(11:30 a.m. EDT) -- As Puerto Rico's port of San Juan continues to slowly reopen to cruise passengers, questions about the island's current state of recovery might come to mind. To give you a glimpse of which ships are visiting, what's open to visitors, and how residents feel about the return of cruise tourism to the region, Cruise Critic caught up with the executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Jose Izquierdo, via email.
What are the next cruise ships the terminal is expecting to receive?
We are thrilled with Royal Caribbean's confidence in our Island and the San Juan area with its decision to resume homeport operations for its ship Adventure of the Seas on October 7.
From now until the end of the year, we have 45 cruise departures scheduled from San Juan with eight cruise lines including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity, Viking, Norwegian, Disney, Windstar, Princess and SeaDream. Over two thousand travelers are expected to travel in and out of San Juan to embark on these journeys.
Are tour operators up and running (for shore excursions)? When do they expect to be?
An island-wide assessment of attractions, historical sites and tours is being conducted. Key attractions like the Puerto Rico Museum of Art in Santurce and the Ponce Museum of Art, are open for visitors. El Morro and other San Juan historic sites are expected to open in the coming weeks.
And lastly, the streets of Old San Juan never closed. Visitors can walk around and admire the beautiful colors and cobblestone streets anytime. Additionally, stores and shops around Old San Juan are beginning to open, as are restaurants and bars like the iconic La Factoria, which is open and welcoming locals and visitors currently.
All industry updates regarding hotels, airports, port and attractions can be found via SeePuertoRico.com as it is updated daily.
How do residents feel about the return of cruise tourism to the region?
The people of Puerto Rico are eager to get the Island back on its feet and they understand tourism is a big driver of that. Most hotels in the San Juan area are operational and ready to welcome new visitors. Our main airport is up and running with scheduled domestic and international flights.
The return of tourists to the Island is the first step to Puerto Rico's quick path to recovery. We can attest that our industry partners are being diligent during the recovery and rebuilding process to ensure a great experience for travelers.
--By Brittany Chrusciel, Associate Editor