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janfred 03-21-2014 01:17 PM

Old San Juan
I was wondering if anyone has done a self guided tour of Old San Juan ? I believe the ship will dock right there. I was trying to find online a map the shows the streets and points of interest. If we wait until we are in San Juan would there be a place for visitors to get a map and a little help ?

poormom 03-22-2014 06:38 AM

Old San Juan is a very easy city to walk, but it is on a rather steep hill. If you head off to the right, and then up the hill, you will come to the forts San cristobol and El Morro. If you continue around the circle, you will see the old red city gates and loop back around and it brings you right back to the dock. It's very easy, only a couple miles and almost impossible to get lost.
Do the port talk onboard, and they'll give you a map.
What time of day will you be in port?

poormom 03-22-2014 06:40 AM

And if you're really ambitious, there are several geocaches hidden in the old city!

LisaP 03-22-2014 07:47 AM

I love Old San Juan!

I've found great walking tours in books from Frommers and DK. What I like about them is that they are not too bulky (Frommers newest editions are much thinner) while still including a lot of description and history. That said, I've yet to use either in Old San Juan, but they have not let me down in other cities in North America and Europe.

Another essential: comfortable walking shoes. Break them in for a few weeks before you go.

janfred 03-22-2014 08:42 AM

Thank you both. We get in at 3PM and leave at 10PM. I love DK Eyewitness books and have a ton of them but not for San Juan. I did go to Barnes & Noble yesterday and found a book but the map was the same as I found online. I will go to the Port talk, we always like those.
Poormom I see you are leaving soon too, enjoy! Lisa you are not kidding about have comfortable shoes..that is a must !!!

poormom 03-22-2014 12:33 PM

Last year I was there late afternoon on a Friday in December. All the restaurants had grills out in the streets and music and the the smells and sounds were wonderful.
On my next cruise, we will be there at 7 am. Maybe a Spanish themed breakfast is in order

jack2007 03-22-2014 02:01 PM

Have you seen the map on wikitravel for San Juan? it may be the same as you have seen online but it does show a few points of interest and also agrees with Lisa about wearing comfortable shoes. Last time I was in San Juan it was pouring with rain in the early evening which put a dampener on wandering around but hopefully it will be ok when you arrive.

Just want to warn you about a scammer who targets tourists & cruise day trippers in old San Juan. He starts off by asking if you speak English and then sometimes appears to be helpful by telling you about safe areas or starts to tell you how him and his father got mugged and his father is in hospital. He'll say police are unhelpful and he needs about $7 to get to the hospital to get to his father. Stop him before he goes into his story by saying you've read about him on the internet.
He's been doing this scam for a few years so don't get conned by his hard luck story if he approaches you. With luck you won't even meet him.

janfred 03-22-2014 04:33 PM

Thank you for the great tips. I did read the wikitravel article and saw the map too. I am at the point in my life I only have comfortable shoes LOL !! Long gone are the stilettoes !
I will also go to the Port Chat onboard too ! We are excited to get back onboard with Celebrity!

peter l 03-24-2014 12:15 PM

janfred; last 2 times we were cruising out of San Juan, we stayed in Old San Juan the night before and jumped on and off the trams that move around the area. We took it up to the forts and then back down later and around the waterfront and got on and off and visited around several places..Have fun.

Peter l

janfred 03-24-2014 03:02 PM

Thanks Peter l,
Looking forward to it, I have been to San Juan but it was pouring that day and we stayed on the ship ! So this will be nice if the weather is good !

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