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Old March 8th, 2011, 01:42 AM
berniece2000 berniece2000 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 69
Default Duty Free at San Juan port??

Getting so excited for our Sunday departure on the CB!! We are definately going to bring some wine on board, but I am wondering something. I've read here that there is a duty free store within the port building at San Juan, but I've heard it is limited. How limited? Approximately how many different types of wine do they carry? And is it just wine and champagne, or are there other types of alcohol for sale? We like Irish Cream, and I was hoping to be able to bring a bottle on board - not sure if I need to try to smuggle it in my checked luggage or just try carrying it on. Either way, would it be something I could purchase at the duty free there?
Alaska Summer 2005 - Norwegian Sun
Alaska Summer 2009 - Celebrity Mercury
S. Caribbean b2b Spring 2011 - Caribbean Princess
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Old March 8th, 2011, 02:14 AM
gsmith gsmith is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: wilsonville oregon
Posts: 80

We have cruised out of SJU 2 years in a row (always March) and will be there again in 2 weeks, sailing on the CB. The duty free shop in the terminal carries LOTS of "hard liquor" but the wine selection is severely limited. Your Irish cream will be easy to purchase and they will probably be giving out samples to entice buyers. Coming from an area rich in wineries, we generally elect to forgo the wine and purchase the basics for mixing our own cocktails while cruising. Some rums can be found only in the islands -at those prices- and we enjoy learning about the different flavors. When in Rome...!
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Old March 8th, 2011, 07:45 AM
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San10s San10s is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dover, NH, USA
Posts: 1,349

We just returned from the Caribbean Princess that ended on 02/27/2011. Things had changed since last year at the Pan American terminal with the Security scan now taking place once you enter the terminal. I was not sure how that would effect the Duty Free shop but it only made it better for everyone!

After all your carry-on bag.....and you....are scanned you head over to get through the check-in process and receive your cabin keys. Then you are free to either head right to the walkways to head up stairs and on board the ship or you can easily walk over to the Duty Free store.

Prices have gone up slightly over the previous year. Baileys had been a special for the last few years where you could buy 2 and get a little one free for about $30.00....a great deal. This year Baileys is going for about $18 and not deal. I was offered a sample of "Molly's Irish Cream" while carrying a bottle of Baileys. Not being a connoisseur, I tasted Molly's and would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two. I save the $4 and purchased the Molly's!

A couple things about the Duty Free store....

* There are a few labels of wines and champagne available and not being a connoisseur there either, the labels meant nothing to me. I do know that they were not any labels that I recognized. Although there is a small selection of wines and varieties of wine too.....someone really into wine will not be pleased most likely. Friends purchased a couple of bottles of Cabernet and they lived to see another day! HaHaHa!

* There is every other type of hard liquor in the store that you could want....and at decent prices. This year they even had some Jack Daniels (my DH's drink of choice) when some years it hasn't been available. The Bacardi rums are well stocked of course with more flavors every year!

* There aren't any 'smaller' bottles of alcohol. I would have loved to have purchase a pint of a rum but they only carry the large bottles of everything know. They used to have "nips" but no longer.

* They also sell cases of bottled water and some Coke products (Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite) in cans. If you want these, don't wait to go back off of the ship and get them later. We heard from some fellow cruise mates that they had done so and the shelves were bare of some of those selections.

* You can carry the soda and water on openly but be sure to leave room in a carry-on to put any hard liquor into. You need to be sure that the bags used by the store with the bottles in them are not in clear view.

I hope that answers your question but feel free to ask any others you may have.

Have a great cruise. We love the CB, leaving from wonderful San Juan and the Southern Caribbean ports!

A Proud Princess ELITE Member! WooHoo!

30 Past Cruises......So many more to go!

Next Cruise: Emerald Princess Baltic Heritage 14 Days 07/09 - 07/23/2016

Last edited by San10s; March 8th, 2011 at 07:48 AM.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 11:29 AM
ilandlvr's Avatar
ilandlvr ilandlvr is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 443
Default beer

did they sell beer?
I love vacation
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Old March 8th, 2011, 12:46 PM
cruisinreunion cruisinreunion is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Central Mass
Posts: 854

Did they have any kind of wine cooloers???

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Old March 8th, 2011, 12:56 PM
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Bigboy99 Bigboy99 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Germany
Posts: 118


we were on the same cruise with Judy on the CB and can confirm all, what she wrote.
Our experience was, on the whole cruise was NOT ONE duty free shop or wine shop that cheap as in SJ!!
Fortunately we did 14 days and could purchase again some bottles.
Additional to your Baileys buy one or two bottles of wine and pack them in the bags of the shop,
the Baileys or other things pack in your private carry on, nobody want to take a look in your carry on,
but they are VERY interested for the shop bags!


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Old March 8th, 2011, 01:53 PM
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Laurie7 Laurie7 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 138

Thanks for the informative post San10s. Will definitely be checking out the supply before boarding on Sunday, March 13.
Have a Great Day!
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Old March 8th, 2011, 01:58 PM
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hightownCO hightownCO is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Cape Girardeau, MO
Posts: 4,194

Yep, I'm taking notes too for getting on the ship this SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!!!

Cruise History:
May 2005 ~ Disney Wonder ...April 2006 ~ Carnival Victory ...April & December (NYE) 2007 ~ Caribbean Princess ...March 2008 ~ Grand Princess ...December (NYE) 2008 ~ Crown Princess ...November 2009 ~ Grand Princess Egypt & the Aegean ...March 2011 ~ Caribbean Princess Southern Caribbean ...November 2012 ~ Ruby Princess Eastern Caribbean ...May 2013 ~ Carnival Conquest Western Caribbean ...October 2013 ~ Halloween! Carnival Liberty Eastern Caribbean...April 2014 ~ Carnival Dream Western Caribbean...November 2014 ~Carnival Liberty Eastern Caribbean...Carnival Magic, March & November 2015, Exotic Western Caribbean......Carnival Dream, August 2016; Grand Princess to Hawaii, October 2016
NEXT: Carnival Dream, January 2017; Crown Princess, April 2017, First Transatlantic!
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Old March 8th, 2011, 06:29 PM
gcsmith gcsmith is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 254

Thanks for the info on the duty free shop. Was wondering if I could grab some rum / coconut rum and make cocktails in the room. Sounds like that is possible.

Another (off topic) question for any recent cruisers - is there any parking at the pier? I would like to drop off my luggage, get checked in with my mother and my kids so she can get them down for a nap. That will take a half hour to an hour I imagine. After that need to head to the airport to return the rental car. May consider a detour to a Walgreens or Walmart so I can pick up baby stuff instead of flying it all with us.

But the key is can I leave a car at the pier long enough to check in?
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