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Aviator of the Seas

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About Aviator of the Seas

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Interests
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean, Viking
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. If it's not too late to answer, there's a toddler/children playground reconstructed by Carnival after the 2017 hurricanes. It's located along Paseo de la Princesa, just west of the cruise ship docks.
  2. Thank you for that. One more week for our peak of the hurricane season to be over!
  3. I've been to Old San Juan since the protests fizzled and I can say that everything's up and running and in fact looks more spruced up than before the protests. As around any government executive headquarters, there will always be some sort of protest around or near it, but you shouldn't be concerned.
  4. Hi all, Everything is piping down in greater San Juan, and particularly in Old San Juan, after the governor announced his resignation and the sometimes raunchy celebration afterwards. The governor is set to step down August 2 to allow for an orderly transition. Slated to replace him according to the succession order is the current Secretary of Justice, unless a Secretary of State is found and confirmed by then. I have very personal and contrarian opinions about what went through (I seldom go with the flow), but apart from the few late night riots (3 over a three week period), there were NO deaths or serious injuries or major property damage. San Juan remains a safe destination and we've already had several port calls like then Seaside, Allure, all of Carnival's, etc. The home porting ships have come and gone as scheduled without incident. Please come down without fear. We desperately need you. And thank you all for your concern.
  5. Most level-headed and reasonable leaders are asking for a "few weeks" while a capable Secretary of State can be named and confirmed, so he/she can take over after the Governor resigns. If he doesn't resign, well then, it's gridlock until the end of 2020, which is not necessarily a bad thing. You see, after the hurricanes of 2017 we survived and did well enough with no functioning government for a long while, and the people realized that maybe we didn't need so much government at all.
  6. Thank you for your kind words. Puerto Rico will be okay. Hurricane María and its aftermath had a big ol' silver lining. Puerto Ricans as a society performed remarkably well. It awoke a sense of community that people who are focused on the rat race (me included) had forgotten about. We survived, we managed and we were thriving until our childish governor brought on this man made disaster. But it ain't half bad, I swear. Literally, it is a small bunch of trouble makers who taunt the police late at night. Too many kids out on vacation looking for "fun". The police have actually been very patient and restrained. If cruise ships would go to the Pan Am pier instead of Old San Juan, and informed their passengers to enjoy the island but avoid the area around the governor's mansion late at night, everything would be perfectly safe. Protests elsewhere are announced well in advance and are sensibly organized. The highway that was closed yesterday was not a take over. It often happens that this section is chosen often because of its accessibility and because it is the perfect setting to show a headcount. Otherwise, it felt like a holiday around San Juan yesterday. Anyway, again, I appreciate your love for the island and your concern.
  7. Yutes, Vinny, yes. Don't worry too much. We pretty much laugh at the whole situation ourselves.
  8. Today's protests are taking place in midtown San Juan, well away from the tourist areas of Old San Juan, Condado and Isla Verde. Aside from the usual yutes who like to disrupt things at the end, protest have been peaceful. Puerto Rico is a civilized society.
  9. I'm with you, sir. There's a resurgence of travel agencies because of scams like this around the world. I'd rather have my travel agent vet and pre-select reputable operators, than me having to do research and risk ruining my trip. I knwo many people are DIY, but I think a good travel agent is totally worth it.
  10. An additional tip. The online brochure that the OP points to had a big red flag. It shows the rooftop terrace of some condo or maybe a hotel near the beach. I cannot recognize it but from the distance to the water it is not even a beachfront hotel, condo or building, but one across the street form the beachfront condos, hotels and buildings. In fact, actual beachfront condos and hotels block 80% of the view of the beach from the street in the Isla Verde area, so very likely, from this "beach club", you would have to go down an elevator, across a street, through some alley between the buildings to get to the actual beach. One of the few things that are credible in the responses is that all Puerto Rico beaches are in fact public beaches, and surprise, there is not a SINGLE beach-beach club in San Juan. Well, there is only ONE, but it actually sits on land leased from the Carolina Public Beach (Balneario de Carolina - a gated, fee access beach with facilities run by the Municipality of Carolina, which is the immediate neighbor of San Juan to the east, where the SJU airport actually is located). This club is the only beachfront private facility in the area. They do sell packages through some cruise lines, I believe, but they also sell memberships to locals, and have concerts there and what not. The beach in front of it is not the best, although the views are stunning. That's it. Any other beachfront facilities are probably run by a resort or a hotel, from which you would have to buy a day pass and very few chain hotels participate in that market, reserving their facilities for their guests. Word to the wise.
  11. Everyone be advised, the Puerto Rico Tourism company, which is the Puerto Rico government agency tasked with overseeing certain aspects of the tourism industry, has a list of vetted, licensed and qualified destination management companies, tour operators and tour guides, which you can contact directly. There are many "international" companies that provide the booking technology for sightseeing tours, but they are not really local, experienced operators. They just subcontract and bundle packages from different local suppliers, and market them over the internet. They really have no presence on the island except for maybe a marketing and service agreement with several venues and independent tour guides, who feed off of their system. Your key is, if certain outfit claims to have operations in more than one destination, most likely it is not a local expert. Many times they are not even based in the United States (in Puerto Rico's case) or anywhere you can sue them at. I cannot make any recommendations as a local, but I can assure you, that no local, well established sightseeing company or operator in Puerto Rico has operations in Cozumel, Cancún, Roatán or even the US or British Virgin Islands. Again, if a company advertises itself as one having operations in more than one destination, that should be your cue. https://www.prtourism.com/dnn/Tourism-Oversight-Services
  12. The physical place is open, but under a new owner and new name. The Parrot of Old San Juan. https://www.facebook.com/TheParrotOldSanJuan/
  13. You'll be right in Old Town. As to a possible new shutdown after 2/15, no one can say for sure, but as noted here already, the local government helped the feds keep the forts open during the last shutdown. Even if the forts close, there's plenty to see outside of those and around Old San Juan.
  14. Hi, Calle Sol is six or seven blocks from the pier. If it's walkable or not depends on your mobility. It's all downhill, literally, but over narrow sidewalks and cobblestone streets (500 year old infrastructure), so even rolling luggage could be a challenge. I've seen some AirBnBs and such that have golf carts to help their guests around the Old City. Not sure if yours has any. If you don't want to go through the challenge mentioned above, your best bet is probably to take a taxi or Uber. The free trolley that goes around the city does not have luggage capabilities. it's just for sightseeing. Hope this helps. Anything else, shoot.
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