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bayousteelers

San Juan post-cruise

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Our flight doesn't leave til 3pm and we don't want to wait at the airport for hours and hours. RC does have a couple of excursion that end at the airport, but we are open to suggestions. The big issues is our luggage as we don't want to lug it all over town.

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Here is the skinny about San Juan departures:

 

RCL offers 3 excursions with airport drop-off, I can give details of each from our experience if anyone likes. However your 3pm departure poses a couple problems bayousteelers. Mainly, even though they might accept you for one of the excursions, your early departure will really step on the buzz of others with much later departures (these excursions are ended so that the ones with the earliest departures can make their flights on a bus by bus basis). Also keep in mind that I've found waiting times to 1) Go through the additional x-ray luggage scan for fruits and vegetables mandated for all flying out of Puerto Rico 2) the lengthy lines to check baggage 3) TSA security ( TSA Pre is NOT offered at SJU) are all quite long.

 

For example here are my estimated times for each we spent in each line last March. X-Ray = 15 minutes,  <after this I spent approx 45 minutes rearranging luggage so they met the weight limits on United's free scales, I also changed from flip flops to Chicago weather clothes>, Baggage Check-in= 20 mins BUT... we are fairly high level with United and get the VIP line, the lines for infrequent passengers were much, much longer I would say at least an hour. And the length of those lines was similar at the other airlines as well. TSA Security= 1 hour 15 minutes. So in other words; for my 6pm departure last Saturday March 13th I spent about 2 hours and 15 minutes trying to get to my gate. Your results may vary, I'm just saying SJU can take a while more than you might expect.

 

What would I do in your case??? Get the hard work out of the way first. Take a cab from the pier to the airport. Do the x-ray and check your bags. Evaluate the TSA line and ask a TSA person what they might expect the line to be at 1:00 or so, and then I'd leave the airport and take a cab and have lunch at Lupi's Mexican Bar and Cantina. The one way cab fare was about $15 but not $20. Lupi's is just outside the airport and there are several large hotels nearby so hailing a cab back to SJU is not a problem. Co-incidentally, Lupi's is the restaurant many of the RCL airport drop off excursions go to for the "lunch on your own".

 

Worth noting; SJU is reminiscent of LaGuardia. But that has changed a little bit recently. The renovation of the restaurants and shops near the gates is complete and the Margaritaville looks appetizing. It's not Orlando but it is much better than it was. 

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You could rent a car.  Puerto Rico is part of the United States, and its roads are generally comparable to roads on the mainland, with similar traffic patterns.  Plus, your car could be the perfect place for your luggage.

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On 4/10/2016 at 11:43 AM, bobroo said:

RCL offers 3 excursions with airport drop-off, I can give details of each from our experience if anyone likes.

I would love to hear about your opinions from the "San Juan On Your Own" vs. the "Old and New San Juan City Tour" both with airport drop off.  Thank you!!

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