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Cruises to San Juan

San Juan (Photo:Gary Ives/Shutterstock)

About San Juan

As an anchor on Eastern and Southern Caribbean itineraries -- not to mention a turnaround port for many ships -- San Juan is a place where just about all cruisers, at some point or another, are going to wind up. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, and San Juan is its urban hub. The city, by and large, is divided into new and old. The new includes a business district and outlying neighborhoods, concentrated with hotel chains like Isla Verde. The old is, of course, the historic city within ancient walls. Both offer many Americanisms. (Senor Frog's has a prime outpost, and you'll never want for a McDonald's Big Mac.)

Get beyond that, though, because of all America's Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico offers the most exotic aura. The melange of indigenous Taino culture, combined with European and African influences in San Juan (and all of Puerto Rico, for that matter), is one major factor. Add to that its own unique influences in areas ranging from cuisine and music to history and art. And there's more: folks who have traveled to Cuba say that Old San Juan reminds them more of Cuba, at times, than Cuba itself! It's also very Spanish (think Seville) and even a bit Italian (reminiscent of Naples). Finally, the city evokes just a wee taste of South America (like Buenos Aires).

For those who visit San Juan as a day-stop on a Caribbean itinerary or embark or disembark there, the island's biggest appeal is the old city. Most cruise ships dock right in the heart of Old San Juan, which dates back to the 16th century. The old, walled city has been exquisitely preserved, and its sprawling forts, cobblestone streets, antique shops and art galleries make it an ideal first stop. Its mainstream attractions include the imposing El Morro fort, which dates back to 1539; the Cathedral of San Juan, where the island's first governor, Ponce de Leon, is buried; La Fortaleza, the oldest governor's mansion on U.S. soil; several colonial plazas; and the triumvirate of Calle del Cristo, Calle San Jose and Calle Fortaleza for shopping. Calle del Cristo, in particular, is chock-full of art galleries, artisan studios and distinctive boutiques.

But, if you're a "been there, done that" visitor to Old San Juan, there's much more to explore.

And there's one more thing to keep in mind: many cruises stay in port until late at night. That makes it possible to sample some of the city's vibrant restaurants and nightlife (as long as you keep an eye on the clock).


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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to San Juan

    Leaving:
    Miami
    Visiting:
    San Juan, St. Thomas ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    MSC Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to San Juan Route (MSC Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Miami
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      San Juan
    • Day 4
      San Juan
    • Day 4
      St. Thomas
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Nassau
    • Day 7
      Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve
    • Day 8
      Miami
    Ship Details

    MSC Seaside - MSC Cruises

    Pros

    Ample outdoor space draws passengers outside to enjoy the ship's Caribbean surroundings

    Cons

    With so many areas dedicated to the outdoors, interior public areas can feel crowded during inclement weather

    Bottom Line

    This bright, elegant and technologically advanced ship is great for North Americans

    Reviews

    MSC Seaside Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins4.5
    Dining4.5
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    MSC Seaside is lively and fun, incorporating jaw-dropping entertainment, lots of outdoor spaces...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    roommusic
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    We love Seaside
    Read More
    jesunrise
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    YATCH CLUB CRUISE PARADISE
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 7 Night
    Cruise to San Juan

    Leaving:
    Miami
    Visiting:
    Labadee, San Juan ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Royal Caribbean International
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    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to San Juan Route (Royal Caribbean International)
    • Day 1
      Miami
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Labadee
    • Day 4
      San Juan
    • Day 5
      St. Thomas
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Perfect Day at CocoCay
    • Day 8
      Miami
    Ship Details

    Symphony of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

    Pros

    The range of activities, restaurants and lounges make it a highly customizable ship

    Cons

    If you choose to indulge in specialty dining, you'll pay a premium

    Bottom Line

    Royal Caribbean has taken the best features of its most popular ship class and improved upon them

    Reviews

    Symphony of the Seas Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.5
    Value4.0

    Royal Caribbean might have built the world's largest cruise ship -- once again -- but the size ...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    longjohn49
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    A Tale of 2 Cruises
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    Raxar005
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    34 ChiTown Cruisers had an Amazing Time!!!
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 7 Night
    Cruise to San Juan

    Leaving:
    San Juan
    Visiting:
    St. Thomas, St. Maarten ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Carnival Cruise Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to San Juan Route (Carnival Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      San Juan
    • Day 2
      St. Thomas
    • Day 3
      St. Maarten
    • Day 4
      St. Kitts (Port Zante)
    • Day 5
      St. Lucia
    • Day 6
      Barbados
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      San Juan
    Ship Details

    Carnival Fascination - Carnival Cruise Line

    Pros

    Smaller ship that does not require lots of walking to get from place to place

    Cons

    Limited dining variety and onboard activities

    Bottom Line

    Comfortable, well-maintained ship perfect as a base for port-intensive cruises

    Reviews

    Carnival Fascination Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    3.5/5
    Cabins3.5
    Dining4.0
    Service4.5
    Value4.0

    A sailing on Carnival Fascination is the quintessential "choose this cruise for the itinerary, ...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    GLSailor
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    A mixed bag of good and bad
    Read More
    taylormaid21
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Grand Suite/Extended balcony worth every penny
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 7 Night
    Cruise to San Juan

    Leaving:
    Port Canaveral
    Visiting:
    Perfect Day at CocoCay, San Juan ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Royal Caribbean International
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    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to San Juan Route (Royal Caribbean International)
    • Day 1
      Port Canaveral (Orlando)
    • Day 2
      Perfect Day at CocoCay
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      San Juan
    • Day 5
      St. Maarten
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Port Canaveral (Orlando)
    Ship Details

    Harmony of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

    Pros

    One of the largest cruise ships in the world offers plenty of choice

    Cons

    Can feel crowded and busy, despite clever design to combat congestion

    Bottom Line

    Fantastic ship for families and those looking for great entertainment and activities

    Reviews

    Harmony of the Seas Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins4.5
    Dining4.0
    Service3.0
    Value4.0

    You would be hard pressed to take part in everything on offer on the 5,479-passenger Harmony of...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Prettyprincess25
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Another average Royal cruise
    Read More
    bcrn78
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    All is well with the Harmony of the Seas
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 7 Night
    Cruise to San Juan

    Leaving:
    San Juan
    Visiting:
    St. Thomas, St. Kitts ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Royal Caribbean International
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to San Juan Route (Royal Caribbean International)
    • Day 1
      San Juan
    • Day 2
      St. Thomas
    • Day 3
      St. Kitts (Port Zante)
    • Day 4
      Antigua
    • Day 5
      Barbados
    • Day 6
      St. Lucia
    • Day 7
      St. Maarten
    • Day 8
      San Juan
    Ship Details

    Freedom of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International