Do I Need A Passport For A Cruise To / From San Juan Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and its residents are U.S. citizens. You do not need a passport if flying from the U.S. to Puerto Rico or vice versa. You only need a government issued photo ID, like a drivers license. If you are a U.S. citizen, and you board a cruise ship at a U.S. port , and travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship, you will most likely NOT need a passport unless you enter a foreign country as part of the cruise itinerary. A U.S. or Puerto Rico drivers license should suffice. For children under 16, a birth certificate is typically required. However, check with your cruise line to be absolutely sure what documentation is needed.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Highlights
- An incredible company that has been in operation since 1969.
- A well-known name in the cruise line industry, with service standards that accompany their length of time in the industry.
- Winner of a plethora of service awards, including “Best Cruise Line in the Caribbean,””Best Cruise Line Overall,” and “Best Cruise Ship Symphony of the Seas.”
- Amazing rooms in various sizes available for all of your accommodation needs and party sizes.
- Breathtaking views, offering you uninterrupted views of the water, the shores, and all of the beautiful sights of each destination.
- Unmatched customer service to make your trip a relaxing and unforgettable experience.
- Knowledgeable tour guides to accompany you to places that you might have never heard of.
- Lots of space to explore and get to know the ship.
Perfect Port For Pre And Post Cruise Stays
There is no other port on earth that is better for a pre or post cruise stay than San Juan, Puerto Rico. On my last cruise out of San Juan , I opted for a pre and a post cruise stay so I could enjoy as much as the island as I possibly could.
From beachfront resorts to a mom and pop bed and breakfast in Old San Juan, its the perfect extension to your cruise.
Yes, cruise ships often spend the day in San Juan as part of their itinerary. However, there are some things in Puerto Rico that you can only take advantage of if you stay a few nights on the island.
If you really want to escape the busyness of everyday life, spend a few days on the island of Vieques before or after your cruise. Vieques is located just off the Eastern coast of Puerto Rico and is a short 30 minute flight from Isla Grande Airport . Another option is the ferry from Ceiba, especially since the fast ferry started operating two months ago.
Vieques is the hidden gem of the Caribbean. The island is almost known for what you cant find on it than what is on it. You wont find a single traffic light and commercialization is basically non-existent. OK, so there is one Subway on the island but that is it. In the day and age when just about every island has become a tourist trap with Margaritavilles, Senor Frogs, and jewelry stores promoted by cruise lines everywhere you go, Vieques is the polar opposite of that.
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Are There Places To Shop And Eat Within Walking Distance Of The San Juan Cruise Port Terminals
If your ship docks at an Old San Juan pier, yes you can walk just a few blocks into Old San Juan or hop on the free trolley to San Francisco and Fortaleza Streets, or walk to Calle del Cristo and Calle San Sebastian filled with shopping and dining establishments. Tip: there is a large CVS store/pharmacy which has a large variety of food, drinks, and other necessities directly across from Old San Juan piers 1 & 2 and only 1/4 mile west of piers 3 and 4.
If your ship docks at the Pan American Pier: Shopping? no youll have to take a taxi into Old San Juan for $10, or to the Condado fashion shopping strip on Ashford Avenue for $12 where the best stores are across from Ventana el Mar Park. You can also take a taxi for $14 to the largest shopping mall in the Caribbean, Plaza Las Americas, located in nearby Hato Rey, San Juan. Places to Eat? yes there is a Sizzler close-by at the San Juan Bay Marina and restaurants in and around the nearby Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Convention Center.
Old San Juan Attractions
Old San Juan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with famous historical landmarks such as the Fuerte San Felipe del Morro , the Castillo de San CristÃ³bal or the Fortaleza. Both “El Morro” and San CristÃ³bal are part of the San Juan National Historic Site and can be visited with the same entrance ticket . Visit the Official National Park Website: www.nps.gov
El Morro in San Juan
The San Juan Cathedral is undoubtedly the most famous religious site to visit. The San Jose Church is temporary closed for renovation but a must see – keep an eye on our updates. Visit the Official San Jose Church Website: www.iglesiasanjosepr.org
Cruise passengers interested in museums will find that, unfortunately, the Museum of San Juan is currently closed. The Museo de las AmÃ©ricas, Americas’ Museum, located on the restored BallajÃ¡ Infantry Barracks Building displays an ethnographic panorama of the history and culture of the Americas. Visit the Official Museum Website www.museolasamericas.org
BallajÃ¡ Barracks in San Juan
Meandering the streets of Old San Juan, the cruise traveler will have the opportunity to contemplate historical buildings of unique beauty, especially in Calle Fortaleza and Calle San Francisco . Among many landmarks, the City Hall stands out on Plaza de Armas, whilst on Plaza ColÃ³n there are a few interesting buildings like the Old Casino, the Teatro Tapia and Castillo de San CristÃ³bal close by.
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Cruises From San Juan
San Juan, the capital and most populous city of Puerto Rico, is the oldest city on US territory. It is the Caribbean commercial hub, best known for its beautifully restored historic district of Old San Juan. It is situated on a rocky peninsula girded by thick walls jutting into the crashing Atlantic surf. With its 400 restored buildings from the 16th and 17th century Spanish colonial period, this area is steeped in history. Read more
Add to this the expansive stretches of smooth clean beaches, boutiques, and pleasant restaurants, and one understands why this port is the heart of the islands tourism.
Cruise From San Juan Puerto Rico
When it comes to Caribbean vacations, Puerto Rico is both a departure point and a destination. For the former, San Juan is one of the busiest Caribbean cruise ports. Four piers located along the San Antonio Canal serve ships from the largest cruise lines, with more than 1 million travelers passing through yearly.
While the San Juan area makes for a fun and exciting pre- or post-cruise trip, the citys port is the start of a great southern Caribbean vacation. Because of this, nearly all well-known lines stop in the city, either to begin a southern Caribbean trip or as part of a repositioning cruise with a unique and expansive itinerary. Departing cruise lines include Azamara, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Silversea. San Juan, in fact, may see as many as 10 cruise ships at once.
Southern Caribbean trips from San Juan give travelers a taste and sight of each islands unique character. A trip, in fact, may take passengers to Aruba, Barbados, Dominica, the Virgin Islands, Curacao, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, and other locations.
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Cruises From San Juan: The Pros And Cons
Find out the pros and cons on cruises from San Juan, Puerto Rico with some reasons you might never have thought of to travel from the Caribbean island.
Cruises from San Juan are the best way to explore the exotic islands in the South Caribbean. This historic port city is the capital of Puerto Rico. As well as being a popular port of call for approximately 500 cruise ships each season, it is also the home port for several cruise ships offering Southern Caribbean cruise itineraries.
San Juan cruise port is the largest and busiest in the Caribbean with two separate terminals. Most cruise ships use the main San Juan Terminal within sight of the Old Town. It has four piers and can accommodate up to 7 ships at a time. Across the harbor, the Pan-Am cruise terminal is used by larger mega cruise ships and can accommodate two further cruise ships at the same time.
In normal years, San Juan hosts around 2 million cruise visitors each season. However, the 2020-21 cruise season is scheduled to be much quieter as the port is largely closed due to planned privatization and necessary maintenance of the infrastructure.
Before you decide to book one of the Caribbean cruises from San Juan, check out our informative pros and cons.
Top Destinations On Cruises From San Juan
The Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao are collectively known as the ABC islands. From luxurious white sand beaches and turquoise seas to spectacular diving sites and exotic animal encounters, the ABC islands offer something for every vacationer. Enjoy a guided horseback ride along the north coast in Aruba. Explore Bonaires renowned marine life from a glass-bottom kayak, or enjoy a two-tank scuba dive in the Caribbeans top-ranked dive location. Take part in a hands-on cooking class with a local chef and learn how Caribbean ingredients impart an island flavor to dishes in Curaçao.
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Cruise Ships In San Juan
San Juan has two cruise terminals, one in San Juan Bay and the other at the Pan American terminal across from the bay. Between them, the ports host around 500 cruise ships per year. Many of the cruises that make a voyage through the Caribbean make a port call in Puerto Rico, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, Costa, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Windstar, Norwegian Cruise Line, AIDA, Seabourn, Silbersea, MSC Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and even Disney Cruises.
The San Juan Bay terminal has a capacity to receive up to seven ships at once. The location of the piers gives visitors easy access to explore the historic city of Old San Juan. This may be the most convenient port of call for people only spending a day on island because many attractions, restaurants, bars, and landmarks are within walking distance.
The Pan American terminal has a pier that accommodates two cruise ships. It is located near Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport in Isla Grande, next to the Puerto Rico Convention Center, the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino, and the Hyatt House Hotel. Getting in and out of the city requires either a taxi or rideshare, and if San Juan is your point of departure, your cruise ship will likely embark from there.
Cruise ships at the fast-growing Ponce Cruise Port.
St Cruise Ship Docks In Puerto Rico Since Pandemic Began
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico The Carnival Mardi Gras docked Tuesday in Puerto Rico the first time a cruise ship has visited the U.S. territory since the pandemic began.
Some cautiously celebrated the arrival. It comes as Puerto Rico has reported an increase in COVID-19 cases blamed on the Delta variant but also as it seeks to restart its crucial tourism sector, which depended largely on record numbers of cruise ship passengers in recent years.
Carlos Mercado, executive director of Puerto Ricos Tourism Company, told The Associated Press that the government took several precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including allowing only those who are fully vaccinated to disembark.
He said the ship was traveling at 70% capacity, with some 4,500 people aboard, and that he estimates a total of 3,500 will disembark. Mercado noted that 95% of the ships passengers are vaccinated, with children younger than 12 making up the majority of those who have not been inoculated.
The visit was expected to generate some $360,000 during the nine hours that the ship is docked in the historic part of Puerto Ricos capital known as Old San Juan.
Passenger Tom Seuberling, of Oak Hill, Florida, said he was impressed by the health protocols aboard the ship.
Miss Universe Puerto Rico Welcomes Carnival Mardi Gras To San Juan
Carnival Cruise Lines celebratory cruise following the christening of its new flagship Mardi Gras last Saturday made its first stop with a call in San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to a press release.
As part of the festivities on Oct. 26, the reigning Miss Universe, Puerto Rico, Estefania Soto-Torres and the incoming Miss Universe, Puerto Rico, Michelle Colón welcomed some very special guests to their home island, Carnival said. The guests were Miss Universe Andrea Meza, Mardi Gras Godmother and Miss Universe, Dominican Republic, Kimberly Jiménez and Miss USA Asya Branch, as well as Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy.
The Mardi Gras was christened during a Universe of Fun celebration on Oct. 23 in Port Canaveral, Florida. The celebration marked the first ship naming ceremony held in the U.S. since the cruise industrys restart this summer. Godmother Jiménez blessed the ship in both English and Spanish and activated the traditional champagne bottle break, officially naming the ship.
We are thrilled to be back in Puerto Rico and allow our destinations to participate in the celebration of our new ship, said Duffy. And to be welcomed by the current and incoming Miss Universe, Puerto Rico has made it even more special.
The Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship in the Americas to be powered by Liquified Natural Gas and features BOLT, the first rollercoaster at sea.
Traveling To The San Juan Cruise Terminal
San Juan Luis MuÃ±oz MarÃn International Airport services the island of Puerto Rico. It is the islands main international gateway, and its main connection to the mainland United States. The Airport is located approximately 10 miles from the Pan American Pier and 11 miles from the OSJ Piers . It usually takes about 15-25 minutes in a taxi for the trip, dependent upon traffic.
The Tourism Taxi Program, recently instituted by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, has simplified the fare structure between the airport and several major tourism zones, including the piers. When coming out of the airport, go to the taxi stand and theyll give you a slip with your set rate on it. The rates are per taxi and many are vans or minivans, which can accommodate up to 6 or 7 people. There are additional charges for baggage.
More Time At El Yunque
El Yunque is the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest system. Yes, you can visit El Yunque on some cruises as long as you arrive early in the morning. However, you really cant take time to enjoy it since you have to get back to the ship before it leaves.
Hiking to La Mina Falls is one of our favorite things to do in Puerto Rico. Its even better on days when no cruise ships are in port and its far less crowded. By taking a cruise out of San Juan and opting for a pre or post cruise day, you can take time to enjoy the beauty of this rain forest. There are some great hidden spots where you can swim in the rainforest that you wont find an any cruise tours.
The Piers At The Port Of San Juan Puerto Rico
The San Juan Cruise Port is the largest and busiest cruise port in the Caribbean. There are 4 cruise ship piers and 2 modern terminals along the southern shores of historic Old San Juan with a total capacity to accommodate 7 ships at once. The strategic locations of these piers give tourists easy walking access to Old San Juan and its many attractions. In addition, just 1 mile southeast, across the San Antonio Canal, are 2 more large modern cruise ship terminals at the Pan American Pier, which can hold 2 more cruise ships.
In order to plan your stay or day in San Juan, be sure to inquire about which pier your ship will be docking at or departing from. Although we provide some information below on piers used by certain cruise lines, be sure to contact your booked cruise line or call the San Juan Cruise Port at 787-723-2260, Pier 4, in Old San Juan in order to verify the arrival or departure pier location. By being informed you can prepare for whether youll need transportation , find a nearby hotel, and plan adequate travel time for getting to or from the ship.
Home Port cruise lines often use San Juan as their departure port, thus cruises embark from San Juan. Transit ships are those docking for a day or two originating from another homeport. See the map below for pier locations.
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Carnival Cruise Line Returns To San Juan Puerto Rico
Carnival Cruise Line will begin sailing out of San Juan, Puerto Rico from October 15th with the Carnival Fascination.
The cruise lines are starting to get back on track after Hurricane Irma and Maria both hit in September and caused devastation across popular cruise destinations in the Eastern Caribbean. Carnival which was among the most impacted cruise line due to the Hurricanes is finally making a return with cruises out of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Carnival Cruise Line stated the following:
We have been working very closely with our partners in San Juan over the last couple of weeks, and based on the assessment of our terminal facilities, support services and local conditions, we are happy to announce that we will be returning to San Juan to resume cruises to the Southern Caribbean, effective with Carnival Fascinations October 15 sailing. Our teams visit this past week confirmed the Old San Juan area is ready to receive tourists. Many shops and businesses have returned to their normal business operations with more opening up every day.
Like you, we were saddened to see the impact the recent storm had on Puerto Rico. Tourism is very important to their economy, and with your help, we are pleased to play an important role in aiding their recovery efforts in a meaningful way.
As a result of Carnival Cruise Line returning to Puerto Rico upcoming sailings have been adjusted and the cruise line has also sent out an email to all guests booked on any affected sailings.