Since her delivery she was dedicated to the Gulf of Mexico and Antilles lines. Before starting the war in Cuba she was converted into an auxiliary cruiser, managing to outwit several times the United States blockade. The first out of Havana to the Peninsula and the second entering Cienfuegos with troops and supplies. From that port she went to Havana, where she managed to enter, staying there until the end of the war.
Originally she burned coal in her boilers, but on 1928 she was
modified to burn fuel oil. At about the same time she was modified for cruising, changing her appearance as her hull was painted white instead of the traditional black of the shipping company, and her funnel ocher with two narrow red stripes, representing the Spanish flag. Later those two bands were joined, leaving a single wider strip. Only this ship and the Manuel Arnus, which was also modified for cruises, wore that aspect.