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Everything posted by Stinger-pr

  1. If nothing changes, both RCL and Norwegian dock at the Pan American Pier so you should be able to get off from one ship and walk right on to the other terminal with no problem. It will be an outdoor walk since they don't connect but they are literally side by side.
  2. The vegetation around the cave did suffer during hurricane Maria but the caves are intact. They have since cleared the area of debris and tours are ongoing on a daily basis.
  3. Yes... and tons of ares with natural shade as well. $9 for a chair under a palm tree or a beach almond tree and you're all set. Sapphire is one of our favorite beaches on St. Thomas.
  4. Budget has an office about 10 minutes walk from the Crown Bay pier. I have not booked trough that particular office but I have rented from them at the airport with no problems. Any place that you decide to rent from, make sure you make a thorough walk-around the vehicle previous to leaving the lot. My experience renting multiple times (Avis and Budget) is that the cars are a bit beat up, especially around the bumpers. My experience has only been with mid-size and compact cars. I don't know about other models. I always walk around video documenting every detail I can find and have never gone th
  5. The term "public" is being used as a way to differentiate those restrooms inside any type of establishment as opposed to a stand alone structure, specifically designed and used as restrooms. The only place in San Juan with that type of facility, NOT attached to any other structure is the specific one being referenced in the post. There is literally nothing with restroom facilities around that area. You'd have to walk over to a restaurant located a few minutes from them to find restrooms. In this case "public" means it's open to everyone, not just patrons. Once inside, it's as private as you'd
  6. Thanks for the advice. I might skip the natural pool anyway. I've read that it's always a bit crowded no matter what time you visit and we have a natural pool here in Puerto Rico as well so it's not like it's a "must-see before I die" thing for us. Is there any undertow or currents I should be weary about at Mangel Halto?
  7. Stinger-pr

    La Perla

    I have a serious question for you guys: Why do people want to go into La Perla for? Locals that have nothing to do with La Perla don't even go there! I know the "Despacito" music video put it into the mainstream but that place is NOT the cultural melting pot or hip spot that the video portrays. And I have seen travel bloggers film in La Perla but enevr understood why. Just yesterday, Feb. 14, a tourist was mobbed and robbed of a few bucks and a GoPro camera. Yes. Crime is everywhere you walk. Be it in Puerto Rico, on any of the other islands, even where everyone might happen to liv
  8. A lot of taxis in and around the tourist zones and piers are large passenger vans that take up to 7 passengers. Fares are fixed per zone up to 5 persons with the 6 and 7th passenger add about $2 to the base fare each. It should take you about 10 minutes to reach Old San Juan.
  9. Thank you for including your review here. While we were ready to skip going to the natural pool due to being warned by the crew at HS Rentals about the buggy not being able to make it due to road conditions, I looked at some videos for those type of buggies online and noticed the low speed the reached and the apparently horrible ride they have. We didn't want to end up with screwed up backs on our first stop of the cruise. We ended up going a bit more expensive and booked and UTV. We're still undecided on starting the trek from north to south ending with a snorkel swim at Mangel Halto or doing
  10. Kim, I have yet to snorkel at Escambron but I hear it's a bit lackluster for snorkeling. Diving on the other hand seems to be good. The only problem I see from a bunch of videos I've seen is the murkiness of the water and, depending on the time of year and wind, the surf can also be a big factor. I'll link to a YT search for videos about diving there. Seems like there's basically one company that provides "dive shop" services in the area so I can't be any more specific here. YT videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=escambron+scuba About walking, it's roug
  11. During port calls, 99% of the ships dock at the Old San Juan pier. The exception would be a VERY congested port in which all 6 available berths in Old San Juan are occupied, then they move the remaining ship to the Pan Am pier. This is very, very rare for port calls. Some Sundays on high (winter) season might have a full house on the bay with 3-4 ships sailing from OSJ with a few others just visiting. But if just stopping by, you'll most likely be docking in OSJ.
  12. Well, technically you could you do your tour of El Yunque on that schedule. But I'd suggest you rent a car for it. There's a rental company that has an office at the Sheraton in Old San Juan. I'd be off the ship as soon as that gangway hits the pier and head to get the car. You guys have driven in PR so it'll be easier for you to get re-acquainted with roads and signage. You'd also beat all the cruise ship tours so you'll have the place almost to yourselves for a while. The upper trails of the forest have yet to re-open but you can get to La Coca falls and to the Yokahu Tower for sightseeing a
  13. They opened an entrance that you access from the base of the fort just past the roundabout where thee path used to end. The path was extended a bit in order to connect with this new access.
  14. Oh Young Grasshopper... I've already gone up and down your list, made quite a few notes and marked a bunch of places on Google Maps in order to later download the map to use it offline on the island.So thank you for your write-ups. As usual, your recommendations have been useful for us. We'll have a long 12 hour stop in Aruba so we'll have ample time. I'm in the process of figuring out a route in order to maximize time and check all the boxes there. The only hiccup we have encountered with the buggies is that we were informed outright that we could not take them on the road leading
  15. You know Kim, Your question moved me to ask around about this and found out that the lady (or sometimes a guy) stopped charging a few years ago due to complaints from locals (go figure!!) about the small charge. I'm not sure how they go about it now but the restrooms are still operational and they still control entry to them, free of charge.
  16. I will try it this way the next time we visit. We waited for about 45 minutes after our agreed pick-up time before talking to another driver and didn't even see him anywhere along the way when we headed back to the ship.
  17. The best way (and honestly the only way I'd recommend) to walk between Shipwreck and Carambola is along the beach. It's maybe a 10 minute walk along the sand. You can see one club from the other. Shipwreck is about 15 minutes by taxi from the port and, at least during the times we've been there, traffic has not been an issue at all.
  18. Last time we were in St. Lucia, we took a tour with Spencer Ambrose. His tours start with a power boat ride over to the Piton area and they offer an excursion to hike the Pitons.They transport those going to the hike on the same boat as those on their other tour. I know because we were almost late to the ship (arrived 30 minutes before all aboard time) because they kept waiting and waiting at Jalouise Beach for a couple who were behind schedule on their hike before taking us back to the ship. Other times I have toured with them, they had us back at port al least 1 hour before all aboard. But i
  19. We have been burned by drivers not returning to pick us up at Shipwreck twice. Last time there was one driver who had just dropped off a group of 4 and apparently was waiting for them and we asked if he'd take us back to the ship. He looked a bit annoyed but took us. Next time we go, if the driver doesn't show at the agreed time, we're walking over to Carambola and taking one there. There's always a few around there, more readily available than at Shipwreck.
  20. Other than the companies offering the transfer as part of their tour package you have two other options: Taxi (expensive, may be difficult to find a ride back) or rent a car. There's a rental agency across the pier at the Sheraton hotel and driving in Puerto Rico is not much more different than driving in any US metro or suburb area. Signs are in Spanish but Waze and Google Maps work perfectly. The drive to Fajardo could take about 1:45 minutes or a bit more, considering you're arriving at the peak of San Juan rush hour. But the ride back should be no more than 90 minutes, more than half of th
  21. Please be aware of the "next open tour" part. The next tour may not be the one "available" for walk-ins. It all depends on the amount of people pre-booked for any given tour. You might be able to walk in and do the first tour after you do so, or you might wait a while if there are not enough spaces for your party. Good Luck!
  22. There are a few signs pointing the way once you pick up your luggage from the belts on the lower level. The rideshare pick-up area is located on the second level on Terminal C.
  23. Hi guys! Can anyone tell me about your experience with renting a trail buggy with HS Rentals in Aruba? We have one booked for next month but wanted some feedback, if any, from those who have done this. They told us the road to the natural pool is very deteriorated and we won't be able to drive the buggy up there, but it wasn't really a deal breaker for us. We're just doing a loop of the island, stopping at the most places we can and finishing at a beach to relax and snorkel for a bit. We're in Aruba for 12 hours so I guess we'll have enough time. TIA!!
  24. 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.
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