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Home > Member Reviews > sentrydriver's Port Reviews of Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera), Cartagena (Colombia), Aruba

sentrydriver's Port Reviews of Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera), Cartagena (Colombia), Aruba
Coral Princess cruise in January 2012
Member Name: sentrydriver
Cruise Date: January 2012
Embarkation: Los Angeles
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Member Review: sentrydriver's Coral Princess Review
Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We took a tour with Okey Dokey tours. I arranged in advance by e-mail with Charlie and he offered us a $20 Cruise Critic discount so we ended up paying $79 pp. Our first stop was at a private residence where Cappuchin monkeys came down for feeding and photo ops. Next, we stopped at a bridge to see crocodiles. There were more than 15 present when we stopped by. From there, we went on to Punta Leona for ziplining. This was the highlight of the day and we went through eight stations. The next stop was lunch at a typical Costa Rican roadside eatery. There were no tourists there and the food was excellent (rice, beans, salad, and entree). On the way back to the ship, we stopped at the requisite souvenir stand before going to a regular supermarket where we bought coffee and beer. Our last stop was, at our request, at a seaside ceviche place. Our guide helped order our ceviche which was perfect. We ended up on this tour by ourselves. Another couple had booked but no-showed. Rather than cancel the tour, Charlie sent us out on a private tour. Our guide, Astrid was delightful and her father was the driver. We spoke to other folks that did excursions with the cruise line and they were herded in groupos of 25 for ziplining. We definitely hit the jackpot.

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Cartagena (Colombia)
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
I have always wanted to visit Cartegena and was not disappointed. Our tour was prearranged with Claudia and we went with twenty four of our fellow Cruise Critic members. The guides met us promptly and we were among the first buses to leave the pier. The first stop was the Poppa Monastery. The view was spectacular and the courtyard one of the prettiest I have ever seen. Next we went by the San Felippe fort for a photo op. The next stop was at a souvenir shopping area. We found most of the stores had the same stuff and nothing that interested us. We then started a walking tour of the colonial city and it was very well done. The city is lovely. The last stop was at a the required emerald store.
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Aruba
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Our snorkling excursion arranged through Princess was cancelled due to weather. We ended up walking around the port city. We found an internet cafe which had access for 30 minutes at $3.

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