View Full Version : Harold Acosta - Puerto Rico

09-19-2004, 09:28 PM
Hey Harold, I'm leaving for to go on a cruise the end of this week. One of our stops is in Puerto Rico. Is there anything you can think of that my wife and I should definitely check out while we are there? Thanks.

Harold Acosta
09-19-2004, 09:50 PM
The Cruise Ship will stop in the Old San Juan Port. During the day, you should ask to visit the El Morro Fortress, San Cristobal Fortress and the Santa Catalina Palace (Governor's Mansion). The fortresses were built by the Spanish to safeguard the City of San Juan from invaders. You will also be able to see the old "La Princesa Jail" currently a Museum.

There is also one of the oldest Cemeteries in the New World. There are some extraordinary Marble works and many of our forefathers are buried there. It's near the El Morro Fortress. Fort Brooks, and old US Army Headquarters is also near the Cemetery and El Morro Fortress.

Several blocks away is The Convent Hotel. A nice place to visit (Former Convent). You should also visit the Cathedral (across the street from the Convent Hotel).

Your Cruise Guides should be able to steer the visitors to these places. There are also duty free stores for liquors and jewelry. Many souvenir stores and T-shirt stores. There is also a Harley Davidson store in Old San Juan, and other Designer stores.

Seņor Froggs is a nice place to eat, near the Port of San Juan, where the Cruise Ships arrive.

A pool hall with 18 Gold Crown IV tables in the upper floor of Seņor Froggs is in the works but it will open around December. The name will be Pool Palace, and it will be cathered to the Tourists.

I'm 2 1/2 hours away from San Juan, so I wouldn't be able to greet you but I'm sure you should have some fun sightseeing.

09-20-2004, 08:33 AM
Thank you for the great information, Harold.

I got all excited when I started reading about the poolhall. Too bad it won't be open til Dec. Maybe next time. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

09-21-2004, 02:03 PM
Hi, I work for a tour operator and have been in PR three times in the last year. All of Harold's recommendations are great, but going from experience I would like to suggest the following:
- Register for tours through your cruise company. They have a better idea of what to do/see, and they are responsible in case something went wrong. Yes, you can try and do everything on your own to save a couple of dollars, but you risk, i believe, a lot more.
- If you're planning on staying in San Juan, definitely visit Old San Juan. I would recommend that you only visit one of the forts (el Morro is more tourist oriented and has better views of the ocean and town) as they are very similar. Definitely visit the Cathedral, and also go to the old entrance to the city. Old San Juan is very easy to walk around, but I would recommend you purchase a book/guide. I would recommend a less touristy place for food. They have the best Puerto Rican food, it is called "el Jibarito" (anybody can give you directions - about 5 blocks away from the dock).
- Try to visit the Bacardi Rum factory (free samples /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif ) that is a short boat ride/drive from Old San Juan. If you're planning on staying in town, take a taxi or bus to Condado, the area that has the nicests hotels / casinos / boutiques / walking beaches.
- If you have more than half a day, I would actually recommend you do (thru your cruise touring) a visit to Luquillo beach, or el Yunque or the Arecibo observatory.
- Finally, regarding shopping, you might notice that the stuff you can buy in the US mainland is actually more expensive in Puerto Rico. I would recommend you only buy Puerto Rican crafts, but if you want to visit Plaza Las Americas you can find everything you'd need. Do not buy alcohol at the Bacardi factory store, as you will only save $1/$2 on stuff you can buy back home without carrying it.

Hope this helps, and enjoy your trip.

09-25-2004, 10:36 PM
Thank you guys for the excellent suggestions, but it seems the cruise line has changed our destinations, due to the hurricane. Instead of PR and the islands we are going to Mexico... again... That's where we went last time. Dang!

And we have to sit here in Hollywood, FL for two days longer than we were supposed to, so the hurricane can blow through. If I'd known I'd be seating here this long in South Florida I'd brought my cue and matched up with some Sunshine state CCBers.

I'm really getting sick of swirling wind and rain...