Hi Mikki,WE WERE ON THE aos IN oCTOBER AND WILL BE SAILING ON HER AGAIN jANUARY 22.
We enjoy leaving out of San Juan,the only problem we dont like is that the ship leaves from the Pan Am dock which is on the other side of the harbor from Old San Juan.If you get to SJ early you can take a cab to old san juan.If you do go over there go to dock #4.To the right of the entrence[as you look at it]there is a little sign for a free tour bus that takes you up to the fort and upon leaving you go thru OSJ.At the drop off point you can walk back up to where you want.
As for the cab ride,it will take you about 20 min.to get to the dock and will cost you about $20[we do it this way,and it is well worth it.When you return to SJ after the cruise I recommand you get an early off color because on Sunday when you return there will be maybe 4-5 other ships and the airport can become nuts.Our flight is usually around 2pm but we get there early to avoid the rush of about 10000 people coming from all of the ships.As for the cab to the airport they are right off of the pier.
Yep - Pop above is right. It's about a 15-20 minute ride (typical ride through a city) from the airport to the docks. If you are sitting at the window on the left side of the plane, you'll see the cruise ships as you come in on final approach to the airport.
It's a safe city, people speak English & are very helpful. Getting off the plane is a breeze, no different than any other airport you've been to.
Coming home can be a different matter. As Pop posted above, you'll have several other ships coming in plus people in general flying home. So customs line can be long as well as security line. This is where patience is key. It took us about 2 hours to clear both. You are dealing with hundreds of people also trying to get home.
You didn't mention how you are getting to the pier, either the cruiseline transfers or a cab. I would recommend just getting a cab to the pier, its actually less costly and quicker, less hassle. After you pick up your luggage, just go to the taxi counter down by where you get your luggage and get a ticket. They will charge according to how many pieces of luggage you have, then add a tip. Once you get the ticket, you just go outside and get in the taxi line and they will direct you to a cab, the driver will know exactly where to take you according to the ship you are on.
Sounds like you are flying in the same day the ship leaves, which is a bit scary to me. We've done that on cruises out of Miami and Galveston. The first time, the plane was late and we got separated from our luggage, which was delivered to the ship the next day at our first stop.
When we went to San Juan for our Adventure cruise we came in the day before. We arrived at our hotel over 3 hrs late due to snow and de-icing problems leaving from Dayton, but we had our luggage and it wasn't snowing, so we were happy.
When we have a cruise departure not from the continental US, we feel more comfortable coming in early. Some people we know ALWAYS go a day early. Something to think about.
We stayed at the Condado on the beach near the airport and had RCI shuttles for all our transportation.