Ok, so we liked the tour but we didn't think that the price justified the tour. The Panama Canal tour was up close look at the locks, two ships crossed when we were there, my husband was thrilled. The train ride was about an hour through the jungle and lake, after we drove near Panama City and stopped by a small shopping area for ice cream and shopping. The train ride was a waste of time and money. Don't eat the sandwich that they give you at the bus, junk. We were dropped at Colon, which is a hole in the wall run-down port, to wait for the ship. We waited about three plus hours. Find the Lebanese restaurant and eat there, it's clean and the food is delicious. The day did not worth the money.
We took the boat tour where we boarded a bus from Gatun Lake, drove down 45-minutes and boarded a boat to pass through the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel, all the way out to the Pacific Ocean. It was nice to actually be in a ferry boat so you can see how immense the canal is! They served lunch, which the Tour folks said was a C+ lunch and it was. Overall, it was a great tour, was it worth $179.00 per person, nah. We met the ship at Colon and there's a nice shopping area at the port and a big supermarket as well, so stock up on snacks, soda, and water. They take USD so no worries and the prices are comparable to back home.
This is a must. No large ship can give you the real feel of the locks like the smaller boat. We had a large tanker follow us through the locks, really got a close up view of how things work and how tight fitting it is. Fed a light lunch which was wonderful. Pork Shish ka bob, two salads, little sandwiches, choc, cake and fruits. Lots of water to drink. The guide was very informative. Its a very long day so be sure to bring and umbrella, you are in the rain forest, as we got dumped on twice. Have a hat to keep the sun off your head. Great excursion.
We saw Safaricks Zoological Park first which was okay for a rescue zoo but disappointing compared to other zoos we've visited. Visit to Panama Canal observation platform was the highlight of the trip. Tour guide was poorly educated to her role, however, and barely spoke to the group.
Very interesting tour of the canal and we were very lucky that there were three ships going through. This excursion is really a must, so that you can understand better what happens during your own ship transit through the canal.
This was the Expansion tour. As we drove closer to the old locks, the traffic congestion was terrible. The guide decided to go to the expansion section first, which was a great idea because we were the only folks there. We saw a film, then sat in the shade where he explained the view. The only problem here was that a recorded voice was also telling us what we saw (I guess for those folks who don't have a guide). By the time Celebrity comes back, these locks will be open and in use. We then went back to the old locks, where the crowds had shrunk. We had plenty of time for another explanation, this time from a live person sitting up the viewing area. It was very informative. If you can't climb the 90 or so steps to the viewing area, there's another shaded area at ground level. Due to the construction, it took us about an hour to drive back the few miles to the ship. Think seriously against taking a private tour in the afternoon, due to traffic issues.
Roberto is a 35 year employee of the Panama Canal system who does independant tours and has an in depth knowledge of the workings of the entire canal system. We were able to view the original Gatun Locks and also the soon to be opened "new" locks which were in the final months of completion. Roberto provided us with an Air Conditioned bus, and also was able to show us the countryside, and small business operating along the roadside where we were able to obtain snacks and a cool drink.
Our main goal for this trip was to see the canal. In Gatun Lake we disembarked and took a bus and boarded a ferry. We ended up taking the ferry all the way from Gatun Lake to the Pacific Ocean and thoroughly enjoyed it. We also had a unique experience of being in a minor collision with a freighter in the canal. No injuries but a little damage to our ferry. EXCITING!
This was an excursion we looked forward to but it turned out to be a long hot day, almost 12 hours! Our guide Ramses was very good, the tour interesting & luckily the ship waited for us as we were almost 3 hours late returning since we had to wait for the big ship that was transiting the canal with us.We sat inside on the ferry & were close to the lunch buffet. Water & pop was freely offered & there was also some refreshing fruit pieces available.
Specifically the "Panama Canal Ferry Tour".. yes they do mean it can take up to 12 hours; it did and it was more than well worth it. A "must see" for anyone interested in the history and operation of the Panama Canal.. Although partly on bus the 6 +/- hour ferry boat trip from Lake Gatun through the Culebra Cut, Pedro Miquel and Miraflores locks and on the the Pacific was simply awesome. Taking a 300 passenger ferry into a lock chamber followed by a "mega freighter" was another experience altogether.
we did the Gatun locks and expansion tour. We had the opportunity to see a couple of ships go through the canal and the guide was very informative. We then went to the expansion project and saw the progress on that. The excursion was interesting but a little long for what you got to see.
Welcome to Cruise Critic; we're happy you decided to register to become a Cruise Critic Member.
Important: Do Not Use Your REAL NAME as your USER NAME
Important: Please disable your email verification software so that you receive our activation e-mail. Please add @cruisecritic.com to your email safelist.
Please respect that this is a MODERATED community for people who absolutely LOVE cruise travel or want to learn about cruise travel.
Registration to Cruise Critic's Cruise Community is free! We require that you use a valid e-mail address. You will receive an e-mail asking you to verify your e-mail address before you are allowed to login and post on the boards. Again, please disable your spamblocking or verification software so that you receive our activation e-mail. Also, as a member of Cruise Critic you will receive copies of our weekly newsletter plus our "Cruise Sails" and one "Member Offer" mailing. Should you not want to continue to receive these e-mailings, simply unsubscribe by following the directions in the newsletter. By agreeing to become a member, you are agreeing to receipt of our newsletters.
Additionally, we do insist that you abide by the rules and policies detailed at this link: Community Guidelines.
This is a moderated Community. If you do not agree with the terms and conditions of this Web site and do not wish to be bound by them, please do not use this Web site or continue the registration process. Cruise Critic reserves the right to remove any content in its sole discretion. Additionally, if you violate our Community Guidelines you may lose your posting privileges -- permanently -- without warning. By continuing the registration you are agreeing to the terms
These are moderated message boards. What this means is that we do our best to remove all objectionable messages from the boards. It also means that you cannot say whatever you'd like on the forums. If you are looking for an "anything goes" setting, Cruise Critic might not be the place for you. Understand, too, that our community is comprised of folks who LOVE to cruise. It therefore stands to reason that they will have a favorite cruise line or port of call -- in other words, they are "fans" and will sometimes take offense when a brand new member has arrived on the scene to bash a cruise line.
Keep in mind that we do not prescreen posts so there may be a period of time when an inappropriate post is visible. Please use the Report A Post icon located in the UPPER right hand corner of each posting if you wish to report a violation of our Community Guidelines. All messages express the views of the author, and neither the owners of Cruise Critic Message Board Forums, nor Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. (developers of vBulletin) will be held responsible for the content of any message.
By agreeing to these rules, you warrant that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-orientated, hateful, threatening, are in violation of our Community Guidelines or otherwise violative of any laws.
Cruise Critic reserves to right to remove, edit, move or close any thread (discussion) for any reason from the forums without warning. or notification to the Community. Additionally, we also reserve the right to deny posting privileges to any member at our sole discretion.
You hereby grant Cruise Critic the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display any message posted in our message board community (in whole or in part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.
Our mission is to provide a haven on the Internet free of harassment and advertising for our community members' enjoyment. Any company or person(s) that interfere with that mission risk losing their posting privileges.
If you have any questions about how our community is moderated, please address them to our Community Manager via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not post on the boards.