Seeing San Juan on a Segway
Disney Cruise Line Port Adventure Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 06-13-2013
As soon as the shore excursions were announced for our Disney Cruise stop at San Juan in Puerto Rico, I knew what we'd be spending the afternoon doing.
With my husband's love for Segways (and heck, I find them fun as well!), the Fortifications Segway Guided Tour in San Juan was perfect for us.
San Juan, Puerto Rico - Segway tour
On our Segway tour in front of Castillo San Felipe del Morro
At 1:30pm of our day in San Juan, we were pleased to find that we were part of a very small group, just seven of us in total, and I was the only woman in the group, which did surprise me. The tour operators were located literally just five minutes' walk away from where the Fantasy was docked, and once there, we started on our orientation, learning how to ride our Segways, something that we as old pros needed little instruction on. It helps to have ridden the things a few times before!
Once the training was completed, we headed out along the seafront of San Juan, and this reminded me of the tour we’d taken in Madrid, as we were on the roads, with traffic alongside us, which was interesting, but manageable. Having said that, I was glad when we moved away from the cars.
Our first stop allowed us to get a glimpse of San Juan’s harbor, and it was fascinating to view it from the land, knowing that we would be sailing past it later in the day.
Back on our Segways, we came across a sight that was normal to our tour guide, but was unbelievable to us – an iguana just sitting there, sunning itself. Never having seen this creature outside of a zoo before, we were just spellbound by it, but our guide told us that they are an absolute pain, as they have no natural predators on the island.
By now, we were at the main gate leading up towards Castillo San Felipe del Morro, our ultimate destination. To get up there, we had to negotiate a steep cobblestone hill, which was certainly challenging on a Segway, although for me, going back down was the worst bit. Considering no-one else in our group had ever ridden one of these before today, they all did amazingly well.
At the top, we found some more stunning views out to sea, and also saw the entrance to the Governor’s mansion. From here, our route took us parallel to the coast, before we rounded a corner, and saw the Castillo in all its glory. It was a truly beautiful sight, and I wasn’t expecting to see such a huge expanse of greenery in front of it.
We made our way over there, parked our Segways, which our guide secured by removing their battery packs, and then we headed inside. Our guide took us on a tour around, which included the restrooms, and if you think that sounds odd, well yes it was, but they had a superb view over the defences of the fort beneath, and the sea beyond. Once again, I couldn’t help but think how cool it was to be able to see from the landside, as we’d be sailing out past the Castillo on the Fantasy not long after the tour finished.
San Juan, Puerto Rico - iguana from our Segway tour
We were fascinated to find this iguana on our Segway tour around San Juan, although we were told that they are common and an irritant in Puerto Rico.
Before we headed out, we visited the living quarters of the soldiers who had been stationed here, and the chapel. Home to a beautiful image of the Virgin Mary, we learned that sadly, it had to put it behind glass, as someone had attacked it a couple of years ago with paint.
We took the same route back to the ship, which I thought was the only shame about this tour, as I’d have welcomed the opportunity to see even more of San Juan, even if perhaps we didn’t have the commentary of the sights we were seeing. Perhaps more importantly, it would’ve also meant avoiding that dreaded steep cobblestone hill, but no, there was no avoiding it, but we all made it safely down to the bottom.
That achieved, it was back to the office to return our Segways, and make our way back to the Fantasy. The tour we’d taken had been worth the money we’d paid for it ($105/each), as we’d had a huge amount of fun on the Segways, and seen a lot of San Juan. In addition, we’d learned a lot about the history of the island, and life there nowadays, from our wonderful guide, making this much more than just your average Segway tour. It was a superb way of finding out more about this beautiful city, and I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone heading to San Juan on a Disney cruise in the future.
Updated 06-13-2013 - Article #955
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
Want to know more about Disney Cruise Line?
Sign up to get our free weekly newsletter with the latest news and updates on Disney Cruise Line and a 20% discount coupon.
You are in good company -- we have more than 50,000 subscribers!