San Juan Cruise Question

TeachersRock

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
We've sailed many times from Port Canaveral but never San Juan. What time does boarding begin in San Juan? We are Platinum club members so we should be able to board soon after boarding begins.
 

anricat

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2014
When we sailed out of SJ last year I think the earliest possible PAT was 11. I'm not sure if that's how it always is though.
I'm fairly certain that 11 AM is always the earliest on the Classics. I believe only the Dream and Fantasy have a first PAT at 10:30.

When we sailed out of PR last year it was so chaotic. The port was a complete madhouse. We arrived at 10:30 AM (11 AM PAT) and waited outside in a snaking line for 45 minutes just to drop our bags and get into the building (it was all one big line and they took our bags from us at about halfway through the line). It was such a crazy setup. We've embarked from PC, Vancouver, Miami, and Barcelona and this was far and away the longest and most crazy check-in process. We've decided this year to do a little sightseeing at one of the forts in the morning and arrive later, around 12:30 or so, to see if it's less crazy.

According to my notes, they began boarding the first group at 11:45 AM.
 
  • tlprice

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 5, 2014
    I'm fairly certain that 11 AM is always the earliest on the Classics. I believe only the Dream and Fantasy have a first PAT at 10:30.

    When we sailed out of PR last year it was so chaotic. The port was a complete madhouse. We arrived at 10:30 AM (11 AM PAT) and waited outside in a snaking line for 45 minutes just to drop our bags and get into the building (it was all one big line and they took our bags from us at about halfway through the line). It was such a crazy setup. We've embarked from PC, Vancouver, Miami, and Barcelona and this was far and away the longest and most crazy check-in process. We've decided this year to do a little sightseeing at one of the forts in the morning and arrive later, around 12:30 or so, to see if it's less crazy.

    According to my notes, they began boarding the first group at 11:45 AM.
    In 2018 we boarded around 12:30ish and there was still a long snaking line outside. San Juan is definitely the longest line I've waited in to board (and it was hot out--in January). I don't think we got through security until about 1:30. I wonder if the line ever really dies down?
     

    mikeymouse1223

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2011
    I think I read somewhere that if you take DCL transportation to the port in San Juan, you can skip the line? Is that true? Can anyone verify that? We are going on the January 19th Southern and would definitely pay to take DCL transport to skip the chaos...
     

    DCLCruiseFan09

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2019
    Which San Juan cruise are you on? For the SJU to Miami in Nov, it says boarding begins at 1. Not Sure about the Wonder sailings in Feb. though
     
  • ahain

    Thankful & Blessed
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2013
    We took DCL transportation to the port in San Juan and we skipped the line. They escorted us all the way up to the security check in. It was very easy and hassle free.
    Woohoo! We have DCL transportation scheduled for our upcoming SJU cruise in November, so hopefully we'll get to skip the line too! 8-)
     

    DCLCruiseFan09

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2019
    We are on the Nov. 15th sailing. I'm dreading the port arrival based on these comments. Yikes!
    I am on that same sailing! We did the same cruise last year and loved it. Last year since I knew boarding began at 1, we got to the port around 2:30 and there was only one family in line in front of us in security. If you show up right at the start I'm sure is busy but it was great for us.
     

    ironz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 2, 2003
    Which San Juan cruise are you on? For the SJU to Miami in Nov, it says boarding begins at 1. Not Sure about the Wonder sailings in Feb. though
    Oh, weird. Because when we checked in, we could choose a PAT of 11:30. Now I know not to be in a hurry to get there. Gives us more time to relax that morning before we check out of our hotel.
    Any breakfast recommendations in Old San Juan? :)
     
  • DCLCruiseFan09

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2019
    Oh, weird. Because when we checked in, we could choose a PAT of 11:30. Now I know not to be in a hurry to get there. Gives us more time to relax that morning before we check out of our hotel.
    Any breakfast recommendations in Old San Juan? :)
    Port arrival time and boarding are two different things. You can have a port arrival prior to boarding opening for the ship. I’ll have to take a look at my paperwork and see what info I have for this year.

    I talked to several people who arrived at the port really early last year and stood in a ridiculously long line and hated it so unless you are pressed to get on the ship super early, I recommend waiting a bit for things to calm down.

    last year I flew in day of the cruise, so unfortunately we didn’t eat breakfast there. this year we are going a day early.

    One of my favorite things about San Juan was that the locals were extremely friendly and helpful and were amazing in helping with recommendations and directions. Ask the concierge/front desk at your hotel and I’m sure they could make a good recommendation.
     

    chamberlain

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2014
    We sailed out of San Juan last February and I didn't think the port was hectic. We must have lucked out. We waited outside 15 or so minutes, handed off our luggage while in line and the rest of the check-in and boarding process seemed to move along pretty well. Probably boarded around 11:30-11:45am. I believe we got to the port around 10:30. As for breakfast recommendations my husband stayed for 3 days prior to cruise and ate at Carthage Express, Café Manolin and La Bomonera. All were very good and cute little restaurants. We also found the locals to be very friendly and helpful. Hope this helps you.
     

    DCLCruiseFan09

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2019
    We sailed out of San Juan last February and I didn't think the port was hectic. We must have lucked out. We waited outside 15 or so minutes, handed off our luggage while in line and the rest of the check-in and boarding process seemed to move along pretty well. Probably boarded around 11:30-11:45am. I believe we got to the port around 10:30. As for breakfast recommendations my husband stayed for 3 days prior to cruise and ate at Carthage Express, Café Manolin and La Bomonera. All were very good and cute little restaurants. We also found the locals to be very friendly and helpful. Hope this helps you.
    you know... most flights don’t arrive till 11:30 or so. Maybe if you get to the port early there aren’t people. It’s probably when the busses arrive that it gets messy
     

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