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Ya Ya Cruiser

Info on Cartagena, Please

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Bruce, thanks for the information on Lee. I have not had a tour with him yet but my dealings so far (via email) have been very professional and prompt.

 

He did mention the van but so far no one else on the roll call (Brilliance of the Seas, March 3, 2008) has expressed interest in joining us so we are proceeding with a car for 4. Maybe others will decide to join us later, but if not we are set!

 

David

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Thanks David and Bruce both, you have convinced me...now to get someone else to join me...that would be great...we have a very small roll call and I would love if some of them would just come and experience this wonderful city. I am so excited that we are going here...if push comes to shove I will go by myself, especially since you Lee say he is reliable and professional. Two hundred plus is steep...but that's how much I want to go.

Rev

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I heard from Lee earlier today. Cost of car and guide for 4 people is $170. Cost of van (recommended for 8-9 passengers) is $207. To that add the cost of lunch, admissions, and tip. This is a reasonable price for a personally guided tour where you can select the itinerary and timing.

 

David

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Hi all, I'm happy to see everyone's enthusiasm... it reminds me our day in Cartagena. Despite the fact that it was hot and humid, it was memorable. In case you are interested, here is a link to some of the pictures I took while we were there. I had also arranged a day tour in Cabo which also was everything we had hoped it to be. With a little homework, these trips can be done (at half the price of the cruiseline).

 

http://community.webshots.com/album/556003225kULZmX

 

With a van, we were able to move more quickly than the bus as well as park in places that the bus could not. It is a great way to go.

 

Cheers, Bruce

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Heard from Lee today...I posted his letter on our thread...hope some of the cruisers reply...if not, oh, well...John and I are going on with it...it will be worth our while.

Loved your pictures Bruce...I see you too have a love for adventure...Thank you all so much, for all the information...I will keep checking back here for more....love to travel...always have.

Rev

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Thank you so much for your efforts. I will follow up with him.

 

My wife and I just got back from a repositioning cruise from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale on board the Coral Princess. We had previously arranged a three hour walking tour with Cristian Martinez over the Internet for October 7th. Cristian was unable, because of knee surgery, to conduct our tour so he had one of his associates name Antonio (see his Web site) do the honors of conducting the tour. Antonio was very knowledgable and informative making it a very pleasant experience. The only thing uncomfortable about the tour was the relatively high temperature and humidity at the time.

 

It seemed that the Coral Princess was the first cruise ship of the season. Cartagena made a big presentation of greeting the ship and its passengers with a lots of music, treats, and dancing on the dock.

 

We felt perfectly safe walking through the city. There did seem to be a fairly large police/military presence in the city, but they were friendly. We even asked a member of the policia comercial to take a picture of us, and he seemed pleased to oblige.

 

We too had heard of fearful rumblings on the part of several of our fellow cruise passengers about Cartagena, but did not see anything to indicate something to be really wary of. There were many vendors selling their goods as well as the occasional beggar, but no one got overly aggressive or pushy.

 

Antonio, we learned, was a high school teacher of French and Spanish in Columbia. He was knowledgable about the city and was able to answer questions about various aspects of life in Columbia. He is a very pleasant individual and made the tour interesting.

 

Because of the short time that we were in Cartagena, we did not have time to stop for lunch - something that we would have liked to do.

 

We highly recommend taking one of Cristian's walking tours.

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"I will never, never get off.. Right now considering trip to several Morocco ports..lol. and we wil hire guides.."

 

Parrotmom,

Just saw your post from '06 as I was researching Cartagena.

 

I don't know if you've been to Morocco yet, but we took a cruise in '01 which docked at both Tangier and Casablanca.

In both places my DH and I took taxis at the port and never felt unsafe. The drivers were very nice and informative -- they were a pleasure!

 

Funny thing, I only just finished photo album from that trip and

came across a note from our driver in Casablanca.

His name was Jilali (first name)

Tel 062631767

 

As I recall someone on the ship told us to ask for him at the dock and other drivers pointed him out.

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Frqntrczr -- Thank you so much for your review of tour with Cristian's company. We'll be on the Coral in December and are still trying to decide what to do. We wanted to do a tour with Lee Miles but could not drum up sufficient interest on our roll call to make a group of 6-8.

 

A few questions for you, if possible. Did your tour with Cristian's company include pick up at the port? Or did you take a taxi to meet up with them? If the tour included pick-up, was there a photo stop at either the fort or monastery? What did you see on the tour? When did you leave and return to the ship?

 

Thanks in advance,

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FYI...it is difficult to get many people to buy into these tours outside the ship tours. But the more people that go, and the more good reviews they get, the easier it will be. Some wonderful people who had just gone to Cartagena contacted after their Cartagena tour and stated it was one of the best tours they had the pleasure of being on. Since my husband and I are unable to drum up enough people, we have decided to do the tour alone. So there will be the two of us. That way , we can see what we want, do what we want and not miss out on an opportunity of a life time.

Rev

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But the more people that go, and the more good reviews they get, the easier it will be.

Rev

 

Rev, it is indeed unfortunate that you haven't been able to find others to accompany you. However, you may still find those onboard who will be willing to go with you. I would suggest that you stay in contact online with Lee (I assume that you have booked with him) to remain committed your tour and to allow for the possibility of an increased number of people, should he be able to accomodate you. As long as you give him enough notice (48 hrs., maybe), then there should be no problem. There are many non-CC'ers onboard who will probably be interested. If not, enjoy a wonderful city and tell others what they have missed.

 

BTW, We took a taxi in Casablanca for 4 hours with another couple, saw a few sites incl. Hassan II mosque, had a rest stop at a local restaurant and were driven back to the ship for about $40 (2005). It was a pleasant and safe adventure. A knowledge of French is a definite asset.

 

Cheers, Bruce

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We will be on the Island Princess full Panama Canel cruise in Feb, 2008. This is the firt cruise my husband and I have been on. I want to thank all of the previous posters, you have made Cartagena less scary. I have contacted Mr. Miles about a private tour of the city - he seemed to come highly recommended by some posters.

 

Thanks again for letting us first timers know what is available out there.:D

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Mindy, have you joined our roll call? Let me know how you get on with Lee as we are looking for a tour too.

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Floflegs - I haven't joined the roll call - not sure what that is. We are first time crusiers and I have only been on these message boards a few times.

 

I will post whatever I hear from Lee.

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Mindy, if you go to the boards page and scroll down to roll call then click Princess then Island Princess then 2/21/2008. The roll call is for people going on the same cruise We get to know each other through our posts and we usually arrange to meet up on board. Hope this explains it and you can find our one. Look forward to hear what Lee says.

Flora

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Rev, it is indeed unfortunate that you haven't been able to find others to accompany you. However, you may still find those onboard who will be willing to go with you. I would suggest that you stay in contact online with Lee (I assume that you have booked with him) to remain committed your tour and to allow for the possibility of an increased number of people, should he be able to accomodate you. As long as you give him enough notice (48 hrs., maybe), then there should be no problem. There are many non-CC'ers onboard who will probably be interested. If not, enjoy a wonderful city and tell others what they have missed.

 

BTW, We took a taxi in Casablanca for 4 hours with another couple, saw a few sites incl. Hassan II mosque, had a rest stop at a local restaurant and were driven back to the ship for about $40 (2005). It was a pleasant and safe adventure. A knowledge of French is a definite asset.

 

Cheers, Bruce

That's a good idea Bruce...but if it does end up just John and I, that is really alright too. We had a guy that no matter what you said...he would find something scary about the place...when you have someone like that on the board, you normally influence people and they lose out. It's not their fault, it's just the way we are from the United States.

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This is what i got from Christian Martinez

First, here it is a list of the places to see in a half day tour: We always pick people up at the pier, holding a sign your names in order to be easily identified.

Here is an example of the scheduled tour:

Half day tour

March 2nd 2008

Cruise Island Princess

Pick up time: not scheduled yet.

Return time: not scheduled yet.

Starting point: Clock tower

Ending point: Clock tower

Transportion fees not included 4 to 5 dollars

Air conditioned Taxi or Van

From the pier to the dock is just a few minutes away.

and remember you are more than welcome to Cartagena .

Here are the spots to visit: and more sites according to your interest!

www.cartagenainfo.com ----> click on atractions turísticas

---> click on each sight to read about it

Puerta del Reloj

Plaza de los Coches

Plaza de la Aduana

Museo de Arte Moderno

San Pedro Claver: Plaza, Iglesia, Museo, Santuario

Museo Naval . this one is optional!

El Bodegón de la Candelaria

Museo del Oro This one is a must -see

Parque y Plaza de Bolivar This one is lovely.

Palacio de la Inquisición

Catedral .. at night time is superb!

Iglesia Santo Domingo

Teatro Heredia It`s was recently under restoration.

Casa Museo de Simón Bolivar

Iglesia de Santo Toribio

These ones.., in case we have enough time:

Parque Fernández de Madrid

Plaza de San Diego

Las Bóvedas Good one, to do comparison shop

Circo Teatro a little bit far away , but inside the walled city

India Catalina The monument of the emblematic India Catalina

And outside the walled city The Castle of San Felipe. The oldest fortress in Latin America.

With the consideration and respect of always,

Cristian Martínez

His price is $85 for up to 4 people for a half day.

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We're looking to book Christian for our December stop in Cartagena. For those of you who toured with him, can you clarify his price - is it $85 pp (up to four people) or $85 total for a maximum of four people.

 

Thanks.

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Sorry folks, but I completely disagree..We spent a week in Cartegena years ago and have been back on a cruise ship... we walked outside the terminal.. and the starter got us a driver.. and we told him we wanted to go to the Old City and the Dungeons...Obviously you want to be cautious where ever you go.. especially the Dungeons..the vendors outside are very aggressive..From our first visit there years ago.. the old city is beautiful inspite of the government..and the Dungeons are absolute fun.. look for beautiful silk macrame shawls...check out the going price as you leave the terminal.. there is the Fort and the Monastary, La Popa.. Be careful of people trying to sell you emeralds..Of course my husband speaks tourist spanish and one of the people we picked up for the tour spoke a much better spanish..I would goback to Cartegena, Colombia i a heart beat.. just know tht behind those large wooden doors are wonderful restaurants.. As it is we are going to CARTEGENA SPAINE AND I'M NOT A HAPPY camper

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frqntcrzr:

So glad to hear someone who recently enjoyed a tour with Cristian in Cartagena! We have been in contact with him and will go on a 3 hr walking tour with him or an associate. He did say they will pick us up at the pier and return us there. Was there any spot on the tour that stands out? Would be ok to miss? His list seems so long for 3 hrs!! I did appreciate he has a map and details of all the stops on his website but still not sure what we REALLY should see. We would also like to stop somewhere for lunch if possible. We are in port 8:30 am to 2 pm.

Joan

 

 

 

 

My wife and I just got back from a repositioning cruise from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale on board the Coral Princess. We had previously arranged a three hour walking tour with Cristian Martinez over the Internet for October 7th. Cristian was unable, because of knee surgery, to conduct our tour so he had one of his associates name Antonio (see his Web site) do the honors of conducting the tour. Antonio was very knowledgable and informative making it a very pleasant experience. The only thing uncomfortable about the tour was the relatively high temperature and humidity at the time.

 

It seemed that the Coral Princess was the first cruise ship of the season. Cartagena made a big presentation of greeting the ship and its passengers with a lots of music, treats, and dancing on the dock.

 

We felt perfectly safe walking through the city. There did seem to be a fairly large police/military presence in the city, but they were friendly. We even asked a member of the policia comercial to take a picture of us, and he seemed pleased to oblige.

 

We too had heard of fearful rumblings on the part of several of our fellow cruise passengers about Cartagena, but did not see anything to indicate something to be really wary of. There were many vendors selling their goods as well as the occasional beggar, but no one got overly aggressive or pushy.

 

Antonio, we learned, was a high school teacher of French and Spanish in Columbia. He was knowledgable about the city and was able to answer questions about various aspects of life in Columbia. He is a very pleasant individual and made the tour interesting.

 

Because of the short time that we were in Cartagena, we did not have time to stop for lunch - something that we would have liked to do.

 

We highly recommend taking one of Cristian's walking tours.

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Is there any more recent advice on what to do while in Cartagena? Not sure which forum to post this on but there seem to be some threads about Cartagena here -- altho' most are kind of old.

 

Seems more ships are stopping there now (our itinerary for Feb. 2008 switched from Costa Rica to Cartagena) so maybe someone who's been recently could advise? Thanks for any input.

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leslie......cc has started a COLOMBIA board right here on the PORTS OF CALL section. we will be in cartagena in a few weeks and still have no idea what we're doing. originally we were going to go on royal caribbean's ROSARIO ISLANDS excursion but we waited too long and it's sold out. then we were thinking about the BARU BEACH excursion but i cannot get an answer to what facilities this place has (chairs and umbrellas).

unfortunately because this is a relatively new port AND some people's reluctance to get off the ship (safety issues) i'm afraid i too will not get an answer.

i even sent royal caribbean an email asking them to explain the excursion in more detail and it's been 3 days and have not yet gotten an answer.

anyway.........check out the COLOMBIA portion of this baord and good luck:)

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Thanks for that - I stupidly didn't notice the new Colombia board. Please write about whatever you choose to do when you get back. Maybe since I have until February more info will start showing up...

Good luck with your choice!

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search the South America Board - there are quite a few recent posts inquiring about and answering questions re: Cartagena. (They may have been moved to the new board.)

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