I'm writing this for a couple of reasons.
First off, I think this ferry is like the misunderstood bully at school. He might act a fool and be a chump to other kids, but we don't know what's going on at home or what other emotional turmoil he might be facing.
Second, I benefited from what other people wrote here before my trip, so I figured I'd pay it forward.
Tip # 1: Go early. Like crazy early. Like so early it may not be worth going to sleep.
Thanks to previous reviews we read here, my friends and I opted to take the earliest ferry out to Calebra at 4 am on a transport ferry. We showed up at 2:30 am, bought a ticket immediately, chilled in line for an hour, and then boarded around 3:30.
Tip #2: Have someone with you that speaks Spanish well. Since this ferry isn't really for tourists (see note below), it makes everything bunches easier if someone in your party speaks decent Spanish at least for buying the tickets.
Tip #3: Pack food. We treated this like a camping trip and packed drinks and food. In a cooler (costs a little extra to board with one.) Not only did this make things cheaper, but it also was probably better food than what was being offered on the island.
Tip #4: Do you get seasick? If the answer to that is any form of "Yes", you might want to consider a plane. These boats, aren't very big, which means it's going to be a bumpy ride for about an hour and a half. People will vomit.
Special Note: I mentioned earlier my feeling that this ferry is misunderstood. I think that misunderstanding is rooted in that this is something more for locals than tourists.
Now that might make some people upset, but look: there's a more expensive ferry out of San Juan that's more tourist-friendly and there's planes you can take there.
This is a dirt cheap way that less-affluent Puerto Ricans can use to get to these islands for fun. It's only $2 each way. $2!!! In my opinion, that buys you zero entitlement. It's amazing to me that even pays for the gas. I paid about $60 to go to Catalina (a comparable distance) in LA on a worse boat.
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