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Home > Member Reviews > laplume's Port Reviews of Aruba, Cartagena (Colombia), Puerto Limon, Grand Cayman

laplume's Port Reviews of Aruba, Cartagena (Colombia), Puerto Limon, Grand Cayman
Island Princess cruise in December 2012
Member Name: laplume
Cruise Date: December 2012
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Member Review: laplume's Island Princess Review
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
ARUBA: Our first port since we left Port Everglades and two sea days. When you exit the ship, you walk down a side street (surprisingly littered) that will lead you to the main street of the city. If you cross this street and make a slight right, you will run into the bus depot area. We took this city bus to the Palm Beach area. The bus will drop you off at the Palace Hotel. We walked the beach (but there is also a paved path) down to the new Ritz Carlton that is under construction. The beach is beautiful with plenty of beach activities. We caught the city bus back to the city to walk around. From the brochures, it looks like the city is awash with Dutch architecture, but this is not the case. Only a few building have the exterior feature. There is some high end (Chanel, Dior) shopping at the Rennassance Hotel. This hotel is divided by the main road...there is a property on the main road, and one across the street by the water. There is a manmade beach area here along with a small mall. There is a Starbucks in both areas with wifi. Unfortunately, we were here only a few hours.

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Cartagena (Colombia)
City Tour Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
CARTAGENA: The sail into Cartagena is quite beautiful. You pass the protective forts of the bay and see the stark white skyscrapers in the city proper. We took the ship's tour of the Scenic Drive of Cartagena, Las Bovedes & Shopping. Our first stop was the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas fortress. We only stopped for a picture of the exterior and after seeing the very steep incline you would have to walk to enter in the 90+ heat and humidity, we were grateful. The traffic around the area is very heavy. After the fortress we traveled to the Old City and briefly walked around. Again, it's very hot and humid. Then we went to the Navy Museum and saw local dancers. Our final drive was thru the "high end" area of Bocagrande. WARNING: The area around the port if very do not want to walk around here. At the fortress, the vendors are the most aggressive I have seen in 28 countries. One elderly woman on our tour was accosted by several vendors, and she had quite a hard time getting away from them. If you are on private tours, insure your guide provides enough time to get back to the ship as traffic is intense. We left 4 people behind in Cartagena after waiting a half hour for them.

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Puerto Limon
Port Rating: 2.0 out of 5+
LIMON, COSTA RICA: I did not do a tour in this port...I had enough of rain forests, heat and humidity. My husband went to a banana plantation; but what he took away from the tour was the living conditions of the residents of Limon. While they may not have windows in their homes, they have satellite dishes. There is a tent area when you disembark the ship fill with vendors. They basically all sell the same stuff. There is also a vendor who does pedicures and manicures. I could not believe that people from the ship would purchase the services with the unsanitary conditions.

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Grand Cayman
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We were just in Grand Cayman last year for one week, so we were familiar with the island. We opted to go to Seven Mile Beach, which is always chosen as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. You can take a public bus for $2.50 US. Catch the bus at the depot next to the library. Ask the drivers which bus goes to the beach area. The beach is really five miles long. Forgo the public beach area and get off at the Ritz Carlton to see the nicest part of the beach. It really is stunning. There is a beautiful grocery store, Foster's IGA, by the Beachcomber condo complex. Walk the beach, have lunch, walk around Georgetown, enjoy the friendly residents. A wonderful upscale island. We met many folks who did the Turtle Farm and swimming with the Stingrays. They were not disappointed. By the way...if you just want to sit on the beach, do not sit at a hotel where you may be chased away. Sit in chairs provided by condo complexes. Buy for Pete's not bring your Princess tote bag and act like you belong at the condo.

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