Just Back from San Juan!!!

Feb 2nd, 2004, 04:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 58
Just Back from San Juan!!!

Hi everyone,

Here's a quick trip report for those interested in Puerto Rico. I, 30, traveled Jan. 26 for six nights with my husband, 32, and our almost 2-year old son.

LODGING: Checked into Water Club in Isla Verde section.. Very chic from the outside and right on the beach. Gorgeous common areas, similar to Miami's Delano, and a great vibe... The room was the downfall though: MICROSCOOPIC... There was no closet, no mini-fridge, nowehre to even store suitcases... It may be OK for a single traveler, but not for three with a crib stuck in the middle... Bathrooms were also very old and never renovated from when it was the Colonial INN

Daytime: Mostly went to the beach every day, had gorgeous weather. Hotel is near very busy strip, so getting fast food breakfast and ice cream for my son was easy..

DINNERS: Mostly spent nights in Old San Juan, which is gorgeous!! Just loved the vibe down there.. Here's my rundown:

1. Amadeus: Horrible service, overhyped...STay away.
2. Dali: New place on Fortaleza.. Beautiful inside.. menu's just OK
3. Baru: Awesome!! One of my faves.. Great indoor courtyard and delicious food!
4. El Buren: Fabulous food, great service.. rEally recommend it.
5. Ajili Mojili: The only time we went to Condado... It was delicious, but I missed being in Old San Juan.
6. Parrot Club: SOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD.. This was our last night and it was the absoute best!

Overall: I'd love to return to San Juan, but would stay elsewhere.. WE checked out the Wyndham El San Juan also on Isla Verde and it looked gorgeous by the pool.. The El Convento in Old San Juan also looked great, but I need to be on a beach for my son to play... Puerto Rico is a lot of fun in general and very easy to feel comfortable in right away..

I'll answer any questions!
melody13 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2004, 09:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3
Hi Melody,
Will be traveling to PR this weekend for a week with the wife and 18month old daughter. We are staying at the Marriott in Condado, and wanted to know how you traveled around with your son. Trying to decide whether or not to rent a car for the week or just day trips, and if we should bring the car seat. Did you need the car seat for the cabs?

chiroguy is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 04:00 AM
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Hi Melody13,
I have same question as previous poster. My husband and I are going to San Juan Feb. 24 with our 2-year-old for five days. Staying at Caribe Hilton. Wondering how you got around with your toddler.
Feb 4th, 2004, 08:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 58
Hi travelers,

We opted not to rent a car because it was so expensive, plus the hotel charged another daily $15 for parking! Plus, there's absolutely nowhere to park in Old San Juan....

Anyway, we used the public bus to get from hotel to various spots... only .25 cents per adult.. The A5 takes you to OSJ from Isla Verde and the B21 goes from Condado area.. Both come frequently.. There was so much to see and people were so friendly on the buses, my very antsy son actually behaved.

We used taxis to return home as my son would get sleepy. None offered car seats and I did not bring my own (bad mommy). So I just strapped the seatbelt around both of us with him on my lap..

Puerto Rico is actually one of the easiest islands I've encountered to get around with a child... And everyone was so nice to him..

melody13 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 06:43 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 25
Thanks for the great advice! My hubby and I will be staying at the Caribe Hilton(keep me posted caribtraveler) in April, and I am planning all the 'must sees'. Its nice to know that a car is not necessary. Any traveler's sickness (diarrhea)? How about scuba sites/snorkeling. We will have our 11 yr old daughter, and want to make a memorable time of it.
guamgirl is offline  
Feb 5th, 2004, 08:07 AM
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melody13..thank you..did you bring your child's stroller? if so, how was navigating with it?
guamgirl...i will definitely post our trip report. by the way, a co-worker of mine is puerto rican and his must-dos: walking around/shopping in old san juan, going to the spanish/tappas restaurant in el convento hotel in old san juan (fabulous he says). i asked about going to culebra. he suggested to actually rent a sailboat with a captain (instead of going with ferry). the captain will anchor off the island and the swimming/snorkerling is fabulous, he says. hmm...wonder how much that would be!
Feb 5th, 2004, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 124
Renting a boat: You don't have to charter a boat for exclusively for your group. There's several companies that offer regular daytrips to Culebra and other islands. They usually include lunch, drinks, snorkeling equipment and make a couple of different stops. They are generally crowd pleasers. They run about $50-80 per person depending what tour you take. Check the listing of daytrip operators at www.travelandsports.com under the "sailing and snorkeling" link.
PRnative is offline  
Feb 5th, 2004, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 124
Oh & regarding the stroller: I've taken my toddler around Old San Juan and Condado in an umbrella stroller. Sidewalks in the old town are narrow and not every corner has a ramp, but with a little bit of maneuvering you can take the stroller all around the old town. A large stroller will be more difficult to do on the narrow sidewalks. In Condado, the sidewalks are broader, especially along the main street, Ashford. You'll see lots of babies in strollers all over San Juan.
PRnative is offline  
Feb 5th, 2004, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3
Thanks for the replies. We leave tomorrow and decided not to rent the car for the week. We are bringing a smaller collapsable stroller, and will let you know how we make out.
chiroguy is offline  
Feb 5th, 2004, 10:43 AM
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thanks prnative. that was really helpful re: boat tours/stroller maneuvering.
Feb 5th, 2004, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2
My husband and I just got back from a week in Puerto Rico. We stayed at the Marriott, and the service was great, with a few exceptions. If you can, take advantage of the executive lounge. If you plan on visiting Fajardo, El Yunque, and Luquillo, I would recommend renting a car, as cabs there would be outrageous. If you will be staying in Condado or Old San Juan, relying on cabs would be the best way to go, as parking is difficult to find outside of the hotel. Culebra was SPECTACULAR,and worth every effort to get there. Ponce was a huge disappointment.
rtaillon is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 04:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 23
I am also trying to decide if a retal car is necessary. Don't the major hotels offer tours to El Yunque? I am also interested in the Rio Caves.
cfsax_ny is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 75
For Guam girl. Great diving out of Culebra. Take the ferry over from Fajardo. (1 1/2) hour trip.
cousin is offline  
Feb 7th, 2004, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 25
Cousin, thanks for the advice on diving. As we are still two months out, I"m still planning the itinerary. How about a dive company?
guamgirl is offline  
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