How to sell Puerto Rico to your cruise customers


How to sell Puerto Rico to your cruise customers
Marie-Eve Vallières

For Marie-Eve, who is from Montreal, travel holds no more secrets. Having lived in London and France, she has spent the past nine years quenching her thirst for adventure and discovery. Twenty-nine countries later, Marie-Eve continues to travel the world.

While visiting the beautiful island of Puerto Rico for the Transat Surf and Turf seminar, PAX surveyed the two cruise lines serving the capital of San Juan as a starting point for itineraries in the Caribbean, namely, Norwegian and Carnival.

Transat currently offers a selection of hotels for pre- and post-cruise holidays as well as regular flights to Luis Munoz-Marin airport, thus framing the all-inclusive maritime routes.

READ MORE:  Transat's Surf & Turf seminar: cruise as a turn-key product

Cruises in Puerto Rico: Carnival products

Lynne St-Jean, Director of Business Development for Carnival Cruise Line in CanadaLynne St-Jean, Director of Business Development for Carnival Cruise Line in Canada

One of the first sea giants to set a regular schedule from Puerto Rico, Carnival has been using a very interesting market share for a long time.

"The advantage of leaving Puerto Rico, compared to Miami or Fort Lauderdale, is that you avoid the days at sea. It's ideal for people who want to see a lot of islands and keep busy," said Lynne St-Jean, director of business development, Carnival Cruise Line, Canada.

According to St-Jean, this is an option for vacationers who like to get out more, and do not want to spend a lot of time at sea.

"It's a ship that sails every Sunday, year-round, for a very long time ... our inaugural cruise was in 1994! It has been completely renovated in 2018, it is now part of the Fun 2.0 concept with slips and the Carnival signature, everything is there."

  • Carnival Fascination
  • 2600 passengers
  • Seven night itineraries
  • Only a day at sea

Stopovers at:

  • St. Maarten
  • St. Kitts
  • St. LUCIA
  • Barbados
  • Saint Thomas

Cruises in Puerto Rico: Norwegian products

Sabrina Greca, Strategic Account Manager for Canada at Norwegian Cruise Lines in QuebecSabrina Greca, Strategic Account Manager for Canada at Norwegian Cruise Lines in Quebec

Delighted by the bright colours and Latin flair of San Juan, Sabrina Greca, head of strategic accounts for Canada at Norwegian Cruise Lines in Quebec, is excited by the popularity of her product in Puerto Rico.

"The program is going really well, although we are not traditionally known as the Puerto Rican departures company. So good, double our capacity for the 2019-2020 season by changing the ship."

This is official: for the winter season 2019-2020, the Norwegian Dawn will be replaced by a ship hosting twice as many passengers, the Norwegian Epic.

 "Our offer is distinguished by the fact that our ships are sublime; we will therefore look for people who want to visit as many islands as possible, but also appreciate the ship's state-of-the-art facilities, the inclusion of the drink package and the exclusive FreeStyle atmosphere in Norwegian," Greca said.

  • Currently on the Norwegian Dawn; will be replaced by the Norwegian Epic in 2019-2020
  • 2200 passengers currently; 4200 passengers on the Norwegian Epic in 2019-2020
  • Seven night itineraries
  • Only a day at sea

Stopovers at:

  • Saint Thomas
  • Tortola
  • Antigua
  • Barbados
  • St. LUCIA

Why leave Puerto Rico instead of simply stopping there?

Formerly an impenetrable fortress even by the most astute pirates, Puerto Rico has become a tourist haven.

With an unshakable Latin culture and a fascinating historical heritage, San Juan is the perfect destination to plan a pre or post-cruise stay for your clients who want to be out of the ordinary.

It is also worth mentioning the port - the largest in the Caribbean - directly at the foot of the old town, making it a very attractive departure and departure point, far from the industrial centres and just a few minutes from the high seas. 

"Our offer, with our two cruise partners, is unique. We encourage travelers to plan a pre or post week stay based on our flights. Because San Juan is an interesting and experiential destination, even for all-inclusive lovers. There is this beach vacation atmosphere, but also the cultural discovery at your fingertips , " said Sylvie Murdock, head of sales, Transat.

Puerto Rico with Transat

Transat offers several hotels, in various formulas, as well as regular flights during the winter season in Puerto Rico in addition to transfer services. A destination representative is also present to welcome travelers and assist them throughout their presence on the island.

The airport is only minutes away from the hotel zone and the historic centre.

Here are two accommodation options to consider:

Verdanza Hotel


  • 3.5 stars
  • 222 rooms
  • Rooms renovated 100% by January 2019
  • Studio-style rooms with kitchenettes
  • Breakfast package included
  • Air conditioning and mini fridge
  • A restaurant, an espresso bar and two bars
  • A courtyard with pool and water games for children
  • On the street adjacent to Isla Verde Beach

ESJ Azul

  • 4 stars starting in 2019
  • Rooms and common areas renovated 100% by January 2019
  • Studio-style rooms with kitchenettes
  • Right on the beach
  • A central pool
  • 17-story tower with breathtaking views of the coast
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