SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico has set Dec. 20 as its “official” reopening date to tourists following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The storm-ravaged island, which has made incredible strides in its recovery efforts, has estimated that 58 cruise arrivals will have arrived in San Juan in November and December, resulting in over 110,000 passengers and an economic impact of roughly $25 million.
While Royal Caribbean resumed homeport in San Juan back on Oct. 7, Puerto Rico welcomed over 7,000 cruisers on Nov. 30 – the first batch of passengers following the hurricanes – from cruises making a transit stop to the island. Passengers from Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas and Carnival Conquest were greeted with a warm Puerto Rican welcome, complete with free salsa classes, rum and coquito tastings, percussion bands, street performers and artisan markets.
Moreover, there are more than 100 hotels currently taking reservations in Puerto Rico, including the iconic El San Juan hotel, which reopened its doors much sooner than anticipated. Also, the new Hotel Solace by The Sea (formerly Quality Inn) opened in Ponce in the south region of the island with 102 rooms.
All this illustrates the fact that San Juan is open for business. Its history walking and bike tours are up and running, the Condado and Santurce areas are bustling with nightlife, and over 100 hotels and 1,718 restaurants are once again operational and welcoming new visitors.