Post # 1
I’m having trouble deciding if my FI and I should spend our honeymoon in San Juan, Puerto Rico or to go on a Royal Caribbean cruise that leaves from San Juan and stops in St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados? I would like to do both but I don’t think we can afford it. I have never left the US so that’s why the cruise appeals to me because I’d finally get to go to another country and PR is technically part of the US. But I feel like most of the things we do on the cruise stops we could do in Puerto Rico (like snorkeling, paddling boarding, zip lining, etc). My FI is not helpful in deciding, he doesn’t seem to care etiher way. So for all the bee’s that have been to PR or on a caribbean cruise please give me some advice!
Post # 2
We did the Allure of the Seas with Royal Caribbean as our honeymoon, and it was fun. It was my first time out of the country too. I think the Allure is going to Europe this summer, but the Oasis should still be there. Or maybe I have it backwards. Anyway, both the Allure and Oasis are great ships. I agree the excursions are everything you can do at a resort. I like that you get a taste of every place. We did the Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten.
Post # 3
I’ve been on a (short) Caribbean cruise and am actually in PR now, flying home tomorrow. Hands down I would reccomend the cruise. If I were you I’d just leave out of Ft. Lauderdale or Miami and not even come to PR. It depends what type of person you are, but my expectations of vacations are pretty high, and I have not been impressed with PR at all, and will most likely not ever come back, barring another wedding (which is why we’re here in the first place). I feel like everything is SO overpriced, because it’s an island, but it’s dingy and kind of a strange place. It depends on your expectations because I was expecting something very americanized, which it is not. The water here is nice, but cannot compete with the Bahamas at all. So that’s just my opinion. If you’re looking for a place where you can rent a car, and spend a ton of time driving around and seeing places you should stay in PR, but if you want to relax, eat great food, and have fun activities all in one small place, go on a cruise.
Post # 4
I would do the cruise. I spent a week in PR over the summer and was NOT impressed. I would never go back there.
Post # 5
I’ve been on a caribbean cruise and spent a week in PR. We stayed at a resort outside of San Juan but when into the town at night. I loved it! I enjoy exploring shops, restaurants, bars, etc. rather than eating on the cruise every night. Plus when you are in port, excursions are so overpriced and really short! I always felt rushed. So my vote is PR!
Post # 6
MandyT00: We did both on our 10 day honeymoon. We spent 2 days in San Juan, did a 7 day (5 ports of call) Southern Caribbean cruise and then 1 extra day in San Juan (and visited El Yunque). In total we spent about $3,500 with plane tickets, cruise, hotels, excursions and food. We went the first week of September, so it was hot, but bareable.
Have you considered cruising with Carnvial Cruises? We have gone with them twice now and love it. It is really affordable, we paid $950 for 2 people, 7 days (taxes and fees included). We visited St. Thomas, St. Marteen, St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Kitts. While it’s not a luxury line, it has great excursions, food and entertainment. We did 3 excursions (about $500 total) that included a 5 hour catamaran/snorkel, speed baot ride and ziplining through the rain forest in St. Lucia. Carnival has really stepped up to be a fun, affordable cruise ship line.
In San Juan, we stayed at La Concha Renaissance Resort in the beginning. It was nice, had a great beach/pools and a good casino. It was well located and we walked around a lot. When we returned from the cruise, we stayed at a smaller bed and breakfast that was about 5 minutes from La Concha. It was cheaper, but we still walked over to La Concha for the pools. 🙂
Since we had a rental car, we also visited El Yunque rain forest and the Bacardi Distillery. The rain forest was amazing and beautiful. We hiked to a hidden waterfall (only 3 people there) and then did a more popular hike to a larger waterfall (about 50 people there). The distillery tour was fun and DH loves Bacardi rum, so it was cool to see how it’s made.
Sorry for the tangent, but I hope this helps!
Post # 7
I love love love pr, but for my honeymoon I would prefer having all meals and entertainment provided so I don’t have to worry about anything!!
Post # 8
I’m surprised by the people saying they weren’t impressed with PR. I went there with my boyfriend last spring, and it was amazing! We stayed in a small hotel (not resort) in San Juan and got a rental car to go the rainforest and to another part of the island for snorkeling and ziplining. Otherwise, we stayed in San Juan and had a great time walking around the city, touring the historical forts, going to the beach, etc. I thought the city was very clean and beautiful. We are already making plans to go again and stay at the same hotel. I guess when we did venture out to the other parts of the island, the cities and buildings did look a little dingier, so maybe it’s just San Juan that’s kept in great condition. I wouldn’t want to go and stay there anywhere outside of San Juan.
I’ve never been on a cruise so I can’t offer much there, but when we were in PR, we would see the cruises come in and stop for a few hours or overnight. It just seems like there’s so little you could do in that time, and you definitely couldn’t make it to the rainforest or anything. So, I would pick PR just because I like the increased variety of being able to explore an island and not have a set time I have to be back on a boat, and I like to experience a little of the culture and history of the place I’m staying. I feel like I would get bored on a cruise. We also went to so many amazing restaurants in PR (and as a vegan I always had options), and I’d be sad only eating boat food.
Post # 9
MandyT00: Love this post! This is what FI and I are thinking for our honeymoon, which has been recommended to us. Stay in PR for a couple days then head out on the cruise (same stops as you). Except we’re cruising with Carnival instead.
I like that set up because I love the idea of visiting lots of different places during the day and having a comfy bed and good food at night. We can relax and explore!
When are you going? How funny would it be if we were there at the same time!
Post # 10
I’m also surprised that so many PPs didn’t like PR. I loved it when I went there. Exploring the streets of Old San Juan was cool and we also went to the rainforest and the underground cave systems, those were awesome. The Bacardi Distillery was also very interesting. By far the coolest thing was kayaking in the biobay. You go at night and the microorganisms in the water cause it to glow when the water moves. So when you put your hand in the water, all of the water around your hand glows, it’s amazing. You could see fish zooming through the water by their glowing trail.
I’ve never been on an ocean cruise, but honestly, I haven’t heard great things about the food and accomodations, I think they can be hit or miss. I guess it would depend on how long you are on the boat vs docked somewhere. I would be much more interested in exploring somewhere rather than relaxing on a boat.
Post # 11
winterwoodlandbride15: That would be crazy! We’re going the end of June.
bmo88: Your trip sounds a lot like that one I would like to go on! I even looked into La Concha to stay there. I have looked at both Carnival and Royal Caribbean but their prices right now are very similar for the end of June. Carnival would be $1358 and Royal Caribbean $1430. Do the prices at Carnival go down at all before the cruise after you book? I definetly want to visit the El Yunque rainforest and have looked into some fun trips where you climb up waterfalls and jump off or repell down them!
SithLady: While we are there the biobay is on my top list of things to do!
Post # 12
MandyT00: Yes, Carnival’s prices do drop as it gets closer. Additionally, they do a “super saver” rate. So if you book 6 months in advance, you can actually “petition” them for a reimbursement if the rate goes lower (up until 2 weeks before the cruise).
So, we booked in February (for an August cruise) and then I watched the prices about once a week. Twice, I went online and “petitioned” because it dropped during certain sales. We didn’t pay in full until June, so it lowered our total price the first time by $150. Then after the second petition, we got a $150 “on board credit” which could be used for a room upgrade, excursions, alcohol, special dining, shopping or other stuff. So, we were able to lower the total cost by $300.
The last time we sailed (this past September) we actually waited until 1 week before the cruise date to book it. We already had the week off (we work at a school and it was a given week off), so we were able to play it by ear. We were able to get a 5 day cruise for $135 per person from Miami to Nassau, Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay. It started at $300 per person when we first looked at it about 2 months before. So the rates definitely go lower.
Post # 13
bmo88: Thanks nice to know! I don’t think I would be able to wait until right before, that would stress me out too much! I will look into the “super saver” rate because I had never heard of that, thank you!