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Catamaran transfer from cruise port to Old Town

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NCL just posted a Cartagena excursion that is just a catamaran transfer to Old Town.  Then you can wander around town and take the catamaran back or a bus.  Seems like a pretty easy way to get over their to explore on our own.   Looks like the walk from the catamaran pier to San Felipe Fortress is about a mile, which is very doable for us.  The transfer is at 8:30 so we'd have 3-4 hours before we need to be back on the ship for a 2:00 departure.   Will that give us enough time?   I could probably find it cheaper than the $29pp they are charging, but sometimes you just pay for convenience. Thoughts?  

 

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Has anyone taken this ride to the old city? 

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On 2/3/2020 at 5:16 PM, 2+2 said:

Has anyone taken this ride to the old city? 

 

We were on the NCL Gem just last month, and had booked this catamaran transfer pre-cruise.  It was supposed to depart at 7:15 AM and take 15 minutes.  I was told that we could either return to the ship by bus (running every half hour), or by catamaran, with the last return scheduled to depart at 12:30 PM.  Once on board the Gem, I spoke with the shorex folks to confirm the return schedule, and was told that the catamaran operator had eliminated the return bus option.  (NCL hadn't told us that, and if I hadn't asked about things at the shorex desk, I would not have known until it was too late.)  Also, I was told that the catamaran operator had changed the time of the last catamaran back; I can't recall now what that was going to be, but it was far too early to provide enough time ashore, so we canceled the transfer.  (We were heading directly for the fortress of San Felipe de Barajas, and took a cab, which was quick and easy.)

 

By chance, my wife wound up speaking to a couple who had taken the catamaran transfer, and it was a disaster.  Instead of taking 15 minutes into the city, it took something like an hour, and really affected what they could do in the short time ashore.  (All aboard was 1:30 PM.)

 

Given all of the above, I would not trust the catamaran operator.    It's really easy to get a cab at the port (which we did as I noted above), and that's what I'd recommend if you are touring on your own.    (The only reason we'd even considered the catamaran is because of how fast it was supposed to be, and because it would have cost us two bucks, given our Latitudes discount and the NCL shorex promo credit.)

 

Let me repeat -- take a cab.   (And do so especially if you are going directly to the fortress, since it's not that far from the cruise terminal, and is a bit of a hike from where the catamaran docks in the walled city.  It is HOT and humid in Cartagena, and you want to get as early a start as you can.) 

 

I hope that's helpful.

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Thank you.  Like you, I have pre-cruise booked this and am only going to the walled city. My question now is, once I am ready to return to the ship from the old city, will I easily be able to catch a cab back if the cattamerand don't pan out. And did you use U.S. cash and how much to expect.

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5 hours ago, 2+2 said:

Thank you.  Like you, I have pre-cruise booked this and am only going to the walled city. My question now is, once I am ready to return to the ship from the old city, will I easily be able to catch a cab back if the cattamerand don't pan out. And did you use U.S. cash and how much to expect.

 

We took a cab back from the fort.  From what I've read in this forum, you should be able to get one in the Walled City.  Go over to the Clock Tower if necessary. The cabs accept USD.  It was $7 back from the fort, I think it probably will be a bit more from the Walled City, maybe $10.  Make sure you agree on the price before you get in.  

 

Once you board the ship, I would ask the shorex folks about this transfer.  The tour operator has shown they are not reliable.  You really need to nail down when the departure from the ship/pier is, and the other details.  

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