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Home > Member Reviews > MarinerCruiser's Port Reviews of Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera), Colon (Cristobal), Cartagena (Colombia)

MarinerCruiser's Port Reviews of Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera), Colon (Cristobal), Cartagena (Colombia)
Celebrity Infinity cruise in October 2011
Member Name: MarinerCruiser
Cruise Date: October 2011
Embarkation: San Diego
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Member Review: MarinerCruiser's Celebrity Infinity Review
Cabo San Lucas
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico -â€" This was the only port that we had the tender. Celebrity used a private tender service from Cabo San Lucas instead of their own tenders. It took some time to get everybody off the ship and in the port. Had to use their own tenders which had a greater capacity than the private tenders I feel that we could've gotten off the ship quicker. As we had a scuba diving trip scheduled for 1 PM, that I booked with Manta SCUBA Diving through the Internet as Celebrity did not offer any SCUBA diving on this trip, it was imperative that we get off the ship early. They used a numbering system that had we stayed with the numbers that they gave us we would not have been able to make the dive schedule. When we realize that we were not going to make it by waiting for them to call our number we just went down to the tender station and boarded the tender. This scuba dive trip was one of the more memorable ones as in addition to seeing the various types of fishes we were also able to see lots of sea lions. The ladies took the Cabo Guided Walking Tour. This tour was supposed to be about the history of Cabo San Lucas with some shopping and restaurant stops. The tour turned out to be lots of shopping and restaurants stops and a little history of Cabo San Lucas. About two thirds away through the tour they abandoned the tour and went back to the ship.

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Puerto Vallarta
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico -– At this port we booked a another scuba dive with Twin Dolphins Dive Center through the Internet as Celebrity did not offer scuba diving in this port. The owner, Giovanni Macedo had been diving for almost as long as I have -– 50 years plus. In his shop he had some of the early diving regulators that brought back memories of years past. We were the only two divers on this trip. It was like we had our own private dive tour with the dive master and the boat captain. The visibility on this dive was not as good as it was in the Cabo San Lucas and the water was colder than I expected. There was not much Marine life and colorful coral to see. The ladies took the Puerto Vallarta Walking Tour. They said it was a so-so tour.
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Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Puntarenas, Costa Rica -– We booked our third scuba dive with Turismo Curu. This was going to be our most challenging trip in terms of transportation. Turismo Curu was going to pick us up at the beach in their boat next to the cruise dock with our equipment, take us back across the bay to their dive shop in Paquera, do to dives, take us to the ferry port in Paquera for the ferry ride back to Puntarenas and then a ride from this ferry port to the cruise ship dock. Luis, the owner of Turismo Curu the arrangements in everything went off as planned. The dive shop was located on a wooded beach that had monkeys in the tree and small tame deer on the dive shop grounds. The diving areas that we went to wear uninhabited and pristine. We got to see a lot of interesting Marine life which included a couple of white tip sharks. The ladies took the Pacific Train Boat and Bus Adventure Tour. They said that this was a much better tour then the three previous ones that they had taken as they were able to see a lot of wildlife and colorful flowers and vegetation.

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Colon (Cristobal)
Port Rating: 2.0 out of 5+
Colon, Panama -– After transiting through The Panama Canal we docked at Colon, Panama. In transiting the Panama canal we entered the canal just outside of Panama City and made our way through the entrance canal under the Bridge of the America to our first set locks, Miraflores Locks. Here we entered the first of two chambers to raise our ship up 27 feet in each chamber. Our ship had only 24 inches clearance on either side of the chamber. We were hooked up to four 'mules 'on either side of the ship that kept us in the center of the chambers. We had taken a corner table on the back veranda on deck 10 which gave us an excellent view of what was going on around us and below us. We then went through a small lake for about a mile to our second locks, Miguel Locks. This lock was a single chamber and raise our ship an additional 31 feet, bringing us 85 feet above sea level so that we could transit to the rest of the canal which was 85 feet above sea level. The ship then wound its way for nine miles through the Culebra Cut to Gatún Lake. While in the Culebra Cut, we passed under the Centennial Bridge which connects the Americans. We continued to wind our way through Gatún Lake for about 26 miles and tell we reached the Gatún Locks. Here we went through a three chamber lock to lower our ship 85 feet back to sea level. From here we went through the exit canal To the Caribbean Sea. Although the distance from the Pacific Ocean To the Caribbean Sea is only 50 miles it took us about seven hours to make this transit Through the Panama Canal. In arriving at Colon, our ship had to back in for about 3 miles to get to the cruise ship port which was surrounded by their commercial docks. We took The Panama City Experience Tour. One of the reasons we took this tour was that it was going to stop at Miraflores Locks and then a tour of the new and old Panama City. What we wanted to see at ground level where ships going through this lock. We boarded the third of three buses. When the tour got underway, our tour guide announced that we were going to go to reverse the tour by going to Panama City first and then to the Miraflores Locks second. In doing this we got to Miraflores Locks in the late morning or early afternoon. During our Panama City tour we made two stops that were not listed in the tour information. One stop was at a Museum that we spent approximately 45 min. in and the second stop was at an old Cathedral ruins that we spent 15 -– 20 min. that. When we arrived at Miraflores Locks the last eastbound ships had gone through these locks. On this tour we felt that we were being rushed in and out of the old Cathedral and Miraflores Locks. Needless to say we were very disappointed that we did not get to see any ships transit this lock. Especially after we found out that the first two buses did get to see ships transit this lock.

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Cartagena (Colombia)
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Cartagena, Colombia -– This cruise dock was located in the middle of their commercial docks. It was about 20 or 30 min. from Cartagena. When we arrived and through the early morning hours we had off and on rain. We had booked our fourth scuba dive with Buzoz de Baru. Because of the inclement weather they were not able to pick us up at the cruise ship dock as we had planned and wanted us to take a taxi to their shop. Because of time constraints we could not do this dive and had to cancel it. As it was too late to try to take a cruise ship tour we went to the taxi stand at the end of the cruise dock and was able to book a tour of Cartagena for the two of us for $60. This was like a private tour for two and our driver was very informative even though his English was not that good we were able to understand him most of the time. Our first stop was at Fort de San Felipe. This was one of the forts that was built at the entrance to the old city. We spent about 45 min. during this Fort. The original city was protected by a 15 foot high wall that surrounded the entire city in which this Fort was the cornerstone. We next went to Las Bovedas area. The lower level of one of these buildings which used to house soldiers had been converted into a shopping mall. Our guide then parked just outside an area in the old city where no cars were allowed and took us on a walking tour. We spent about an hour and a half in this area looking at the various architectures, buildings and shops. There were walking street vendors everywhere trying to sell you something including a 'Rolex' watch for $20. The ladies took the City Drive, Shopping and La Popa Monastery tour. Their tour was pretty much the same as the one that we took except they made a stop at La Popa Monastery And Convent.

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