Puerto Rico is a land of beautiful contrasts – retaining the old world charm of its history and culture, but keeping abreast of the essentials of modern living, one that is heavily influenced by the American way of life.
This unincorporated US territory has it in spades as far as being tourist-friendly is concerned. Both English and Spanish are official languages, and the locals are no strangers to non-Latino culture. In fact, many Puerto Ricans welcome interaction with tourists, especially those from the United States.
If you’re interested in taking in the charms of exotic Puerto Rico and get it down bang for the buck, booking a vacation cruise would be one of the best options you have. It is important to note, however, that cruise ship arrangements inclusive of price, dates of travel, amenities, and destinations can greatly vary, based on:
• where you are coming from
• how long you want your cruise to be
• your itinerary
• your travel dates (the closer to the date of your planned departure that you book, the more expensive the rates will be)
As such, it is not really practical to come up with cut-and-dried vacation cruise packages, since there are too many variables involved. However, here are some tips to help you plan. The information provided has been aggregated from leading vacation cruise industry giants online.
Good to Know
Before you plan, it’s highly useful to keep the following in mind, when you’re going to Puerto Rico from the United States:
• You don’t need a passport or visa going to Puerto Rico because it is a US territory (unincorporated). However, if your cruise includes ports of call other than those of US territories, you’ll need your valid passport with matching visa/s.
• In lieu of a passport, you will need an ID card with photo, such as that issued by the US Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). When in doubt, consult the US Embassy.
• You don’t need to exchange your dollars because US currency is used in Puerto Rico.
• The peak tourist season is from December to April.
• May to November are off-peak seasons, but the hurricane season in Puerto Rico is also sandwiched in between (June 1 to November 30). Plan carefully, in case your expected dates of travel are smack in the middle of the hurricane season. Don’t worry too much, though, as respectable cruise lines know how to avoid the path of hurricanes and still get to their destination/s.
• Before choosing a cruise package, make sure it is aligned with your travel goals – have it clear in your mind whether you are after a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a business-with-pleasure trip.
Typically, cruises to Puerto Rico take anywhere from 3 to 7 days. You can work out the best Caribbean vacation cruise for you by visiting the following cruise lines online:
• Carnival Cruises – this brings you to their booking engine
• Holland America Line – this includes departures from Fort Lauderdale and Tampa in Florida
• Princess Cruises – this includes departures from Fort Lauderdale and New York
• Celebrity Cruises – this includes departures from New Jersey and Fort Lauderdale