Our first port was Cartegena Columbia. We booked our excursion through Claudia Vidal. She responded promptly to our email for information. We were met on the pier by our guide and driver (Sandy & Pilar). We traveled in an clean air conditioned van, perfect for the 6 of us. Sandy was very knowledgeable, and gave us an excellent tour including, the Monastery at La Popa, the city walls and shops at Playa de las Bovedas, a guided walk through the colorful old city, the Museum of the Inquisition, and a photo stop at the fortress at San Feliipe, as well as a stop at an emerald museum & shop.
We took a short cruise to our next port, Curacao. We booked an excursion online through Natasja (Dushi Taxi). She was waiting for us just outside of the port with her van (loaded with Smurfs). Natasja was an outgoing tour guide who drove us through the neighborhoods of Willemstadt then to Fort Nassau for views of the city and port. We then drove to the Liquor factory, just leaving as the crowd arrived. She drove us around some scenic parts of the the island, and dropped us at Jan Theil Beach for about an hour, before returning us to the ship. In the afternoon, a few of us walked across the (Queen Emma) floating bridge, and around the very colorful city of Willenstadt.
Our next stop was St Maarten. We booked an excursion through Bernard Tours. A message left on an answering machine was returned in a few hours. The meeting at the port was hectic, as he assigned cruisers from ours and other ships to different guides. However, once in our van with our driver Phillip, we enjoyed a nice tour of the island. We drove through both sides of the island (Dutch & French). We stopped at an Iguana farm, Coralita Beach to check out Sea Urchins. We then drove to Orient Beach some beach time. The beach was uncrowded with some pretty heavy duty waves. We then drove through the French capitol Marigot, but did not stop do to a heavy rain shower, and lack of places to park. We drove onto Maho Beach to watch the planes land, just over your head. We had a few drinks and a bite at the beach bar, and watched a few jets land and take off.
Our last stop was St. Thomas on Thanksgiving Day. .We booked a tour with Henry (EEE Tours), My wife and I had toured with him in the past. Henry was very accommodating, taking us to the regular stops around the island including Mountain Top for views of the Virgin Islands. Although his truck carried 3 other couples from another ship, everyone was friendly. He then took us to Sapphire Beach where it began to rain.