Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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Getting to Puerto Rico and the Port of San Juan
Getting to Puerto Rico and the Port of San Juan
For things to do in San Juan, see our port of call description, starting on page 247.
San Juan, Puerto Rico debuted as a Disney home port in 2014, though the cruise line previously paid port of call visits here in 2012 and 2013. There's a certain simplicity to getting to the island of Puerto Rico. If not by sea, then it's by air, and there's just one airport to consider. San Juan's Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) is just seven miles from the cruise pier, and the principal hotel districts are closer still.
Air travel—Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is the Caribbean's busiest island hub, serving over 9 million passengers annually from the U.S. mainland, Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Limited direct service is also available from Europe, though most European cruisers will arrive via gateway cities on the mainland. JetBlue is the largest carrier, with flights from 11 U.S. cities. The U.S. is also served by American, Delta, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country, United, and U.S. Air. Air Canada and WestJet fly to/from Toronto, and Air Sunshine, Avianca, Cape Air, Copa, InterCaribbean, JetBlue, LIAT, Seaborne, and Tradewind serve destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America. Five interconnected terminals line the U-shaped access road, with ground transportation available at each terminal. JetBlue occupies brand-new Terminal A, and Terminals B and C have been under renovation. For more details on Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, call 787-791-3840 or visit http://www.airportsju.com (at time of writing, the English language version of the website was not available).
Cruise Terminal—In 2017 the Disney Wonder will berth at the Pan American Pier Terminal on Isla Grande, south of Old San Juan. The terminal will open at 11:00 am, boarding will begin at approximately 1:00 pm, and all passengers must be aboard by 5:00 pm. Check-in procedures are similar to boarding in other U.S. ports. The cruise line recommends four hours of leeway for both arriving and departing flights, so book flights that arrive no later than 1:00 pm, and flights that depart no earlier than 11:30 am.
Customs and Immigration—The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a territory of the U.S., and SJU is considered a domestic U.S. airport, so the same security and immigration rules apply here as on the mainland. Visitors arriving from outside the U.S. will pass through U.S. Customs on arrival. At the end of the cruise, passengers will pass through U.S. Customs in the cruise terminal and conventional TSA screening at the airport, presenting the same ID required at other U.S. airports.
Ground transportation—San Juan doesn't have as many ground transportation options as major U.S. airports. Taxis are the dominant airport and seaport connection, and many are vans or minivans, carrying five to seven passengers. Limo services are luxury-priced, and car rentals won't be practical for most visitors. While hotels may help arrange ground transportation, there is generally a fee for the service. The city's bus system serves the airport and the hotel districts, and at $0.75 per ride, the price is hard to beat. Mini-buses also circulate; to ride, wave when the driver blows his horn. A free tourist trolley circulates in Old San Juan, with a stop just opposite the cruise terminal.
Disney Ground Transfers—The cruise line offers ground transportation between the airport and cruise terminal (and hotels, for stays booked through Disney). You may ride in a bus, minibus, or taxi, based on the number of arriving passengers. Meet the cruise line representative outside of baggage claim. Reservations must be made at least 75 days prior to cruise departure. Contact the cruise line at 800-951-3532.
Top Photo Slice: (℗ 41571) Photo contributed by © chezp
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