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kskelley40

NCL and Cartegena

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I posted this on the Cartegena thread but not a lot of traffic there so I thought I would try here....

 

We are visiting Cartegena in January...have been there before but a little fuzzy on it.

 

Can you walk from the ship to the fort, old/walled city? We are walkers and like to just explore ports on our own. Is it possible to walk to the main attractions, like the Fort, without having to get a taxi?

 

We are in port for 8 hours so time is not an issue.

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Theoretically yes but it is very hot, there are some worrisome looking people lurking near the port and also the traffic is heavy and not sure about a sidewalk the whole way. Also possible to get lost and the street vendors are the most aggressive I have ever seen. We took a bus tour where they just dropped you places and you could wander at leisure. It worked out well.

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It's possible but the heat and humidity will knock your socks off. I suggest you catch a cab or uber to the central area then do your walking tour. Beware the characters just outside the pier. They will lie, cheat and steal.

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The taxi cab drivers at the very end of the port will make every attempt to convince you not to leave the port on foot, but it is possible. The closest business to the port is a gas station about 1/2 mile away from the port. Once you make it to that gas station, there isn't much else to see on foot, but you will finally be at a location where the locals aren't bothering you for money, transportation, trinkets, etc. Walking back to the port from the gas station was no problem, much easier than the walk from the port to the gas station.

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I think the previous replies are enough to me off walking it, by their very nature the area surrounding ports tends to be less than desirable... We take the catamaran ferry ("excurison") over for $29 or whatever it is... then walk.

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The last time I was there we docked in a commercial area not really meant for cruise ships. There was a trolley from the ship to the Security Gate. People said it was a long walk just to there. I did not feel comfortable and did not leave the ship. Spend the day watching the loading and unloading of the big cargo containers from the freighters docked across the pier.

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Thanks for the info. I think we will do the Hop On/Hop off through the ship then.

Wasn't aware that it was so far to everything. I think the last time we were there we grabbed a cab or outside tour.

I remember getting to the Fort. There is a small "restaurant", really a local stand with one table, across the street from the fort that had the best meat pies. Really just want to get back and have one of them again.

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The humidity in Cartagena makes walking trying after a while. Nevertheless we did some walking in various places as part of our tour with "Dora the Explorer" and were very glad we did. It's a port we'd like to see again:) cartagenatour.com

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Theoretically yes but it is very hot, there are some worrisome looking people lurking near the port and also the traffic is heavy and not sure about a sidewalk the whole way. Also possible to get lost and the street vendors are the most aggressive I have ever seen. We took a bus tour where they just dropped you places and you could wander at leisure. It worked out well.

 

 

Oh yes definitely agree. Vendors are most aggressive. I would take a ship tour in this port.

Safer and cooler coming and going. Don't walk in this port.

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I wasn't afraid to walk in this port and was just fine (myself and another woman). We left the ship early (7:00am). We took the trolly from the ship to the security gate and it was a very short ride...we walked back from there to the ship on our return. We took a cab to the Clock Tower for $5 (you can see the Fort from there...if you want to make a side stop, your driver will be more than happy to take you and wait).

 

After being dropped off, we walked around the Old Town...vendors were no more aggressive than in other ports (no where near as bad as Jamaica)...a polite No Thank You and they walked away. We climbed up on the wall to take photos, then walked around some more. Worked our way back to the Clock Tower and hopped on another cab back to port. Since we went so early, we avoided the heat and humidity...it was overcast and actually nice. Purchased a few things in the shops at port, used the free wi-fi and were back on board by 10am. Then had a nice spa day with an empty ship. Very easy and we never felt unsafe. Old Town is beautiful and worth the visit.

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Thanks for the info. I think we will do the Hop On/Hop off through the ship then.

Wasn't aware that it was so far to everything. I think the last time we were there we grabbed a cab or outside tour.

I remember getting to the Fort. There is a small "restaurant", really a local stand with one table, across the street from the fort that had the best meat pies. Really just want to get back and have one of them again.

 

I know the exact place you refer to. Nice people. Make sure you have a $1 bill to give them to use the bathroom because they asked.

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Be sure to spend a half hour or so at the little wild life area within the cruise port itself before or after you get a ferry or taxi to the town of Cartagena. There are peacocks, flamingos, toucans, monkeys, etc in the area around the gift shop, no charge to view and take photos of the creatures. On our first visit to Cartagena we took the ferry to the old town (a really nice trip in itself, Cartagena has modern condo buildings on one side of the bay, reminded me of a mini Miami, and the old town on the other side of the bay), then joined a walking tour around the old town for a couple of hours. On our second visit to the city we just visited the wildlife area and walked back to the ship (just a short walk but there are free shuttle buses as well).

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We got rid of the vendors/beggars/touts in central Cartagena by agreeing, after a barter session, to buy something for USD4. When it came time to pay I got out 4 USD "gold" dollar coins. When they refused I suggested we call the police as we had agreed on a price and I was willing to pay with US currency. The "vendor" "took off" and we were not bothered again, the message got round.

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We ended up booking a Segway tour on our own (TripAdvisor recommendations) they picked us up at port - had a ball! Was a lot easier to ride over the rough cobblestone in the area. If you want the company name let me know and I’ll find it for you.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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So, it sounds like that once you get into "town" by taking a cab ride, walking around is fine - vendors aside.

 

Thanks for the info...really making me rethink this port. We sail in January so I have some time to figure it out.

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So, it sounds like that once you get into "town" by taking a cab ride, walking around is fine - vendors aside.

 

Thanks for the info...really making me rethink this port. We sail in January so I have some time to figure it out.

 

Here's a link to a walking tour that was posted on this forum. We used this information as our guide.

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2301106

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Someone mentioned a ferry? If there one at the pier to take us to old town?

 

Yes it's a $29pp excursion on the NCL website under the specific port.

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Yes it's a $29pp excursion on the NCL website under the specific port.

 

I saw an excursion on NCL that does include the ferry and a walking tour for $65 a person. Don't see one listed for $29. See it listed in the Cartegena general excursions but it is not listed on "My NCL" under excursions.

 

We don't want to do the walking tour with anyone leading us. We like to go off on our own see what we want, find some local food and drink etc.... Can we just walk up to the ferry and purchase tickets without a scheduled excursion?

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I saw an excursion on NCL that does include the ferry and a walking tour for $65 a person. Don't see one listed for $29. See it listed in the Cartegena general excursions but it is not listed on "My NCL" under excursions.

 

We don't want to do the walking tour with anyone leading us. We like to go off on our own see what we want, find some local food and drink etc.... Can we just walk up to the ferry and purchase tickets without a scheduled excursion?

 

I believe it is called "Transfer to the Old Town by catamaran" Transportation is provided but once there you are on your own.

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