Posted November 8th, 2006, 02:53 PM
Last edited by robtulipe; November 8th, 2006 at 03:02 PM
We just got back yesterday from Regal Princess full transit of the Panama Canal and wanted to post our experience at Peurto Quetzal, Guatemala.
With three other couples we had met on the ship, we took a private taxi van tour to Antigua that was arranged on site at the large information and shopping tent just before the parking lot. The whole port area is secured and only registered taxis and buses are allowed into the area. The price for all tours were posted on a banner and I believe all were $20US per person. This is what we paid. You could go to Gautemala City, Antigua, etc. The price was so low we didn't even negotiate for a lower one.
For this charge we got a driver who owned the taxi van and an english speaking guide that he employed. We started out at 9:15AM, got to Antigua at about 10.45AM after stoping at a Esso/Exxon service center just outside Antigua for a banos/water buying break. The guide stayed with us the whole day showing us the colonial town sites while the driver would drop us off and pick us up as parking for his van was limited. They kept in contact with each other by cell phone. We treated them to lunch at a local restaurant they recommended which was across the street from the local market that offered great and varied products. They even took us up to a viewing site overlooking the city center and the Vera Cruz (Sp?) cross where the larger buses couldn't go. On the way back to the ship they took us to a modern supermarket to buy coffee since one couple decided that they hadn't bought enought of this brew in Costa Rica. We returned to ship just before 5PM but were not rushed anytime.
Re security, we felt safe all the way. Our excellent speaking guide told us that each taxi was given a # ( we were 24 and had stickers with this # on us) and that every 10 miles or so there were police along the route monitoring the buses and taxis with ship passengers. This is exactly what happened. There was a police presence throughout Antigua and even on the Vera Cruz viewing site overlooking the town.
If you do decide to do your independent tour look for Manuel's white taxi Mitsuibishi (Sp?) van with BMW as part of the licence plate and say hi to Jeremy his guide from Bob and Cheryl in Canada.
By the way the fully guide ship's tours were $139 and $ 119 per person each and offered less. The ON Your Own bus tranfers were $49 per person.
Festival Bolero, Dec.98, E Carib* Blackbeard Pirate Lady, Jan.99, Bahamas* Sun Carousel (Nordic Prince), Feb.99, S Carib* Sun Sunbird (Song of America), Sept.99, W Med* Sun Sundream (Song of Norway), Jan.00, PC* Sea Princess, June 00, Alaska* Sun Sundream (Song of Norway), Feb.01, W Carib* Empress of the Seas, July 02, Bermuda* Grand Princess, Feb.02, W.Carib* Star Princess, Feb.03, Mexico* Enchantment OTS, March 03, E. Carib* Sun Sunbird (Song of America), June 03, W Med* Sun Sunbird (Song of America), Jan.04, S.Carib* Voyager OTS, June04, CdnMaritimes* Sun Sunbird (Song of America), Aug.04, W. Med* Maasdam, Mar.05, S.Carib* Costa Mediterranea, Apr.06, E. Carib* Regal Pr, Oct.06, PC* SerenadeOTS, Feb.07.S. Carib* Adventure OTS, Mar.07, S. Carib* Radiance OTS, Sept.07,Alaska* Legend OTS, Nov.07, E. Med* Radiance OTS, May 08, Hawaii* X Century, Dec.08, TA* Radiance OTS, Apr.09, SA to USA* X Mercury, Nov.09, E. Carib* Radiance OTS, Feb.10, Mexico, Grand Pr, Apr.10, TA* X Summit, Nov.10 B2B S. Carib* Golden Pr, Feb.11, Hawaii* X Constellation, Mar.11, S. Carib* Emerald Pr, Nov.11, S Carib* X Silhouette, Jan.12, E. Carib* X Century, Mar.12, Hawaii* Caribbean Pr, Apr.12,TA* Caribbean Pr, May 12, Br. Isles* X Eclipse, Dec.12, S. Carib* Voyager OTS, Feb.13, Oz/NZ* X Century, Nov.13, Hawaii* Ruby Pr, Feb.14, W. Carib* X Century,Feb.13, E. Carib* Serenade OTS, Apr.14, TA* Serenade OTS, Nov.14, TA* Navigator OTS, Jan.15, B2B2B W. Carib* Radiance OTS, Feb.15, Top End Oz* Freedom OTS, Oct.15,B2B E&W Carib* Anthem OTS, Jan.16, S Carib* Anthem OTS, Mar.16, W Carib* Brilliance OTS, Oct.16, TA* Anthem OTS, Jan.17, S Carib*