7 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise on Empress of the Seas from San Juan, Puerto Rico Basseterre, St. Kitts White House Bay Family Rock
The 7 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico visits Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands; Basseterre, St Kitts & Nevis; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St Lucia; St. John's, Antigua; Philipsburg, St Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico. Explore our cruise itineraries and choose from a variety of rooms depending on your needs and budget. Start planning your next cruise vacation by selecting a destination and departure port.
Royal Caribbean Cruises
Priced from: S$1252.0 per person 7 sailing dates available
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7 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise
Itinerary Overview
Explore Empress of the Seas
Day 1 - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Day 2 - Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Day 3 - Basseterre, St Kitts & Nevis
Day 4 - Bridgetown, Barbados
Day 5 - Castries, St Lucia
Day 6 - St. John's, Antigua
Day 7 - Philipsburg, St Maarten
Day 8 - San Juan, Puerto Rico
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Basseterre, St. Kitts White House Bay Family Rock
Mother and daughter sitting on a rock in White House Bay
This is your

7 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise

Explore This Itinerary
Leaving from
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Empress of the Seas
Day Port
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Departs at 8:30 PM
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Tendered from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Basseterre, St Kitts & Nevis
From 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Bridgetown, Barbados
From 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Castries, St Lucia
From 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
St. John's, Antigua
From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Philipsburg, St Maarten
From 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Arrives at 6:00 AM
*Port sequence may vary by sailing date.
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Your ship Empress of the Seas

Your ship
Empress of the Seas
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Empress of the Seas, Aerial View, Bahamas and Caribbean Cruise Ship
Aerial View of Empress of the Seas Cruise Ship With Destinations in Nassau, Havana, and Cozumel
Get to know
Empress of the Seas


Stay active while soaking up views from the top of the Rock Climbing Wall. Or unwind with a poolside film or a visit to Vitality℠ at Sea Spa and Fitness Centre. Empress of the Seas℠ is the perfect place to find adventure and your Caribbean chill.


All that exploring is bound to work up an appetite. Thankfully, the options for next level noshing are endless. Five courses of gourmet goodness await at Chef's Table, while steakhouse favourites raise the bar at Chop's Grille℠. At Windjammer, you'll find a global array of options, all complimentary. And when the day winds down, the night heats up at Boleros.


Get ready for some real scene stealers like Three, a grand multi-sensory production celebrating the golden days of show business, and Bailamos, a vibrant showcase of vocal ensembles and dynamic ballroom dancing styles.

Day 1: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Day 1
San Juan
Puerto Rico
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San Juan, Puerto Rico Fort
San Juan, Puerto Rico historic Fort San Felipe Del Morro.
Things to do in
San Juan
Departs at 8:30 PM
Puerto Rico’s 500-year-old capital is a history buff’s dream come true. The Spanish settled this harbour as a New World home base, and that influence is still evident, from the fortress walls lining the coastline to the rainbow of colonial buildings along narrow streets. Venture further out from the old town and nature unfolds. You can scale high into the jungled mountains of El Yunque Forest, or keep to the foothills on a riverside horse ride. If despacito is more your speed, pick a pristine beach and recline with a cod fritter and rum drink in hand. San Juan cruises give you the perfect outpost to dial up or dial down your holiday.
Puerto Rico, San Juan Old City
Couple Sitting on Top of Historical Fort


From the moment you arrive, you’ll find that San Juan, Puerto Rico is bursting at the seams with unforgettable cultural discoveries. Every alleyway in Old San Juan offers a glimpse into a vibrant past that stretches back centuries, while monuments like the UNESCO World Heritage site Castillo San Felipe del Morro will make you feel as though you’ve wandered back in time. Dating back to the mid-nineteenth century, the beloved Paseo de La Princesa in the city’s historic center is a great place to experience Puerto Rico’s rich cultural heritage up close.
Insider tip
The free, open-air trams in Old San Juan are a great way to see the city’s top sites.
Puerto Rico Isla Verde
Puerto Rico Isla Verde Shores


Puerto Rico is the third largest island in the United States, so it should come as no surprise that there’s a beach here for every kind of adventurer. You’ll find world-class surfing and plenty of water sports in Rincon on the island’s west side. Secluded shores with crystal clear waters and colourful coral reefs on Flamenco Beach in Culebra. Family-friendly beaches with plenty of cafes and shopping along star-studded El Condado – nicknamed ‘The Rivera of the Caribbean’. And an Instagrammer’s paradise in Vieques Playa Negra, which draws beachgoers from around the world with its unique black sand.
Insider tip
Wear comfortable walking shoes. The cobblestoned streets in Old San Juan can be steep and uneven.
Puerto Rico Local Crafts
Puerto Rico Local Shopping


Craving a bit of retail therapy? Puerto Rico has plenty of options. The boho-chic neighbourhood of Santurce is your go-to for shops selling some of Puerto Rico’s leading local designers. If international designers and top-end boutiques are more your style, you can spend hours window shopping in glitzy El Condado. And on Cristo and Fortaleza Streets in Old San Juan you’ll find some of the best souvenirs and artisanal souvenirs on the island – think finely-crafted lace and jewellery, hand-rolled cigars, colourful guayaberas and Puerto Rico’s brightly coloured papier-mâché vejigante masks.

Day 2: Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Day 2
Virgin Gorda
British Virgin Islands
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British Virgin Islands Mother and Son Snorkeling
Mother and Son Snorkeling and Taking a Selfie
Things to do in
Virgin Gorda
Tendered from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Virgin Gorda, a mountainous, beautiful island filled with friendly locals, tropical cuisine and wandering chickens, is also a marvel of nature. Blue waters hug the shore and granite megaliths at The Baths rise from the sea. The main method of transportation is by boat, so you can sail around the lush island or go by the tiny isles, where famous figures live. Virgin Gorda is not without some city-life fun – Spanish Town is the second-largest town on the British Virgin Islands and it's where you can find shopping opportunities, fishing festivals and live music. If you're curious about history, seek out Little Fort National Park, a nature sanctuary that's great for hiking and has views of the ocean.
Virgin Gorda Granite Rocks at The Baths Beach
Virgin Gorda Granite Rocks at The Baths Beach

Island Boldness

No other place in the Caribbean captures the imagination like The Baths National Park, a geological wonder where ancient boulders by the north shore create shallow pools of translucent blue water. You can reach this incredible destination by car or by boat. The national park is a rarity in the Caribbean and a perfect backdrop for jaw-dropping photographs.
Insider tip
Try taking a sailing tour around the island to see The Baths from the water.
Virgin Gorda Adirondack Chairs by the Inter-coastal
Virgin Gorda Adirondack Chairs by the Inter-coastal

Settle Here

Spanish Town is the largest settlement in Virgin Gorda and a sailing and food hub for both locals and tourists. There are still traces of those from Africa and Spain as well as the Taino Indians who inhabited the area centuries ago. You'll find restaurants, bars, boutique shops and a view of sailing boats gliding by.
Insider tip
Rent a car to explore all the corners of the island and discover hidden shops and restaurants.
Virgin Gorda Beach Greenery
Virgin Gorda Beach Greenery

Lounging Rock

Visit Saba Rock for a lounging session with a hammock and a frozen cocktail. Catch a glimpse of the yachts entering and leaving the bay, watch the turtles swimming by, or take a walk to the nearby shipwreck.
Virgin Gorda Conch Soup
Virgin Gorda Conch Soup

Local Cuisine

Virgin Gorda is food central and when people talk cuisine in the BVIs, the name Hog Heaven is bound to come up. Like many other establishments on the island, Hog Heaven is an off-the-beaten-track joint with million-dollar views. It serves island classics like crunchy fried chicken, conch chowder and potato salad – be sure not to leave without trying their barbecue ribs. Other restaurant options include CocoMaya, Top of the Baths and Fat Virgin's Cafe.
Virgin Gorda Local Shopping Straw Hats
Virgin Gorda Local Shopping Straw Hats


If you're looking for boating merchandise, head to the popular tourist spots Reeftique at The Bitter End Yacht Club as well as Pusser's Company Store, while Next Wave Designs are a general favourite for their straw baskets, beaded bags and glassware.

Day 3: Basseterre, St Kitts & Nevis

Day 3
St Kitts & Nevis
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Basseterre, St. Kitts Mount Liamuiga Volcano Hike Couple
Couple resting from volcano hike on Mount Liamuiga, Basseterre
Things to do in
From 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Greens in every shade spring from the rolling hills of St Kitts – an island ripe with eco-tourism adventures. In the port city of Basseterre, you’ll find centuries of history to explore in impressive estates and photo-worthy monuments like the Brimstone Hill Fortress, one of the most well-preserved military structures in the Americas. Cruise to St Cruise to St Kitts & Nevis and venture beyond the port and gear up for a unique climb up the 1,152-metre Mount Liamuiga volcano for views that are well worth the hike. Or hop in a kayak to get up close to a rainbow of tropical reef fish. Looking for something a little more laid back? Escape to the tiny unhurried sister island, Nevis, for smooth golden beaches and clear-water snorkelling – it’s just a thirty-minute ferry ride away.
Basseterre, St. Kitts Forest Volcano Hike Couple
Couple hiking on a volcano trail in Basseterre rainforest


Hit the Mount Liamuiga trail and trek through towering trees, tangled vines and tropical flowers to the crater of the 1,155-metre dormant volcano. At the peak of your 6-mile ascent, you’ll be rewarded with a view that goes so far, you can see the neighbouring islands.
Insider tip
Tipping taxi drivers isn’t necessary. In restaurants, a 10-15% tip is standard.
Basseterre, St. Kitts Nevis Traditional Architecture
Boardwalk with traditional red houses in Nevis, Basseterre


For a taste of nightlife while the sun is still shining, head to The Strip on South Frigate Bay. This hot spot along the beach is lined with resorts, restaurants and bars with open-air dance floors. Most places open at 10 a.m. and keep the island party vibes going until late at night.
Insider tip
Six ferries are available to take you on the 45-minute trip between the islands.
Basseterre, St. Kitts Sugarcane plantation ruins
Sunny day at old sugarcane plantation ruins, Basseterre


Hop on the West Indies’ last railway – double-decker trains that travel along a line built a century ago to transport sugarcane across the island. You’ll pass historical estates and countryside filled with tall, wild sugarcane.
Basseterre, St. Kitts Nevis Grilled Spiny Lobster
Four spiny lobster tails on a grill

Local Cuisine

Casual beach spots with super-fresh seafood are your best bet for lunch. Order some spiny lobster or conch grilled over an open fire. More adventurous eaters should try West Indian specialities like pepper pot, Arawak chicken and goat-water stew. For a quick snack, vendors sell sugarcane stalks to chew on.
Basseterre, St. Kitts Nevis Assorted Colorful Souvenirs
An assortment of colorful souvenirs


Port Zante has over 60 shops where you can find deals on watches, jewellery, diamonds and gemstones. Or you can head to the nearby Pelican Shopping Mall, a collection of souvenir shops designed to look like a traditional Caribbean street.

Day 4: Bridgetown, Barbados

Day 4
View Itinerary
Bridgetown, Barbados Bottom Bay Beach
Sunny day with palm trees on Bottom Bay Beach in Bridgetown, Barbados
Things to do in
From 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
You’ll find that Bridgetown strikes a fine mix of island warmth and English heritage. Stately colonial buildings intermingle with colourful wooden homes, open-air markets and catch-of-the-day cafés. Outside of the bustle of 'Town', as the locals call it, Barbados is a new kind of paradise in every direction. Cruise to Barbados and head towards the shore for pink-and-white-sand beaches that stretch on endlessly and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Or stick to the centre of the island: you’ll find rolling hills and valleys, sugarcane fields and historic plantations. You can even travel underground to discover limestone caves with their own waterfalls.
Bridgetown, Barbados Harrison Cave Colorful
Colorful lights in Harrison Cave, Bridgetown, Barbados


Take a solar-powered tram journey 52 metres below ground into Harrison’s Cave, an intricate limestone cave system. Here, you’ll find flowing streams, waterfalls, emerald-hued pools, unusual stalactite formations and towering columns that formed over thousands of years.
Insider tip
Ships dock at the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal, about a mile from town.
Bridgetown, Barbados Wildlife Reserve Monkey Eating
Monkey eating at a wildlife reserve in Bridgetown, Barbados


Hop into a rugged 4X4 and make your way through the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. Deep in the island’s interior, you’ll find playful green monkeys, colourful birds, reptiles and other native animals roaming freely. Try to visit at around 2 p.m. for feeding time to see the green monkeys close-up.
Insider tip
Driving can get a little crazy here – save yourself the hassle of hiring a car.
Bridgetown, Barbados Carlisle Bay Beach
Clear sunny beach on Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown, Barbados


Sit back and relax on the powdery white sands of Harbour Lights on Carlisle Bay Beach. If kicking back with a rum punch in hand is a little too laid-back, you can snorkel around shipwrecks, rent a jet ski or even visit Tortuga to swim with turtles.
Insider tip
Official taxis have a 'Z' on their licence plates. The rates are fixed, but you should tip 10%.
Bridgetown, Barbados, Bajan Fish Cake
Three Bajan fish cakes on a green plate with white rice

Local Cuisine

This island is a seafood lover’s dream come true. Bajan (or Barbadian) cuisine blends African, Indian and British influences. For a truly authentic experience, don’t shy away from the street food – try the fried fish cakes, macaroni pie, tamarind balls and the national dish, cou-cou with flying fish.
Bridgetown, Barbados, Souvenir Market
Assorted bags at an open souvenir market in Bridgetown, Barbados


For the best deals on duty-free luxury items and authentic souvenirs from the island, check out the shops in the cruise terminal and the shops along Broad Street, the high street in Bridgetown. Cruise to Barbados and bring home a taste of the island with a rum cake, which is called ‘great cake’ for a reason.

Day 5: Castries, St Lucia

Day 5
St Lucia
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Castries, St Lucia, Anse La Raye Fishing Boats
Fishing boats on the bay of Anse La Raye, Castries, St. Lucia
Things to do in
From 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
From dramatic landscapes moulded by ancient volcanoes to sparkling palm-fringed beaches, St Lucia offers some amazing Caribbean eye candy. Luxury resorts nestle up to the natural beauty, giving this island just the right touch of exclusivity. Cruise to St Lucia and explore the coast by catamaran. Hike to the peaks of the soaring twin Pitons. Tour rainforests and explore the fishing villages of Anse-La-Raye. Or take a relaxing dip in warm mineral pools heated by the dormant volcano of Soufriere. In the capital of Castries, you’ll find touches of French and British heritage, from the architecture to the cuisine.
Castries, St. Lucia Soufriere Volcano Sulphur Springs
Steaming sulphur springs by Qualibou volcano, Soufriere, Castries, St. Lucia

Play in the Mud

Melt away your cares in the town of Soufriere, home to Sulphur Springs, known for its medicinal waters since the 1600s. Soak in natural thermal pools at the bottom of the bubbling craters and Zen out while indulging in a therapeutic mineral mud bath from head to toe.
Insider tip
Don’t forget insect repellent if you plan to visit the rainforest.
Castries, St. Lucia Girl Boat Mountains Piton Peaks
Girl on red canoe, sailing to the Pitons on Castries, St. Lucia

Coastal Cruising

See the famous Pitons and island vistas from the sea as you glide down the coast of St. Lucia on a coastal cruise. See the lush vegetation and fishing villages as you make your way to the Pitons.
Insider tip
Drive on the left side of the road on this island.
Castries, St. Lucia Marigot Bay Sailboats
Sunny day with sailboats at Marigot Bay, Castries, St. Lucia

Serene Scene

Make your way to Marigot Bay – a gorgeous natural harbour straight out of a film, dotted with restaurants, bars and shops. You can stroll the yacht marina, shop at boutiques, visit a French bakery or relax at the secluded beach, accessible by ferry.
Castries, St. Lucia, Creole Seafood Dish
A fried filet of fish with a Creole sauce and vegetables

Local Cuisine

The Creole cuisine shows off the local fish, fruits and vegetables. Traditional flavours are a unique blend of West African, British, French and East Indian influences. Don’t miss 'coal pot', a local staple where dishes are cooked in a clay basin over coals.
Castries, St. Lucia, Souvenir Shop Storefront
The storefront of a souvenir shop in St. Lucia


The best duty-free shops are at Pointe Seraphine cruise terminal and across the harbour at La Place Carenage. Cruise to St Lucia and find duty-free jewellery, watches, perfume, crystal, rum and local crafts. An artisanal favourite to bring home from here is the traditional pottery, made from the clay of the Pitons.

Day 6: St. John's, Antigua

Day 6
St. John's
View Itinerary
St. John's, Antigua, Shirley Heights dusk
Sunrise at Shirley Heights, The Lookout, with views of the Falmouth and English Harbors, St. John's, Antigua
Things to do in
St. John's
From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Antigua has a beach for every day of the year – literally. But the island experience goes beyond 365 distinct ribbons of white sand and clear waters. In the capital city of St John's, you’ll discover charming candy-coloured architecture, lively markets and a beautiful baroque cathedral. And smiling locals greet you everywhere you go. On the southern coast, you can explore Nelson’s Dockyard, a centuries-old British naval base built by Admiral Horatio Nelson. Past Antigua’s yacht-studded coastline, you’ll find upmarket boutiques, wild forest trails, hidden coves and coral reefs bustling with tropical fish. But the best way to really see the island is from up above, so cruise to Antigua and hop into a helicopter for a panoramic look at lush jungles, golden beaches and the nearby volcanic island, Montserrat.
St. John's, Antigua, Betty's Hope
Stone windmill tower at Betty's Hope, St. John's, Antigua


Explore Betty’s Hope, two restored stone windmill towers that were once part of Antigua’s first major sugar plantation. The site dates back to the mid-1600s.
Insider tip
Antigua is the sunniest of the Eastern Caribbean islands, so don’t forget your sunscreen. Do not wear camouflage clothing – it’s against the law in Antigua – and leave your beach attire for the beach.  
St. John's, Antigua, Nelson's Dockyard
Restored historic building at Nelson's Dockyard, St. John's, Antigua


Once the base of the British Royal Navy, Nelson’s Dockyard is now the only working Georgian dockyard in the world. It’s home to several sailing and yachting events, and close to the historic Clarence House.
Insider tip
A service charge is often included in the bill in restaurants, but you may wish to add a standard 5% tip.
St. John's, Antigua, Shirley Heights
Yachts on the coastline of St. Johns, Antigua


For some of the best views on the island, head to Shirley Heights – a restored military lookout nicknamed 'The Lookout'. It offers the best views of the Falmouth and English Harbours.
St. John's, Antigua, Fish and Chips
Fish and Chips on a white tray


In Antigua, British, Creole and West Indian flavours come together to spice up local ingredients and fresh seafood. Must-try dishes include fungi – a cooked cornmeal paste similar to Italian polenta – and ducana dumplings made of sweet potato. If you wander the harbour front, you’ll find traditional English fish and chips paired with locally brewed Wadadli beer.

Day 7: Philipsburg, St Maarten

Day 7
St Maarten
View Itinerary
Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Marigot sunset
Sunset at Marigot, Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Things to do in
From 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
What makes St Maarten so unique is its blend of cultures. The island is home to 120 different nationalities speaking over 80 languages, and is governed by two countries: the Netherlands and France. In fact, it’s the smallest land mass in the world to be shared by two different nations. While it may be less than 40 square miles, there’s plenty to do on this little island: you can travel back in time while exploring centuries-old ruins and get your adrenaline fix zip lining through lush tropical forests. If you’re after a little rest and relaxation during your cruise to St Maarten, you’ll find plenty of secluded beaches where you can work on your suntan before treating your taste buds to some of the best cuisine in the Caribbean.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Great Salt Pond aerial
Aerial view of the Great Salt Pond, Philipsburg, St. Maarten


Loterie Farm is a nature sanctuary with 135 acres of hiking trails, a zip line adventure course, and a spring fed multi-level pool with cascading waterfalls.
Insider tip
A service charge is sometimes included at Dutch-side restaurants, but you may wish to add 15% if the service was especially good.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Great Sald Pond vantage zoom
Philipsburg, St. Maarten, cityscape at the Great Salt Pond.


The largest saltwater lagoon in the Caribbean, Simpson Bay is a great spot for lounging and watching the boats and yachts that dot its picturesque harbour.
Insider tip
In restaurants on the French side, it is customary to leave a cash tip of 5-10%.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Girl horseback riding
Girl horseback riding with a view of the ocean in Philipsburg, St. Maarten


Hike to the top of Mount Concordia, which marks the border between the French and Dutch sides of the island, for the best views of both sides
Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Seaside lobster lunch
Enjoying a relaxing, seaside lobster lunch in Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Local Cuisine

This gourmet capital of the Caribbean serves a mix of French, East Indian and island flavours. Cruise to St Maarten and stop by a roadside barbecue stand (called a lolo) and enjoy lobster grilled on split-metal drums. Or dine on stuffed crab and cod fritters at any local café. Be sure to try some guavaberry liqueur, made exclusively on the island.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Front Street Sign
A sign at Front Street in St. Maarten


Head to Front Street in Philipsburg, the capital of Dutch St Maarten, and shop your way down a mile of duty-free shops. Before you go, pick up some famous guavaberry liqueur at the Sint Maarten Guavaberry Company.

Day 8: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Day 8
San Juan
Puerto Rico
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San Juan, Puerto Rico, Waterfalls nature
Man walking through lush vegetation near a waterfall in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Things to do in
San Juan
Arrives at 6:00 AM
Puerto Rico’s 500-year-old capital is a history buff’s dream come true. The Spanish settled this harbour as a New World home base, and that influence is still evident, from the fortress walls lining the coastline to the rainbow of colonial buildings along narrow streets. Venture further out from the old town and nature unfolds. You can scale high into the jungled mountains of El Yunque Forest, or keep to the foothills on a riverside horse ride. If despacito is more your speed, pick a pristine beach and recline with a cod fritter and rum drink in hand. San Juan cruises give you the perfect outpost to dial up or dial down your holiday.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, El Morro night sunset
Sunset view from atop El Morro fortress in San Juan, Puerto Rico


Strong and beautiful, this fort has helped guard the shore for nearly five centuries while overlooking some of the island’s best scenery. Explore it via spiral staircases between levels, and grab a photo at one of the iconic garita sentry boxes that line the outer walls.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, Bautista Cathedral closeup
Closeup of the Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of Saint John the Baptist, in San Juan, Puerto Rico


Founded in 1521, this can’t-miss landmark is one of the oldest churches in the Americas. It houses the tomb of Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon and the mummified remains of religious martyr St Pio.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, Food mojito
Traditional Puerto Rican dish with a glass of mojito

Local Cuisine

In Old San Juan, you’ll find plenty of island fare and criolla cuisine – home cooking flavoured by Spanish and African influences. Try some mofongo, mashed fried green plantains often stuffed with meat, or snack on some cod fritters, called bacalaitos.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, Colorful architecture road
Woman walking through streets of Old San Juan surrounded by colorful architecture


During your San Juan cruise, head to the blue-hued cobblestone streets of Old San Juan for your pick of boutiques offering handmade lace and hand-rolled cigars, plus duty-free luxury items like diamonds, gemstones and watches.