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Home > Member Reviews > seattlefam's Port Reviews of Cartagena (Colombia), Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba

seattlefam's Port Reviews of Cartagena (Colombia), Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba
Grandeur of the Seas cruise in February 2013
Member Name: seattlefam
Cruise Date: February 2013
Embarkation: other
Destination: Western Caribbean
Member Review: seattlefam's Grandeur of the Seas Review
Cartagena (Colombia)
City Tour Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Our tour guide Roosevelt shouted into the mic the whole time, causing feedback and a raspy sore throat. He told us about St Augustine and local slavery history, took us up to the fort where we saw the Captain Cook statue (one eye, one arm, one leg!) and got mobbed by venders, drove us through upscale Mango neighborhood, and walked us along the plaza and shopping district. Shopping shopping shopping shopping shopping shopping shopping. Ended with a nice panoramic view of the city.

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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
This tour was exactly what my husband wanted: Kayaking and Snorkeling. Our guide was a talented multi-lingual Italian who was very thoughtful, caring and friendly. She answered all our questions about the island and also neighboring islands. We walked out about 10 minutes to a beach where 3 additional guides got us in our kayaks (with plexiglass bottoms so we could see the sandy sea floor) and we paddled our way out to a further beach where they provided us with a bottle of water, masks, snorkels, fins and some perfunctory instructions on snorkeling and a quick warning to avoid the fire coral (brown with white lacy edging which burns your skin on contact, for months!!). The waves were crashing and the shallows were everywhere so a lot of people got thrashed around a bit (like 3 out of our party of 4 got bloody scratches but luckily nothing fiery) and we were able to see so many awesome beautiful fish! After an hour we got back in to the kayaks and headed back. My dad and his wife were not expecting an excursion this rugged; be sure you know what you're getting in to!
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Boat Tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Locals are definitely happiest in Bonaire, and more surly in Curacao, we found. Went by bus to a big hotel where we boarded an Atlantis "submersible observation center for viewing fish, coral and other marine life". Unfortunately, half our family got seasick mid-way through this tour, so we missed the scuba diving guide's fish feeding show.

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Parasailing Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
First time experience, didn't realize parasailing would entail so much time sitting in a small rocking boat, got seasick. But still totally enjoyed the flying part!

Island Tour Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Tour guide took us around Aruba by bus, very funny and informative guy. He took us to see the Aloe Balm Facility (fascinating), Ayo Rock Formations, California Lighthouse, the one and only single cow on the island (!), and Palm and Eagle Beaches. He told us all about Dutch citizenship and education and the island's push to become first to achieve fossil-fuel-free status. Our family were the only English speakers, the guide spoke many languages to accommodate the entire group.

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