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Home > Member Reviews > pjf@san.rr.com's Port Reviews of Aruba, Cartagena (Colombia), Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)

pjf@san.rr.com's Port Reviews of Aruba, Cartagena (Colombia), Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)
Coral Princess cruise in April 2012
Member Name: pjf@san.rr.com
Cruise Date: April 2012
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Member Review: pjf@san.rr.com's Coral Princess Review
Aruba
Arikok National Park Rating: 1.0 out of 5+
After a pleasant 40 minute De Palm Tours drive through the desert landscape of very low brush and tall cactus; well narrated by Gino. Arriving at "trail head" we were met by a park guide for a leisurely stroll down a paved or manicured pebble path to an old farmhouse being reconditioned using cactus skeletons and mud mixed with grass. Gino provided better commentary of the countryside's plants and animals (bats, birds and lizards) then the park guide. Passengers from two Princess ships were crammed into the bus and tour. There should have been more guides and smaller groups for the tour. Then we were off to a pleasant beach for a quick swim and back to the ship with no time for shopping (fine with us).


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Cartagena (Colombia)
City Tour Rating: 2.0 out of 5+
A short trip through the city with narration by a knowledgeable guide. First stop a brief viewing of Fort of San Felipe (so brief we could have stayed on the bus as it slowly drove in city traffic). Then to a walking tour of the old city with equally brief tour of a museum and city parks (shopping limited to street vendors) and a long stay at an emerald museum (read jewelry store not listed on the itinerary and a waste of time for most on the tour) Back to the bus to visit one of a strip of artisan shops (read souvenir stores). Then back to the ship. An inconsiderate passenger got on the wrong bus. We wasted over a half-hour with a distressed spouse while search parties went in vein to find the hapless passenger. He purposely boarded the other bus, their guide should have caught the error but they were actually short a passenger. Never did find out if that person was found.


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Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)
Corobici River Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
RCR Rafting provided us with a very enjoyable 2-hour float tour on 6 passenger/paddlers plus guide/paddler rubber rafts commonly used in whitewater rafting. Comparing this to previous rafting trips it was slightly more aggressive than a float trip for a half dozen or so class 2 or 2+ small areas of rapids (on a scale of 5). Before leaving the boat guide explained how to paddle through the rapids (the current carried us down most of the river), then gave paddling commands to negotiate "rapids". During the float portion our guide pointed out a plethora of animal life from lizards to crocodiles, birds and monkeys. At the end we boarded the bus for return to the at the river drop-in point Restaurant Rincón Corobicí for an excellent lunch and view the 200 plus images taken by photographers who leapfrogged the rafts in one person kayak. The entire set of images plus a file of stock Costa Rican flower, fauna and scenery could be purchased for $30 then download a few days later. Then the 45 minute return


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