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Cartagena (Colombia) City Tour Excursion Reviews

Cartagena (Colombia) City Tour cruise excursion
Overall Rating
Enjoy Cartagena's restored colonial mansions, fusion restaurants and the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, the greatest fortress ever built by the Spanish colonies.
Member Image Saber27
1 review
Not Rated
Dec 2014

2 1/2 hour historic bus tour (best tour guide we ever had bus # 27) even though it took longer because of construction the tour guide made us want to stay on the bus.

Read Saber27's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image GleefulGirl
1 review
Not Rated
Nov 2014

We decided on a private tour because we wanted something small and intimate, with more freedom to see the things we wanted. We heard about cartagenatour.com from the Internet, and saw numerous positive reviews on CruiseCritic and Trip Advisor. We took the Cartagena City Tour, which we booked with Dora de Zubiria (who owns the company) around four weeks before departure.

The pre-excursion correspondence was excellent. We had the full itinerary, cost and contact information, and where to meet well in advance. My email inquiries were answered promptly by Dora.

On the day of our excursion, we met one of Dora’s assistants at the end of the dock, where she had a pre-printed sign with our names. There was a delay while some latecomers were located, but the full group of twelve finally got underway. There were 12 of us in an air-conditioned van. Philippe was our driver and Mercedes was our guide. We really enjoyed Mercedes. She is a retired school teacher who is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Flemish. The cost was $60/person and the tour lasted 4.5 hours. We visited the monastery and chapel at La Popa, the San Felipe Barajas Fort, Las Bovedas (former dungeons which today contains a series of handcraft shops), took a walking tour of the walled area of the old city, visited San Pedro Claver Church, and then traveled over to the new city and the Pierino Gallo Mall before being returned to the ship terminal. We really enjoyed this tour. We felt completely safe, Mercedes was an excellent guide (knowledgeable, witty, and opinionated), we had an excellent driver, and the van was clean and well-air-conditioned. I liked the size of the tour, just twelve people. The operators were very conscious of when we needed to be back at the ship and there was never a worry on that score. There are many street vendors at the tourist venues and they are persistent, but polite. We just kept moving forward and said “no, thank you” or shook our heads. It really did not detract from our tour. For me, the best part was walking through the old city. The architecture is just lovely, and the area is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/285 Also, when you visit the handcraft stalls at Las Bovedas, check out stall #6. The artist sells her own handcrafted ceramic items there, and they are not available anywhere else in Cartegena. There were quite a few that we liked. To be honest, if the drive to the new city and the Peirino Gallo Mall was eliminated from the tour, so that we could spend more time in the old city, I’d have no regrets. Part of the reason the new city may be included is due to a sense of civic pride… but the old city is so interesting.

I would book another tour with this company in a minute if I was making a return trip to Cartegena.

Read GleefulGirl's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Dora de Zubiria cartagenatour.com
Member Image Judystamps2000
1 review
Oct 2014

Definately not worth the money. We saw one fisherman, he tossed the net a couple of times, we got a coconut with coconut water in it if we wanted. More tacky trinkets. Went to a restaurant....food was ok, music was ok, pushing Columbian coffee for sale. Walking tour of old town. Some history shared, some beautiful buildings, lots of pushy vendors selling the same stuff. Hot humid day. We went to the Hardrock Cafe to get away from the vendors till it was time to get on the bus. Jairo the guide had little personality. Would not recommend this tour, would not do it again if I knew what I know now.

We took two other tours which were not listed for me to review. One was to Huatulco where we went to a butterfly farm. The other was to Puerto Chiapas where we went to the planetarium, and an archaeological site. I put my thoughts on those two tours in the body of my cruise review.

Read Judystamps2000's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Stadtzuercherin
1 review
Oct 2014

As the time we hardly had time in this port and then it was Sunday so everything was closed, Except the stores that are affiliated with the cruise lines.....unfortunately not very good. You had to rush through everything

Read Stadtzuercherin's full Zuiderdam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image Cruising Photographer
3 reviews
Not Rated
Aug 2014

Here we joined others from Cruise Critic for a small group city tour: Tour in Cartagena with Marelvy Pena-Hall. We had 14 people in our tour. Her assistant met us near the ship and took us to the bus. Our first stop was the La Popa Monastery. Not only is the Monastery beautiful, but it is on the highest point in the city, allowing for fantastic views of the city and harbor. We then went to the historic old town where we walked through beautifully restored buildings before arriving at the cathedral. The cathedral was quite nice and reminded me of Spain. From here, we visited the park and then the Gold Museum where you see many samples of Inca jewelry that drew the Spanish here. The tour ended with a drive through the beach/high rise condo area to see modern Cartagena. Marelvy concluded the tour by giving us each a poster here husband had painted. She got us back t o the port in plenty of time to relax and take some photos of the exotic birds, monkeys, and other animals in the ports wildlife area before boarding the ship. One final note: my wife wanted some Colombian coffee, and Marelvy got her a good deal from a local vendor.

Read Cruising Photographer's full Carnival Legend cruise review
Provider: Tour in Cartagena with Marelvy Pena-Hall
Member Image walldor2
1 review
Apr 2014

Wow! What can I say...you think peddlers hassle you on some of the island, well, the experience here is unbelievable. The guide dropped us in front of a "good" emerald store. The peddlers in the area were such that after five minutes, I just got back on the bus to wait. But, in spite of the peddler experience, it's worth doing the old city excursion because there is so much history, and some of the older structures (fortress, cathedral) are amazing.

Read walldor2's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image WAYFARING STRANGER
1 review
Apr 2014

We had a terrific tour with Dora. We were 3 couples from the ship, and our private English speaking guide was Dancy. We were taken to the La Popa Monastery, and had an extensive tour of the San Felipe fortress, as well as a nice driving tour of the city, a walk through the old walled city and some shopping. Everything was exactly as we were promised. Dancy was delightful and went out of her way to accommodate our interests. I was surprised in a very positive way with the beauty of Cartegena, the clean streets in the old walled city, the Columbian people who were kind, respectful and not overly pushy in trying to sell their wares, and the sense of safety everywhere we went.

Read WAYFARING STRANGER's full Vision of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Dora
Member Image ingreece
9 reviews
Apr 2014

I would not recommend Claudia Vidal Tours at all. I booked for a large group from Cruise Critic well in advance and at the last minute she said she was tied up and gave us a guide whose English was very poor. He just kept telling us how expensive Cartagena was. We enjoyed the stops on the tour but felt cheated by not having a good guide. Not only was his English poor but his accent was very thick. If I were you, I'd exit the port and hire a cab for a fraction of the price we paid.
Be careful to negotiate heavily on any emeralds you purchase. Try to get 40-50 percent of asking price if you can or walk away.

Read ingreece's full Norwegian Pearl cruise review
Provider: Cluadia Vidal Tours
Member Image Podie
7 reviews
Not Rated
Mar 2014

Our tour with Dora was wonderful. It is a beautiful city and we enjoyed walking around the Old City. We also shopped for emerald earrings and I bought two pairs which were half the price of the same thing in Florida.

Read Podie's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image LanSluder
1 review
Mar 2014

I had never visited Cartagena before, and I was impressed by both the modern city and the old walled city. However, I was much less impressed with the city tour we took. At best we just saw a few highlights briefly, and the focus seemed to be on getting us in and out of everything quickly (except the "artisan shops" that sold mostly junk.)

Read LanSluder's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image Cruz4Sun
13 reviews
Feb 2014

We went on the ship’s Scenic Drive of Cartagena and La Popa Monastery. This 3 hour tour had several stops including a folkloric show at the Navy Museum which gave us a flavor of Cartagena. The included “refreshing soft drink” per the tour description turned out to be bottled water. While street vendors did actively hawk their wares at each stop, they were not aggressive in any way. I can recommend this tour.

Read Cruz4Sun's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image HnJCruzrs
1 review
Not Rated
Feb 2014

One hour tour then went on our own. Cheaper and safer than taking a taxi. Guide was excellent.

Read HnJCruzrs's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image Herbs Mom
2 reviews
Jan 2014

We were very leary about going into Cartagena even with a cruise line shore excursion, let alone on our own, but we are SO glad we did. We hired Wil after we got off the ship and he was great! Good English, so it was easy to understand him. He took us to great spots. We had heard that Cartagena was dangerous, but if you use good common sense you'll be fine. Don't hesitate to go into the Old City and enjoy! The street vendors are very persistent, but pleasant. We wish we would have been able to spend more time there.

Read Herbs Mom's full Zuiderdam cruise review
Provider: Wil
Member Image chamaeleo
2 reviews
Jan 2014

Bus tour to a fabulous monastery on the highest point in the city. Spectacular view. The Old City was aslso interesting although the Gold Museum was largely a waste of time.

Read chamaeleo's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image rubinstein2r
6 reviews
Not Rated
Jan 2014

This was a highlight of our trip. The Witts took us to see a senior center and a day care center where we were able to directly interact with real people who live in Cartagena. This was followed by a walking tour and we were able to comfortably ask many questions and really get a good feeling about life in this city. Highly highly recommended.

Read rubinstein2r's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Friends For Colombia
Member Image NECV88
1 review
Not Rated
Dec 2013

Best port by far... what a beautiful city, we actually want to go back and possibly buy a condo there... watch out Miami Beach! Cartagena can give you a run for your money ;)

Our tour included the San Felipe fortress, the Cathedral, the Bovedas, the walls walking tour, the inquisition palace, and the beach... great value for our money.

Read NECV88's full Celebrity Infinity cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image LAPH
1 review
Dec 2013

Tour to top of Fort for over 60 too much in the heat The baby was sleeping so I stayed on the bus to which my children all said good decision mum The palacio de la inquistion was interesting but our guide gave way too much information .Cartegena a very attractive city Would have liked an hour or two just to wander around

Read LAPH's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image hvbaskey
1 review
Dec 2013

We booked this tour with "Marelvy" - a native of Columbia. What a super nice lady and very knowledgeable of her city. We were a small group in a small van - all from the Celebrity Century. I would recommend Marelvy to anyone looking to book a small group excursion for Cartagena - she was GREAT!!!!

Read hvbaskey's full Celebrity Century cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image sabotlours
1 review
Dec 2013

It was a nice sampler to a magnificent city, but there were several occasions where our group was herded into shops where the guide was probably getting a kickback. It was also sometimes hard to understand the significance of a particular place due to the number of tours around and the size of the group. It would have been better to just rent a taxi and get dropped off in Old Town where you could explore the place on your own.

Read sabotlours's full Celebrity Century cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image oshunreef
5 reviews
Oct 2013

It was a Easy City Tour. The tour guide was very knowledgeable, but the tour was disappointing because we only stopped at the fort and at a shopping area. There was some streets in the city that I would have liked to have seen, other than from our bus seat.

Read oshunreef's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image FarEast33
2 reviews
Sep 2013

We visited the old city of Cartagena during a cruise tour and were very impressed with the architecture, colour and vitality of the city. It rates as a 'must see' destination but the route through the new city from the dock was uninspiring. Once inside the old majesty was obvious and the loss of major traffic congestion aided this experience. The old colonial verandahs, the church, other major buildings are all impressive. The locals participate in much people watching themselves whilst sitting on benches in Bolivar Plaza, a pleasant garden area with a well photographed fountain. Sit here for a while and observe the tourists following the flag! There are quite a few tourist shops including jewelry and other tat and there are quite a few street hawkers selling even more tat. What we particularly enjoyed was some of the interesting 'rusty metal' statues. Street horse drawn buggy rides are also available. A focal point in the Cartagena walled city is the San Pedro Carver. This impressive structure has a large busy courtyard to the front of the building. Probably one of the most photographed buildings in Columbia and the centrepiece of this grand world heritage site.

Read FarEast33's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image kristenslyric
1 review
May 2013
A quick (too quick) tour of the city with a bit of shopping at the end. It was such a hot day that I was very glad I took an airconditioned bus! It really is a lovely city.
Read kristenslyric's full Statendam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image cmlv150
1 review
Apr 2013
The fort was amazing and it was also very informational to learn about the Spanish inquisition up close and personal. On a side note - the street vendors were the most aggressive I've ever ran into - "Hey lady, Hey lady - I have special price for you" was everywhere you go :)
Read cmlv150's full Vision of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image Professor69
3 reviews
Mar 2013
Very historical tour of the "Walled City" of Cartagena
Read Professor69's full Carnival Miracle cruise review
Provider: Carnival Cruise Lines
Member Image sunshine nana
2 reviews
Feb 2013
Good guide and very interesting history and culture.
Read sunshine nana's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image ritz1030
1 review
Feb 2013
Great port with tropical birds to take pictures with and they were just walking around, beautiful landscaping and that was just the port. Hired a driver there are severeral there to hire a private van, and we saw the old Cartagena and walked thru and saw shops and a church or two and stopped for drinks and to cool off. There are lots of street vendors they are a bit aggressive but they arent scary and do give you good deals on stuff. Went to an emerald museum and shop. Nice, elegeant shop and bought some emerald earrings with authenticity papers and got a great deal on them. Saw a bit of the new Cartagena, its a well advanced city, clean, organized. The best by far to visit. Its just blazing hot there.
Read ritz1030's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image rhonda819
2 reviews
Feb 2013
Took the Chiva Party bus, had a blast.
Read rhonda819's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image rexcoast
1 review
Feb 2013
Good city tour. We were suspicious when the tour guide stopped at a specific street artist (was this a relative?), but otherwise a good tour.
Read rexcoast's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image CruiserGVMN
1 review
Feb 2013
Bus was in very poor shape but the overall tour was good.
Read CruiserGVMN's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image katefur
1 review
Feb 2013
Cartagena was our favorite port. The was a shopping area close to the port which had quality merchandise at reasonable prices. If we hadn't wanted to see the city, we could have bought fine jewelry and souvenirs there. At the suggestion of a sales clerk, we contracted with a local guide to see the city. He was excellent, giving us a history and insight into the city that only a native can do. We saw the La Popa Monastery with its panoramic views of the city, Old City with its unique architecture, the city park with fountains and statues and museums. Both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed Cartagena and would like to return.
Read katefur's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image seattlefam
1 review
Feb 2013
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.
Read seattlefam's full Grandeur of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image plastic2244
1 review
Feb 2013
The excursion was great except for the people selling their wares. They would not leave you alone
Read plastic2244's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Lover1Boy
1 review
Feb 2013
Very good. Beautifull city.
Read Lover1Boy's full Tere Moana cruise review
Provider: Paul Gauguin Cruises
Member Image bluephrog
2 reviews
Not Rated
Jan 2013
Pleasant to see a city we had been to, enjoying the old city and beach area
Read bluephrog's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image true45
10 reviews
Jan 2013
Poor information from guide, boring tour, no good picture of Cartagena
Read true45's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image jeanne_lynn
1 review
Jan 2013
We loved walking the old city with it's cobblestone streets. Loved the old buildings and that some streets didn't' allow any cars on them. The old buildings are being restored to their original beauty.
Read jeanne_lynn's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Mr Lee
Member Image bigcity57
2 reviews
Jan 2013
What I expected at the right pace with an English speaking tour guide in an a/c van with 10 passengers.
Read bigcity57's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Cartagena Tours
Member Image dencruise80
1 review
Jan 2013
The old town tour was good. The guide was knowledgeable. The town is interesting. It was renovated for tourists.
Read dencruise80's full Queen Victoria cruise review
Provider: Cunard Line
Member Image cardamom
2 reviews
Jan 2013
We did the walking tour of the old city and it was fascinating. Our guide, JJ, knew his history and gave us a lively, interesting lecture at every opportunity. The streets of the old city are beautiful, lined with centuries old buildings, second story balconies had overflowing flower boxes covered in beautiful blooms. Poverty is everywhere, but people were friendly. JJ was attentive and very safety conscious. Never did we feel unsafe or feel like we would be left behind (like we did on the Panama City walking tour). This tour is worth the money, but take a bottle of water. A bottle was provided at the end of the tour but it wasn't enough for me because of the intense heat and humidity. Two thumbs up!
Read cardamom's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image wyobean
2 reviews
Dec 2012
Great tour with JJ. Very detailed, part walking and part driving. He is very knowledgable and we enjoyed it very much.
Read wyobean's full MSC Poesia cruise review
Provider: MSC Cruises
Member Image teachman
1 review
Dec 2012
An extremely knowledgeable guide for a very interesting world-heritage site.
Read teachman's full Zuiderdam cruise review
Provider: Claudia Vidal
Member Image DavidWebster
1 review
Dec 2012
We went to the fort and looked around the Old town, the guide had his own special stops at shopping places that were too long so we could spend money at these places. We didn't get to see the La Popa Monastery that was advertised.
Read DavidWebster's full Regatta cruise review
Provider: Oceania Cruises
Member Image Lanfarm
1 review
Dec 2012
Guide was not really helpful in answering questions and seemed to prefer not being bothered with anything other than what he wanted to say which was somewhat limited. We saw very little security at the port or in town and this affected how we might have enjoyed the visit. Again, we loved the architecture and what history we could glean.
Read Lanfarm's full Disney Wonder cruise review
Provider: Disney Cruise Line
Member Image Seadawgsx2
5 reviews
Dec 2012
plenty of scenery and history at this port. Wake up early and enjoy the sail into port
Read Seadawgsx2's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Iamcookiea
1 review
Dec 2012
Fernando was a great guide - loved the churches!
Read Iamcookiea's full Zuiderdam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image MeanMeosh
4 reviews
Dec 2012
Great city tour. Wish we had a little more time to go inside the fort. Narrated walking tour of the old city was very good.
Read MeanMeosh's full Celebrity Infinity cruise review
Provider: Dora de Explorer
Member Image kcscrapper
1 review
Dec 2012
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.
Read kcscrapper's full Zuiderdam cruise review
Provider: Claudia Vidal
Member Image Phoenix cruiser
3 reviews
Dec 2012
Fabulous walking tour of the walled city seeing the architecture, getting a feel for Cartagena and learning lots about its history and culture.
Read Phoenix cruiser's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Cartagena Tours- Dora De Zubiria
Member Image Eurovisionfan
1 review
Dec 2012
Gave a good first impression of Colombia and Cartagena.
Read Eurovisionfan's full Celebrity Century cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image jeffnjan
1 review
Dec 2012
Toured the fort but would have liked to have seen more of it, very good. The old cathedral was interesting and all of the other areas that we saw were good but so crowded that the experience was not what it could have been. They took us to some shopping areas but was very limited and way too crowded. Mostly disappointed in Cartagena, very hot and very crowded.
Read jeffnjan's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image Maryrickp
1 review
Dec 2012
Very fun way to explore the city! We took our 2 girls (14 & 10) and they loved every minute of it!! Lots of laughs and made lots of friends!
Read Maryrickp's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image laplume
3 reviews
Dec 2012
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 sketchy...you 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.
Read laplume's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image OnTheWaterNow
1 review
Dec 2012
The tour was mostly on foot and was interesting but we were constantly hounded by folks begging us to buy something. The tour ended in a long stop at a shopping center that was over priced and tourist trappy. We left the tour and went to a shop down the street to do our shopping.
Read OnTheWaterNow's full MSC Poesia cruise review
Provider: MSC Cruises
Member Image QuilterGirl
4 reviews
Dec 2012
Dora and (air-conditioned!) van with driver picked us up on time and right at the foot of the gangway, as pre-arranged. She tailored the tour to suit our desires, and the mobility of our group; the tour was just what was requested. Dora is known at many of the tour stops. She explained how best to fend off the numerous souvenir vendors that swarmed like flies around us. Dora was most accommodating about the number in our group (which doubled after our Cruise Critic meet-up on the ship). One of our group wanted to stop at a grocery store and buy 12 cans of local beer; Dora fronted him the money so he wouldn't have to get US Dollars changed into local funds for the purchase (then he paid her back in dollars). Each couple on our tour paid Dora in cash at the end of the tour. Dora was happy to answer questions about life in Cartagena and Colombia. She was easy to work with via email, prompt in her replies, and spoke easy-to-understand English. I would recommend her without hesitation!
Read QuilterGirl's full Celebrity Century cruise review
Provider: Dora
Member Image cormike1
2 reviews
Nov 2012
We did a tour of the old city and it was beautiful! Our guide was very knowledgeable and spoke English every well. Walked all over and stopped at important places such as the church, etc. It poured rain and our guide tried to keep us under porches or overhangs. It was a lovely walk. The only complaint I had was stopping at an Emerald store and 1 lade taking way too long to decide about what pair of earrings she would buy. Held up the tour....very inconsiderate! We did stop at the "old jail cells" which are now shops and had a bit of time there before boarding and heading back to the ship. A good tour though.
Read cormike1's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image travelgal17
2 reviews
Nov 2012
We really enjoyed the opportunity to explore Cartagena on this particular excursion. The sights were nice, but it was a bit tough to deal with the individuals who were constantly in our faces trying to sell us merchandise. Overall, we recommend doing an excursion in this particular city due to personal safety issues.
Read travelgal17's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Jonhaz
2 reviews
Not Rated
Nov 2012
Long bus ride, vendors aggresive
Read Jonhaz's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image TheGoomba
1 review
Oct 2012
Part of a deluxe package to visit the castle fort, inquicision palace, and tour of the city. Being in Colombia itself was a treat and the locals were very nice (non merchants), saying 'welcome to our country', 'enjoy your stay' (we speak spanish). This part of the tour was over 60+ minutes and in my opinion was the best part. I loved the colonial style buildings and the long walk through the town, many small vendors along the way but none were too pushy. Would definitely be interested in a longer city tour if I were to visit again.
Read TheGoomba's full Celebrity Infinity cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image chatty_cathy
3 reviews
Oct 2012
We also booked this tour online for $85pp. Marelvy Pena-Hall, our tour guide, was there right as we exited the ship to take 4 of us in a van around the city. We went first to El Poppa for a tour of the old convent with awesome views of the city. We also went to a fort and then for some shopping. We left our van and walked through the old city seeing several old churches and lots of architectural buildings. You really got a feel for what it was like to live there. Then, we headed to the new city and drove through it's streets. Marelvy was extremely knowledgeable and passionate to share with you about her city. Nice tour!
Read chatty_cathy's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Cartegena Tours
Member Image shamrockace
3 reviews
Oct 2012
Met us right at the pier. The van was airconditioned and the driver was excellent and watched our belongings left on the van. La Popa Monastery was my favorite. Beautiful courtyard. Be prepared for about 3 miles of walking on the ciyt tour in old town. We stopped in several cathedrals, the dungeons for shopping and also visited the new town shops. Street vendors are hard to ignore, just don't make eye contact. Dora gave us a lot of history and is very proud of her country.
Read shamrockace's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image JimBob88
2 reviews
Sep 2012
Here, you get off the ship, and at the end of the cruise dock, get presented with the same tour from everyone. You join a group of about 20, and with a guide, get on a bus for a city tour. Everyone gets the same tour. The price is the same for everyone- $20. Same tour on the ship is $60. Our guide was great- well spoken English, and funny.
Read JimBob88's full Celebrity Millennium cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image Hazily2
3 reviews
Sep 2012
Six of us went on a city tour with 5 others from the ship. Van was comfortable but difficult to get in and out of at the locations. Was a walking tour both in old Cartegena and at the mall area. Our only complaint was we weren't allowed to go in any store of our choosing - only those they directed us to both in the Old Town and at the Mall area, and didn't have sufficient time to shop in either. The guide however, had excellent English and was extremely knowledgeable and provided us a lot of information about the history of the area.
Read Hazily2's full Celebrity Infinity cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image AKman2495
2 reviews
Sep 2012
Overall, a nice tour with a pleasant guide. But it was HOT and HUMID. Shopping was rushed and not great. but otherwise I found it to be a pleasant excursion.
Read AKman2495's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image Naval Aviator
5 reviews
May 2012
Nothing exceptional about this tour but she did provide us a good overview of Cartagena and we got to visit a few of the main attractions such as the Cathedral.
Read Naval Aviator's full Celebrity Millennium cruise review
Provider: Dora De Zubiria
Member Image Duckgirl
1 review
Apr 2012
Nice history lesson on both the old and new parts of Cartegena. Monica was our guide and did a very good job of answering questions and keeping everyone on track.
Read Duckgirl's full Celebrity Infinity cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image Pollyanna Dreamgirl
4 reviews
Apr 2012

A great all-day tour to churches, forts, shopping, inquisition museum. Travelled by private a/c van for our group of 14. Extremely hot (95 degrees) but a great experience. Received a DVD of the tour at the end.

Read Pollyanna Dreamgirl's full Norwegian Pearl cruise review
Provider: Tours with Claudia
Member Image Gussys Mom
4 reviews
Apr 2012
Excellent guide..Dora...nice walking through old town
Read Gussys Mom's full Celebrity Infinity cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image marlowe
2 reviews
Apr 2012
Not so great as the places visited were dismal and it was hot and not too friendly.
Read marlowe's full Celebrity Infinity cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image ny-outdoorsman
7 reviews
Apr 2012
Our guide, Ben Torres, gave us each tour stickers, which all said "Ben Torres", but he said he was the original. He took care of us, helping us with vendors and shopping. We started out at a fishing village, watching a man repairing a net and throwing it. I have one, they are not easy to do! Lots of military standing all over, watching. We next went to a beachfront restaurant with good local fare, and entertainment. Beer was good, $3. We then went to an emerald museum/store. That was interesting, and purchased some things. There is a 1st, 2nd, 3rd best price! Bargain for it, they like the game too!!
Read ny-outdoorsman's full Norwegian Jewel cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image pjf@san.rr.com
1 review
Apr 2012
A short trip through the city with narration by a knowledgeable guide. First stop a brief viewing of Fort of San Felipe (so brief we could have stayed on the bus as it slowly drove in city traffic). Then to a walking tour of the old city with equally brief tour of a museum and city parks (shopping limited to street vendors) and a long stay at an emerald museum (read jewelry store not listed on the itinerary and a waste of time for most on the tour) Back to the bus to visit one of a strip of artisan shops (read souvenir stores). Then back to the ship. An inconsiderate passenger got on the wrong bus. We wasted over a half-hour with a distressed spouse while search parties went in vein to find the hapless passenger. He purposely boarded the other bus, their guide should have caught the error but they were actually short a passenger. Never did find out if that person was found.
Read pjf@san.rr.com's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image bort31
2 reviews
Mar 2012
A good tour with a great guide (Dora); would have skipped La Popa hill and opted to enter the fort instead. Enjoyed the old walled city but the "modern city" isn't anything special except an opportunity to herd you into an emerald store. If you're adventurous and want to do it on your own, hire a taxi to the fort, then one to the old town, then head back to the ship!
Read bort31's full Grandeur of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Dora
Member Image Traveling Gators
1 review
Mar 2012
Best of Cartegna tour. Takes you to all the important museums and a church; no time to see the fort as our driver waited 30 minutes for 2 people who could not or would not follow directions and return on time. We should have driven on and left them to take a taxi as their delay affected all of us who paid to see Cartagena. However, Cartagena is still one of my favorite ports.
Read Traveling Gators's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image centerlinefl
1 review
Mar 2012
Cartagena,Columbia - Marelvy Pea-Hall excellent. We had a group of 12, nice mini bus with a driver. Looked new. $54.00 each. lots of info, all over tour of historic sites.
Read centerlinefl's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Marelvy Pea-Hall
Member Image pi45
1 review
Mar 2012
We had fun! We all felt we needed more time in this pretty city. The little restaurants in old town looked so inviting. The shops there, too, looked beautiful. If there is a next time, we would skip the flea market type pf shops set up for the tourists. We also would skip the little plaza where they sell coffee. I could really downgrade the tour rating to a 2 or 3, except Marelvy was so nice, and we did not suggest changing things.
Read pi45's full Celebrity Infinity cruise review
Provider: marelvy@gmail.com
Member Image julenow
1 review
Mar 2012
Didn't enjoy all the street vendors. The naval museum and folklorico dancers were excellent.
Read julenow's full Statendam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image trinity777
1 review
Mar 2012
Old City Tour interesting. Very hot and humid. If you do shopping you can bargain.
Read trinity777's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image UtahFishing
1 review
Mar 2012
saw the local sights, spoke poor English, wasted time at emerald factory, dropped us at end in ugly old city. Shopping was a waste of time. Some stuff from China would have been an improvement! Dirty, ugly city with only some interesting architecture as "something to see"
Read UtahFishing's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: cab company

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