Onboard the Celebrity Equinox – Day 8

Another port day, this time Cartagena, Columbia. Now this is a port we haven’t been to so we went all out and booked an extensive excursion to see the city. And extensive it was. Cartagena is a beautiful port city, rich with history, but one which is still figuring out how to deal with boat-loads (literally) of tourists. The amount of hawkers, street vendors and sidewalk sales people selling everything from Panama hats (OK Columbian hats made in Ecuador) to sun glass to jewelry to art to what have-you was impressive even to me, and I’ve been everywhere! Did it ruin our visit? Not a chance; with the right attitude it adds to the ambiance of a visit to a slightly exotic place.

The fortress in Cartagena is truly impressive, but a challenge to navigate. Be prepared for some steep climbing, hot temperatures and then cramped quarters inside. If you like forts and history from these time periods, your efforts will be rewarded.

The Fortress
The Fortress
Fortress Corridors
Fortress Corridors

The rest of the city visit is impressive as well, with charming streets with plenty of balconies, flowers and people.

The Streets of Cartagena
The Streets of Cartagena
Very Picturesque
Very Picturesque
It Tolls for Thee
It Tolls for Thee
More Arches
More Arches

Back on board ship, sail away is beautiful as the sun sets against the modern skyline of the city.

Leaving Cartagena, Columbia
Leaving Cartagena, Columbia
Another View of Cartagena
Another View of Cartagena

Oops, here are the dailies for today:

Celebrity Today 20120220 Daily

Celebrity Today 20120220 Activities and Dining

On board after a full day, we had deviated from our usual late seating dinner (8:30) and made earlier seating arrangements at Murano. This was a night for another specialty restaurant. Having been at Murano previously on the Equinox and the renovated Century, we knew what to expect and everything met our expectations. We set a casual tone with our servers and were treated to a relaxed, but wonderfully prepared and presented meal. It is worth coming here for a special occasion and pampering which is nearly impossible to attain in the main dining room, but certainly attainable at the Tuscan Grille. The difference to me is in the ambiance of the surroundings, with Murano being that much more cozy and intimate than Tuscan Grille. Both have service and preparations above and beyond the main dining room, with the ambiance at Tuscan slightly more energetic, Murano more sedate.

Preparations at Murano
Preparations at Murano
Prepared Tableside
Prepared Tableside
Flaming Lobster Anyone?
Flaming Lobster Anyone?

Having truly relaxed and indulged at Murano, we still wanted to catch a show, so we dashed to the theatre to see a wonderful ventriloquist act. We had to put the elevator in 4th gear to get there in time – we were going so fast the tree in the atrium is just a blur looking out the glass windows.

There Goes the Atrium Tree!
There Goes the Atrium Tree!

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