7 Great Cruises to Puerto Rico

Old San Juan, the historic district of Puerto Rico's biggest city, is a mecca for cruise ships. And why not? The port's location and availability of non-stop flights from major U.S. markets make it a great jumping-off point for ships exploring the heart of the Caribbean. Here are seven great cruise itineraries that either begin or include a stop in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Cruises Port
Old San Juan, where cruise ships dock in Puerto Rico, is actually an island. It's connected to the mainland by three bridges. Tourists walk its cobblestone streets on the way to historic sites including forts and the district's massive city wall, which surrounds the oldest parts of town.Shutterstock
Puerto Rico Cruises Windstar
Windstar Cruises' Star Legend Windstar offers a "Caribbean Hideaways" itinerary that begins in San Juan but also travels to some of the lesser-visited destinations. Stops include St. Barts, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, Bequia and Barbados. For those wanting more time in San Juan, Windstar offers a 3-night pre-cruise stay at the Sheraton Old San Juan.Courtesy of Windstar
Puerto Rico Cruises Oceania
Oceania Regatta If a week isn't enough time for you to explore the Caribbean, consider this 20-day voyage on the Regatta by Oceania Cruises. Departing from Miami, the ship includes stops in favorite spots such as San Juan, the Bahamas, Key West, Mexico and Grand Cayman. But guests can also enjoy exploring off-the-beaten path ports in Guatemala, St. Barts, Antigua and St. Lucia. San Juan excursions includes trips to art museums, a rainforest and the Bacardi Rum Distillery.Courtesy of Oceania Cruises
Puerto Rico Cruises Carnival
Carnival Dream's 11-Day Eastern Caribbean Looking for a cruise with an unusual itinerary? Carnival Dream sails from New Orleans and stops in Nassau and Bermuda (for two days!) before continuing on to St. Maarten, St. Thomas and finishing up in San Juan. Eleven days is a long vacation for some travelers so save energy for post-cruise excursions or even a couple extra days in the town's historic district.Shutterstock
Puerto Rico Cruises Celebrity
Celebrity Summit For those living in the Northeast, Celebrity Summit offers sailings from New York's Cape Liberty to San Juan. However, guests willing to hop a plane to San Juan can begin their vacations in Puerto Rico. The ship's Southern Caribbean itinerary includes stops in Martinique, Dominica, St. Kitts and St. Thomas. One fun excursion in Puerto Rico is the "Discover Scuba" adventure, where guests can experience scuba diving - without certification - under the watchful eyes of professional instructors.Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises
Puerto Rico Cruises MSC Divina
MSC Divina What catches guests' eyes first onboard the Divina? The enormous spa? Swarovski crystal-covered glass staircases? For us, it's the infinity pool at the stern of the ship - one crystal blue pool of water leading out to even greater "pool" beyond. Departing from Miami, the Divina sails a variety of Caribbean cruises that include San Juan.Shutterstock
Puerto Rico Cruises Holland America
Holland America's Westerdam and Eurodam The Westerdam and Eurodam both visit Puerto Rico on their Caribbean trips. The larger Eurodam is part of Holland America's Signature Class ships, with a capacity of 2,104 guests. It also boasts Tamarind, the cruise line's Asian inspired alternative restaurant. The Westerdam is one of Holland America's mid-sized ships, accommodating just under 2,000 passengers. Passengers wanting to improve their snapshot skills can take free photo workshops lead by Microsoft-trained "techsperts" who teach guests how to take better vacation photos, make movies and create scrapbooks. Its 7-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary departs from Fort Lauderdale and includes stops in San Juan, Grand Turk, St. Thomas and its private island, Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas.Courtesy of Holland America
Best Puerto Rico Cruises Windstar
Windstar Cruises' Star Legend Windstar's fleet offers what some cruise fans consider the best of both worlds: all-inclusive prices and luxurious, smaller ships. The Star Legend's itinerary begins in San Juan and also includes a stop in Isla Culebra, a Puerto Rican stop that features a giant sea turtle nesting site - making it off limits to larger ships. This itinerary also includes Little Bay in Montserrat, where a volcano eruption in 1995 covered the island's capital city in ash.Courtesy of Windstar Cruises