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About Stinger-pr

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Puerto Rico
  • Interests
    Photography, cars, snorkeling
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Carnival, Norwegian
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. There are several fast food restaurants in Old San Juan (Burger King, Wendy's, etc) as well as Starbucks and a few other places where you can use the restroom free of charge. Marshall's is also an option. Across the street from Paseo de la Princesa at the very beginning, there's a public restroom that's run by an older lady. She charges $.50 to use but keeps the restroom clean and stocked all day and controls the entry and exit of patrons as well. If visiting any of the forts, there will be bathrooms available inside as well.
  2. San Juan is very walk-able. The reply above gives you an idea for a less-strenuous way to reach fort El Morro from the piers. To reach San Cristobal (which is much closer to port) the walk is a bit more demanding since you'd have to cross a few streets, up some steps, etc. Not the best for a stroller like a poster above asked but for anyone else, it's quite easier. From the piers, take the street to the right of the Sheraton hotel north, cross the street and up a few steps and keep north on that street until you see the fort in front of you, a bit to the right. Once at the corner where the fort is located you have one of two ways in: Take the street to the left and tackle the steep uphill walk to the main entrance at the top or walk right towards the fort parking lot, about 50 feet away. Walk up the parking lot to the lower entrance. You will take an elevator to an upper level and walk up a ramp on the inside of the fort and enjoy from there. It should take you no more than 15 minutes or leisurely walking to reach the fort from the pier.
  3. The forts will be closed as Thanksgiving is observed as a Federal holiday in PR. That said, you can always have a walk around the outside, especially on the grounds of El Morro. You will find a couple of stores open that day (since PR is also adopting the "pre- Black Friday sales" as well). Also, most of the restaurants will be open. You could make it a beach day and visit La Playuela, right besides the Hilton Condado Plaza in Condado or Isla Verde beach (both a quick Uber or taxi ride away).
  4. If you're going with a stroller I'd recommend you take Paseo de la Princesa along the city wall up to the old (red) city gate. Cross the door and take a left on Calle de la Defensa and another left on Caleta de las Monjas (on the corner where the Rogativa monument is located). Keep on that street until you reach a fork and keep right all the way up to El Morro. Those streets have little to no traffic most of the time so you'll be able to walk on them with the stroller with no problem. They are paved, except for Calle de la Defensa, where you'll use the sidewalk. The about 100 feet you'll walk on Calle de la Defensa are the steepest part of the walk. It's mostly uphill from the city gate on, but it's very manageable, especially with the stroller. Yes, there are ways through the city but traffic is usually heavy, streets are cobblestone and sidewalks are basically two-person wide at a lot of places. If you want to stroll through the city, I'd do it on the return trip, downhill. Even with the narrow sidewalks, it's an easy stroll. That way you can stop by the pigeon park at the bottom end of Calle del Cristo and hand feed the pigeons for $1 (the price of bag of corn or aptly named pigeon peas).
  5. Following! We're on the 03/1 sailing and will be hitting up 5 of the 9 islands you will be visiting. Have Fun! Be safe!
  6. Please, I'd suggest everyone refrain from doing this. It might seem like a good gesture but an "off the record" Uber trip leaves you completely unprotected by Uber should anything happen along the way. For example, insurance doesn't apply to you since you'd be a private, non-comercial passenger in the vehicle and you will not be able to make ANY claim to Uber. You'd have to privately sue for damages, if any. Stick to an app-initiated trip or a taxi. Just my personal suggestion.
  7. Due to the earthquakes that have struck, mainly the southwest part of the island, it was just announced that the festival will indeed start on Thursday, Jan. 16. There will be much heavier than usual traffic during they day and it will be nearly impossible to reach SJ in a private car after 5pm. Uber, Taxis and public buses will have a dedicated lane access and out of Old SJ so those would be THE best ways to reach the festivities. Public buses aside (simply don't count on them!), Uber and Taxis should be readily available, although you might have to wait a few more minutes than usual.
  8. You are unable to do it this way anymore. When there were larger ships home ported in San Juan (Victory, Valor, Liberty) the gangway was positioned differently than with the smaller Fascination. Used to be that you bought your liquor, stashed it in your carry-on, which would get tagged with a colored zip-tie or ribbon by security at the scanners. you would then wind your way up the un-monitored gangway where you'd cut or hide the marker or shift your booze to an unmarked bag before reaching Carnival security desk where they would confiscate what they found. Now, that Carnival desk is located 15 feet away from the scanner checkpoint and it would be a miracle if they didn't catch you trying to bypass them someway. No chance to cut zip-ties or ribbons since most of the times they have eyes on you as soon as you pick your bag from the scanner. Some have used rum-runners on their checked luggage to mixed results. Not sure how it would work out at the Pan American Pier (RCCL, NCL, Celebrity). At least when I sailed on the NCL Dawn a year ago, they had a security agent right by the Duty Free store on the outside and a desk just before the escalators to the gangway, in sight of the store and the security agent.
  9. Try 3,700-4,000 passengers for the Royal ship. That's the average capacity for the Freedom of the Seas, which is currently home ported year round in San Juan. It will be out for her dry dock until the second week of March, if I'm not mistaken. So for a few weeks, the Epic will be docking alone. The other Royal and Celebrity ships on their seasonal loop depart on Saturdays.
  10. While I have never heard of this, regarding the Pan American Pier, I could see it happening just when the Epic is docking. They added some mooring pylons in order to accommodate the bigger Epic and one of those pylons is VERY close to the access road. This would only be a factor when departing, though since the ship arrives before 6am and it's the second ship to sail (Freedom Of The Seas leaves around 30 minutes earlier) from that pier. The FOTS docks much farther away from the raod and there would be absolutely no need to stop traffic since you can't even see the mooring lines from the road.
  11. It has been a harrowing three weeks for those living in the southwest coast of PR. They are getting quakes well over 4.0 at least once or twice a week, sometimes once or twice a day! There was a 5.8 quake on Monday morning followed by a few more over 4.0 during the day. About 5 houses from the same community collapsed. Thankfully no one was seriously injured. There was a natural rock arch on the coast of the town of Guayanilla that also collapsed, erasing of of the more prominent attractions of the area (think something like a rock window at Arches National Park but on the water). While felt, no damage has been reported anywhere in the San Juan metro area.
  12. Well I wasn't really complaining about the rate. If you read closely you'll see that I told him I appreciated the price, considering the extras he includes. Was it over my budget at that moment? A bit... That's why I asked for quotes for other types. My real gripe is the lack of transparency over his rates. Look, if you have a 2-day minimum rental policy and you quote prices publicly based on THAT policy, fine. But if you have different rates for 1-day rentals, why not post them as such? A lot of places in the Caribbean have "specials" for cruisers and they openly advertise them. The fact that they openly quote one thing and then quote you higher privately tells me something about their practices. If you and others have had great experiences with them then that's awesome!! Really. But I chose not to do business with them. Oh and BTW, I ended up booking a more expensive Jeep with another company (Juli Car Rental) for the day. So you see, it's not about the price!
  13. Actually, parking is much easier in Old SJ than in Isla Verde or Condado. Old SJ has at least 5 public parking lots (Cheapest is at La Princesa, west of the piers). There's at least three about a block from the cruise pier that are multi-level (Fela, Paseo Portuario and Covadonga). There's one on the north side of the city across from El Morro fort (Ballaja lot), but that one can get full quickly on weekends since it's a small lot, located under the Quito Centenario plaza. Parking in Isla Verde and Condado is mostly relegated to having plain luck and finding a spot in the street (unlikely) or parking at the expensive hotel lots. That is, of course, if you're staying in the area and have assigned parking space. That being said, I'd stay in Isla Verde just for the beach and drive (around 20 minutes) to Old San Juan.
  14. Even as a local I'm not completely sure about the open-container part. When there are big activities (like San Sabastian Festival) the do have specific municipal ordinances written up specific for those dates. As to a place to drink it, There's Plaza Quinto Centenario (5th Centenary Plaza) just across and overlooking the lighted up El Morro fortress. There are some benches at the start of Paseo La Princesa to the right, just after the big fountain that overlooks the bay and Cataño on the other side. The Pigeon Park is closed at night. Another option would be to go picnic-style on the grass on the grounds of El Morro. Stay close to the main street since there's no direct illumination there and as go you closer to the fort it becomes considerably darker. I also concur with the SuperMax suggestion for wine in Old San Juan.
  15. At what time of year and time of the day are you arriving to San Juan?
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