Caribbean Cruise Spotlight: Puerto Rico's Diverse New Offerings

Oct 14, 2016 | By Editorial Staff

Sponsored by the Puerto Rico Tourism Board

The Caribbean remains to be the most sought-after destination for cruisers, and rightfully so: enviable beaches, powdery-white sand, some of the friendliest locals this side of planet Earth, and a food scene that's worth writing home about. But with great power comes great responsibility. And the island of Puerto Rico has stepped up to the plate by offering a key element that many cruisers look for when planning their Caribbean getaway: diversity. 

From the low-key loungers to the adrenaline seekers to the beer enthusiasts (there's always one) and cultural connoisseurs, here are the newest additions to the island that cruisers should keep an eye out for—and a sneak peek at what's coming in 2017.

For City Dwellers

A Rebirth of Isla Verde: Capturing the spirit of a tropical destination within steps of an exciting city life, Isla Verde a regarded as one of the most sought-after areas in the metropolitan region. Cruisers looking to maximize their beach time in PR head straight to Isla Verde, as its beach, El Alambique, is only a 15-minute cab ride from the cruise port. This idyllic region is set to receive several additions to further enhance its appeal, including:

  • Two additional entertainment zones
  • New gastronomic offerings for added local flavor
  • Plenty of hotels — perfect for cruisers who are departing from Puerto Rico and crave an extended vacation.

Departing from Puerto Rico? Experience the Island's Hospitality First-Hand

The PRTC Bed and Breakfast Program: The island’s quickly-expanding B&B program is a convenient pption for guests who are departing on a cruise from the island and crave some extra R&R before or after sailing. Its authentic feel and surrounding urban center scene really gives guests a taste of the local vibe. The San Sebastian Bed and Breakfast, located northwest of the island and an approximate 90 minute driving distance from the San Juan cruise port, opened its doors this past January and joins 6 other B&B's in the program: Casa Sol, Casa Castellana, Villas Las Palmas, Casa Dos Angeles, Rainforest Inn and Casa Isabel.

The Ambassador Plaza Hotel: Settled in San Juan’s tourism district, the once widely sought-after hotel is set to come back to life after a complete restoration, remodel and re-launch.

Courtyard by Marriott hotel: The new hotel is currently under development and will be located in the Convention Center District and heart of San Juan.


For the Beachside Loungers and Party Lovers

Vivo Beach Club: Old San Juan’s newest tropical oasis is comprised of 6 acres of pure oceanfront bliss in Isla Verde. The private beach club hosts live music on an open-air stage from local DJ's, a sports bar, several restaurants, shopping opportunities and even a micro brewery (one of the few in the Caribbean).

  • At Ocean Lab Brewing Company, beer lovers will get to enjoy craft and specialty beers from local and international brands. Brewery tours will also available for those who really want to get into the heart of how their beer is brewed. 


For the Cocktail Loving Cruisers

Credit: Casita de Rones (Facebook)

La Casita de Rones: A cruise to Puerto Rico is not complete without sampling one of the island’s most renowned treasures: rum. La Casita de Rones, which debuted in Plaza Docks in Old San Juan this September, allows guests to embark on a history and rum tasting tour to learn more about the award-winning spirit. 

Where to find it: CII Comercio, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico


For the Cultural Cruisers

Credit: Museo del Mar (Facebook)

Museo del Mar: Visitors of Old San Juan can embark on a journey through nearly 500 years of the island’s maritime history. Fun fact: Jose Octavio, Busto, founder of Museo del Mar, holds the Guinness World Record title for "largest display of original life preservers" from different ships. The museum is open to the public by appointment.

Where to find it: 360 Calle San Francisco, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico


For the Shoppers

Mall of San Juan: A convenient option for shopping enthusiasts, the island’s first luxury shopping experience is just minutes away from the San Juan cruise port and Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. The mall is home to popular shops like Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom (the first of each kind on the island).

Where to find it: 1000 Mall of San Juan Boulevard San Juan, Puerto Rico 


For the Thrill Seekers and Adventure Lovers

El Monstruo zipline: If Guinness World Records regards El Monstruo as a leading force in ziplines, it’s worth experiencing first-hand. The famous zipline was dubbed the longest one in the world in February 2016, which makes it a popular sight amongst adventure seekers and anyone who wants to witness aerial greatness in person.

Where to find it: Toro Verde Adventure Park in Orocovis—less than a 90-minute drive from the San Juan cruise port.


For a closer look at Puerto Rico's current and upcoming accommodations, visit



Tags: Puerto Rico
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