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Love to Cruize 02-09-2008 07:23 PM

Has anyone visited an emerald factory in Cartagena? The cruise ship does not offer this excursion.

f-mattox 02-09-2008 09:56 PM

What? A cruise ship missed a chance to make a commission on a gem sale? Impossible!

Hi Love to Cruize. I'm a little confused: you and I are on the same Island Princess cruise (you on 3/7 and me on 4/6) and should have the same shore excursion book. I see three excursions that visit the Pierino Gallo; not exactly a factory, but like most gem dealers, a workshop and showroom. The tour numbers are CTG-100, CTG-200 and CTG-325. I hope this helps.

Love to Cruize 02-10-2008 09:08 AM

Hi, and thanks for your reply.

I have read about Pierino Gallo (Mr. Emerald is there).

I have a co-worker who did a Panama Canal cruise last year on Royal Caribbean. An 'ambassador' on the ship promoted a specific factory and issued taxi coupons. When they got off the ship, the taxis at the dock wouldn't accept the coupon so they paid for taxi to take them. My friend later found out that the 'free' taxi was outside the gates. The factory they went to was high pressure so they left without buying anything. Their taxi driver then took them to another, smaller, factory which they enjoyed alot and bought jewelery. They had the items appraised when they got home and found that their value was considerably more than they paid. The taxi driver also gave them a tour of the city.

It's difficult to say if they faired any better than sticking with the Princess excursion but the mall sounds like a quick stop and it usually takes me longer to decide if and what I want to buy.

My friend is getting the names of the factories they went to so they will be interesting to research.

Still wondering if anyone has had a similar experience.

f-mattox 02-10-2008 09:39 AM

It sounds like you are doing the right thing researching where exactly you want to go and going on your own. You are right; the ship excursions never give the serious shoppers enough time.

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