San Juan, Puerto Rico Cruise Port Guide: Tips and Overview

January 4, 2020 posted by Founded in 1521 by Ponce De Leon, San Juan
Puerto Rico has two cruise terminals. We’re focusing on the terminal
in Old San Juan. In addition to being the Capital of Puerto
Rico and the oldest city in the US Territory, San Juan is known for its cobblestone streets,
16th century walls and fortresses, colorful architecture, expansive views of the Caribbean
Sea, and Bacardi Rum, all of which can be reached from the Old San Juan cruise terminal
for little or no cost. If you want to explore San Juan’s old city
landmarks by foot, head to the left as you leave the cruise terminal. In that direction, you can walk along the
waterfront, to the picturesque Paseo De La Princesa, the iconic Roots Fountain, and the
walkway around the old city walls. From there, it is a short walk to the San
Felipe Del Morro Fortress, a US National Park you can tour the inside of for a fee. The Spanish began building the fort in 1539
and it endured attacks from the British, Dutch and American naval forces. More information — including admission pricing
— can be found on the national park service website. If you have kids — or you are just young
a heart — bring a kite when you visit El Morro. The open area at the fort and its proximity
to the sea make for excellent kite flying. From the fort, you can walk back toward the
cruise terminal and pass through the old Spanish military barracks building nearby and then
stop at the cathedral that contains the tomb of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce De Leon. Further along, you can see the Governor’s
mansion, check out Pigeon Park, and explore Old San Juan’s shopping district. We’ve created a step-by-step walking tour
for these sights and you can download it for free on our website The area to the right of the cruise terminal
is home to the Capitol of Puerto Rico and a public beach. Both are about a 15-minute walk from the cruise
terminal. If you’d like to gauge proximity, the Capitol
building itself is typically visible from the upper levels of a cruise ship. The Capitol building houses the Puerto Rico
Legislature. Tour information is available on the National
Parks Service website. Across the street from the Capitol — and
down a set of stairs — is Playa Peña beach. This small, rocky beach is open to the public. It was not manned by lifeguards on our visit. Also of note — on the opposite side of the
the Capitol — is a Holocaust Memorial and the Walkway of the Presidents. If you’re using a GPS to navigate to this
area, we recommend sticking to the major roads. On our last cruise, tourists following their
GPS were led through the open, but gated, area of the nearby Department of the Treasury
and they were promptly turned away by guards. The route we took to the Capitol building
and nearby beach is available to download for free on our website For those who don’t wish to explore by foot,
Old San Juan offers free trolleys that follow three different routes and each has stops
near the cruise terminal. The trolleys are very popular and can run
infrequently, so if the stop by the cruise terminal is crowded, you can sometimes have
better luck getting a seat if you walk to the earlier stops on the route,
like the one by La Casita. The fort, Capitol and beach mentioned earlier
in this video are on the Green Trolley Route. Maps of the trolley routes are available online
by searching for “old san juan trolley map” If you’re interested in Bacardi Rum, you
can catch the Cataño ferry from Pier 2 in Old San Juan, then take a taxi to the nearby
factory and do the tour on your own. The pier is located directly across the street
from the CVS pharmacy. On our last trip, the fare for the ferry was
50 cents each way with discounts provided for seniors. The ferry ride takes about ten minutes. You can find more details, including tour
pricing, on the Casa Bacardi website. Also, take note that the Ferry Terminal in
Old San Juan had public restrooms available. Finally, if you forgot some items back home,
there is a CVS located across from Pier 2 and a Walgreens located across from Pier 3,
in front of the Sheraton. For shopping enthusiasts, the jewelry, made-to-order
panama hats, souvenirs, and factory outlet stores are located along three main streets
in old San Juan: Calle de Cristo which runs north and south, and Calle Fortaleza and Calle
San Francisco which run east and west. To get to the shopping district, travel to
the left as you exit the cruise terminal. Once you’ve arrived at the park with the
La Casita building, turn to the right and head uphill.


23 Replies to “San Juan, Puerto Rico Cruise Port Guide: Tips and Overview”

  1. beginstepper says:

    This was perfect 👌🏾 I’m cruising out of this port in July on the Fascination!

  2. E GRon says:

    The views are from the Atlantic Ocean.

  3. Melissa Hiatt says:

    Very informative! This will be helpful for our upcoming cruise!

  4. Carmen&Julian vlog says:

    going here in april by cruise, good information . thanks

  5. the big d zone says:

    thank you I will be there on my birthday in nvember 13. exciting and a lot of free things to do !

  6. Cecilia Cercone says:

    How complete your video is!! thank you for all the info. by the way, are the beaches nice?

  7. Teairra camak says:

    Going here in 27 days can’t wait .. thank you

  8. The Traveling Duo says:

    Nice video!

  9. Jose Gonzalez says:

    Las chiringas ay bendito

  10. chim_chim_2 says:

    Donde estan mi puertorriqueños!?

  11. Zoeebella says:

    We are going on the Royal Caribbean Freedom of The Seas in March. Is this docked at Old San Juan near the Sheraton? Trying to make a hotel arrangement and want to stay close by.

  12. jessica says:

    thank you for all you help!!!!

  13. Lucy says:

    Thank you so much. Very helpful

  14. Jolene Weaver says:

    Thank you so much… Waiting for April 2019

  15. Save our Planet says:

    Going there in 2 weeks

  16. Bruce Marsico says:

    My favourite Caribbean port!

  17. Laura Fuentes says:

    Great info! Thanks

  18. JOPIA SPIEDER says:

    San Juan is gorgeous city one of the best places to cruise from and to.

  19. Kayla P says:

    Did you see any places to buy a kite?

  20. marksuggsphotography says:

    Thanks for the info. Website walking tours is a nice bonus also.

  21. Norma González says:

    What we have at the north is the Atlantic Ocean. Other thing is that the old San Juan yep is full of history is just a small part of the municipality of San Juan (the capital) so, San Juan has a real modern part that with few others municipalities, form the METROPOLITAN AREA…
    A city full of everything you need and can enjoy. Also a full tradition of plays (theatre), international concerts and lots of all kind of activities… Another tradition is our arts and painters….our fashion world also… Advan garde…

  22. Yolanda Smith says:

    Great video…cruising there within the week will definitely be using your suggestions.

  23. Kim Youpi says:

    Do they have any Bioluminescent Lagoon or Full Moon Kayak Eco Adventure available once we get off the cruise by the port?

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