We began our trip flying into San Juan from snowy Michigan. We have traditionally cruised in the winter for a break from the snow and cold weather. The weather on the entire trip was fabulous. There were a few rain showers, but they were short lived. Temperatures reached the mid-eighties - just what we were looking for!!
We stayed at the Hampton Inn on Isla Verde. The hotel staff was friendly and the hotel was nice. We loved the swim up bar and grill. We had a burger at the grill and it was fabulous! The price of the hotel was moderate - and we would stay there again! There was a Walgreens across the street to pick up any pre-cruise necessities.
We really loved the ship decor - an ocean theme with mermaids and seahorses throughout the ship. The service on the ship was very good - from the cabin steward to the dining staff. The rooms do not have a mini fridge, but our cabin steward kept the ice bucket full and we brought a collapsible small cooler to keep a few colas cold. There was an occasional foul smell (sewer) on the ship, but it was faint.
Afterward most everyone returned to the ship. My SIL and I went downtown. Our trip was short lived as we didn't see many shops that interested us and it was not a very nice area.
We took a taxi tour of San Juan. It was a very reasonable cost and included a trip to the airport in the end. The luggage was stored in the back of the taxi and we were escorted around town. The stops were short - about 15-20 minutes, but we covered a lot in the time we had. We began the tour about 10:00 and ended about 2:00. We stopped at a beach, near El Morro fort, the capital building, and Old San Juan. Our last stop in old San Juan was a two hour stop allowing enough time to browse the shops and eat lunch. Our tour guide was Hector the red headed Puerto Rican, as he called himself and was entertaining and knowledgeable. We would definitely do this tour again if we needed to kill time before a late flight.
We returned to the ship for lunch and proceeded to the South Friars beach for a swim and drink at the Shipwreck bar. The bar is a very laid-back place with no frills tables. The bartenders were not very friendly and drinks were fairly priced. My husband saw a starfish while snorkeling here. There is a floating raft out in the ocean to dive from. There were green monkeys across from the bar and were lured in by one of the locals for others to see. We really enjoyed this laid back day at the beach. It was about a 10 minute drive from the cruise port - and was an inexpensive taxi ride.