Starting cruise in Puerto Rico?

Been thinking about a cruise to the Caribbean this winter. One of the possibilities starts from PR. Anyone familiar with flying into PR to catch a cruise? Is this something commonly done? All new to us in the icy cold snowbound North.

This looks like a pretty informative site:

I cruised from San Juan once, came in the day before and stayed at a local hotel and did some tourist stuff that evening and next day before boarding the ship. It’s a big industry there (possibly even bigger considering the damage done by the Hurricane) so they’ll try to make it as easy as possible for you.

It’s as easy as flying anywhere in the US to catch a cruise. You might want to go a few days early to see Puerto Rico.

Very commonly done, it’s a major part of the tourism offer, and the Tourism/Promotion authorities makes it a big deal in the comeback phase. Many lines make the arrangements for shuttling you from airport to ship but "I’d recommend doing like Stainless Steel Rat and susan and give yourself an extra day or more pre-departure not just so you can contribute to the local economy’s recovery but also so you are not so much at the mercy of a flight delay.

San Juan is a major jumping off point for Eastern and Southern Caribbean cruise routes. The Caribbean island cruise ports have the logistics of handling so many guests down pat.

As others recommended, flying in a couple days early is well worth the effort. I’d suggest picking out some night time activities as you’ll be on the ship at night for the duration of the cruise. Live music, a flamenco dance show, or a rum tasting are features of San Juan at night.

And for a daytime venture consider a visit to El Yunque rain forest reserve. But stick with a tour or the well worn paths - tourists who wander off sometime end up lost.

A hotel shuttle driver in Pittsburg told me her sister in the airline business says that PR airlines are offering fares from the US to PR in the range of $75 one way.

FWIW much of El Yunque is even to this date not back to full public access due to the effects of the 2017 hurricanes, so it’s important to verify with the tour ops and the NFS what will be available.

Thanks for all the info - ignorance fought!

We went on a one-way repositioning cruise from Galveston to Puerto Rico two years ago in January 2016. We’d never been to Puerto Rico before, and stayed a couple of nights there after the cruise.

We had absolutely no issues. We rented a car from Enterprise and stayed in a nice resort hotel, the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar. My son and I did a scuba dive in Fajardo, and we went on a hike in the El Yunque National Forest (the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. national forest system). I’ve heard the latter was hit hard by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

We then flew home from the main airport in San Juan (Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport). We usually fly on Southwest, and I was pleased that they are now flying there.

If you are considering starting a cruise here, I second the suggestion to arrive a day or two before the cruise. Cruises leave on time whether you are there or not. You don’t want to miss the ship departure because of a flight delay.

For two Carbbean cruises with Celebrity, things started in Puerto Rico. My suggestion would be to fly there a day or two early and get things rolling there.