Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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Making the Most of San Juan
Making the Most of San Juan
The Disney ships usually berth at Pan American Pier, across the bay from Old San Juan. Since most itineraries either begin or end at this port (see page 100 for more), you’ll likely be traveling to/from the airport or a hotel, rather than sightseeing from the pier. If you do pay an “in-transit” visit, a flat-rate taxi to Old San Juan is $10. If you do berth in Old San Juan (likely Pier 3 or Pier 4), the tourism information center is right by the pier, alongside a very pleasant waterfront promenade completed for the Christopher Columbus quint-centennial.
Old San Juan is made for walking, but there’s also a free trolley service that wends its way throughout the old town. We don’t recommend a car rental in San Juan unless you’re already very familiar with the area. Considering the brief time you’ll be ashore (on an in-transit visit), the time spent at the rental agency will be very precious indeed. The narrow, cobblestone streets of Old San Juan are often clogged with traffic and parking is near-impossible, so why add to the frustration? To the east, the beaches and casinos of Condado Beach (3-4 miles) and Isla Verde (6-7 miles) are easy and inexpensive to reach by taxi (see below). If you’re interested in the natural wonders of El Yunque or other out-of-town destinations, play it safe and take an official excursion so the ship won’t sail without you. Taxi fares are regulated, but be sure to discuss the fare before you hop in. Fixed fares may be offered. Typical rates are approximately: Pier to Old San Juan: $10, Pier to Condado Beach: $12, Pier to Isla Verde hotels: $19. Metered fares start at $3 (all prices in U.S. dollars). There are no extra, per-person fees for up to five passengers.
Personal safety in this metropolitan city should be approached with the same caution you’d show in any large urban area. Leave your flashy valuables back in the stateroom or hotel safe. Shoulder bags should be hung diagonally across your chest. If you’ll be carrying purchases back to the ship, travel with a buddy and stay alert. The free trolley will take you safely from the main shopping district right back to the waterfront. If you’re headed for the beach, keep a limited amount of cash and any credit cards in a small, waterproof container so you can carry it at all times. And need we say it, “Sunscreen!” Oh, and if the Pirates of the Caribbean happen to sail into port, hide behind those high, fortified city walls.
Top Photo Slice: San Juan School of the Fine Arts (℗ 41569) Photo contributed by © chezp
You are viewing page 248, which is section 20 of chapter 7 of PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line guidebook.
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