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Cartagena, Colombia Question (Part of Panama Canal Cruise ... NCL)


ajtraveler66
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Cartagena, Colombia is one of our ports of call on our January 2024 NCL Bliss Panama Canal cruise.  

 

We will probably do one of the cruiseship's excursions ... but we were curious to know if there is much to do in the immediate port area:  Restaurants, bars, shopping.  Also is the port area a safe area?

 

And while I've got you, are there any excursions that you would recommend? 

 

Thanks.

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4 hours ago, ajtraveler66 said:

Cartagena, Colombia is one of our ports of call on our January 2024 NCL Bliss Panama Canal cruise.  


Colombia has its own Port of Call forum at the link below, where Cartagena and the questions you are asking are discussed. 

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/391-colombia/

 

Tip re excursions: get a small group together from your Roll Call and do a private tour with Dora de Zubiria:

 

http://www.cartagenatour.com

 

The cruise terminal is outside the walled city, there’s nothing really around it.  But within the terminal complex is a wonderful (and free) small zoo and aviary that should not be missed. Leave time to walk through it before you return to the ship.  

 

 

 

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On 7/20/2023 at 7:36 PM, ajtraveler66 said:

Cartagena, Colombia is one of our ports of call on our January 2024 NCL Bliss Panama Canal cruise.  

 

We will probably do one of the cruiseship's excursions ... but we were curious to know if there is much to do in the immediate port area:  Restaurants, bars, shopping.  Also is the port area a safe area?

 

Scroll down to posts #6 and #7 and you will see what we enjoyed in Cartegena port (yes it was safe in the port). My plan had been to do a ship's tour into the city but then I had a pre-teen who had not done his remote school assignment, so that forced me to not book tour, SMH. He eventually got the school assignment done and emailed that morning so we just joined the rest of the family at the port entrance wild life park and shops. So glad we did this in the port. It was relaxing and we saw plenty of birds and sloths too. It was so easy using the port shuttle.

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On 7/20/2023 at 8:36 PM, ajtraveler66 said:

Cartagena, Colombia is one of our ports of call on our January 2024 NCL Bliss Panama Canal cruise.  

 

We will probably do one of the cruiseship's excursions ... but we were curious to know if there is much to do in the immediate port area:  Restaurants, bars, shopping.  Also is the port area a safe area?

 

And while I've got you, are there any excursions that you would recommend? 

 

Thanks.

We did this cruise in January/February 2023 and was disappointed with a few of the NCL-sponsored excursions.  One was the Exploring Magnificent Cartagena.  Although some of the history was nice to learn about, it was a glorified shopping trip and the vendors were non-stop pushy, to the point where they would almost pull you back off the bus to buy their goods.  It was kind of scary and maddening at the same time.  I think we stopped 3x at 'shopping areas'.  I get that it is nice to buy some souvenirs, but it's the same stuff at each location and if I wanted to 'shop', I would have walked to a shopping area on my own without having to pay $100 to be taken there.  I have tried to post review on the NCL site since we've been back, and I keep getting errors on the site, which I have reported again and again, only to be told they're working on it.  It frustrates me that someone going to book excursions on NCL cannot do thorough reviews on their site before deciding.  

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