Thursday, August 23, 2018

Day 13 - Wed August 22, 2018 Cartagena, Colombia - Crystal Symphony - San Francisco to New York

Our early morning walk was quite a chore this morning.  The wind was blowing hard and it was difficult.  But, we made it.

The view of the city as we sailed in this morning was magnificent.  The white buildings of the modern city made for a quite a striking skyline.  It almost looked like the buildings were emerging from the water.  It made us wonder if they have issues with flooding during rainy season, etc.

We docked in Cartagena at 10:00 am.  We chose a Crystal Shore Excursion today.  It was a Bay Cruise, Fortifications & Historic City.  The mode of transportation for this excursion was a motorboat.  It was a bit challenging to get in and out of it because of the variations in height between the boat and the three different places we docked.  

The guide did a great job filling us in on the history of Cartagena as we made our way to the San Fernando fortress, situated at the entrance to the port of Cartagena.  The fort played an important role is discouraging and deflecting attack.  Cartagena was a key stronghold and the Spanish protected it.  

The fort across from San Fernando Fortress.

San Fernando Fortress.

There was a folkloric presentation at the fort by some children performing traditional dances.  

We were next taken by boat to the historic walled city, dating from about 1585.  Unfortunately, we had very limited time for our walking tour – basically only about 10-15 minutes.  It looks like a very beautiful city, with narrow streets, beautiful balconies, churches and squares.  If we return again we would definitely spend time wandering this beautiful place.  

We stopped for a drink before returning to the ship.
We took our motorboat back to the dock adjacent to the ship.

We returned to the ship a few minutes after 2 pm.  We had a quick snack in The Bistro, showers for both of us, and we made it to Team Trivia at 3 pm.  Another poor showing – 8/15 correct.  There were several teams that tied with 10/15, and a tiebreaker question was asked for the win.

Sail away was scheduled for 3 pm, but the Captain announced that there would be a one hour delay, something to do with provisions.  Louis sang and departure came at 4:28 pm. About 35 minutes after we departed Cartagena we sailed by the fort we had visited today – San Fernando Fortress.

Pre-dinner cocktails were in The Silk Bar.  It was quite pleasant up there.  The atmosphere is nice and it was not too warm up there as it sometimes is in the afternoon.  They have a new bar menu on the ship and Bob has tried a couple of the gin & tonics.  Tonight he tried the Basil Citrus Gin & Tonic.  It was quite tasty.  Definitely a winner.

We had dinner in Silk – the Chinese Specialty Restaurant.  On our last cruise we had tried samplings of various dishes.  This time around we decided to order things that we thought we would like.  We shared:

Beef Spring Roll (the type of Spring Roll changes daily) and Prawn Dumplings

Sweet Corn and Crab Soup and Chicken Won Ton Soup (BTW - Julie did not care for the crab soup).

Vegetable of the Day - Broccoli, Celery and Carrot Stir Fry which turned out to have Cauliflower instead of Broccoli, Lobster and Scallop Wok with Black Bean Sauce, Stir-Fry Black Pepper Beef and Chilean Sea Bass with Honey and Pickled Ginger – the waiter talked us into this one and we didn’t care for it

Overall, the food was fine.  For us, it wasn’t anything special.  On par with our regular Chinese restaurants at home. 

We missed the evening’s main show – a Concert Pianist.  We did attend the Latin Dance show and enjoyed it.

Today we walked 18,057 steps, 7.83 miles.

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