Hi, it’s me Marimonda. Welcome back! I hope all is well with you. Continuing the introductory post about cruise, today I’d like to share my visit to Puerto Rico – San Juan and general information about excursions.
Puerto Rico means Rich(rico) Port(puerto) in Spanish. Since it is a country of islands, trade is one of the most important industries here. As a result, ports have played very important roles and probably the name came from this background.
Like other Caribbean Islands, Puerto Rico used to be a Spanish colony for few centuries. At the end of the 19th century, as a result of the war between the U.S.A. and Spain, Puerto Rico was recognized as an independent country but an unincorporated U.S. territory. Therefore, they use USD and people use U.S. passport. The official languages are also English and Spanish. Though, I found Spanish is used more common in the streets.
With well-preserved architectures and its outstanding value, San Juan has named on the Unesco World Heritage Site since 1983.
After sailing for two days, I finally could see some land. I felt like as if I were an explorer in the Middle Ages. A Spanish ship at the port warmly welcomed me.
In San Juan, I visited historical old town and castle. The breeze in the city was very refreshing and a bit strong since it was very close from the chore. The town seemed pretty small so I decided to walk around the town instead of going excursions. Castillo San Cristóbal and San Felipe del Morro offered breathtaking views. Especially, the Sunset was magnificent. They are just next to each other. I embraced the beautiful harmony of the buildings and nature.
I would call the excursions are the heart of the cruise tour. The trip takes about 4-7 hours within your free time. Usually, the cruise arrive at the port around 10-11 a.m. and then give us free time until 3-6 p.m. The time depends on the next destination, but it was enough to look around one or two places.
Each island offers various activities, but it’s not enough to look around all the places. I would say focusing on one (maximum two) will be enough. You can book an excursion organized by cruise or just do it individually.
Excursions organized by cruise
Well, those are run by reservation basis. You should book in advance to get your seat. Since the cruise staffs also need to make a reservation for transportation, it is essential to let them know before.
It seemed like it is very easy because you don’t have to worry about anything. A guide (or two) will accompany with you once you step out of the ship. You leave together as a group, and you look around the places together. The guide will call you when it’s time to come back to the ship. If you’re visiting historical sites, s.he will explain some details about the places. On the other hand, it’s pretty expensive compared to the individual excursion. The price gap might be bigger if you’re a member of a big group.
If you’re down with self-exploring, you can simply negotiate with taxi(+guide) in front of the cruise. Once you off from the ship, you would see lines of people calling you to sell their service. You can grab a cab after negotiating the price. You might share the cab with others who has the same destination if you’re alone. In case of a group of four, a group deal might be cheaper.
I hope you enjoyed my article. Next post is about <St. Thomas>. Take care and see you soon! 🙂