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JFK & San Juan Questions

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A few random questions that hopefully someone can answer :5_smiley:

Arrive at JFK airport at 23.20pm from UK then fly out to San Juan at 8am next morning, done flights this way to maximise the time available in San Juan, given the time it will take to go through customs to enter US it's not worth while booking a hotel for 4 or 5 hrs just to head back to airport.

Noticed Wingtips Lounge in Terminal 4 where Delta fly out of, mixed reviews so is it worth booking this lounge for a few hours to get some sleep and food or will normal departure seating areas be ok?

also any showers in JFK available at this time of night/morning? 

Arrive in San Juan 2 days before cruise any recommendations on things to do, must see etc, not bothered about excursions, we like walking about seeing the sights and getting lost,?

also is it safe to walk about at night and any areas to be avoided? staying in old san juan near cruise port.

1st time cruiser so when boarding should we look at getting to pan american terminal early as we wont have a clue whats going on? 

Once on board whats the first thing a new cruiser should do (apart from get a beer)?

Flight back to JFK is mid afternoon, dont fancy going to airport hours in advance if sju airport has very little to do in it,  also don't fancy dragging suitcases round shops, so would it be better to stay on ship a while then heading to airport, if so whats the latest you can stay on ship and more importantly when do they stop serving alcohol? 

or are there excursions which can be done from port before flight.

 

 

 Thanks in advance

Ray

 

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The Delta Sky Club in JFK has showers.  It opens at 5am.  Not sure if you are flying with them or a member.

Old San Juan is pretty safe as far as I know.  I walked around alone at night without issue.  I suppose like anywhere there could be some bad characters but it's not like it's known to be bad.

You can walk along the shore outside of the old city walls.  It's a pleasant walk that will take you to El Morro which is the fort that protected San Juan from sea attacks.  Castillo San Cristobal is another fort that protected the old city from land attacks.  You can also walk around within the old city.  

My trip report to San Juan on Dec 5th included some time at night:

San Juan Dec 5, 2017 Anthem of the Seas

My trip report to San Juan on Dec 24th:

San Juan Dec 24, 2017 Independence of the Seas

As far as departures for cruises starting from San Juan - due to the late departure compared to most other Caribbean cruises there often isn't the same spike in arrivals around noon.  Instead you often see more people arriving to the ship spread out over the afternoon.  However I am one of those that always likes to board as soon as possible.  Why not?  Meals are available, beer as you mention.  If you've already been there for a few days I'd suggest boarding as soon as you can.

Once on board finalize any dining plans and explore the ship.    

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4 hours ago, Ray said:

A few random questions that hopefully someone can answer :5_smiley:

Arrive at JFK airport at 23.20pm from UK then fly out to San Juan at 8am next morning, done flights this way to maximise the time available in San Juan, given the time it will take to go through customs to enter US it's not worth while booking a hotel for 4 or 5 hrs just to head back to airport.

Noticed Wingtips Lounge in Terminal 4 where Delta fly out of, mixed reviews so is it worth booking this lounge for a few hours to get some sleep and food or will normal departure seating areas be ok?

also any showers in JFK available at this time of night/morning? 

Arrive in San Juan 2 days before cruise any recommendations on things to do, must see etc, not bothered about excursions, we like walking about seeing the sights and getting lost,?

also is it safe to walk about at night and any areas to be avoided? staying in old san juan near cruise port.

1st time cruiser so when boarding should we look at getting to pan american terminal early as we wont have a clue whats going on? 

Once on board whats the first thing a new cruiser should do (apart from get a beer)?

Flight back to JFK is mid afternoon, dont fancy going to airport hours in advance if sju airport has very little to do in it,  also don't fancy dragging suitcases round shops, so would it be better to stay on ship a while then heading to airport, if so whats the latest you can stay on ship and more importantly when do they stop serving alcohol? 

or are there excursions which can be done from port before flight.

 

 

 Thanks in advance

Ray

 

Old San Juan is a treasure trove of history.  My suggestion is that any tour of Old San Juan start with a walk around the south side of the wall, up the west side and enter through the city gate, just as the sailors did 400 years ago.  Once in the gate it's a 2 block walk up to the Cathedral.  It's beautiful and you can see the tomb of Ponce De Leon.  Then up the hill to El Morro.  There's a million other things too, but that's a great start.

I think you can board the ship by 11:00.  As mentioned, have lunch a beer and explore.

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21 hours ago, Ray said:

Arrive in San Juan 2 days before cruise any recommendations on things to do, must see etc, not bothered about excursions, we like walking about seeing the sights and getting lost,?

Check out this post: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2015/04/14/things-do-old-san-juan

21 hours ago, Ray said:

also is it safe to walk about at night and any areas to be avoided? staying in old san juan near cruise port.

Old San Juan is a pretty safe area. I've walked around at night, and never felt unsafe.  I think using caution is always good advice, just like any city in the United States.  But again, I've never felt unsafe at night.  OSJ is more of a touristy area than other parts of San Juan.

21 hours ago, Ray said:

1st time cruiser so when boarding should we look at getting to pan american terminal early as we wont have a clue whats going on? 

I always advocate getting there early.  Plan on an arrival in the 11:00am hour and you will be among first onboard.

21 hours ago, Ray said:

Once on board whats the first thing a new cruiser should do (apart from get a beer)?

Check out this blog post: 15 important things to do on your first day on a Royal Caribbean cruise

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On 1/7/2018 at 11:43 AM, Ray said:

Flight back to JFK is mid afternoon, dont fancy going to airport hours in advance if sju airport has very little to do in it,  also don't fancy dragging suitcases round shops, so would it be better to stay on ship a while then heading to airport, if so whats the latest you can stay on ship and more importantly when do they stop serving alcohol? 

There are a few places in Old San Juan that I have seen mentioned that they will store your luggage, do not know if there is a fee associated or not.

Look for post cruise excursions from RCCL that include transportation to the airport.

As far as I know they do not serve alcohol on disembarkation, I could be wrong, I've never been to a bar the morning of. If you buy any alcohol on your trip they give that back to you the night before, I guess you always would have that to drink...

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