Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Recap - Vision of the Seas
March 15 – 22nd, 2014

16th Cartagena

One of the prettiest old towns you will have the pleasure to explore. Once the ship was secure at our pier the guests made their way to either the excursions they would be taking or a short walk to the port gift ship area where you can take a cab ride into old town. Usually the charge for this is around 15.00 and arrange with the cab driver to meet you – usually by the big clock at the entrance to the old town – for your return ride back. We have done this the past few cruises and it works well. Old architecture greets you. Vivid colours and plenty of flowers, people, shops and hawking takes place in old town. Enjoy walking the streets. You really cannot get lost as you are enclosed by walls all around you. Take your time as you are here until 9 p.m. walk down streets laden with bougainvillea, sidewalk cafes and street vendors selling the most wonderful and colourful hats, handbags and jewelry. Peer into open doorways as you might discover the most beautiful inner courtyards. Most homes here are a secret as they are enclosed by huge walls and closed doorways but with many of these homes being turned into boutique hotels and restaurants you can get a pretty good feeling of just how magical this walled town was and how beautiful it has become because this UNESCO site is now being lovingly restored and preserved.

After much walking and gazing at the fantastic architecture, sit at a sidewalk café or inside if too warm and enjoy some tapas and a drink, preferably by a window so you can continue to watch the people visiting this place and those who live here. One of my favourite places to visit!

The port gift shop is not to be missed, well you cannot miss it as you go through it to get to the other side, but it is much more than just a gifts hop. Surrounding it are wonderful gardens full of flamingos, black swans, iguanas, rabbits, birds and monkeys. It is a wonderful eco system full of fruit laid out for all to enjoy. I am captivated by the monkeys…they are very close to you and do not seem to be at all upset by us staring at them or taking photos. I watch as a female moves to the papaya laid out on a tray. She is a bit wary and glances around at all of us. Her facial expressions are so intense as she makes sure it is ok to move as she has a very young baby clinging to her and yet wants that papaya. She does come down out of the trees and it is wonderful to see her deep brown hair tipped with bronze red. It glistens in the sun and is so thick. They are all healthy and happy to share with scarlet macaws and other birds. The macaws love to walk on the ground as well as climb or just sit and chatter in their rather loud voices. There are peacocks here too and you can hear them calling…wonderful place and here you can pick up email for 3.00 an hour….much cheaper than on the ship.

After I have visited and picked up my email I head back to the ship for lunch and then a nice walk around the top of the ship. Here I can get a 360 view of both the city and the huge cargo area where all the containers are being uploaded or unloaded from waiting container ships. It is huge and I wonder how they can keep track of it all. I know there is a method to it and continue to watch the huge overhead cranes and trucks running around lifting and dropping containers onto waiting trucks to be ferried somewhere else. There is a building here, called Operations, and it is truly a beauty and gives you a glimpse of the beautiful architecture that still lives on. Count the windows….



  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row