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CarolandNate

Fuerte Amador-Panama City

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34 minutes ago, BillB48 said:

Normally when the ships offer these excursions they are trains that operate in addition to the regular commuter service the PCR offers.

I'd be interested in knowing if they do that because those rails are used to move containers from East to West or the other way. So please keep me posted. Maybe we'll do it on some of the cruises. LOL. 7am departure from the city isn't worth it to me. 

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1 hour ago, travelerchris said:

I'd be interested in knowing if they do that because those rails are used to move containers from East to West or the other way. So please keep me posted. Maybe we'll do it on some of the cruises. LOL. 7am departure from the city isn't worth it to me. 

My excursion confirmation shows a departure time of 10am and a return time of 3pm.

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4 hours ago, Floridapenny said:

My excursion confirmation shows a departure time of 10am and a return time of 3pm.

 

Your train trip will be exclusively an excursion and not related to the twice daily commuter service.  Since your excursion also includes a visit to the new locks, it certainly looks like train one way and bus the other.  Enjoy the ride on the world's first and fastest... well maybe not fastest, but quickest transcontinental railroad:classic_laugh:!

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1 minute ago, BillB48 said:

 

Your train trip will be exclusively an excursion and not related to the twice daily commuter service.  Since your excursion also includes a visit to the new locks, it certainly looks like train one way and bus the other.  Enjoy the ride on the world's first and fastest... well maybe not fastest, but quickest transcontinental railroad:classic_laugh:!

That's interesting. OK Cool. I'll do that sometime when on a  cruise ship. LOL. Sort of like the Embera Village Tour. It's 3 hrs. one way from our house and Colon is horrible. So we went on RSSC and did the Embera tour. Weird, I know. Thanks for letting me know they put in an extra trip. 

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As far as I know those trips are only available to the cruise ship passengers.  I don't know if you could join them on your own or not.

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We are on Coral Princess in January 2019 going from Pacific to Atlantic. Booked a private tour with Roberto that covers Miraflores locks (museum and observation deck), old town, new town, and some other sights on the way. It's a lot more than what cruise ship offers. We were able to get a group of 6 from our roll call. Roberto was recommended on this board and if you like, I can provide his e-mail address. He has different kind of excursions, depending on your interests.

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Maksim, I tried emailing Roberto to see if he had someone to lead a tour just to Casco Viejo, but it was returned as a bad address. Would you mind providing the address you used? Thanks!

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8 hours ago, konatyme said:

Maksim, I tried emailing Roberto to see if he had someone to lead a tour just to Casco Viejo, but it was returned as a bad address. Would you mind providing the address you used? Thanks!

His email is robtads2@hotmail.com. I also have his phone if you need it. Sometimes he doesn’t respond to emails right the way, but he said he had some computer issues.  I believe we are on the same cruise Jan 6. I keep the roll call spreadsheet so remember you. Good luck. Helen.

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12 hours ago, konatyme said:

Thanks, Helen. I will try again. Getting excited about our cruise!

 

Let me know if you still have hard time, I will send you his phone. Looking forward to our cruise.

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Helen,

I sent a message yesterday and, although so far he hasn't answered, at least the message seems to have gone through this time. Thanks!

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23 hours ago, konatyme said:

Helen,

I sent a message yesterday and, although so far he hasn't answered, at least the message seems to have gone through this time. Thanks!

I am sure he will respond. Sometimes it takes him a bit for some reason. He can’t send you a list of the tours that are preset and you can select from that. You will need to have at least 4 people to get a decent price. Otherwise, it’s too expensive. We currently have a group of 6, but I am not sure if this is the tour you want. There is a description on our roll call. Let me know what you came up with. Helen.

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Thanks! As I remember, your tour includes the locks & we really just lots of time in Casco Viejo. (There are 4 of us.)

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Just reread my post and it should say that he will send you a list of tours. The one I booked includes old town, Miraflores with museum, new town, and something else. It’s called 2b. 

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On 11/9/2018 at 9:35 AM, konatyme said:

Thanks, Helen. Still waiting to hear from him.

Hi, 

wondering if Roberto ever replied to your inquiry and was able to accommodate your needs. Hope you get it taken care of. 

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No, he never did. I did, however, correspond with Panama Roadrunners & they offered a good-sounding private all- day tour to Casco Viejo & the Artisan Market for slightly less per person than the 4 hr. Princess one.  Our traveling companions decided, though, that they wanted to stick with the ship tour after all, so we're going along with that.  

Thanks for your help!

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4 hours ago, konatyme said:

No, he never did. I did, however, correspond with Panama Roadrunners & they offered a good-sounding private all- day tour to Casco Viejo & the Artisan Market for slightly less per person than the 4 hr. Princess one.  Our traveling companions decided, though, that they wanted to stick with the ship tour after all, so we're going along with that.  

Thanks for your help!

Oh, that’s too bad. Don’t understand why. The first time I sent him inquiry, also took a while to respond, but afterwards he was pretty efficient. Btw, my initial choice was also ships tour, but when I compared  what’s included in each one, private tour had much more to offer. So, I cancelled the one from Princess. 

 

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On 10/25/2018 at 8:19 AM, CarolandNate said:

Yes I realized after I posted that I wrote the order wrong. It is before the transit.  When I noticed it, I figured that someone would catch it.  That it is before the transit, is why I asked.  I would rather not pay for an excursion and then find out the next day that almost everything I heard, I was going to hear on the ship.  BTW, Emerald Princess in December 2019.

 

That said your answer was exactly was I was looking for. The difference in perspective is, of course, something to consider.  And I think many of the lock/canal tours would complement the transit, itself.  But that is a choice my wife and I need to make given a lot of factors.  You seem to confirm, that there MIGHT be some redundancy.

 

Actually, the Embera Indians excursion is one that caught my eye.  Given what we will be doing at other ports of call, there appears to be nothing like that any others.  Another factor is that at 6 1/2 hours. it will take up enough of the 9 hours on land, so that we won't feel the need to do another excursion.  That this is a tender port is also a factor.  Then there is the cost, $99 per.  Looking to get the most "bang for our buck".  The others you mentioned are a little pricier and doubling up other excursions would make it more like $150 per.  I am good with something like that when it comes to the volcanoes or rainforest, but not on every stop.  I mentioned must see and while this sounds very interesting and worthwhile, I would not categorize it like that.  I don't think we would say after the trip, OMG we did not get to see the Embera Indians.  I would feel that way if we missed out on volcanoes or rainforests.  Thus we will book as soon as they let us.

 

So again, this is really helpful.  I am guessing (hoping) that this not necessarily one that needs to be booked months in advance, but one that can be booked on the ship.  This also has something to do with insurance.  If I book something non refundable before we leave home, I pay the premium.  If I start the trip, I don't have to.  We are staying in Cali for almost a week before we cruise, so that is time where I can decide where I book and save the premium. 

 

Thank you, I will put this near the top of my list.

We took the Embera tour years ago.  After 20 plus cruises, it is still our favorite!  Very authentic, lots of time to explore, and they offered very unique well priced crafts made in the village.  Our tour took a boat to the village.  On the way we saw a lot of monkeys etc.  

Edited by Lidolounger

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Heard a lot of good things about this and actually saw a 4 minute piece on this on one of the travel channels.  Here is my one issue.  It is the travel to and from.  I see that this is about 6 1/2 hours, so with an 11 hour stay, that is not a problem and it leaves a good deal of time to just hang out or walk around the city, assuming there is anything to see walking around.  On the itinerary, it says 1:30 to and from the canoe landing and then another hour to and from the village.  1:30 actually at the village.  That's five hours of traveling.  I don't have a problem with the hour each way in the motorized canoe.  That seems like it would be fun.  It's the three hours on a bus. 

 

Am I missing something.  Is there more during those three hours or is it just riding a bus to a destination.  I would welcome hearing from people who have done it.  The video, I saw looks interesting.

 

Thanks for any help

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1 hour ago, CarolandNate said:

Heard a lot of good things about this and actually saw a 4 minute piece on this on one of the travel channels.  Here is my one issue.  It is the travel to and from.  I see that this is about 6 1/2 hours, so with an 11 hour stay, that is not a problem and it leaves a good deal of time to just hang out or walk around the city, assuming there is anything to see walking around.  On the itinerary, it says 1:30 to and from the canoe landing and then another hour to and from the village.  1:30 actually at the village.  That's five hours of traveling.  I don't have a problem with the hour each way in the motorized canoe.  That seems like it would be fun.  It's the three hours on a bus. 

 

Am I missing something.  Is there more during those three hours or is it just riding a bus to a destination.  I would welcome hearing from people who have done it.  The video, I saw looks interesting.

 

Thanks for any help

Carol, You will be stopping at Amador, which is on the other side of the country from the various Embera Villages. I don't know how the cruise line handles it exactly, but you'll be driving through parts of Panama City and then on the toll road to the East. It's pretty much just countryside. They build in a cushion for traffic, which is horrendous in Panama City. Amador is a man made causeway right on the canal. You can rent bicycles, there are lots of boats, lots of restaurants etc. You can't walk into Panama City. It's way too far. You can walk around on the Causeway though. You can get a driver to take you into the city to shop. Or do a shore excursion into old town, Casco Viejo. That's very interesting. They usually have that. Casco Viejo used to be the most dangerous place in the city. Lots of gangs etc. Then a couple of US business men came in, collected money and educated the gang members, helped them get jobs and even build businesses. Now it's a thriving part of town being refurbished and it is very safe. I hope that helps. 

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Helps a lot.  If I have future questions, which I likely will, what is the best way to ask you directly.  Are you likely to respond to a posting if I put it out there.  Is Emailing you something that is okay.  Please advise.

 

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BTW @travelchris, you had told me about something else a couple of weeks ago, so you may just be someone I want to contact in the future.  Right now, I don't have many specific questions as I am trying to gather up general info.  Since it will be more than a year before we go, I do have time.  We have  list at this point, a large one.  At some point, I want to pare down that list.  But I have time.  Thanks again.

 

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We live in Panama, outside of the city in Coronado. So ask away. My email is traveler_chris at hotmail dot com. 

 

Edited by travelerchris

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