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  #1 (permalink)  
Old September 18th, 2002, 12:31 PM
4ME2CRUZ
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Default Cruise transfers in San Juan

I am flying to San Juan for a cruise on the Sea Princess on October 12-19. I did not buy the cruise transfers. What is the best way to get from the airport to the ship and how much would this cost?

Also, has any one sailed from this port to the Southern Caribbean? How are the meals and how are the island tours?

Thank you for your time.
Lin
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old September 18th, 2002, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Cruise transfers in San Juan

Cabs in San Juan from the airport are no problem. When gathering your luggage, you will find a transportation booth in the baggage claim area. Tell them where you wish to go and they will give you a slip with the amount on it.
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Old September 18th, 2002, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Cruise transfers in San Juan

Lin,

IIRC, the cab fare from the airport to the pier is about $25. If you have two peiple in your party, it's probably as cheap as the transfers.

Norm.
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Old September 18th, 2002, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Cruise transfers in San Juan

We have taken that cruise several times. We especially enjoyed the land tour to St. John's.
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Old September 19th, 2002, 02:14 PM
DavidPR
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Default Re: Cruise transfers in San Juan

I live in San Juan, and offer the following thoughts:

1. Plan to take the taxi trip from the airport, which will cause less headache than waiting for the Princess organized transfer, believe me. With luggage, you should get their for $25, as previously posted. The drive is not far, and you will feel it expensive for the distance. Keep in mind that SJ is an extremely populated area, small in size. We meausure distance in driving time, not miles. I recommend that you DISCUSS THE TARIF BEFORE YOU GET IN THE CAR. The goverment in PR regulates taxis and the fares that they can charge. At the same time, I've heard unbelievable ripoff stories. If it sounds like too much, (more than $30) look for another one.

2. When you get to San Juan, make sure you have your baggage claim tags in hand as you leave, as they are required to exit baggage claim.

3. Keep in mind that once you leave baggage claim area, you will not be permitted re-entry into the buidling. Porters are hard to get, so if you are loaded down, be prepared.

4. As you exit, you should find a taxi stand outside the terminal, or cars lined up. There will be no problem getting your ride with no more than a short wait, unlss you have the bad fortune to arrive with six or seven planes at the same time.

5. Consider staying in Puerto Rico at least two or three days following your trip. It is the true high-light of any Southern Caribbean cruise. Sadly enough, many visitors view it only as a point of departure for their trip, and jump back on a plane when they get back here. If you want to see true beauty, you must drive into the interior of the Island. Roads are very good, overall, and the trip well worthwhile. There are a number of charming guest houses that offer great rooms at low rates. I can provide names, if you wish.

6. Be prepared for the possibility of rough seas. Keep in mind that the hurricane season is not over until the end of November. Although a storm is unlikely, you may experience a tropical wave which implies pelting rain and higher seas. Oct. is very unpredictable--could be clear for two weeks, could rain every day for some time. If it does, it will not ruin your trip, unless a true storm.

7. It is hard to tell you what to do without knowing where you are going. If you go to Barbados, I highly recommend the horseback riding. I did this last Nov., and it was the highlight of the trip. Incredible scenery, fresh air, and great people.

8. If you go to St. Croix, you can rent a car cheaply and drive the entire Island. Most people don't know it, but the Point Udall Monument is there, which marks the eastern most point of US Territory. Take your photo, and you'll remember it forever. Buy liquor, if you wish, at the discount food club store that is on the main road, left side, just out of Fredricksburg, I believe. We got deals there that were unbelievable, while others bought in tourist traps.

9. If you go to St. Lucia, go to the Tetons and the volcano--try to get a boat tour there, instead of driving. We rented a car and drove the 2 hour + drive ourselves, only because we know Island mountain driving. The Island is lush and green, and very beautiful.

No matter what, you can't go wrong with a Caribbean cruise. Weather will still be hot, as the winds are starting to shift, but still unpredictable.

I wish you a wonderful time! Let me know if there is anything more I can do to be of assistance.

Regards,

David
San Juan

PS If the pic comes out, it was taken on the north central coast late last saturday afternoon. Couldn't resist it since I hadn't seen a double rainbow in years, and never in PR.
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Old September 19th, 2002, 05:17 PM
Hawkeye
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Default Re: Re: Cruise transfers in San Juan

I'd like to second David's recommendation in item 5 about spending some time in Puerto Rico, either pre- or post-cruise. We've sailed out of San Juan numerous times, using San Juan as a point of departure only. Two years ago we decided to fly into San Juan three days early, rent a car and spend some time exploring the island.

The first day we decided to head east out of San Juan. Drove out past Luquillo Beach and stopped at Playa Seven Seas (Seven Seas Beach). Great beach and we had the entire place to ourselves; not another soul in sight. Found a great restaurant, Anchor Inn, with really good food. Had the entire restaurant to ourselves. The waitress and the owner didn't speak English and we don't speak Spanish but we got what we ordered and it was super. Had a great "conversation" with both the waitress and the owner via sign language and drawing pictures. It was something I'll probably never forget. Drove on south through Fajardo, Cebia, Punta Santiago and cut back through the center of the island to San Juan.

The second day we decided to go west, mostly because we had already gone east. Drove along the northern coast through Arecibo and Hatillo, turned south at Agaudilla, drove through Aguada and stopped at the lighthouse in Rincon. Absolutely awesome views! And a super beach. Found another great restaurant, the name escapes me at the moment, right on the beach. And, yes, we had the entire place to ourselves again! Had a great chat with the waiter, without sign language this time. (He was from Michigan.) Retraced our route back to San Juan.

Spent the entire third day in old San Juan. Spent literally hours climbing all over El Morro. In and out of all the little passageways, up and down the narrow staircases between levels, every place that wasn't closed off. Found a great little hole-in-the-wall bar with super tropical drinks and fair Mexican food.

All that plus the cruise! What a deal!

Like David says, if you don't spend some time there you're really missing out.
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Old September 23rd, 2002, 12:46 PM
4ME2CRUZ
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Default Re: Cruise transfers in San Juan

I want to thank all of you who replied to my message. They were all a great help. I will spend an extra day in San Juan...I have traveled here before many many years ago. I am so looking forward to my cruise. Thanks again.
Lin
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Old September 23rd, 2002, 01:00 PM
DavidPR
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Default Re: Re: Cruise transfers in San Juan

Glad to hear that you'll be spending some time on our beautiful Island! Consider renting a car and doing some driving--this is the best way to make the most of a limited-time situation, such as yours.

If you would like more information, or have any questions, please don't hesitate to either e-mail me, or post here.

Regards,

David
San Juan
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