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Old 07-24-2008, 11:21 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4
We're planning a cruise to the Panama Canal in February leaving from FL and ending in Acapulco. We'd like to know what tours some of you found worth doing and which were not. I'm a little concerned about the time element on some of them as to allotted time, that is, is there enough time to get back to the ship etc.?
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:31 PM
f-mattox's Avatar  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Costa Mesa, California
Posts: 4,740
Hello ymarg, and welcome to Cruise-Chat;

from the information you've given it looks like you are doing the "Panama Canal Adventurer" aboard Island Princess. We did almost the same trip in April and loved it. Island Princess is one of our favorite ships.

As far as the time element, if you are booking your tours through Princess you have nothing to worry about; if for any reason a tour is delayed, the ship will wait.

It sounds like you have descriptions of the tours, so I will just tell you the ones we took. We enjoyed each one and would highly recommend them all.

Ocho Rios - Dunn's River Falls viewing and Coyaba Gardens.

Fuerte Amador - we did not stop there.

Puntarenas - Tropical Train Ride and Mangrove Nature Cruise.

San Juan del Sur - Colonial Granada and Isletas Boat Ride with

Puerto Quetzal - Filadelfia Coffee Estate and Colonial Antigua
with Lunch.

Huatulco - Huatulco by Land and Sea.

Acapulco - we did not stop there.

I hope this gives you a few ideas. If you have any other questions about these excursions or the ship, please just ask.

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Old 07-24-2008, 01:14 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4
Thanks f-mattox. Some friends said they took a RR tour and a boat tour thru the locks. Is this necessary or do you see enough from the Ship as you go through?
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 40
We have been through the canal twice. The last time we were not permitted to leave the dock area in Panama City due to violence in the city.

We have found that you get a very good view of the canals and the locks from the ship. Of course you do not see any behind the scenes events, if any. You can see the electic engines and cables that pull the ships through the locks and full views of the lock gates.

There are many photo opportunities during the hours it takes to traverse the canal. In the background, on the speaker system they will have a local expert tell you about the area you are taveling through and its history. In addition, on the room TV they will continually play the story and history of the building of the canal.

We did not take the RR or other day trip in the canal, so I have no comment on that to help you.

So, I suggest walk about on the decks, take photos and enjoy a cool drink as you pass through the canal.

Happy cruising.


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Old 07-24-2008, 01:49 PM
f-mattox's Avatar  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Costa Mesa, California
Posts: 4,740
I would think your balcony or the deck of Island Princess would give you the best possible vantage point for viewing the workings of the canal. A train or smaller boat might be fun, but it certainly isin't necessary. If you were only doing a partial transit, it would be nice to take the train and boat to see what you might not see on your ship; But on a full transit, you see the whole thing--from sea to sea.

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Old 07-24-2008, 06:05 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4
Thank you all. I think we'll enjoy being on the ship during that time and we should be able to enjoy it from the decks and get a pretty good idea of the locks. We're looking forward to this cruise as we've only cruised the caribbean in the past and have seen and done all there is to do on those past cruises.
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:24 PM
f-mattox's Avatar  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Costa Mesa, California
Posts: 4,740
Why would you want a train or tour boat when you can get views like this from the deck of your ship--and with a great buffet, pools and bars just steps away?

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amador, excursion, fuerte, locks, panama

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