Inside Look: Exploring San Juan, Puerto Rico

A Royal Caribbean crew member shares her favorite photos of this popular destination.
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Meet Zen Yoon

Zen Yoon grew up in Korea and has always had an eye for travel and photography. As a Royal Caribbean crew member, she regularly sails to paradise-like islands in the Caribbean, exploring each destination and putting her photo skills to great use.

On every Royal Caribbean cruise ship, we select a few crew members who specialize in insider intel and can guide guests on the best ways to make the most of their vacation—on and off the ship. We sat down with Zen to get the scoop on her top Caribbean destination, San Juan, Puerto Rico. She describes the historic city as so picturesque, it’s practically cinematic.

“The cute and colorful buildings make me feel like I’m in a movie,” she says. One of her favorite things to do is simply walk the streets, soaking up her surroundings. By pounding the pavement, you can visit the famous forts of San Cristóbal and San Felipe (visible when the ship arrives in port) as well as Raices, Zen’s favorite spot for local food. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to pet the friendly local cats!

Though San Juan is a port easy to explore on your own if you don’t mind walking, consider a shore excursion if you’re interested in going farther away or don’t want to be on your feet all day. “It can be better to go on the shore excursions because [the experts who plan them] will organize everything, from transportation to your schedule,” she says.

No matter which way you go, she says you’ll find no shortage of photo-worthy corners. Zen shared some of her most loved photos from San Juan with us; click through the gallery to see them, and get inspired to plan your next cruise vacation.

Follow Zen’s adventures at sea on Instagram at @zenyoon.