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matrew Feb 12th, 2008 11:51 AM

Fajardo ferry
Taking my family of 5 to PR at the end of March for 8 days. We're spending the last 3 days on Vieques. Two questions...

Is the ferry from Fajardo to Vieques dependable? I've been reading a lot of negative reviews and wondering if I should buck up for a flight instead. It's $20 for the ferry vs. at least $500 for the flight (5 people).

What can I do with my rental car when we're on Vieques? Can I return it to a rental agency in Fajardo, even though I picked it up at SJU?


EJC Feb 13th, 2008 10:27 AM

First, Google "ferry to vieques" for answers........I read on one of the sites that the rental companies do not allow their cars to leave mainland PR. Two options: Rent 5 days in PR and 3 days in Vieques or Leave your car in Fajardo and rent 3 days in Vieques. The latter suggestion; you'll lose a few bucks on the rental, but it's more convenient. I assume you'll be flying home from SJU.
If you take the ferry; it takes an hour and a half for $20
Airplane: A few mins for $500 ...That's a no brainer for me. FERRY!!!!!
PS...The ferry ride is quite enjoyable.
pss...The downside to taking the ferry is: 5 people and luggage. Good Luck...

cocontom Feb 14th, 2008 10:26 PM

We enjoyed the ferry ride, but put me on a boat (any boat!) and I'm happy! We did notice last year that the AC inside was <i><b>COLD</b></i>, but sitting on the back deck was perfect- you do get some diesel dust on you though.

matrew Feb 17th, 2008 09:39 PM

Thanks for the info. Sounds like the ferry is a reasonable alternative to flying.

mahobaygirl Feb 18th, 2008 07:13 AM

Just know, that the ferry is sometimes, late, broke, full, etc. Our regular ferry is being repaired in the states, they have been sharing the Culebra ferry on certain days and otherwise use other smaller ferrys. Do not be afraid to hop on the cargo ferry. Takes a few minutes longer but there is plenty of room for passengers. The inside part with AC is quite cold. Try to avoid that on any of the boats.
Another option, if you get to Fajardo and cannot get on the ferry, you can take a flight from there to VQS for $22 each one way.
When you plan to leave the island, go the day before and buy your tickets. Have a great trip.

burnsie Feb 20th, 2008 12:31 AM

The ferry is a great alternative. However, if you are going over a holiday or weekend, you may not get on. It really gets crowded! And we tried to buy tickets early and they wouldn't let us. You can leave your car in Fajardo if you are going with a &quot;name brand&quot; car rental, but you'll have to fork over around $80 for some kind of taxi or shuttle service to get back to the airport once you get back to the mainland. Frankly, I'm a little surprised by the $500 amount. We took our family of 6 in the summer and it wasn't nearly that much. We flew from Fajardo to Culebra, then back to San Juan. If time isn't a concern, take the ferry. But if you are trying to get back for a flight, you might consider just buying tickets one way on the return. Plus, the plane will circle around El Morro and the view is spectacular. Either way, I'm sure you'll have a great time!

matrew Feb 21st, 2008 12:00 PM

mahobaygirl - Your post makes me a little uneasy. We're planning to take the 9am ferry on Sat, 3/29. Given that it's a Sat during spring break season, how early do we need to be at the ferry terminal? If we don't get on, the next one leaves at 3pm.

Which airline do you recommend for the flight from Fajardo to VQS? Might be worth the $100+ to avoid the hassle. Kids might dig the flight too.

Thanks for your help

mahobaygirl Feb 21st, 2008 01:53 PM

mat- We flew Vieques Air Link from VQS to Fajardo, not sure if anyone else does it as we usually take the ferry if we are just going to the big island for shopping.
I know the people taking the 6:30 am ferry get there an hour early as when it sells out, no one else gets on.
Not sure if the 9 am one is in as much demand. The ticket office opens 30 min or so before the departure time, that is why it is good to get tickets the day before,but you must be there when the window is open(shortly before any departure, ie: get them at 11 am the day before.

EJC Feb 22nd, 2008 06:34 AM

Matrew, I just contacted Vieques Air-Link...1-888-901-9247. They said 1-way $23..rd trip $42.....

RebeccaM Mar 21st, 2008 07:12 PM

We are thinking of going to Vieques in June. How do you get from San Juan Airport to Fajardo? How far away is it and how long does it take to get there?

Thank you for your help.

mahobaygirl Mar 22nd, 2008 11:57 AM

Depending on traffic, it takes 45 min to 1 hour to get from SJU to Fajardo ferry. You take a taxi, there will be lots at the airport. It should cost $80 (unless the price has gone up due to fuel prices skyrocketing)
Ask price before you get into the taxi. One guy tried to tell us $100 (after we were in the van) and we told him that usually we pay $80 and he backed off.

By the way, unusually high surf in PR, CUL, VQS, earlier this week. All ferrys shut down, small airports were jammed, lots of people stranded on the big island! Now, on VQS it is our busiest weekend and the island is out of gas because the gas trucks could not get here! Ahhh, island living :)

RebeccaM Mar 22nd, 2008 01:48 PM

Hmmm, that sounds challenging. But thanks -- I've been wondering how to get there.

scotglen Apr 6th, 2008 07:49 PM

In my experience, the ferry is very unreliable. It's a cultural experience to be sure - but not a great way to get to Culebra or Vieques at a certain time or on a certain day. I arrived more than an hour early on a Sunday morning to take the 9am ferry to Vieques. The ticket line NEVER moved. Very poor communication from ticket office to passengers. All PA messages and announcements in Spanish only (which works for me - but only made the non-Spanish speakers more agitated). After we missed the 9am ferry, the rumor in the line was that the ticket office would not open again until 2pm to sell tickets for the 3pm ferry. I didn't believe it - so I hung around for awhile and the ticket office opened again briefly at 9:45 to sell afternoon tickets. You can go the day before to buy tickets - but what a hassle.

&quot;If I were you...&quot; I would return the rental car to SJU (you won't need it on either island - the &quot;Publicos&quot; quasi-taxis are a great deal and the drivers love to show you around) and 'buck-up' for the flight.

Seems like I saw $75 fares somewhere.

Good luck!

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