If you are book on carnival Victory it will dock almost in front of the Sheraton hotel and it will be at the Old San Juan port, yes old San Juan its walking distance from it, same case on th Crown Princess.
If you are book on RCCL adventure of the sea it will dock on the "Isla Grande" port near the Isla grande airport. Is a little far from Old San Juan, not walking distance you will need a taxi to travel from it to old San Juan.
There are no near beach at walking distance from either port, you will have to use a taxi in order to get to one, since the area is mostly used to Dock Cruises and ships is way deep for a tourist beach so maybe you will find one on "el condado" or other place but you will need to get a taxi.
The ships don't dock at 2:00 pm Both Cruises are at their designated port at 7:00 or 8:00 pm depending on the trip or special situations that time can change but mostly they arive at that time.
They say on the paper you cannot board "until 2:00 pm" because they need to clean the ship and make preparations before the new cruisers arrive.
Hint : you can try to get to the ship early, I always go to the port at 11:30 am. I have to wait a little but by 12:30 to 1:00 pm. I am already eating at the buffet, no lines or problems but remember they won't let you go to your cabin until 2:30 pm. after that you can drop your luggage on your cabin and go to old San Juan for a quick visit of "El morro" or other atractions.
Dave and Caz, Yes you are correct Dave it is the first stop from Port Everglades and we were thinking we would not book any excursions at this Port because we have booked at the Murano Specialty Restaurant at 8:30PM. It has been years since I was in San Juan, flew in with the Rhode Island Air National Guards for a few days. Really didn't see anything that was a do not miss place when checking out the excursions. We really just wanted to get to a nice beach and relax for a few hours. I remember going to a beautiful beach where you could get drinks from a hut or cabanna. That was very nice to just sit on the beautiful beach. What made it extra nice back than is we left a bad snow storm at home in RI Thank you both for the infomation, as always very helpful.
Thank you for all the great tips, I do appreciate you taking the time to give us great ideas on what to do while in San Juan for a short time. It sounds like you have been there many times. It is always a pleasure to hear from fellow cruise buddies who have good insight on ports we have not yet had the pleasure of visiting!
Is not that I have been there many times I live on Puerto Rico I had been here all my life, if you need any info on the island please let me know it will be my pleasure to give you any info on San Juan or my "isla del encanto" Puerto Rico...
El Morro is a very nice side trip to take...Lots of history....Happy Sailing...
You will sail right by El Morro when you sailing to and out of Puerto Rico.....wonderful picture taking.....Have a Great Cruise...