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Tobermory

Which Princess excursion in Cartagena?

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We will be in Cartagena, Columbia, on a Princess cruise in January.

 

We are undecided about which of two Princess excursions to take. The two excursions are "Best of Cartagena and Fortress" and "Scenes of Caragena."

 

The descriptions of each of the two tours are:

 

Best of Cartagena and Fortress - Pass through Manga residential area where some of the mansions have been restored to their original splendor. Continue up the winding road to the Convento de la Popa, with its breathtaking view of the harbor and city. Visit the monastery with its ornate, 22-karat gold foil altar and a lovely, flower-filled courtyard. Continue to the Fort of San Felipe de Barajas, a 17th-century construction which is the most important work of Spanish military engineering in South America. Next, visit Las Bovedas (The Dungeons) for approximately 20 minutes of handicraft shopping. Pass through Sim?n Bolivar Square and the Inquisition Palace before continuing on to the Church of San Pedro Claver, the patron saint of slaves, for a short visit. Before departing the walled city, enter the Navy Museum and learn about Cartagena's naval history. Drive to the modern residential area of Bocagrande, renowned for its wide variety of shops. Here, you will find Colombia?s famous native gem, the emerald, along with handicrafts, leather goods, and coffee at the Pierino Gallo Shopping Mall.

 

Scenes of Cartagena - Board your air-conditioned transportation for the narrated drive to La Popa Monastery. La Popa sits atop Cartagena's highest hill and offers spectacular panoramic views of the city and harbor. Stop for a photo of the impressive Forteleza de San Felipe before entering the old walled city. On the way to San Pedro Claver Church marvel at the collection of old buildings, fortifications, and homes with their colorful balconies. A short stop will be made at the church which was constructed in 1603 and later dedicated to this patron saint of Columbia. Next head to the Navy Museum and learn about Cartagena?s naval history. Finally, drive through the residential area of Bocagrande where a stop will be made for shopping prior to your return to the ship.

 

As far as we can see, the difference between the two excursions is the stop at the Fortress de San Felipe. Otherwise, does anyone know if the two tours are identical? We would like an opportunity to walk in the old part of Cartagena -- do either of these tours provide such an opportunity? We had been considering the walking tour of the old city, but it appears that the other two tours provide more opportunities for sightseeing and seeing more than the walking tour would.

 

Any recommendations would be appreciated. Looking forward to your comments. Thank you.

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We did the Fortress & Best of Cartagena by Princess. I think it was tour #100A. It was only $49 pp, I think I recall, and was quite extensive. We thoroughly enjoyed it, and we did get about a 2-3 block walk thru the old city streets (reminded us of Sevilla, Spain) to the Cathedral.

 

Choose the one that includes the fortress - it was very interesting and some good views as well. The best views of the city are from La Popa, which sits high atop the tallest hill. When your ship enters the bay, look to the right and the little white building on top of the highest point is La Popa.

 

We were very surprised at the size of Cartagena! There must be 100 skyscrapers along the waterfront with more being built.

 

I would not want to be on my own in Cartagena, but it is a beautiful city.

 

If you would like to read it, a link to my review is in my sig below.

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Thank you, Glorida F, for the recommendation and description of the tour. Your posting was useful to us. I believe that we are now leaning towards the Best of Cartagena & Fortress excursion. It seems that it provides an opportunity to see a variety of places in Cartagena and also includes a short walking tour of the old part of the city.

Thanks again.

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Just off the 10 day RT Panama Canal cruise on the Coral Princess.

 

This tour is fast paced, lots of walking, and very hot while in the sun. That said it is a great tour. You see a lot of Cartagena and it is a wonderful city. Our guide was fantastic - very informative and had a great personality.

 

Street vendors? Yes there are many, many of them. Just walk by with a polite "no thank-you" and they will not bother you. I was so worried before we went having read posts about drugs & how insistent the vendors were. My husband & I were traveling with our two sons (23 & 19) and we had no problems at all. Just know that if you show interest in something the vendors are selling they will become more persistent. Remember - they are only trying to make a living and what better way - with tourists who have money to spend. Do not be afraid to get off the ship in this port - you will miss a very interesting port of call.

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