COLOMBIA-PANAMA BOAT TRIP, GO ON ODYSSEE 2!!!
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Jun 29, 2012 1:22 PM Last Post By: Aloysius
Jun 24, 2012 10:13 AM
COLOMBIA-PANAMA BOAT TRIP, GO ON ODYSSEE 2!!!I have recently been on the Odyssee 2 from Cartagena to Panama City via the San Blas islands and it has been the best part of my trip so far. It is a very popular trip, the San Blas are beautiful and there are many options available with regard to the trip. My friend and I booked through Blue Sailing in Cartagena (very friendly and helpful, highly recommend), a 2 minute walk from Media Luna hostel i Cartagena. Humberto Guzman who is the captain, and Alice Garside who is the owner, were two of the friendliest, most welcoming and helpful people I've met. We paid roughly $500 for 5 days, 2 days sailing, 3 on the islands and travel to Panama City. ABSOLUTELY WORTH EVERY PENNY.
There were 7 of us on the boat, 9 including Humberto and Alice and everyone had the same highly positive experience as my friend and I. We sailed for 3 days because of bad weather, but we were constantly kept in good spirits. The food we had was consistently delicious, when we were at the islands we ate fish every day that had been swimming in the sea not half an hour before it was on your plate, always cooked to perfection by Humberto. We also had the most incredible lobster cooked on a bonfire on one of the islands, a truly unforgettable evening.
In terms of activities, we were never short of things to do. We snorkeled every day, we went spear fishing, we explored a whole variety of islands, it was incredible. The highlight being one night we spent on one of the islands with the travelers and crews of roughly 3 other boats in the area. We built a fire, we drank, we ate the delicious lobster, we were entertained with music by Humberto and his wonderful family (who are all ridiculously friendly), it was something everyone should experience.
Our final night we stargazed out on the deck of the boat in hammocks whilst Humberto and few of us fooled around on a guitar, it's the sort of experience you go travelling to have. I cannot recommend this boat, crew and experience highly enough, it will be the jewel in the crown of your travelling experience, we've even continued our travels with some of the people we met on the Odyssee 2. A true Caribbean adventure.
Here is the link to Odyssee 2's Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001808228264
Jun 24, 2012 10:41 AM
1So you have been traveling Latin America, but just decided to sign up now for the LP Thorntree, and only offer a free ad for the boat? How do we know you are not connected to them, or actually them?
Have you not done anything else on this trip? No other advice? You can't answer any posters inquiries? You can only rave about this boat? What else did you do on this trip?
They have bad past reviews on both Central America and South America.
Sounds dodgy to me.
Jun 24, 2012 2:32 PM
Jun 24, 2012 3:34 PM
Jun 24, 2012 7:05 PM
4Certainly does smell like spam.
For those considering actually taking this trip, it is in my opinion a complete rip off regardless of which boat you take. Almost everyone I've spoken to whose done it complains about seasickness. For THREE whole days you are in incredibly rough sea, there is no scenery, and nothing to do except vomit. On top of that there are the countless complaints of bad food, sleazy captains, poor safety standards etc. Unless you seriously love boats and the ocean I see no point in taking this trip.
Furthermore, it is terrible value for money. The $500 going rate would last the average backpacker around 3 weeks in the the cheaper central American countries. You can usually get flights from Panama city to Cartegena for around $150. Much better value.
It's true the San Blas Islands are amazing and should not be missed. However visits can be arranged separately once in Panama, for the cost of only around $20 per day.
Jun 24, 2012 9:57 PM
5mmmmm what you say is partly true. With a hostel in Panama City and one in Cartagena(Mamallena), we book a lot of people onto these sailboats and so we hear a lot of the stories. There are always bad stories about food, seasickness and all the other complaints. Some of them are very legit and the people have a reason to complain. Other people have a great time and love the experience. Even many who have had bad experiences have still loved the experience(mostly in hindsight though), and I do think there are less complaints than a few years ago.
I agree that it has gotten really expensive for what it is and it is possible to fly to Panama and go to San Blas for 3 nights without sailing for around the same price. But you won't be finding a flight for $150 anymore, they ended when Aires stopped flying the route. Very unfortunate cause I've had a few trips between the two cities in the last few months. One way flights are more than $300 now. A night at some of the more popular backpacker places in San Blas are $22-$25 for a dorm including food, but you also have to remember that you will be paying around $90 for transport and taxes. Theres no bus to San Blas so it's a bit limited. On those prices you're looking at about $465 and probably more for 3 nights in San Blas. We do encourage some people to do this as it misses the 2 days at sea and can be a little more pleasant! But there are a lot of people who have heard the bad stories and still want to do it for the adventure. The islands are amazing and for some it is worth the risk of having a bad experience, and to have a story to tell.
Jun 25, 2012 12:57 PM
6This is ridiculous I have the passenger list in my office if anyone wants to see it Dougie and his friend George went on the Odyssey II on the 12th of June. This is not a fake review and you guys are weirdos to think that Alice and Humberto are going to sit around writing made up passenger accounts. Coud it not just be that they are giving better service and the passengers want to help them better their reputation by writing a good review?
Jun 25, 2012 1:51 PM
7#6 Extremely unlikely. The "review is written as a commercial" and the poster only has 3 posts which are all about this ship. Seems dubious at best.
To correct myself, #5 is correct flights Cartegena to Panama are around $300 OW now (they used to be $150 couple years back). However there are other cheaper alternatives to make this crossing. Those interested should see this thread. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2208288
Jun 25, 2012 2:13 PM
8Funny how #6, just happened to find this post randomly about a boat she booked from her Hostel, suspicious as well.
laurelva- do you have any commercial or business interested in any tourist related business? Do you get a booking fee from the boats for booking passengers?
In your own past history on this forum, your input would tell me yes, you do have a personal interest, commercial or otherwise, in these boats/passengers.
READ the Rules of the LP Forum, there is no advertising, and having people come on this forum to just tout your boat/operation will not fool anyone, and in fact, just end up creating suspicion and everyone question the motives of the passengers/posters. One hit wonders on this forum, that just post some glowing review and never return, pretty much sums it up. I suggest you guide them to TRIP ADVISOR.
Jun 25, 2012 2:19 PM
9laurelva, you are naive to think that we can't spot a fake post. It is so obviouos. No way that post was not contrived! No way! You'd be better off just letting it go, because you are doing more harm than good. If Alice and Humberto treat their passengers right, then in time they can build a reputation for good, proper and safe service. But there are no shortcuts. These fake posts won't cut it.
Jun 25, 2012 3:51 PM
10I´m keeping out of the other arguments!! But that post is a really good description of the trip. It can be that cheap for sure, but there are also a few other posts out there saying about how it can also be a bad trip. People shouldn´t go into it thinking it´s going to be easy. If things don´t go right then it could be possible that it could take a week or so to get to Panama City. The boat trip from Puerto Obaldia also isn´t comfort able. I spoke to two girls the other month who paid more than it said in the post, took around 5 days and said it was the worst trip of their lives. The lancha can be really back jarring and very unpleasant. They actually arrived in Carti, came straight to Panama and hadn´t experienced any of San Blas, except for the boat trip. It was kinda funny cause they then paid the next day to go BACK to San Blas to stay on the islands!!
It can work out to be a cheap trip but you have to make sure that you have the time and be prepared to experience some discomfort.
Jun 25, 2012 3:53 PM
11Actually, I just found the link to another post about this trip. It´s quite a good, detailed one as well.
Jun 29, 2012 9:10 AM
12I find the responses to my post staggering. Isn´t it possible to encourage others to want to have the good experience that I had? The level of cynicism is genuinely beyond me. I´m not sure this will make a difference as people clearly have it in their heads that I´m not a real person, but in response to the first post (which to be honest I found the most imbecilic) yes I have obviously been travelling to other places, but this post was about trying to raise the profile of the Odyssee 2 because in my opinion it´s been unfairly damaged by one girl. If you´re that interested in what else my friend and I are doing, we started our travels in Bogota, have been throughout Panama and Costa Rica and are now enjoying ourselves in Pachamama´s hostel in Nicaragua (WATCH OUT, HE PROBABLY WORKS FOR THEM TOO!!!!) In essence you would be doing your travelling experience a great disservice to turn your backs so readily on what is truly a wonderful boat and crew. If anyone would like any further questions answered about the boat and the experience I had then I am happy to answer them, however I will not be justifying my existence to any more morons who question it.
Jun 29, 2012 1:22 PM
13George, not sure why I'm taking the time to post on this saga once again, but here goes. It's not your existence that is being questioned, it is your naivity and integrity. To anyone who has been following the Odyssee saga these last 7 months it is obvious that your post lacks credibility. You really want us to believe that they didn't put you up to it? Suggest you do a ThornTree search and read the posts from other's about their experiences. Not just one girl. Then you will have a better understanding of what has transpired. You will be surprised to discover that unbeknownst to you, you posted on those other threads, too.
OK, that's it. I'm outta here. No more Odyssee posts. If the owner & crew provide good service they will in time build a good reputation, just like anyone else running a business.
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