Puerto Rico Provides Travel Update Amid Hurricane Maria Recovery

by Jessica Montevago  and  Daniel McCarthy
Puerto Rico Provides Travel Update Amid Hurricane Maria Recovery

Photo: Arturo de La Barrera


Puerto Rico is beginning the uphill battle of recovery after Hurricane Maria tore through the U.S. territory, knocking out all power and leveling infrastructure.

Jose Izquierdo, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, said in a statement: “We're working closely with other state and federal government agencies and collaborating with our industry partners to identify immediate needs across the island.”

The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is now open to commercial flight traffic. A few airlines are already operating on limited schedules. Most are looking to resume operations on Monday, Sept. 23. Cruise ports, however, remain closed.

Becky Veith, of Becky Veith Travel in Erie, Pa., said she is currently in the process of evaluating and rebooking clients. "My clients have expressed an interest to go elsewhere. Their concern, and mine, is if they do not move forward and change now we will not be able to find availability elsewhere and will be within penalty if they cancel at a later date." She's looking at availability in other destinations including Jamaica, Punta Cana, Mexico, and Florida.

Hotels and resorts are still assessing the damage. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company provided the following status update.

The following hotels are closed and are not taking new reservations until further notice:
Condado Plaza Hilton (planning to reopen on Oct. 15), El San Juan Hotel, Embassy Suites Dorado del Mar Beach Resort, Ritz-Carlton Reserve Dorado Beach, W Retreat in Vieques, Gran Melia, Coral by the Sea, and Wyndham Grand Rio Mar (planning to reopen at the end of the year).

Hotels are open, but are not taking new reservations prior to Sept. 30:
Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino, El Conquistador, Las Casitas at El Conquistador, Caribe Hilton, Hilton Condado Lagoon Villa, Embassy Suites Isla Verde, Hampton Inn Isla Verde, and DoubleTree Hotel San Juan.

Hotel is open, but is not taking new reservations prior to Oct. 9:
Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino

Hotels are open, but are not taking new reservations prior to Oct. 15:
Hyatt Place San Juan and Hyatt House San Juan.

Hotels are open, but are not taking new reservations prior to Oct. 22:
Hyatt Hacienda del Mar (Dorado), Hotel El Convento, Sheraton Old San Juan, Vanderbilt Hotel, AC Hotel in Condado, La Concha Hotel, InterContinental Hotel in Isla Verde, San Juan Marriott, The Wave Hotel, Holiday Inn Express San Juan, El Canario Inn, Coral Princess Inn, At Wind Chimes Inn, Verdanza Hotel, Best Western Condado Palm Inn and Suites, Comfort Inn San Juan, Hotel Miramar and Hotel Villa Montaña.

International Hospitality Enterprises (IHE), which operates six hotels and resorts in San Juan, said its properties will continue to operate with a few changes to the daily functions and expect to be fully operational within in the next 30 days.  The IHE properties are: Hotel El Convento, Condado Vanderbilt, La Concha, Doubletree by Hilton San Juan, Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort, Condado Palm Inn and Suites

Hotels are open, but are not taking new reservations prior to Oct. 31:
Hilton Condado and Lagoon Villas.

Hotels are not taking new reservations prior to Dec. 15:
El Conquistador and Las Casitas Village at El Conquistador.

The Puerto Rico Tourism Company is providing the latest updates on its website.

Cruises out of San Juan still on hold
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines will not sail the previously planned Sept. 27 Adventure of the Seas sailing out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, as the city is still recovering from Hurricane Maria.

Royal Caribbean made the announcement late Sunday, joining Carnival Cruise Line, which previously announced that it would not sail out of San Juan into October because of damage to its cruise terminal.

There is currently no word on when regular San Juan cruises will resume. While San Juan Cruise Port was tentatively scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, Sept. 27, those plans have changed as officials assess damage to the port.

“Given the impact of Hurricane Maria, we understand that there is uncertainty regarding travel to the island. We continue to monitor the recovery efforts in San Juan,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement on Monday, Sept. 25.

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