember there is also much more to PR than the city of San Juan. It's great you are doing your research, I'm sure you can find plenty to do. But rain does put a damper on any vacation day.
Dominica was my favorite island, St. Martin was a close second. We enjoyed both for entirely different reasons.
A Bad Day At Sea [with power] Always Beats A Good Day At Work
Alaska 2014 - haven't picked a cruise yet
Carnival: Glory 2004, Destiny 2008, Splendor 2009, Freedom 2011, Valor 2012, Dream 2013
Celebrity: Summit 2011
Princess: Ruby 2010, Caribbean 2013
We sailed on the destiny twice also when the stops were different but we loved san juan. We had no trouble with mosquitos or any other bugs and really enjoyed old san juan. Lots of cool restaurants, bars, and great shopping. The hotel we stayed at was the wyndham condado, great swim up bar with small beach area. The hotel also had a casino and some restaurants, we really liked it
I've sailed from San Juan on the Destiny three times. Last year we did the same itinerary that the Victory is now doing and LOVED it. I want to do that cruise again. Loved not having any sea days and a new port each morning. When I sail from San Juan, I prefer to stay at the Sheraton Old San Juan. It's right across the street from the pier and we walked over to the ship. (but we don't take a lot of luggage lol). I've always enjoyed San Juan. Lots to do and places to eat and shop. There are free shuttles around Old San Juan.