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Our cruise stops in Cartagena on a Sunday? Will the old city be open for business?


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Hi all................Just figuring out my plans and excursions and realize that our stop in Cartagena ( one big reason for booking this cruise) is from 6am to 2pm on a Sunday. I have booked the ferry shuttle with the cruise line to get to the old city and now I'm thinking it may be closed up and nothing to see or do there. Because our time is so short, I didn't want a tour, but just to explore on our own and get back to the ship on time. We have been to most of the other ports at least once, and spent a land tour of 10 days in Panama, so that will be another sea day for us. Has anyone out there been there on Sunday?  .........Thanks...............Patti

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Are you on the Pearl? we have the same schedule.

Hope all is open, but since most of the places or simply open spaces to see old buildings I wouldnt worry too much. I guess it'd be also better to have less aggressive street vendors.

 

But if anyone knows, I want to know too. Thanks

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On 2/17/2020 at 11:27 AM, pattycake1939 said:

I have booked the ferry shuttle with the cruise line to get to the old city

 

Are you on NCL?  Is this a transfer by catamaran?  (Even if not on NCL, cruise lines use many of the same "tour" operators.)  I ask this because we were in Cartagena last month on the NCL Gem, and that catamaran transfer turned out to be a cluster mess according to some folks who took it.  It was billed as a fast way into town (on weekdays, when there might be traffic) -- 15 minutes -- and it wound up taking an hour or so!  It really messed up these folks' plans, given the limited time in port (we were there 7-2).

 

Pre-cruise, my wife and I had booked the same transfer.  Once on board the Gem,  I visited the shorex desk to confirm the return times.  The transfer had been advertised as having the last return catamaran leave  Cartagena at 12pm, with buses returning all morning every half an hour, till 12:30pm.   Good thing I asked on the Gem, because I was told the catamaran operator had eliminated the buses, and the last return catamaran would be at 10:30am, which was absurdly early.  

 

Between the changes to what was advertised and what was sold, and, even worse, the transfer not operating in a timely manner and wasting people's limited time, I would be very leery of  this transfer.  

 

It is quite easy to take a taxi into the Old City, which is what we did, and to take one back.  We went directly from the ship to the fortress and were there in minutes (and that was even on a weekday).   I'd only booked the catamaran in the first place because it was $29 pp and was going to cost us $2 total after the NCL shorex promo and our Latitudes discount.   So glad we cancelled that and took a cab.  

 

I just checked NCL's shorex for Cartagena -- looks like there's the same thing being offered (same name as what we cancelled  -- "Ride to the Old Town With A Caribbean Taste," though not the name when we first booked), $29 pp, except they are calling it a "sightseeing boat," and I see it says there are buses back to the ship too.  And they claim it will only take 15 minutes to get to the Old City.  Ha.   I'd be very cautious about this.  If you keep your booking, at least talk to the folks at the shorex desk before the time in which you can cancel your booking without penalty, and really pin them down on the specifics.  

 

Enjoy your cruise!

 

 

Edited by Turtles06
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Yes, we are on the Norwegian Pearl from 4/30 to 5/11/20 and it sounds like the same transfer, and nothing like they advertise at all. We were going to just take a taxi to the old city but folks say they bug you to take a longer tour with them and I really hate to argue with people. That, and the fact that we are there on a Sunday and weird times to boot, I wasn't sure what to do. Thank you so much for this information. I just may cancel that catamaran, as I'd much rather be on our own time table and maybe some of the vendors will sleep late. LOL! My limited Spanish includes "no, gracias", so I hope that will be enough. We have traveled to many countries and I do understand people need to make a living, but it's so hard because you can't buy from everyone who needs help and I always feel bad. I really appreciate your answer, not many cruises go to this port, so I wasn't sure if I would hear anything, but as usual, cruise critic folks come through..........Happy sails..........Patti

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5 hours ago, Turtles06 said:

 

Are you on NCL?  Is this a transfer by catamaran?  (Even if not on NCL, cruise lines use many of the same "tour" operators.)  I ask this because we were in Cartagena last month on the NCL Gem, and that catamaran transfer turned out to be a cluster mess according to some folks who took it.  It was billed as a fast way into town (on weekdays, when there might be traffic) -- 15 minutes -- and it wound up taking an hour or so!  It really messed up these folks' plans, given the limited time in port (we were there 7-2).

 

Pre-cruise, my wife and I had booked the same transfer.  Once on board the Gem,  I visited the shorex desk to confirm the return times.  The transfer had been advertised as having the last return catamaran leave  Cartagena at 12pm, with buses returning all morning every half an hour, till 12:30pm.   Good thing I asked on the Gem, because I was told the catamaran operator had eliminated the buses, and the last return catamaran would be at 10:30am, which was absurdly early.  

 

Between the changes to what was advertised and what was sold, and, even worse, the transfer not operating in a timely manner and wasting people's limited time, I would be very leery of  this transfer.  

 

It is quite easy to take a taxi into the Old City, which is what we did, and to take one back.  We went directly from the ship to the fortress and were there in minutes (and that was even on a weekday).   I'd only booked the catamaran in the first place because it was $29 pp and was going to cost us $2 total after the NCL shorex promo and our Latitudes discount.   So glad we cancelled that and took a cab.  

 

I just checked NCL's shorex for Cartagena -- looks like there's the same thing being offered (same name as what we cancelled  -- "Ride to the Old Town With A Caribbean Taste," though not the name when we first booked), $29 pp, except they are calling it a "sightseeing boat," and I see it says there are buses back to the ship too.  And they claim it will only take 15 minutes to get to the Old City.  Ha.   I'd be very cautious about this.  If you keep your booking, at least talk to the folks at the shorex desk before the time in which you can cancel your booking without penalty, and really pin them down on the specifics.  

 

Enjoy your cruise!

 

 

 

Good to know, I was also evaluating to take this but considering how little time have available in this port its definitely a pass.

Thanks

 

What about things being open or not?

 

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