Cruise Holidays - Attheta Travel

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel, dba Cruise Holidays.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Cruising to Puerto Rico

The port city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a mainstay of Caribbean cruising. A variety of cruises from Florida ports call on San Juan; other itineraries sail roundtrip from San Juan, giving you the opportunity for a pre-or post-cruise stay.

The island of Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, so you’ll see some familiar shops and restaurants, and the U.S. dollar is the local currency. Still, it’s unlike any other place in the U.S., with a unique mix of indigenous Taino, Carib, European and African cultures.

If you have just a day in San Juan, don’t miss the old city, a remnant of Spanish colonial days. There are narrow streets of distinctive blue cobblestones winding between buildings that date back to the 16th century. You can see San Jose Church, built in the Spanish Gothic style; Hotel El Convento, built as a convent in 1646; Casa Blanca, home of the Ponce de Leon family; and many other well-preserved buildings of historic and architectural significance.

In addition to the protection offered by massive city walls, Old San Juan was guarded by forts built in the 16th and 17th centuries, including Fort San Felipe del Morro; Fort San Cristobal, and La Fortaleza (or the Palacio de Santa Catalina), which now serves as the governor’s mansion. Old San Juan also has lovely colonial plazas and lots of art galleries, studios, and boutiques that are fun to browse.

If you have more than a day in San Juan, visit the Bacardi Rum Factory. It’s surrounded by beautiful grounds where you can enjoy a Bacardi cocktail. The tour is interesting, too, and will teach you about rum tasting and mixology.

About an hour south of San Juan is El Yunque, a tropical rainforest. Bring your hiking shoes and a rain jacket to walk the trails surrounded by ferns, flowers, and waterfalls.

Puerto Rico also has gorgeous beaches: some bustle with activity, others are secluded and quiet. There are several excellent golf courses, too, including one used by the PGA tour.

If you’re concerned about the Zika virus, note that the peak of the virus, which is spread by mosquitos, seems to have passed in Puerto Rico. You should still pack and use an effective mosquito repellent, especially if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

For more information about San Juan and how to see it via cruise, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.

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