I was interested in this topic because we are booked on the Grand Princess with a stop in San Juan next April. I logged on to the bridge cam of a Princess ship I knew was going to be in San Juan. She was docked on the airstrip side of the harbor. This is a short taxi ride from Old San Juan. There is always a possibility that your ship could dock on the OSJ side which I believe to be very walkable.
Celebrity Constellation (Penthouse booked for 2014)
Princess Grand Princess (2012) Vista Suite
Princess Crown Princess (2011) mini-suite
Princess Emerald Princess (2010) min-suite
Carnival Conquest (2008)
Princess Grand Princess (2003)
Carnival Victory (2002)
Celebrity Century (1997) Century Suite
Carnival Fantasy (1997)
Carnival Ecstasy (1994) Grand Suite
NCL Sunward (1992) Marquee Suite
RCI Nordic Empress (1990)
RCI Song of America (1988)
Generally they will know well in advance as they have a contract. I was under the impression that Princess DOES use the dock in OSJ.
Ray McDonald / Snoozeman
My Personal Cruise Blog: My Cruise Blog
Future Cruises: Carnival Triumph-Caribbean-7/28/2014, Carnival Legend-South Pacific-8/30/2014, MSC Preziosa-Mediterranean-10/25/2014, MSC Fantasia-Mediterranean-11/2/2014, Navigator of the Seas-12/14/2013, Norwegian Jewel-1/3/2015, Emerald Princess-1/11/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/2/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/15/2015.
I believe they usually use the old navy dock in San Juan, which like a previous poster mentioned, is only a short cab ride. Even if your ship did dock in Old San Juan, you'd need to get a cab to get over there with all your luggage anyway.
If you board early enough, you can always get off the ship and explore Old San Juan before your ship leaves, most leave at 9 or 10 PM anyway, so there is time.
There is information booth somewhere near Sheraton and Carnival Pier in Old San Juan. Staff there provide any kind of touristic info you want. Right next to it there is also a bus stop of "historic bus" (free) which will take you to the major tourist attractions like both fortresses and so on.. However if you don't want to prepaln a lot, audio tour may be a good choice if it's not overpriced of course)
I was in Puerto Rico twice: both in San Juan. I walked there on my own.
If you area good driver, I suggest to rent a car: even a one day trip to the farthest south or east of the island will be worth doing
Last year we sailed out of San Juan and it was from the Pan America Pier across from Old San Juan. The taxi was around $12 from an OSJ hotel. From what I have heard, if you are sailing r/t San Juan it will be from Pan America Pier and if San Juan is just a port of call on your cruise there is a chance you could dock in Old San Juan (depends on what ships are in port that day). Pan America Pier isn't walkable to OSJ at least I wouldn't.
I would recommend sailing out of San Juan to anyone.
Old San Juan has so much history, a lot ot the things I learned as a child I was able to see it.
If you are in old SJ on Saturday, there used to be a local craft fair, set up right by the fountain,and tourist center right by the port. They also have pushcart vendors all along the steet up to the main shopping area of Fortelaza St. Nice leisurely shopping....
Sunday is a different story, with not much open.
Trip, with her book & tea!
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