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Cruises to Colon (Cristobal)

Colon (Cristobal) (Photo:Don Fink/Shutterstock)

About Colon (Cristobal)

Panama's Colon is best known as the gateway to the Gatun Locks and newer Agua Clara locks, where visitors can watch the Panama Canal -- one of the world's greatest feats of engineering -- in action. (The equally magnificent Miraflores Locks also are a roughly one-hour drive from the city.) The canal is only one of the region's many attractions, however. Colon, situated on Panama's Atlantic side, is home to the world's first transcontinental railway; its magnificent red and gold trains traverse Central America from the Atlantic to the Pacific in a single afternoon. The country's vast, virgin rainforest is home to sloths, 10,000 plant species and 900 species of birds, including harpy eagles.

Having regained control of its famous canal at the turn of the 21st Century, Panama is now steering its own boat in terms of tourism (its second-largest economy after the canal). Significant development programs over the past several years have welcomed new beaches as well as several enhancements to Balboa (another major port, on the Pacific side).

Colon itself is in the middle of an approximately $500-million urban renewal project aimed at improving the city's image and boosting tourism. (Most cruise passengers that begin or end their journey in Colon stay in Panama City instead of Colon, due to the city's reputation for street crime and lack of central attractions.)

The project includes the development of a new duty-free shopping center at one of Colon's main docking areas, Colon 2000, as well as park restoration and the construction of a new retail mall, bus terminal and hospital. Colon 2000 currently offers only a couple shops, restaurants and bars; there is also an ATM on site. Although the project's initial plans estimated its completion to be in 2019, the city still has a long way to go.

Colon's other docking area, Cristobal Pier, is smaller but offers a craft market and folklore shows. Regardless of where a cruise ship docks, visitors can experience both places, as the two cruise terminals are within easy reach of each other.

While those who aren't comfortable with exploring on their own are advised to stick with the ship-sponsored shore excursions, it is perfectly possible to explore farther afield as long as you're careful. This means using registered taxis (Uber is also an option) and following the usual safe traveler rules: Let people know where you're going and when you're due back, and don't flash cash or flaunt expensive jewelry.

The province of Colon, rich in history and endowed with pristine beaches and exotic plants and bird life, will certainly repay the effort. Yes, it has its problems, but its future is prosperous and there are as many good, honest and welcoming people there as anywhere. Plus, a visit to Colon gives you the rare opportunity to see off-the-beaten-track parts of Panama, some of which are truly unspoiled.


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  • 11 Night
    Cruise to Colon (Cristobal)

    Leaving:
    Miami
    Visiting:
    Curacao, Aruba ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
    View Deal
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    11 Night Cruise to Colon (Cristobal) Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Miami
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Curacao
    • Day 5
      Aruba
    • Day 6
      Santa Marta
    • Day 7
      Cartagena (Colombia)
    • Day 8
      Gatun Lake
    • Day 8
      Colon (Cristobal)
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Grand Cayman (Georgetown)
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Miami
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Pearl - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Plenty of dining, nightlife and family options to easily accommodate short sailings

    Cons

    Unless you're onboard for a theme charter, evening entertainment might feel a bit dated

    Bottom Line

    Whether you're just taking a long weekend or sailing with superstars, Norwegian Pearl is a cheerful ship to call home

    Reviews

    Norwegian Pearl Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Norwegian Pearl is a fantastically fun ship from its imaginative decor (blown-up photos of wild...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    mmwcpt
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    First Time Cruiser Sold For the Cruising Lifestyle
    Read More
    JJNorsk
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Could Have Been So Much Better.....
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 11 Night
    Cruise to Colon (Cristobal)

    Leaving:
    Miami
    Visiting:
    Cartagena, Gatun Lake ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
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    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
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    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    11 Night Cruise to Colon (Cristobal) Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Miami
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cartagena (Colombia)
    • Day 5
      Gatun Lake
    • Day 5
      Colon (Cristobal)
    • Day 6
      Puerto Limon
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Roatan
    • Day 9
      Harvest Caye
    • Day 10
      Costa Maya
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Miami
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Pearl - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Plenty of dining, nightlife and family options to easily accommodate short sailings

    Cons

    Unless you're onboard for a theme charter, evening entertainment might feel a bit dated

    Bottom Line

    Whether you're just taking a long weekend or sailing with superstars, Norwegian Pearl is a cheerful ship to call home

    Reviews

    Norwegian Pearl Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Norwegian Pearl is a fantastically fun ship from its imaginative decor (blown-up photos of wild...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Ginger500
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Fun first cruise with the family
    Read More
    AlRayCruise
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Freestyle Schmeestyle
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 11 Night
    Cruise to Colon (Cristobal)

    Leaving:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Visiting:
    Half Moon Cay, Aruba ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Holland America Line
    View Deal
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    11 Night Cruise to Colon (Cristobal) Route (Holland America Line)
    • Day 1
      Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    • Day 2
      Half Moon Cay
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Aruba
    • Day 5
      Curacao
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Cartagena (Colombia)
    • Day 8
      Gatun Lake
    • Day 8
      Panama Canal
    • Day 8
      Colon (Cristobal)
    • Day 9
      Puerto Limon
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    Ship Details

    Zuiderdam - Holland America Line

    Pros

    Partnerships and Music Walk mean exciting enrichment and entertainment choices

    Cons

    Pool and some public areas appear dated; cabins could use more storage

    Bottom line

    Continual refurbishments and additions keep older ship fresh for a variety of destinations

    Reviews

    Zuiderdam Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.5
    Service4.0
    Value4.5

    With its traditional heritage and older demographic, you might expect a cruise on Holland Ameri...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Forseti Cruiser
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    7 Day Caribbean Cruise
    Read More
    CasaFenice
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Disappointing vessel
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 11 Night
    Cruise to Colon (Cristobal)

    Leaving:
    Tampa
    Visiting:
    Cozumel, Puerto Limon ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Celebrity Cruises
    View Deal
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    11 Night Cruise to Colon (Cristobal) Route (Celebrity Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Tampa
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cozumel
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Puerto Limon
    • Day 6
      Panama Canal
    • Day 7
      Colon (Cristobal)
    • Day 8
      Cartagena (Colombia)
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Grand Cayman (Georgetown)
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Tampa
    Ship Details

    Celebrity Constellation - Celebrity Cruises

    Pros

    Officers and crew are friendly and accessible

    Cons

    From drinks to the spa to dining, there's an upsell

    Bottom Line

    Constellation sailings are a great value for the money

    Reviews

    Celebrity Constellation Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining5.0
    Service5.0
    Value5.0

    Affectionately known as "Connie" by its fans, the 2,034-­passenger Celebrity Constellation ...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Viveash
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Comfortable Cruise but Nothing Special
    Read More
    hopper4
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    A great itinerary
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 10 Night
    Cruise to Colon (Cristobal)

    Leaving:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Visiting:
    Half Moon Cay, Aruba ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Holland America Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
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    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    10 Night Cruise to Colon (Cristobal) Route (Holland America Line)
    • Day 1
      Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    • Day 2
      Half Moon Cay
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Aruba
    • Day 5
      Curacao
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Gatun Lake
    • Day 7
      Panama Canal
    • Day 7
      Colon (Cristobal)
    • Day 8
      Puerto Limon
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    Ship Details

    Zuiderdam - Holland America Line

    Pros

    Partnerships and Music Walk mean exciting enrichment and entertainment choices

    Cons

    Pool and some public areas appear dated; cabins could use more storage

    Bottom line

    Continual refurbishments and additions keep older ship fresh for a variety of destinations

    Reviews

    Zuiderdam Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.5
    Service4.0
    Value4.5

    With its traditional heritage and older demographic, you might expect a cruise on Holland Ameri...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    KruzinAl
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Extraordinary Food/Presentation/Service but bring a sweater
    Read More
    StevenLaChance1
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Zuiderdam = Huge Dirty Disappointment
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 15 Night
    Cruise to Colon (Cristobal)

    Leaving:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Visiting:
    Cartagena, Colon ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Celebrity Cruises
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
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    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
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    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    15 Night Cruise to Colon (Cristobal) Route (Celebrity Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cartagena (Colombia)
    • Day 5
      Colon (Cristobal)
    • Day 6
      Panama Canal
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Puerto Vallarta
    • Day 14
      Cabo San Lucas
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      San Diego
    Ship Details

    Celebrity Summit - Celebrity Cruises

    Pros

    Smaller size means consistent service; heavy emphasis on food and wine, with good results.

    Cons

    Nighttime entertainment is hit or miss, with some live music shows more snooze fest than snappy.

    Bottom Line

    The ship presents some of the best features of Celebrity, without being too overwhelming.

    Reviews

    Celebrity Summit Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.5
    Value4.0

    Immediately upon stepping foot onboard Celebrity Summit, one gets a sense of the ship's elegant...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    bfa5y
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    celebrity summit southern carribean get away
    Read More
    printingchick
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Royal Caribbean Cruiser Tries Celebrity
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.