774 Cartagena (Colombia) Cruise Reviews

Well, this city is impressive. I must admit, I had little idea what to expect in Columbia, but was pleasantly surprised just how big and developed this city is, and I believe it's the fifth largest in Columbia, so the others must be ... Read More
Well, this city is impressive. I must admit, I had little idea what to expect in Columbia, but was pleasantly surprised just how big and developed this city is, and I believe it's the fifth largest in Columbia, so the others must be huge. Very green and tropical, we didn't venture far from the ship, but where we walked was appealing and welcoming for tourists. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Very easy to get a taxi at the port. $60 for 2 and we saw all the sights, old town, San Felipe and le Popa.[?] My friend bought an emerald. Street vendors were no where near as bad as expected from HAL excursion reviews.
Very easy to get a taxi at the port. $60 for 2 and we saw all the sights, old town, San Felipe and le Popa.[?] My friend bought an emerald. Street vendors were no where near as bad as expected from HAL excursion reviews. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We went shopping for emeralds. Too many Columbians trying to sell us something...all we were trying to do was sit in an outdoor cafe having a beer while we decided on negotiating for my new ring.
We went shopping for emeralds. Too many Columbians trying to sell us something...all we were trying to do was sit in an outdoor cafe having a beer while we decided on negotiating for my new ring. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Nicest terminal I have been too, with animals roaming free. Worth a visit even if you don't go into the town. We walked out of the port and got a taxi to the old town which was fine.
Nicest terminal I have been too, with animals roaming free. Worth a visit even if you don't go into the town. We walked out of the port and got a taxi to the old town which was fine. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We took a private tour with 8 other passengers from our ship (Coral Princess) with Claudia Vidal. Claudia Vidal . She was extremely prompt in answering emails beforehand, very knowledgeable and gave us an excellent tour of her City.
We took a private tour with 8 other passengers from our ship (Coral Princess) with Claudia Vidal. Claudia Vidal . She was extremely prompt in answering emails beforehand, very knowledgeable and gave us an excellent tour of her City. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Very nice cruise terminal. We hired a taxi and driver. Apparently the taxi drivers are given training in English and sightseeing tours. It was inexpensive. The driver was so good we gave him a tip almost equal to the cost!
Very nice cruise terminal. We hired a taxi and driver. Apparently the taxi drivers are given training in English and sightseeing tours. It was inexpensive. The driver was so good we gave him a tip almost equal to the cost! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Cartegena Columbia with a wheelchairOur trip to the town of CartegenaWhich is port in north of ColumbiaA local minibus took me and my wheelchair.Air conditioned, the tourOf the older and the newerParts of Cartegena were expertly laid ... Read More
Cartegena Columbia with a wheelchairOur trip to the town of CartegenaWhich is port in north of ColumbiaA local minibus took me and my wheelchair.Air conditioned, the tourOf the older and the newerParts of Cartegena were expertly laid bare.We were pestered by tourist tat sellersWho were persistent young fellasAnd in one’s face the whole of the time.They did not understand “no gacias”But the old town is charming and classy asA good walking tour doesn’t include a climb. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
DO NOT BE CONCERNED YOU WON'T FIND TAXI SERVICE ( yellow or white) BACK TO THE SHIP from your sightseeing in Cartagena. We took the approved white taxi (drivers all wear light blue shirts emblazoned with TAXI TAXI TAXI all over them. ... Read More
DO NOT BE CONCERNED YOU WON'T FIND TAXI SERVICE ( yellow or white) BACK TO THE SHIP from your sightseeing in Cartagena. We took the approved white taxi (drivers all wear light blue shirts emblazoned with TAXI TAXI TAXI all over them. Ship to Clock Tower inside the first gate (the perfect landmark) was $20US for the cab, be it one passenger or four, still $20. Though we thought it very peculial, our driver asked for no money upon reaching the Old Town, our destination. Rather, he asked how long we'd be...we replied, about 3 hours. As it was about 10AM, we agreed we'd meet at 1PM. We got back from our sightseeing about 12:45--there was our driver, right at the base of the clock tower. It was he that approached us. It wasn't until we saw his cab, no. 248, that we "recognized him." NOT THE SAME STORY WE HEARD ABOUT THE HOP ON, HOP OFF BUSES. Wait times can average 45 to 90 minutes depending on traffic which mid-morning, late afternoons can be amazingly chaotic. Oh, research on line ahead of time for a walking map of Cartegena's Old City. Nothing you will be given on board is readable. And there is no chamber of commerce-like info booth inside the "terminal" Be prepared to play the gringo,a la touristas. Hawkers of all sorts from hats and headwear, to sunglasses (bought a pair of Ray Bans for $5US) are very good at what they do, as are the cabbies and tour guides. What is very common are the cabbies who will spend 2, 3, 4 hours with you, even separating from you only to meet up with you later…expecting no payment until you return to your ship. The Cartegenians (?) are warm and considerate of us, their guests. We even had a Policia with whom we were having communication difficulties. He actually stopped a car, had the driver roll down his window. He proceeded to ask this driver, "Donde esta el Museo de Oro?" To my broken Spanish, he told us in his best broken English how to get to the gold museum.Walk a straight line from the Old City gate past the Clock Tower to the Calle de la Inquisicion. Continue westward to Simon Bolivar Park which is dominated by his statue on horseback.Goal 2--just west from Plaza de Bolivar is the Museo Historico Cartegena , #33-46 within which is the Palacio de la Inquisicion, well worth the visit at $7.00 per senior adult.By now you are probably needing a potty break. We were correct in assuming there would be "Banos" when we accidentally walked past the Biblioteca (library) Bartolone Calvo. At the corner of Calle De la Inquisicion and Plaza De Bolivar.Upon disembarking Cartegena (you'll likely have arrived in the pre dawn) around 3-4 PM, if you like photo ops, be on the Promenade, deck 7 of the Norwegian Star, your ship will pass quite close to the easternmost point of metropolitan / residential area surrounded on 3 sides by water. Then after 30-40 minutes of heavily forested land, you'll pass a quaint 'village' of fewer than several hundred low-rise buildings, quite a few of which line the water's edge. Then we were back at landless sea heading for tomorrow's 8-hour transit of the Panama Canal. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We opted to explore the city on our own and visited the San Felipe Fortress and the Santa Clara Hotel for a late lunch. We took a cab from the ship to the fortress so we could explore it at our own pace and then a cab from the fortress to ... Read More
We opted to explore the city on our own and visited the San Felipe Fortress and the Santa Clara Hotel for a late lunch. We took a cab from the ship to the fortress so we could explore it at our own pace and then a cab from the fortress to the hotel. Friends stateside recommended the hotel restaurant for an authentic experience of Cartagena life among the well to do. The Hotel was a lovely experience and located right inside the old city. The food and drinks were very traditional and sitting around the courtyard takes you back in time which was very nice. Don't let the cab drivers overcharge you, they charged us $20 from the ship to the fortress and then we took a cab to the hotel where they told us it should have only been $10 which is what we paid on the return trip. If you are not adventurous opt for a tour package in the $50 range especially if it takes you to the fortress, the palace and the sanctuary. We paid about that for cabs and the fortress entry fee. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Cartagena, ColumbiaWe had never been to Cartagena. Our previous Canal crossing had included Aruba instead. Given a choice, I would have preferred to go to Aruba again but we did enjoy Cartagena. Aruba was more relaxing. Being on our own ... Read More
Cartagena, ColumbiaWe had never been to Cartagena. Our previous Canal crossing had included Aruba instead. Given a choice, I would have preferred to go to Aruba again but we did enjoy Cartagena. Aruba was more relaxing. Being on our own there was fun. In Cartagena we did a private tour that Mike had arranged with the wonderful Marelvy Pena-Hall. She runs Tour in Cartegena. http://tourincartagena.com. She picked us up right on time in a wonderfully large mini-bus which gave us quite a bit of room to spread out as there were 10 of us going (all the Martini Mates except Bob). We did the Highlights of the City tour —the road most often taken so to speak—it started with a trip the the high point of the city, known as La Popa The view was as advertised, outstanding. Check my pics for what you will see. We toured outside the old fortress in downtown, then off to a shopping district where we had a short time to do some souvenir shopping but not to an excess and we had asked for the time so it was welcome. After shopping Marelvy took us on a walking tour of downtown to see the Customs plaza, churches and more. The walk lasted about an hour and included a stop at a museum where there was an exhibit of gold artifacts. Very beautiful. Then a street performance by some great dancers and we headed back to the ship. On the way Marelvy was really nice to grant one of our Mate’s wish and stopped at a local supermarket (where locals shop) and grab a few pounds of Columbian coffee for anyone who wanted them at about half the price the coffee was going for in the tourist shops. Marelvy was an excellent guide, thoroughly knowledgable and she also rewarded us with a limited-edition poster that her husband had produced for the centennial of Cartagena earlier that year. It is beautiful and a great souvenir of our visit. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Cartegena - what's the point?? This was by far the worst city/experience I've had whilst cruising. We only docked for 6 hours so decided to take a taxi in to old town. On leaving the ship to returning 4 hours later we were ... Read More
Cartegena - what's the point?? This was by far the worst city/experience I've had whilst cruising. We only docked for 6 hours so decided to take a taxi in to old town. On leaving the ship to returning 4 hours later we were constantly hassled by every Columbian & their aunty trying to sell us either a tour/tack or drugs which was not pleasant!! We were also there on a Sunday which meant the shops opened late so all in all a total waste of time!!All other ports of call were as expected & we took a mixture of 'diy trips & princess tours' all of which were well above average Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Really wonderful port facility with a little zoo, quality store, and lush landscaping. Then hired an air conditioned taxi for four hours of the sites for about $90 for four of us. Fun! I suggest reading about each port before starting the ... Read More
Really wonderful port facility with a little zoo, quality store, and lush landscaping. Then hired an air conditioned taxi for four hours of the sites for about $90 for four of us. Fun! I suggest reading about each port before starting the cruise so what you see has more significance. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Although a beautiful city, I wouldn't recommend stopping in Cartegena, Columbia. It was way too hot and since it wasn't a beach day kind of port, it could have been missed. If we do this one again, we stay on the ship for that ... Read More
Although a beautiful city, I wouldn't recommend stopping in Cartegena, Columbia. It was way too hot and since it wasn't a beach day kind of port, it could have been missed. If we do this one again, we stay on the ship for that day. My girls and husband enjoyed the walled shopping area but it was so hot that it made for a very short and expensive trip by taxi ride. We felt bombarded by the vendors and although we did buy things for what they asked for or a bit less, we felt bad for them as that is their way of life. I would have much more enjoyed a longer stay at the next port than Columbia. It was a great thing to show our daughters how other people live. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Friends of Columbia not for profit organization. We were picked up in a new air conditioned van, and driven around city to children's hospital to visit. The children smiled from ear to ear. We also visited a elderly home. We toured ... Read More
Friends of Columbia not for profit organization. We were picked up in a new air conditioned van, and driven around city to children's hospital to visit. The children smiled from ear to ear. We also visited a elderly home. We toured the old city and also did some shopping. I highly recommend friends of Columbia they were fantastic and treated us very well with snacks, cold water, fruit, and pick up and drop off port side:) Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We did not take an organized excursion in Cartagena. We took advantage of the free shuttle to the end of the pier, and took a taxi to the old town. I had decided to get some Colombian currency for the trip, although I don't think it ... Read More
We did not take an organized excursion in Cartagena. We took advantage of the free shuttle to the end of the pier, and took a taxi to the old town. I had decided to get some Colombian currency for the trip, although I don't think it is necessary. US Dollars are accepted to the point that the price is typically given in Dollars, you often have to ask to get it in Pesos. The price for the taxi worked out to be the same in Pesos or Dollars. A couple of purchases we made were definitely less expensive in Pesos, and a couple of small places only accepted Pesos. The old town is safe, although we were continually being asked to buy something from the street vendors, including taxi drivers wanting to take us back to the ship. Official taxis are easy to identify, they are bright yellow, and the driver wears a light blue shirt with the word Taxi all over it. Most of the taxis seemed to be the same model car. We were warned that the areas between the cruise dock and the old town were not safe, but this did not impact us. Cartagena is pleasant place to spend a couple of hours if the street vendors don’t get you down. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
We did not use the ship’s excursions but our own. We did a tour offered by a local on air conditioned bus at $10.00 a person. There was 30 of us on the bus. It took us to La Popa which had amazing views of the city and the cruise ships ... Read More
We did not use the ship’s excursions but our own. We did a tour offered by a local on air conditioned bus at $10.00 a person. There was 30 of us on the bus. It took us to La Popa which had amazing views of the city and the cruise ships in port. Stopped at the Palacio de la Inquisicíon. Then we went to an Emerald factory but we went to the local market around the corner instead and enjoyed that very much. Then a very (way to short) stop at Las Bóvedas, once dungeons, now home to boutiques and tourist shops. On our way back to the ship we drove by the walled city and the clock tower and city ocean views. We really enjoyed the terminal with all the parrots and other animals for up close pictures... Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Due to the schedule this port is only a half day port starting off really early in the morning. However, this really does work out well because even in late November Cartagena got hot and humid by noon time. We walked out of the port ... Read More
Due to the schedule this port is only a half day port starting off really early in the morning. However, this really does work out well because even in late November Cartagena got hot and humid by noon time. We walked out of the port (through the second set of gates) out to the main street where we negotiated with a taxi to take us to the El Centro for $8 (make sure to get your walking tour map at the port tourist office) then we spent the morning walking around the old city. We also made a visit to the gold museum (free of charge). After we had walked around the old city, taken all the photos we wanted and did a little shopping we caught a taxi back to the ship (again $8 with a little negotiation). Before we boarded the ship we spent a little time walking through the small zoo that they have at the port. Overall a very interesting day that cost us almost nothing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Our first port was Cartegena Columbia. We booked our excursion through Claudia Vidal. She responded promptly to our email for information. We were met on the pier by our guide and driver (Sandy & Pilar). We traveled in an clean air ... Read More
Our first port was Cartegena Columbia. We booked our excursion through Claudia Vidal. She responded promptly to our email for information. We were met on the pier by our guide and driver (Sandy & Pilar). We traveled in an clean air conditioned van, perfect for the 6 of us. Sandy was very knowledgeable, and gave us an excellent tour including, the Monastery at La Popa, the city walls and shops at Playa de las Bovedas, a guided walk through the colorful old city, the Museum of the Inquisition, and a photo stop at the fortress at San Feliipe, as well as a stop at an emerald museum & shop. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We walked to the port terminal to pick up some souveniers. There were some beautiful animals there including flamingos and various birds that were well cared for. Also a spot for free WiFi. We had thought that we'd go to town, but the ... Read More
We walked to the port terminal to pick up some souveniers. There were some beautiful animals there including flamingos and various birds that were well cared for. Also a spot for free WiFi. We had thought that we'd go to town, but the taxi "negotiating" was intense so we went back to the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
The Fortress, Dungeon, Inquisition Palace tour was pretty decent, even on a very hot and muggy day. A word of caution – to climb to the top of the Fortress takes a while. It’s a steep climb. Our guide was knowledgeable and clearly ... Read More
The Fortress, Dungeon, Inquisition Palace tour was pretty decent, even on a very hot and muggy day. A word of caution – to climb to the top of the Fortress takes a while. It’s a steep climb. Our guide was knowledgeable and clearly understandable. The old dungeon is now a marketplace so this was really not much more than a shopping stop. We did, however, enjoy a nice walk along the cobblestoned streets on the way to the Inquisition Palace. This space got very crowded with 3-4 tour busloads of folks vying for space and a view. Still, recommended for some good history of old Cartagena. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Ship docked at the industrial port of Manga. A kiosk is located on the dock near the ship where you can get a free map. We opted to do this port on our own. There is a free shuttle bus which will take you from your ship to the cruise ... Read More
Ship docked at the industrial port of Manga. A kiosk is located on the dock near the ship where you can get a free map. We opted to do this port on our own. There is a free shuttle bus which will take you from your ship to the cruise terminal. Otherwise it is about a quarter mile walk. In the terminal area, there are flamingos, peacocks, monkeys, and parrots, as well as some shopping and eating venues. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Old Walled City and is approximately 2 miles from the ship. To get there we took a taxi outside the terminal for $10 USD total. We were dropped off at the clock tower, or entrance to the Old Walled City. Across the street was the convention center. We walked into the Old Walled City and walked to Piazza Aguana, San Pedro Claver Church, toured the emerald museum (free), toured the gold museum (free), walked to Piazza Bolivar, Inquisition Palace, Cartagena Cathedral, Santo Domingo Cathedral, walked the wall to Las Bovedas and then took a taxi back to the cruise ship. Again, the fare was $10 USD total. Be aware that the street vendors are very aggressive in the town. Just keep walking, avoid eye contact, and tell them "no, gracias", unless you are interested in doing a purchase. Most vendors will take USD. Be sure to bring water with you as it was very hot and humid. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
My husband broke his toe on board during our first night, the bone was sticking out and he needed surgery in Cartagena. The doctor onboard made all arrangements along with a bilingual driver to take us to the best hospital in the city. ... Read More
My husband broke his toe on board during our first night, the bone was sticking out and he needed surgery in Cartagena. The doctor onboard made all arrangements along with a bilingual driver to take us to the best hospital in the city. $3,000 later we left the hospital and made our way back onto the ship to continue our cruise. Fortunately, we DID buy the travel insurance and hopefully will be reimbursed for our expenses. The city did look lovely and we hope to revisit it another time when we're able to explore. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We do not sign up dor tours as we find them overcrowded and spendy. We walked through old town found a very knowledgeable guide for 40.00. He spent the day with us. We had a great private tour.
We do not sign up dor tours as we find them overcrowded and spendy. We walked through old town found a very knowledgeable guide for 40.00. He spent the day with us. We had a great private tour. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013

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