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Excursion suggestions.


Gilgo Surfer

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I will be heading to Ft Lauderdale in a few days to set sail on the Jewel of the Seas.

 

We will make stops at:

Oranjestad, Aruba

Cartagena, Colombia

Colon, Panama

Porto Limon, Costa Rica

George Town, Grand Caymen

 

For anyone who has been to these ports I would appreciate any info on excursions you would recommend.

 

Thanks in advance, Dave.

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It's hard to make recommendations without knowing your interests, but here's what we did in April when we visited many of these ports on the Island Princess:

 

Aruba--Sail and Snorkel. We were here for only a few hours, so we did the ship's excursion. We had been to Aruba a few years earlier and really enjoyed snorkeling at Boca Catalina and at the Antilles shipwreck, so we knew that's how we wanted to spend our time during the cruise stop.

 

Cartegena--We did a private tour with a guide named J.J. Taborda who had been recommended to us. J.J. took us to the La Popa Monastery, the San Felipe Fort and on an extensive tour of the Walled City as well as a driving tour of the New City. These are all the highlights of Cartegena. There are many guides recommended on this site so I'd do a little research and find one that suits your style and budget. I would NOT recommend doing a tour through the ship because they take a lot of people and if you are on a large bus, you can't even get to La Popa (small, winding roads).

 

Colon, Panama--It looks like from your itinerary that you are doing a partial transit of the Canal, as we did. We opted to do the ship's excursion which completed the transit of the Canal on a small boat. This was a great experience for us because we got to see the rest of the Canal from a very different viewpoint. Going through the canal on a small boat is very different from doing it on a large cruise ship. There was a guide aboard the boat who provided excellent commentary throughout the transit. If you have an interest in the history and engineering of the Canal, this would be an excursion not to miss. (Plus, you get bragging rights that you have transited the Canal!)

 

We skipped all the tours/excursions at Porto Limon because they all involved long travel times from the port. (As I understand, there's not really much to see and do near the port.) We had just done a long day on the ferry through the Canal the day before, so we spent this day relaxing and enjoying having the boat more to ourselves.

 

Hope this info helps.

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For Cartagena, The Old City is a great place for a historic walking tour and for taking in shopping. Grab a taxi up to La Popa Monastery and teh drive will wait for you. Have the driver drop you at at El castillo de las Barrajas and when you are done grab a taxi to the Old City.

 

There are guides for hire at la Popa or Las Barrajas. Some may not speak English.

 

 

In Grand Cayman water activities are the thing to do. Snorkel at Stingray City. Go scuba diving on the reefs. Enjoy the beach and catch a parasailing ride. Or just browse the shops in town.

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I will be heading to Ft Lauderdale in a few days to set sail on the Jewel of the Seas.

 

We will make stops at:

Oranjestad, Aruba

Cartagena, Colombia

Colon, Panama

Porto Limon, Costa Rica

George Town, Grand Caymen

 

For anyone who has been to these ports I would appreciate any info on excursions you would recommend.

 

Thanks in advance, Dave.

 

 

Dave,

 

We did the DePalm Island in Aruba. A little expensive but it came with food & booze, snorkeling (Multiple fish sightings) and a small water park for kids. We were only in port for 5 hours.

 

Lee miles Tour in Cartagena. I just posted our tour http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=896111&page=2

 

Colon, don't know where you will port I remember you were at a different pier than us on the Coral. We were off the ship 18 minutes. Most was waiting in line to get back on. If you have two greenhouse shaped buildings you have a half mile walk through two security gates to get to local shopping.

 

Porto Limon, Costa Rica we did the eco train and canal tour. Saw some wildlife on the canals but the train was a waste. If you are in pretty good shape our friends did the zip line and loved it.

 

George Town, Grand Caymen been there multiple times, if it is your first time; find a tour that does the Turtle Farm, Hell, and Stingray City--but make sure you pick the one that gets in the water to feed the critters. It is a blast!!!

 

Have fun,

 

Mark

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  • 2 weeks later...

We are taking Jewel of the Seas and making these same stops. I'm working on going to El Totumo in Cartagena.

 

I didn't see a tour that let us ride through the canal. That is cool. We are going on a tour of the locks.

 

In Costa Rica we are doing the zip line.

Aruba the jeep safari

 

Haven't booked Grand Cayman.

 

Any suggestions are welcome. We like adventure tours.

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