HERE is something I would personally LOVE to do. Since it starts very early and ends pretty late, it is prob. only possible if you are in the area before or after your cruise (as opposed to stopping there as a port of call during your cruise). You would need to be in decent physical shape, and it is a little pricy, but it looks amazing to me.
My fiancee and I considered doing it, but the cruise and pre-cruise stay in San Juan was already costing us enough, so this was a bit too expensive.
I was under the impression that you could just walk onto the beach of any ocean front resort/hotel? We are staying at a hotel that is a 5 minute walk inland, but plan on walking to the beach of any of the nearby hotels. Friends of ours have done this in the past.
Mike you are correct. You can go to the beach, get drinks from any hotel bar, and enjoy the coast. Of course, you shouldn't use their pool or facilities, but I wouldn't be surprised if some don't. I just did a Google search and 2.3 million hits came up with San Juan Resorts. Casanova Frankenstein lives in Puerto Rico, he may know the "best" resort there. I've only stayed at the Condado Plaza and at a friend's house, so I don't know where the best resort would be.
you don't have to pay,
beaches on Puerto Rico are not private
the hotel is suppose to let you in without charge, but if you use their parking for your car there is a fee, you eat on their restaurants there is a fee ect.
and for which one is the best resort well is el conquistador but is not even near port and an expesive resort too.
Near port there is the Ritz-Carlton , 20 minutes on a cab or you can go to Luquillo beach near "el yunke" but if you go that far
Best is if you visit el yunque there are a few tours there that can be very good for example ATV
A special one will be the amphibious tour of old san juan you can tour old san juan by land and sea on the same bus and is new!!
After that you can go to senor Frogs and there is a new chocolate store on old San Juan that they say is a good one, Corne port royal on San Justo street.
Please let me know if you need any help.
I really enjoyed the Rain Forest tour on one trip. Sometimes we just take the public bus system over to Condado (exact change required) and go to the beach and then do some shopping. It is fun to soak up some local culture, and everyone seems so friendly.