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RCCL Tour vs. Dora, Claudia or Lee Miles

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How do you suggest we book a tour? As these are the only ones I've seen posted?

Thanks for any help,

N

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We used Claudia, and were very satisfied. Our guide Paula was very knowledgeable. Only four of us went, but felt the cost of $80 per person was very reasonable. Also gave us the option of staying however long or short at any one place. Very nice air condioned vans, and our driver was outstanding.

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Different people have different opinions re what is "reasonable" for a tour... our next door neighbor is from Cartagena and since we've been there, quite a few discussions re the city, guides etc. It's still a relatively unfamiliar place to lots of Americans and staying in your "comfort zone" on vacation is often worth more than $$. Going with well recommended companies is often a much better route to choose than going it alone or arranging something when you arrive in a very unfamiliar port/country.

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Hello,

 

Yesterday we returned from our panama canal cruise. In Cartagena we decided to book a tour for just ourselves (a couple). We booked through Lee Miles and had Elkin as our tour guide. We had a fabulous tour and made the most of the limited time we had available to us. They custom-designed the tour to meet our interests and were willing to change plans on the fly if we saw something we'd rather spend more time doing. Elkin speaks terrific english and is a knowledgable guide. He did everything he could to make our visit enjoyable - from stopping traffic so we could get a photo to introducing us to local people. The driver was excellent - all in all a fabulous experience and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Elkin to anyone and also encourage people to consider spending extra to get your very own tour. Thanks to all the helpful input from folks on cruise critic in our planning phase! Liz

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I recently completed the Panama Canal cruise on the Island Princess. Had a half day independent tour for a group of 22 with Claudia Vidal. She was knowledgeable, responsive and prompt. The highlight was the visit to the monastery on La Popa hill offering a great of the city.

 

Art

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We booked with Dora and were very happy. She was our tour guide and the driver was great too. Smaller vehicles can get to La Popa Monastery which was very nice. The old city walking portion was excellent and we saw the fort as well. Stopped for coffee at Juan Valdes which was excellent while our companions shopped for emeralds. There were four of us in the van.

 

Dora was excellent with substantial knowledge and passion for her home.:)

thanks for the input. We have a tour booked with her for December and she has been super fast in returning emails!!

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We just finished a Sept. 19 tour of the Panama Canal and had Dora De Explorer as our tour guide in Cartegena, Columbia. We were 9 adults and some with walking problems but we had no problem. Dora showed us the fort with lots of time to walk around. Her van was great and she even got us beer as requested. We had a wonderful tour and she certainly does love her country. Here is what she quoted:

We begin our tour in Manga where we will see great mansions built at the beginning of the XX Century.

We visit the main monuments of the city. We start at the hill of La Popa from where, besides visiting the monastery and the chapel, we will be able to admire a fantastic view of the city. Following we head towards the San Felipe de Barajas Fort, the most important fort built in the whole American continent. Photo Stop. Next we walk and drive around the walled area - old city admiring houses and plazas such as Plaza de Santa Teresa, Plaza de Bolivar, Plaza de la Aduana, Plaza de los Coches, full of history and legends. Photo stop at the Palace of the Inquisition. We do a stop at the Dungeons, which today are 23 handcraft shops. We Visit a Church called San Pedro Claver Church.Finally we go to the new city and see all this modern architecture, we see the bay and the forts, and we visit Pierino Gallo Mall. Stop for beer (Emeralds, fine leather goods, coffee, hand craft, cafeteria, Internet)Time 4:30 hours Private Tour Transportation: air conditioned car or van with a capacity of 10 people or small bus with a capacity of 18 pax (Depending of the passengers in your group).Her email is ora@cartagenatours.com

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We just finished a Sept. 19 tour of the Panama Canal and had Dora De Explorer as our tour guide in Cartegena, Columbia. We were 9 adults and some with walking problems but we had no problem. Dora showed us the fort with lots of time to walk around. Her van was great and she even got us beer as requested. We had a wonderful tour and she certainly does love her country. Here is what she quoted:

We begin our tour in Manga where we will see great mansions built at the beginning of the XX Century.

We visit the main monuments of the city. We start at the hill of La Popa from where, besides visiting the monastery and the chapel, we will be able to admire a fantastic view of the city. Following we head towards the San Felipe de Barajas Fort, the most important fort built in the whole American continent. Photo Stop. Next we walk and drive around the walled area - old city admiring houses and plazas such as Plaza de Santa Teresa, Plaza de Bolivar, Plaza de la Aduana, Plaza de los Coches, full of history and legends. Photo stop at the Palace of the Inquisition. We do a stop at the Dungeons, which today are 23 handcraft shops. We Visit a Church called San Pedro Claver Church.Finally we go to the new city and see all this modern architecture, we see the bay and the forts, and we visit Pierino Gallo Mall. Stop for beer (Emeralds, fine leather goods, coffee, hand craft, cafeteria, Internet)Time 4:30 hours Private Tour Transportation: air conditioned car or van with a capacity of 10 people or small bus with a capacity of 18 pax (Depending of the passengers in your group).Her email is ora@cartagenatours.com

 

What was her cost per person?

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We contacted dora but she was booked and arranged to get Fernando for us. He was so wonderful and informative that I wanted to put his name out there. Fernando Lopez Prens. felopre17@hotmail.com

He has vans and a driver and will do whatever your needs. We were a group of 7 off the island princess and paid $55 per person. He could answer any question asked. He also speaks about 5 languages. He asked how we found out dora's name and told him about cruise critic. Nice young man ....

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4 of us arranged a private tour through Dora. We had Elkin and a driver. We did the historic sites and loved it. My husband has trouble walking, we had a handicap placard, and Elkin and the van picked us up at the gangplank. The driver made sure we did minimal backtracking to get to our van saving my husband many steps. Fabulous service and a very knowledgeable guide and great driver. We had a wonderful time! Highly recommend Dora.

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I highly recommend Dora. My husband & I arranged for a private tour with Dora and she was truly excellent. We're not huge photo buffs, but Dora gave us plenty of time to take the photos we were interested in while maximizing the time and information at the fort, Palace of the Inquisition, churches and walking the old city. We were able to walk down into tunnels in the fort that large groups cannot access. She is very knowledgeable and delighted to share her enthusiasm.

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Dear friends:

 

The cost of living in Colombia is 300% less than in the United States and 400%-500% less than the Eurozone.

 

$360 for a private tour in any Colombian city, even touristy Cartagena, is highway robbery.

 

Last time I took my extended family to Cartagena, we were 23 people and for that same amount of money we purchased from a major local ground operator a private tour for all 23 of us -- private bus, driver and guide, for a full day, and we arranged the itinerary.

 

Anybody who legitimately works in Cartagena in the tourism business geared towards foreigners speaks good English, so don't be fooled by these "private guides" who get people to write about them on Cruise Critic, but end up charging U.S. or European prices, and ask you to pay them through a Paypal account they have registered in Miami because they do not even license themselves locally to do proper business in Cartagena.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gunther and Uta

 

 

that's great! so what tour and guide did you use? do you have a website to share? I would love to check it out. thanks

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We took Dora Dec 7 and had a fabulous tour. She is a real treasure

 

Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk

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Dora and Claudia both seemed similarly excellent, but I just booked with Dora. Claudia had no other takers for her tour that day, while Dora already had 4 people. I was quoted $65 per person for 6 people; if we can get 8, the price drops to $60 per person; and more than 8, Dora quoted us a price of $55 per person.

 

Claudia never mentioned prices in her e-mail.

Edited by Quasar1011

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My US passport expired, so I would be traveling w/o a valid passport.

 

 

Can I enter into Cartagena or will the Colombian port of authorities would not allow me to enter?

can someone please tell me if they went recently to Cartegena on a closed loop cruise with out a us passport and was able to enter the country or not? Colombia is part of the western hemisphere and on the us.gov. map for the w.h.

Thank you.

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