Monday, January 7, 2013

Saturday, December 22, 2012 – Cartagena, Colombia – Sunny – Hazy – 90F

Distance from Ft. Lauderdale to Cartagena: 1142 Nautical Miles

A humid, warm day in Cartagena…

20121222_ships position (Small) Cartagena Condos and Bay (Small)

Cartagena Condos and Bay

Our only plan today is find some WiFi in the area of the Visitor Center.  The Visitor Center is just a short walk from the commercial pier (and an ugly one) where the Century is docked.

This time around, the Center has brought in some beautiful flamingos to brighten up the complex.  We were able to get some nice pictures of not only the birds but also got into some of the pictures ourselves.

 20121222_Visitor Center Flamingos (Small) 20121222_E and Flamingos (Small) IMG_20121222_Visitor Center (Small)

The two of us among the Flamingos

Cartagena was our first opportunity to get a picture of the Celebrity Century docked.  It is not a pretty port but I did get the ship with just a bit of commercial stuff in the background.

20121222_Century in Cartagena (Small)

Hoping to get some free WiFi near the port, we ran the gauntlet of taxi drivers and tour guides and went across the street to a gas station.  Ellen was able to get the WiFi code from the attendant and I really felt like having a local beer.  The clerk opened a bottle of Aquilla beer ($1.50).  I didn’t have any change and neither did the clerk; in a true international cooperation move, the customer behind me bought me the beer.  I thanked him – so a beer on a local and free WiFi.  Mission accomplished.

We headed back to the ship for lunch…

This picture of the Century may look identical to the one above but look carefully and you will see Ellen near the bow of the Century.

20121222_E and Century (Small)

While we were having lunch in the Islands Cafe, another cruise ship pulled in.  The Pullmantur ship looked an awful like a Celebrity Ship that had been repurposed by this cruise line.  In fact, the name of the ship was the Horizon.  My guess is that this used to be the Celebrity Horizon, the ship we took to the Panama Canal (non transit) years ago. (NOTE:  confirmed later in the cruise by a bartender in Michael’s Club).

20121222_Repurposed Celebrity Horizon (Small)

The Pullmantur Horizon docked in Cartagena

Also visible from the deck – through the cargo crates and containers – was La Popa Monastery – the highest spot in Cartagena.

20121222_La Popa and commercial port (Small)

La Popa Monastery

The sail away was early so we could take some fine pictures of the departure from Cartagena.

 20121222_Cartagena Bay (Small)

20121222_On Deck (Small)   20121222_Sail Away and La Popa (Small)

The fort below was described in a previous cruise as being a deterrent to pirates.  There is another fort on the other side so locals strung chains between the two forts which prevented pirate ships from entering the Bay of Cartagena. 

20121222_Fortification end of bay (Small)

It is always fun to watch the pilots depart the ship.  It took a while but the pilot did jump to the pilot craft from the Century.

20121222_Pilot (Small) 20121222_Safe Exit from Century (Small) 

Top: Pilot boat snuggling up to the Century; Bottom: Pilot back on his on boat.

 Relaxing on Deck (Small)

Relaxing on the Sail Away

We have successfully worked out a Dining Arrangement in Select Dining in the Grand Dining Room thanks to the wonderful hostess, Tenisha.  We have a nice table for two (Table 1), which is both quiet and affords a view of the sea.

Pedometer: 4353 steps / 2.03 miles / 213 calories

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