Shore Excursion Review: Tour of Getsemani and the Old City
Cruise Line: Princess Port: Cartagena, Colombia Price: $29.95 USD per person Duration: 3.5 hours
What to expect: The description of this excursion is transportation, a walking tour of Getsemani, a visit to the Armeria Real hotel, a walking tour of the old city, a visit to the Art and Culture Museum, a visit to Las Bolvedas, and a photo opportunity of San Felipe Fort. It does cover most of these things, but given that this tour is only a few hours long, you should expect that stops will be very brief. We did not visit the Art and Culture Museum, and the photo opportunity for the fort is actually from the rooftop terrace of the hotel.
Our tour started out just outside the old city walls near the Teatro Heredia and we walked along through the streets, stopping to look at a few buildings, parks, and churches. We did not walk the entire time (and went back to the bus a couple of times to move to different areas). We could not go in Pedro San Clover church as there was a stage set up in front of it for an upcoming music festival and we did not have a chance to climb the old city wall. The only free time provided was 20 minutes for shopping at Las Bolvedas (the Vaults). Prices were very reasonable, but many found the vendors too aggressive (a simple no was sufficient, so I don't agree with this assessment). Vendors were prevalent throughout many of the areas we stopped. Our last stop was the Armeria Real hotel, to have a quick lesson on how to make coconut lemonade (it's quite delicious) and restroom stop.
Overall, Cartagena is very tourist friendly. It's very charming to walk along the streets in the old town, admiring the beautiful colours and flowers. This excursion obviously is not meant to cover all the things you can see and to in Cartagena, but it does give you a brief overview.