Let Royal Holiday Cruises make you part of its family of travelers visiting stunning vacation spots all over the world. When you travel with Royal Holiday Cruises to the Caribbean, you can stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for some of the best dining, entertainment, and outdoor recreation in the region. The city is also renowned for its beautiful historic architecture and museums, and as your gateway to little-known eco-tours to mountains, forests, and secluded islands.
San Juan, established in the early 1500s by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, is a bustling city with a population of about 2 million and one of the Caribbean’s best harbors. Royal Holiday Cruises visitors to San Juan will experience life to the backdrop of a pulsing salsa beat, played out against a rich past that still colors the present.
History buffs traveling with Royal Holiday Cruises will find much to enjoy in one of the Western Hemisphere’s oldest towns. Nicknamed “La Ciudad Amurallada,” or “the walled city,” San Juan has expanded over the years beyond historic Old San Juan to encompass several suburbs. The seven-block area of Old San Juan, originally designed as a military bulwark, includes business districts and charming residential neighborhoods. Look along its streets for one-of-a-kind souvenirs and custom-fitted Panama hats, sip a cup of coffee at an outdoor café, or relax in the Hotel El Convento, with its restaurant and bar that open onto views of an elegant courtyard.
Old San Juan has preserved its architectural heritage well, and Royal Holiday Cruises visitors will discover a variety of distinctive buildings, fountains, and public art. Stroll along the blue-colored cobblestone streets, visit the governor’s mansion, or examine the well-worn charm of the Plaza de Armas. The Castillo San Felipe del Morro glows at dusk and provides spectacular vistas of the bay beyond its cannon-lined walls.
Restaurants in San Juan can offer Royal Holiday Cruises passengers plenty of tapas and Caribbean dishes, and a wealth of Italian, French, South American, and traditional American cuisines as well. Shop the city’s high fashion and jewelry boutiques, browse art galleries, or find unique gifts at Plaza de Americas mall.
If you’re a Royal Holiday Cruises traveler looking for entertainment, don’t miss the Teatro Tapia, a beloved neoclassical building that hosts performances of theater, opera, and ballet. San Juan’s nightlife also includes a glittering assortment of bars and all-night cafés that cater to a wide range of tastes.
The whole family will enjoy El Museo Niño, or the Children’s Museum, with its three levels of exhibits curated in English and Spanish, including those on space exploration, animals, and even news reporting. In addition, the National Gallery houses a collection of works by Puerto Rican artists over the past several centuries, and the Museum of the Americas showcases artifacts of daily life in the Caribbean, including those used by the many cultures that have called Puerto Rico home.
If your trip with Royal Holiday Cruises permits, take an eco-excursion through Puerto Rico’s El Yunque National Forest, one of the few tropical forests in the United States. A nature walk, a hike, and a picnic are all opportunities for fun in this family-friendly spot.