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Layover at SJU; grocery shopping nearby?

Denver
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Layover at SJU; grocery shopping nearby?

I have a trip planned to USVI / St. Thomas with a layover in San Juan. However, since groceries (especially fresh meats & produce) are expensive in USVI, I was hoping to pick up some groceries in PR instead. Does anyone know of a supermarket near the airport while I wait for the connecting flight? Or a market of some sort inside the airport?

Ohio
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for Cruz Bay
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1. Re: Layover at SJU; grocery shopping nearby?

Don't know about a grocery store near airport, but it would not be worth the hassle in my mind. Prices are going to be about the same on both islands. If you are flying to STT on one of the small airlines (Cape Air, etc), you also have a weight limit. Your bags go in the wings. If you are overweight some of your luggage will be left behind for another flight.

San Juan
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2. Re: Layover at SJU; grocery shopping nearby?

there is a supermarket called Pueblo next to the airport, it opens 24 hours. Prices are higher in the US Virgin Islands (think about convenience store prices on everything)

Edited: 17 March 2011, 17:50
Denver
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3. Re: Layover at SJU; grocery shopping nearby?

Bluewater,

I was afraid that would be the answer. Some travellers say they just bring frozen meats in a cooler, but something tells me my 12 hour total trip length wouldn't accomodate that option.

Coqui,

Thanks for the info! If I do decide to pick up something in PR, I'll be sure to check out Pueblo.

Ohio
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for Cruz Bay
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4. Re: Layover at SJU; grocery shopping nearby?

m0bius,

There is a Kmart & a Cost U Less on STT were many people shop whether they are staying on STT or going over to STJ. We don't because we are one of those people who bring a cooler. I freeze everything at least a week ahead of time and pack the cooler right before we leave for the airport, without any ice packs. One year we left the house at 4AM, had two connections and everything but the cooler arrived in San Juan. We were freaking out. We went ahead and took our scheduled flight to STT and then ferry to STJ. We were told that they'd send it over if it showed up. Sure enough, someone called and said it would be on the 5PM ferry from STT. Everything was still frozen when we got it. Ever since that trip the cooler is a carry-on. Too much money invested for it too get lost!

Destination Expert
for Puerto Rico
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5. Re: Layover at SJU; grocery shopping nearby?

in my experience and opinion the prices and meat quality in Puerto Rico is much better than the USVI. Having said that, I don't think is legal to bring with you fresh meats from Puerto Rico, even though you are traveling inside US Territory. That is why we have to scan our luggage through the US Department of Agriculture Scanners when traveling to any US destination. They check you don't have any fruits, vegetable or meats.

Denver
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6. Re: Layover at SJU; grocery shopping nearby?

So off on a tangent, since PR-Nature-Lover says you can't take meat from PR to USVI, does that mean you also can't (oficially) bring meat onboard if USA is the originator? And if so, do you just "forget" to make a declaration when you arrive in PR and USVI? Because I'm not above that.

Ohio
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for Cruz Bay
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7. Re: Layover at SJU; grocery shopping nearby?

LOL - I can't remember if we went through Customs in PR. It's been awhile. We avoid SJU at all cost. 1. because it means we have 2 connections and 2. we flew Cape Air to and from STT one year and they gave our seats away even though I had reconfirmed our seats and we also got to the STT airport more than 2 hrs before departure. We were a group of 7. There are only 9 passenger seats on the plane!!!! After MUCH discussion with the Cape Air counter person (and a calm attitude on my part - I had to send my husband away), They sent another plane from another charter to get us. We had to RUN with 3 kids and all of our luggage through the airport to make our connecting flight!!! We now pay the extra, if necessary, to have one connection in either Atlanta or Charlotte.

I know you do not go through Custom when you arrive in STT. If you can't take meat from PR to STT, I must have missed that part. Nobody asked......

As a precaution, when I freeze the meat I cut the butcher/price UPC code on top of the meat before I vacuum pack each. I was told that I have to do it one year when we went to Grand Cayman by a Customs Officer. He could have taken all of it, but I guess he was having a good day! Don't know if you've been to Cayman, but when you are going through Customs after getting your bags, you push a button. If it's green you're good to go. If it's red they open your bags. Kind of like the lottery!

Edited: 17 March 2011, 21:28
8. Re: Layover at SJU; grocery shopping nearby?

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