Bienvenidos from Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is open for business and she’s ready to welcome you!
The devastation in the news was real. But the Port of San Juan is the largest port in the Caribbean and tourism is vital to Puerto Rico’s economy. Add in the warmth, creativity and resiliency of the people and it’s no wonder that San Juan was able to be back up and ready to embrace visitors so quickly.
Multiple cruise lines began sailing from and to San Juan last month. Recent feedback from cruise ship guests either sailing from Puerto Rico or visiting as a port-of-call during their cruise have produced positive comments.
Yes, the Puerto Rico we saw in the news in September was horribly damaged by Hurricane Maria. Sixty-five percent of the island is still without electric, mostly in rural locations including mountain areas.
However, when it comes to urban areas, there’s more ability to clean up and get businesses and services running. As I write this, 98% of San Juan’s electric has been restored and the debris has been removed. Metropolitan areas such as Condada and Isla Verde also have electric and other services.
Over 100 attractions await you. These include historic sites such as forts and art museums which showcase the amazing artistic talents of the people. There are 15 casinos open if you wish to try your luck. Architecture is preserved with buildings to visit as well as the rich colors, large wooden doors and balcony railings to take in as you walk through Old San Juan. There are boat tours and open beaches.
The popular Bacardi Distillery (“Casa Bacardi”) located a cab or ferry ride away from San Juan in Cataño is open. Electric has also been restored to Cataño’s tourist area including along the popular boardwalk or “Tablado.”
Puerto Rico now has 122 open hotels and there are 4,000 restaurants open island-wide.
Oh, the food! Do try the food! When talking with our lead cruise group specialist, Carlos Estela, he proudly commented on the food. “When it comes to dining, the rich history and diverse cultures in Puerto Rico have greatly influenced what is consider today’s traditional cuisine. The history and development of the cuisine begins with the native Taino Indians and was later influenced by the Spaniards, Africans, Mexicans and various European & Asian countries, all coming together to form “La Cocina Criolla”. The food is rich in flavor but unlike some of the surrounding Latin American countries, it is not overly spicy. For those who are less adventurous will also be able to find all the typical US chain restaurants & foods. The Puerto Rican cuisine has something for everyone. ¡Buen provecho!” (Enjoy your meal!)
There are two major island attractions which are closed indefinitely. Rio Camuy Cave Park and El Yunque Rainforest, each of these ecological sites located about 90 minutes outside of San Juan, received extensive damage to clean up. I have no doubt that they will eventually again be open.
I enjoy Puerto Rico each time I visit. I’m looking forward to visiting Puerto Rico again in May when I will be sailing with a group from San Juan on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas to St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Maarten, St. Lucia and Barbados.
If you’re interested in joining us or booking another cruise, call or email for us to help you plan so we can plan something special for you!