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Home > Member Reviews > kcscrapper's Port Reviews of Aruba, Cartagena (Colombia), Puerto Limon, Curacao, Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

kcscrapper's Port Reviews of Aruba, Cartagena (Colombia), Puerto Limon, Curacao, Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Zuiderdam cruise in December 2012
Member Name: kcscrapper
Cruise Date: December 2012
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Member Review: kcscrapper's Zuiderdam Review
Island Tour Rating: 5+ out of 5+
A huge thank you to Michelangelo and Floris for a wonderful, fun tour of the beautiful island of Aruba on the traffic-stopping trikes! And thank you, again, for being so kind as to wait for our ship's very late arrival!

We had a great time. Learning to ride the trikes isn't difficult - though I'll admit to a learning curve with the throttle on the handlebars. I had one little mistake (that I thought had gone unseen), but our guardian, Floris, noticed and was positive about how I corrected it (remember all clutch, no gas)! So -- we were well watched over during the ride. Michelangelo was great about answering questions and sharing his knowledge of the history and culture of Aruba -- and wonderful for taking all the pictures!

We recommend this tour highly -- not only for the very considerate operators, not only for the uniqueness of the mode of travel, but also for the total fun of it! We had a blast!

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Cartagena (Colombia)
City Tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Claudia met us promptly with a modern appearing mini tour bus. We promptly boarded the already cool van and off we went. Claudia is well spoken, well organized and professional giving us a lot of information as we traveled. In all respects, the tour was exactly as advertised. Which is the problem since we had requested a customization -- entry INTO the Fort.

The roll call tour organizer had verified the entry INTO the Fort by email shortly before sailing. Entry INTO the Fort was the specific condition upon which my sister and I joined the tour. It did not happen; the tour operator provided no explanation.

We didn't care for the dungeon shopping area. Our disappointment is probably due to the fact that we believed the area would be local crafts and artisans -- it was a lot of "tourist" type shops .... plastic do-dads, linen, jewelry trinkets. We were surprised to see "pre-Colombia relics" ... which to my archaeologist sister, appeared pretty authentic. Claudia explained that the items were "probably not" relics and the provenance to be provided by the shop would indicate the item was a replica (put all of that in air quotes.)

The emerald museum is just a minimally disguised jewelry store. Yes - there is a display but very little attention or time is given to viewing it. The store employee whisked us through the museum with minimal time to see the displays, and delivered us to the shopping floor. One of the passengers had done some pre-cruise pricing of emeralds and, in a later conversation, started that they prices were about double what we'd found in New York.

Cartagena is a beautiful old city ... with aggressive street vendors. It became near impossible to be polite as they just. did. not. quit.

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Puerto Limon
Zipline & Canals Adventure Rating: 1.0 out of 5+
Being robbed at the banana plantation ended this tour.

Aside from the armed robbery: differences from advertised tour description:

Fruit stand stop -- the one we had was extremely limited and very uncomfortable. It was a local place with locals just sitting around staring at us; the owner seemed unprepared, abrupt and pretty rude. The fruit offered was very limited -- but did include the two major Costa Rican crops - bananas and pineapple.

Cold water, soda and beer -- we received a bottle of water at the fruit stand. We could have used some cold water at the end of the zip line. No additional water was offered. Perhaps the soda and beer would have been made available at a later point in the tour. We don't know -- our tour abruptly ended.

13-platform zip line -- There were 9 platforms for the zip line -- less than 70% of what was advertised.

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Island Tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We booked a city tour on an open trolley from a sidewalk vendor after spending about a hour looking at the UNESCO site and being done with it! The Casper tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable and getting a tour really helped us enjoy this port.

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Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Everglades Tour Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
we enjoyed a great morning air-boat ride before embarkation. All we were interested in was the air-boat ride, so we skipped any of the animal exhibit. We did see a couple of crocodile and a swimming turtle in the everglades.

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