Colon – Free Trade Zone and Shops
photo credit: roger4336
I try to research the ports before going on a cruise, but I realize not everyone takes the time to do so. Even if you book an excursion with the cruise line you will probably have extra time to explore (i.e. shop) the port. How do you know which areas are safe to roam with your family and where to go?
During your cruise, the crew will offer informational meetings for each port you will be visiting. If you have not researched the ports before your cruise, I would suggest attending the port information meetings which are usually scheduled on sea days and held in lounges or the main theater. I should warn you, though that these meetings are basically shopping sales pitches. They will hand out maps, brochures, and coupons from the shops in port. Some major “sponsors” for Caribbean ports are jewelry stores such as Diamonds International. You might also have a chance to win products from a sponsor during the meeting.
Sometimes maps and shopping information are in the Daily schedule that arrives in your room the night before your stop, so going to a meeting might not be necessary. If you want freebies, coupons, and maybe some tips, then plan on attending a meeting.