I itinerary on our next cruise includes Cartegena. Since the US Govt just put out a traveler's advisory for Columbia, what are the chances the cruise line will change ports, and stop somewhere else? Any thoughts?
I hope they don't. Cartagena is a different animal than the rest of Colombia. It is the play city for wealthy Colombians, drug dealers included, so although I'm sure there are drugs there, Cartagena isn't subject to the violence other parts of Colombia are. Definitely opt for the ship's tour of Cartagena. It is one of the best examples of Spanish Colonial architecture in the world today.
I've never sailed into Cartagena but have been there by air many times. Colombians, the non criminal ones who let's face it, are the majority of the populace, are absolutely wonderful people. You'll love them and what's really wonderful about the old city is that it is still lived in, worked in and played in. If Colombian emeralds are a little above your budget, they do great leather work there.
I also think Cartagena is wonderful. Have stopped there three times on cruise ships and have never had a bad experience. I'm sure the ship tours are excellent but I preferred to hire a taxi at the cruise terminal, which, by the way, is very nice. I was there last November and they had improved it quite a bit and added some nice new shops, including some selling emeralds. When we were in the city my mother tripped over a high curb and we had such kind treatment by the huge crowd of vendors and shopkeepers that rushed out to help her. You can walk from the ship to the terminal, or take a shuttle bus. (It only takes a minute or so). There's a wonderful outdoor coffee bar at the terminal that sells the most totally fabulous iced coffee.Have fun.
Wow....now I'm really getting excited. If the ship stops there, I will be off the boat exploring the city! 5 days and a wake-up! Packed, ready to go, and reading about the different cities we will visit. Thanks so much for the information.