Hi all. We are considering sailing on the Star Princess. The only thing is that it stops in San Juan from 4PM to 11PM. We usually like to go to the beach and shop in each port. I'm assuming 4pm is too late for beach, so is there any shopping at that time?
We took the Evening Drive of Old and New San Juan. It was really a nice ride and the tour guide was very knowledgable. It was a very informative trip and we saw quite a lot in about 2 hours time. At the end of the tour, you had the option of going on to the ship or being let off in Old San Juan for shopping and getting back to the ship (walking distance) on your own.
I believe that many of the shops in Old San Juan may be closed or closing druing those times. If there is a festival going on, you may see street vendors and hear music near where the ship docks. (Actually, since the port was renovated and more ships dock here, you may see the street vendors all the time. If you are really lucky, you may see a fireworks display. There's also plenty of nightlife in the Condado and Isla Verde areas where hotels and casinos offer gaming and cabaret shows. You'll need to take a cab to those. A walk around Old San Juan streets in the early evening can still be interesting. Be prepared for plenty of traffic, steepish hills, narrow sidewalks and the occasional young person who just needs a few more coins for bus fare home. However, it will be cooler than during the day, and those wonderful spanish lanterns look so romatinc glowing on the street corners. And though most of the shops close, in the late afternoon you can almost always find the Walgreens open and doing a brisk trade--a good place to stock up on sunscreen, film, and sodas for the room if you need 'em.
If you like nite life take a 10 minute taxi to the Condado area. There is everything from you small local places to fancy smancy restaurants and clubs. VERY safe at night if you stay on the main beach stretch. Or consider the bioilluninescence tour if it's available ( glow in the dark reef). We thoroughly enjoyed hanging out in the condado area. Old san juan was just incredible, but I do believe the shops will close by 6pm as people said. So consider a taxi to old san juan first, then grab one to the condado not more than 15 minutes away.
When we went (also in the evening), we walked into town and had dinner at a nice little place. Sorry, can't remember the name now! Anyway, it's a fun little town just to walk around. It's very "colonial" with narrow cobblestone streets. The town has a lot of character. It's fun just walking around and soaking in the ambiance.