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Inside the Hottest News for Clients Heading to Puerto Rico

August 18, 2016 By: Joe Pike

Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

From a new executive chef at Puerto Rico's Waldorf Astoria resorts to the Cruise Lines International Association's (CLIA) inaugural Travel Agent Destination Summit, Travel Agent breaks down all the hottest news out of Puerto Rico.

El San Juan Hotel & Casino to Close for Renovation

The El San Juan Hotel & Casino in Puerto Rico recently announced that it will undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation beginning on August 15, resulting in a temporary closure. 

The upcoming property-wide transformation, slated for full completion in early 2017, will include thorough renovations to the guest rooms, pool area, meeting and entertainment spaces, food and beverage venues and spa and fitness facilities.
The El San Juan, which opened in 1957, is a 387-room hotel overlooking two miles of pristine beach in the Isla Verde district, Puerto Rico.  

The property offers a 11,000 square feet of grand ballroom space, three pools, nine award-winning restaurants, 15 active bars, the island’s top nightclub, a 7,500 square-foot casino and 12 acres on Isla Verde beach, recently voted the best urban beach in the U.S.  

Located two miles from Puerto Rico’s international airport, the property is situated in a neighborhood known for its beaches,restaurants and bars.


CLIA to Host Inaugural Travel Agent Destination Summit in Puerto Rico

san juan, puerto rico
Photo by Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

CLIAin partnership with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), has announced the launch of the first Travel Agent Destination Summit, taking place in Puerto Rico, September 29 – October 2.

The event will have CLIA’s professional development program, as well as opportunities to explore the beautiful destination of Puerto Rico. Highlights include:

  • Two Certificate Programs: Earn a Meetings & Events at Sea Certificate, as well as be among the first to earn CLIA’s new Specialty Cruise Certificate, focused on River, Luxury, Yachts, and Expedition cruising.
  • Explore Puerto Rico: Enjoy local tours, as well as a special luncheon hosted by the Governor’s Office.
  • Networking: Network with travel agents and others in the cruise industry, including a joint reception with FCCA and roundtable discussions.
  • Ship Inspection: Attend a live ship inspection of Carnival Fascination.

All attendees receive special access to the trade show floor of the FCCA Cruise Conference on Thursday, September 29. The event is $149 for CLIA members and $249 non-members.


Puerto Rico’s Waldorf Astoria Resorts Appoint New Executive Chef

Puerto Rico’s Waldorf Astoria resorts, El Conquistador Resort and Las Casitas Village, have appointed Erika Suarez as their new executive chef. 

In her role, Suarez will oversee the resorts’ culinary team, catering and banquet services, room service, and numerous dining outlets including the resorts’ signature Chops Steakhouse. 

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Suarez brings more than 10 years of culinary experience with her, including her position as the first ever female executive chef and corporate chef for Norwegian Cruise Line. 

Additional experience in the hospitality industry includes roles as executive sous chef at Miami Beach Resort & Spa and banquet chef at the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale.

Visit and keep visiting for all your latest Caribbean travel news. Be sure to visit Travel Agent's Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike.

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About the Author

Joe Pike
Joe Pike is Travel Agent's senior editor covering the Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda; Hawaii; Central & South America. Previously, Pike was a newspaper reporter for The Asbury Park...

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By Joe Pike | August 18, 2016
We break down the hottest news coming out of Puerto Rico, including the Cruise Lines International Association's (CLIA) inaugural Travel Agent Destination Summit.