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We are going on the Celebrity Equinox next cruise and were confused about two tours in Columbia that sound almost the same. Does anyone know the difference or can recommend one over the other. They are Best of Cartegena CA09 or Deluxe Cartegena and Fortress CA08. We want to stay with the cruise line tours at this particular port.

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We are going on the Celebrity Equinox next cruise and were confused about two tours in Columbia that sound almost the same. Does anyone know the difference or can recommend one over the other. They are Best of Cartegena CA09 or Deluxe Cartegena and Fortress CA08. We want to stay with the cruise line tours at this particular port.

 

Can't help except it is Colombia, not Columbia. :p

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It is important to remember that everyone makes mistakes at one time or another, and that there are many users who use English as a second language, especially on our Cruise Boards. There are also a number of people who suffer from learning disabilities and who have difficulty noticing their spelling mistakes. Do not make comments on the spelling and grammar of other users. It is simply not a productive expenditure of energies.

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It is important to remember that everyone makes mistakes at one time or another, and that there are many users who use English as a second language, especially on our Cruise Boards. There are also a number of people who suffer from learning disabilities and who have difficulty noticing their spelling mistakes. Do not make comments on the spelling and grammar of other users. It is simply not a productive expenditure of energies.

(As per the guidelines of Cruise Critic)

 

I'm so glad that you replied to that comment!! Good for you! Sorry "I can't help with your tour. We were there two years ago and hired a taxi driver to take us to the sites we wanted to visit. I know that sometimes this can be risky but I research before we make our decision on who we should go with as to the ships tours, independent tours or hiring a taxi. I will say we truly enjoyed Cartagena and what all we saw. Try to take in the La Poppa Monastery The views are breathtaking!!! We are going back there on the Coral Princess the end of April and am so looking forward to seeing everything all over again

Edited by Momma Mojito

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We have made four trips to Cartagena in the last two years and have taken van or taxi tours for about 20 dollars or less per person. There are many vendors just outside the terminal building with a variety of vehicles. Tell them what you want to do and see, and agree on the price. They provide some excellent tours for a good price.

 

The terminal itself is also an interesting place with the deer, flamingoes, macaws, toucans, and many other birds and animals to see.

Edited by swedish weave

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We just returned from Colombia on the Equinox. I will tell you that we used Dora (the Explorer) and she was fantastic, and the people I spoke to who used the ship's tours were not pleased with them. I personally used the ship's tour in Belize and it was not at all as promised. Cartagena was a very nice port; the Old City is beautiful.

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We just returned for the Equinox March 24th cruise. I organized a wonderful tour in Cartagena with Marelvy Pena-Hall. In total, 45 people from the ship signed up for this tour. Marelvy arranged three vans and two additional guides, Katty and Sylvia. She was a dream to work with, responding quickly to my e-mails and making adjustments as the group grew.

 

The tour was great with beautiful scenery, interesting history and colorful homes and flowers. There is a portion of the tour that walks through the old town. My husband had recently had back surgery and Marelvy was very considerate of his needs, asking him how he was doing, informing him how much further the group would be walking before a break, and where he could rest along the way. This was all seamless and did not hold back the group at all.

 

Marelvy is rated the #1 tour guide in Cartagena for good reason. I would not hesitate to recommend her.

Barb

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We just returned from our cruise on The Vision of the Seas and experienced a fantastic tour with Dora De Zubiria (the Explorer). She picked us up promptly at the port and took us to various city sites. She spoke English with my husband and I but spoke Spanish to my teenage daughter who is trying to improve her skills. She was very patient, knowledgeble and helped us experience some of the cultural of the area.

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I was on the Equinox in December.

 

08 goes in the fort; 09 has a photo stop at the fort

 

I debated doing 01, 08, 09 or going private with my roll call. The thing about the fort is that it is really steep and it is really hot in Cartagena. I talked to people who did 08 and they said they never sweated so much in their lives! They enjoyed it but I should say they were on the younger side but not necessarily in 100% the best shape.

 

I did 01 and thought it was a great tour. La Popa is interesting and there are great views from there, we had a good amount of time here with the guide giving a tour. We did a photo stop and got out of the bus for a short time at the fort. I like forts and such but with the heat I was happy not to make the trek up and down the fort. We had a short shopping stop at the dungeons. Then on to the fokloric show (small band and a few dancers with costume changes), which was entertaining and a nice break. We then did a walking tour of the old city. In retrospect I made the right choice for me. Music and dance are more to my liking than an inquisition museum, as is La Popa. Our guide was excellent. I talked to people who did a tour with Dora and felt it was too regimented. I paid less for my tour with Celebrity than what we were quoted with the roll call. The bus was excellent with good A/C.

 

Jen

 

We are going on the Celebrity Equinox next cruise and were confused about two tours in Columbia that sound almost the same. Does anyone know the difference or can recommend one over the other. They are Best of Cartegena CA09 or Deluxe Cartegena and Fortress CA08. We want to stay with the cruise line tours at this particular port.
Edited by Jen1000

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We have made four trips to Cartagena in the last two years and have taken van or taxi tours for about 20 dollars or less per person. There are many vendors just outside the terminal building with a variety of vehicles. Tell them what you want to do and see, and agree on the price. They provide some excellent tours for a good price.

 

The terminal itself is also an interesting place with the deer, flamingoes, macaws, toucans, and many other birds and animals to see.

 

We will be stopping in Cartagena in Nov (2 adults and 2 kids). We would like to do a tour of the old walled city/new city as well as visit La Popa and Fort. Do you know if there is a taxi tour that covers all this? Any advice/thoughts would be appreciated.

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We will be stopping in Cartagena in Nov (2 adults and 2 kids). We would like to do a tour of the old walled city/new city as well as visit La Popa and Fort. Do you know if there is a taxi tour that covers all this? Any advice/thoughts would be appreciated.

 

Most of the taxi or van drivers and guides will go where you want. Make a list of what you want to see and do, then show it to them and settle on a price and the amount of time.

 

If you want to go inside the fort and La Popa, there is an admission fee at both places, and the driver will need to know how much time you expect to stay at each place.

 

If you do the walled city last, you may want to consider releasing the taxi or van there, and spend as much time as you want, then grab a taxi back to the port. The taxis are all over the place outside the clock tower and don't charge much to take you back.

 

Most of the tours will take you to the dungeons in the walled city for shopping, then back to the ship unless you release them.

 

When you get off the ship, look for a kiosk on the dock (information booth) and ask them for a map of the walled city.

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Most of the taxi or van drivers and guides will go where you want. Make a list of what you want to see and do, then show it to them and settle on a price and the amount of time.

 

If you want to go inside the fort and La Popa, there is an admission fee at both places, and the driver will need to know how much time you expect to stay at each place.

 

If you do the walled city last, you may want to consider releasing the taxi or van there, and spend as much time as you want, then grab a taxi back to the port. The taxis are all over the place outside the clock tower and don't charge much to take you back.

 

Most of the tours will take you to the dungeons in the walled city for shopping, then back to the ship unless you release them.

 

When you get off the ship, look for a kiosk on the dock (information booth) and ask them for a map of the walled city.

 

Thanks swedish weave!! I think we will see what tours are available at the port if they are similar to what we want to do otherwise we will just hire a taxi/guide.

 

Do you have any recommendation for a driving/walking tour of the old city that covers the main highlights (not sure how much walking my 5 yr old will do)? We would like to make stops at the Gold Museum and Inquisition Palace and spend some time shopping for local handicrafts at Las Bovedas. We will probably spend about ~30 min at La Popa and ~1 hr at the fort. We would also like to tour the new city with a stop at the Emerald museum (just for a tour time permitting). Can you tell me how much time would be needed to cover all these places? I am trying to determine if we have time to go to a beach afterwards or if this will be a full day tour.

 

Sorry for all the questions, we just want to make the most of our short time in this beautiful port.

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Exactly how hot are we talking here? All I read is people saying it is the hottest place they've ever been!

 

The temperatures can range from the low 80's to high 90's. Take water with you and I suggest taking a wet washcloth in a ziplock bag. Put quite a bit of ice in the bag with the washcloth and it will stay cold for a couple of hours. Some of the vendors on the streets will give you more ice if you buy a drink from them (soda or beer).

 

Note -- November can be rainy, so it is hard to predict the weather. Warm and humid is the norm. About like Sou Calif is right now !!

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Thanks swedish weave!! I think we will see what tours are available at the port if they are similar to what we want to do otherwise we will just hire a taxi/guide.

 

Do you have any recommendation for a driving/walking tour of the old city that covers the main highlights (not sure how much walking my 5 yr old will do)? We would like to make stops at the Gold Museum and Inquisition Palace and spend some time shopping for local handicrafts at Las Bovedas. We will probably spend about ~30 min at La Popa and ~1 hr at the fort. We would also like to tour the new city with a stop at the Emerald museum (just for a tour time permitting). Can you tell me how much time would be needed to cover all these places? I am trying to determine if we have time to go to a beach afterwards or if this will be a full day tour.

 

Sorry for all the questions, we just want to make the most of our short time in this beautiful port.

 

We have done a similar tour in about 5 to 6 hours. If you find a guide who will take you on a walking tour of the walled city, he will very likely lead you to all these places you want to see. We had a retired school teacher who went with us in the van and he was great !! His name escapes me, but he was at the terminal as a registered guide. You can also make a self guided tour of the walled city if you get one of the maps from the kiosk on the dock.

 

We did not go inside the fort because it is a very arduous climb up the sloped walkway to the top and DW doesn't handle that well. The sculptures and statues around the outside of the fort are interesting. Especially Blas de Lezo (half a man) !! Google him for an interesting history lesson.

 

La Popa is interesting and views are very nice. I think the entry fee is now about 5 dollars US.

 

The emerald factory has recently added a very nice replica of an emerald mine that is well worth seeing. They have artisans making jewelry just inside the entrance to the shop, then you go through the museum and out to the sales floor. Beautiful but pricey jewelry there !!!

 

The tours will sometimes stop at the emerald district which is a square block of mostly jewelry stores and street vendors. This can be interesting, also.

 

The traffic can be a little heavy at times, but the distance between the places is not very far.

 

I don't know if you will find a handy suitable beach near Cartagena, but many other places in the Caribbean have very nice beaches.

 

Try to allow some time for pictures at the cruise terminal building. They have quite a variety of birds and animals there.

 

And -- One more reminder -- As you approach the harbor entrance (Boca Chica), You need to be outside to see the remnants of the old fort that is on both sides of the entrance. History says that when the English tried to invade Cartagena, the Columbians put a heavy chain across that entrance and ripped the bottoms out of some of the ships to block entry. The remaining ships stayed outside for several days and finally gave up and left. I think that was another one of Blas de Lezo's actions, but not sure. The Columbians say that if it weren't for him, they would be speaking English !! lol

Edited by swedish weave

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The temperatures can range from the low 80's to high 90's. Take water with you and I suggest taking a wet washcloth in a ziplock bag. Put quite a bit of ice in the bag with the washcloth and it will stay cold for a couple of hours. Some of the vendors on the streets will give you more ice if you buy a drink from them (soda or beer).

 

Note -- November can be rainy, so it is hard to predict the weather. Warm and humid is the norm. About like Sou Calif is right now !!

 

We summer in Las Vegas, but it's dry here. I can handle the heat here just fine. It's the humidity I worry about.

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We summer in Las Vegas, but it's dry here. I can handle the heat here just fine. It's the humidity I worry about.

 

I savvy that !!!! It can be brutal in Cartagena !!!

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We have done a similar tour in about 5 to 6 hours. If you find a guide who will take you on a walking tour of the walled city, he will very likely lead you to all these places you want to see. We had a retired school teacher who went with us in the van and he was great !! His name escapes me, but he was at the terminal as a registered guide. You can also make a self guided tour of the walled city if you get one of the maps from the kiosk on the dock.

 

We did not go inside the fort because it is a very arduous climb up the sloped walkway to the top and DW doesn't handle that well. The sculptures and statues around the outside of the fort are interesting. Especially Blas de Lezo (half a man) !! Google him for an interesting history lesson.

 

La Popa is interesting and views are very nice. I think the entry fee is now about 5 dollars US.

 

The emerald factory has recently added a very nice replica of an emerald mine that is well worth seeing. They have artisans making jewelry just inside the entrance to the shop, then you go through the museum and out to the sales floor. Beautiful but pricey jewelry there !!!

 

The tours will sometimes stop at the emerald district which is a square block of mostly jewelry stores and street vendors. This can be interesting, also.

 

The traffic can be a little heavy at times, but the distance between the places is not very far.

 

I don't know if you will find a handy suitable beach near Cartagena, but many other places in the Caribbean have very nice beaches.

 

Try to allow some time for pictures at the cruise terminal building. They have quite a variety of birds and animals there.

 

And -- One more reminder -- As you approach the harbor entrance (Boca Chica), You need to be outside to see the remnants of the old fort that is on both sides of the entrance. History says that when the English tried to invade Cartagena, the Columbians put a heavy chain across that entrance and ripped the bottoms out of some of the ships to block entry. The remaining ships stayed outside for several days and finally gave up and left. I think that was another one of Blas de Lezo's actions, but not sure. The Columbians say that if it weren't for him, they would be speaking English !! lol

 

Thanks for your help swedish weave!! I am looking forward to a full day in this port. I will also be visiting the following ports on my cruise. Do you have any recommendations/tips for these ports?

 

Falmouth, Jamaica - plan to do Dunn's River Falls and Tubing

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica - Tortuguero Canals and Veragua Rainforest

Cristobal, Panama - Gatun Locks and San Lorenzo Fort

Cozumel -Tulum Mayan ruins

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Thanks for your help swedish weave!! I am looking forward to a full day in this port. I will also be visiting the following ports on my cruise. Do you have any recommendations/tips for these ports?

 

Falmouth, Jamaica - plan to do Dunn's River Falls and Tubing

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica - Tortuguero Canals and Veragua Rainforest

Cristobal, Panama - Gatun Locks and San Lorenzo Fort

Cozumel -Tulum Mayan ruins

 

I did Dunn's many years ago. It was a blast. Bring your swim suit and water shoes. I had no idea how wet you get! I did it in cargo shorts and sneakers. How dumb! LOL

 

Tulum is gorgeous and I loved our day there. Check how many ships will be in port that day. If there are a lot, Tulum will be crazy packed and you will feel like herded cattle. But I think everyone should go at least once. We were lucky. We only had two ships in port that day. Not crowded at all.

 

The other two I will report back in less than 2 months! :D

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Thanks for your help swedish weave!! I am looking forward to a full day in this port. I will also be visiting the following ports on my cruise. Do you have any recommendations/tips for these ports?

 

Falmouth, Jamaica - plan to do Dunn's River Falls and Tubing

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica - Tortuguero Canals and Veragua Rainforest

Cristobal, Panama - Gatun Locks and San Lorenzo Fort

Cozumel -Tulum Mayan ruins

 

We haven't been to Fallmouth.

 

Puerto Limon --We visited a banana plantation and watched the workers pull the bananas on an overhead rail system to the processing area. Then saw the entire process from cutting, trimming, washing, packing into boxes and going into containers to be shipped.

We then went to the canals and took a boat ride to see the jungle and animals. The driver then took us to a friends home to see his baby monkey and sloth. We did this with a local taxi driver and had a great tour at a very low price.

 

Tulum and Xel Ha are worth the visit, and if you have time, take snorkel gear and snorkel. Lots of pretty fish in Xel Ha lagoon and along the coast.

 

We have also enjoyed taking a taxi to the backside of Cozumel island and we happened to be there when the locals were digging out the turtle nests and counting the hatches. We helped some of the turtles get out of the depressions in the sand and into the ocean. Very memorable !!

 

We got a very good look at Crystobal a few years ago by accident !!! The cruise ship we were on was badly damaged in Gatun locks and we spent two days in Crystobal while they welded a large patch on the side of the ship. The hole was about two decks vertically and six cabins horizontally.

 

A taxi driver took us across the lock gates to an old abandoned fort, and to his fishing spot plus some other areas where we saw lots of local wildlife. The next day he picked us up early and we went along the coast to a small town where we visited a church that was the origin of the "Legend of the black christ". We also toured areas of Crystobal and Colon where he advised us to keep the windows up and the doors locked. Bad area, but he wanted to show us the bad along with the good.

 

I hope I haven't bored you with my rambling !!!! Have a good cruise. We will be on the NCL Star in November going from San Pedro to Miami and back to San Pedro, so will get to enjoy some of the ports twice !!

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CR- I really enjoyed the canals and tram in the rain forest.

 

Panama- I did a tour to an Indian village. I thought is was a fantastic day, one of the high lights of my cruise. With kids they might really enjoy seeing life that is so foreign to theirs. We also went to the Panama canal to see the locks. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Embera-Village-Waterfall-and-Gatun-Locks/1476152045957091

 

Cozumel- I was not that impressed with Tulum. If your ship is offering Coba or another ruin on the main land, consider taking that. Tulum was hot, crowded and the structures are small compared to other Mayan ruins. It may not be what you envision Mayan ruins to be like. You cannot walk on the ruins at Tulum either. If you go, pay the extra for the tram to and from the site, you will be happy at the end of trek around the grounds.

 

 

Thanks for your help swedish weave!! I am looking forward to a full day in this port. I will also be visiting the following ports on my cruise. Do you have any recommendations/tips for these ports?

 

Falmouth, Jamaica - plan to do Dunn's River Falls and Tubing

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica - Tortuguero Canals and Veragua Rainforest

Cristobal, Panama - Gatun Locks and San Lorenzo Fort

Cozumel -Tulum Mayan ruins

Edited by Jen1000

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Most of the taxi or van drivers and guides will go where you want. Make a list of what you want to see and do, then show it to them and settle on a price and the amount of time.

 

If you want to go inside the fort and La Popa, there is an admission fee at both places, and the driver will need to know how much time you expect to stay at each place.

 

If you do the walled city last, you may want to consider releasing the taxi or van there, and spend as much time as you want, then grab a taxi back to the port. The taxis are all over the place outside the clock tower and don't charge much to take you back.

 

Most of the tours will take you to the dungeons in the walled city for shopping, then back to the ship unless you release them.

 

When you get off the ship, look for a kiosk on the dock (information booth) and ask them for a map of the walled city.

We are booked with a private tour with "Grupo Maximo Agency" in Cartagena. Anyone familiar with him?

Also, he asked for passport #s, saying: " the port is managed by a private company, who requires this info to know who has been picked up, by which guides, companies and transportation vehicles. It stems from the past to make sure authorities know where the cruise passengers are at all times." Anyone heard if this is true (giving passport info)?

"thanks" for any feedback!

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We are booked with a private tour with "Grupo Maximo Agency" in Cartagena. Anyone familiar with him?

Also, he asked for passport #s, saying: " the port is managed by a private company, who requires this info to know who has been picked up, by which guides, companies and transportation vehicles. It stems from the past to make sure authorities know where the cruise passengers are at all times." Anyone heard if this is true (giving passport info)?

"thanks" for any feedback!

 

We have never been asked for passports or information when we book tours with the guys at the port. I would be cautious about giving too much information to them.

 

We were in Cartagena twice in November 2014 and booked van tours both times at the port without needing to furnish identification.

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Ok, tks for your input . We hired a private tour w/him & he's been upfront w/everything so far. I'll post how things went after our tour.

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