Our second stop-Costa Rica- We booked the Adventure Canal & Banana Plantation through Carnival.
It was VERY low key,no frenzy,very relaxing.
When you arrive,there's a table full of fresh cut fruit and a local musicians playing. Very nice.
You take a low,narrow boat through a canal, on the edge of the jungle. It's just enough to get an idea of some of the wildlife that lives there.
We saw monkeys,heard Howler Monkeys in the distance,large iguansa,lots of sloths,a crocodile and tons of beautiful birds.
Our guide was absolutely terrific,as he was making you feel as if he was sharing his country with you,not just taking you on a tour.
The Banana Plantation was a quick side trip and interesting.
Upon returning,there was enough time to go through the souvenier area that was set up next to the ship. Prices were actually not too bad there.
Our third stop-Panama Canal- Booked through Carnival.
Had Robert as our guide and he was super,wonderful. You hop a bus right off the ship & then it's about an hour to the dock to get on the ferry that goes through the locks.That's if the traffic is not too bad!
Keep an eye out for the beautifully painted school buses that are used for public transport.
It's just a short ride to the locks and it was amazing. You go up 27ft., then another 27ft., then another set of locks that raises you 30ft. You never feel it happening.
A big Kodak moment is when you tie up to the wall of the first lock. Everyone wants a picture of themselves touching those old Canal walls!
If you read up a little on the construction of the Canal before you leave,you'll have a better understanding & appreciation of what you're seeing. It'll help. Really.
We returned to the ship an hour late,with MANY passengers,on their balconies & deck 3, clapping as we got off the bus,as they were waiting for us to leave! But I learned later that this happens alot because it really is a long, all day trip. But going from one ocean to another is a once in a lifetime experience. It's why we took this cruise. For the itineraries. They were all terrific.