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JayDeeJay

Panama Canal . . . again

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As part of your excursion you will be bused from your point of disembarkation to the rail passenger station.  The excursion can be operated in a few different ways, 1, they can bus you to the nearest passenger station to where you disembark to board the train.  After the train you then will be brought back across the Isthmus via bus to your ship.  2. they may bus you to the opposite side of the Isthmus where you will ride train back across the Isthmus returning to ship on the bus.  The last method is to bus you to the nearest train station and do a round trip on the train, then a short ride on the bus back to the ship.  There is no way of knowing how your excursion will operate in advance.

 

In other words the possibilities are...

1. Train over, bus back.

2. Bus over, train back.

3. Round trip on the train.

 

The above will work whether your ship calls at Colon or Ft. Amador and when you tender off the ship in Gatun Lake on a partial transit cruise.

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13 hours ago, BillB48 said:

As part of your excursion you will be bused from your point of disembarkation to the rail passenger station.  The excursion can be operated in a few different ways, 1, they can bus you to the nearest passenger station to where you disembark to board the train.  After the train you then will be brought back across the Isthmus via bus to your ship.  2. they may bus you to the opposite side of the Isthmus where you will ride train back across the Isthmus returning to ship on the bus.  The last method is to bus you to the nearest train station and do a round trip on the train, then a short ride on the bus back to the ship.  There is no way of knowing how your excursion will operate in advance.

 

In other words the possibilities are...

1. Train over, bus back.

2. Bus over, train back.

3. Round trip on the train.

 

The above will work whether your ship calls at Colon or Ft. Amador and when you tender off the ship in Gatun Lake on a partial transit cruise.

 

Your answer was so much better than my question!

 

I happen to be round-trip FLL, so starting in Gatun Lake.

 

But what I am hearing is that we need to roll with the flow:)

 

Thanks much!

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You're welcome.  Since you are on a partial transit you will disembark the ship after it passes through Gatun Locks (or possibly the new locks of Agua Clara if the ship is too big for Gatun Locks) and reaches the nearby Gatun Lake Anchorage.  After tendering off the ship your bus will take you to board the train.  While I mentioned before there is no way to tell just how your tour will operate, there is a better chance it will start on the Atlantic side.  The main thing I want to point out is there is a "better side" of the train as far as the view is concerned.  When traveling Atlantic to Pacific the better side is the right side.  The right side will give you the better views of the Canal.  Of course if it winds up being Pacific to Atlantic, then grab a  seat on the left side.

 

After the train, your bus will take you to Colon to rejoin the ship.  Enjoy your trip on the world's first transcontinental railroad.

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On 5/24/2019 at 8:03 PM, tallnthensome said:

We just did the 15 day full transit from a Miami to L.A. in April with our 9 and 11 yearnold daughters. It was a wonderful trip with perfect weather. We did Colombia , Costa Rica, Guatemala,  Cabo, Mazatlan, and Acapulco . It’s something that all devout cruisers should experience. The  Canal and ports on the Pacific side were more unique and a world destination, not like going to Cozumel and Nassau and such. We had some amazing private tours in Cartagena and Costa Rica. We were blessed to have our kids experience it with us and would do it again down the road even though it cost a pretty penny.

What private tours did you use please???

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26 minutes ago, maggie11 said:

What private tours did you use please???

sorry, forgot to quote you in my response above. 

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On 5/24/2019 at 4:14 PM, summersigh said:

We did the Panama Canal on HAL with calls at Aruba, Curacao, The Canal, and Puerto Limon. We'd love to do it again.  Our day in the Canal was one of our best cruise days ever (well, maybe tying with Alaska😊 )

Normally the first time at a Caribbean port we take a tour of the island so we get all the history and see the tourist/historical highlights.  When we go back we have an idea of where we'd like to spend more time and grab a cab to go there. 

Recently, We're also finding, rather than book excursions, it's about the same price to book a car and driver for the day or half a day depending on the length of the stopover.  We research and book this a few months before the cruise.  We do our research and have them take us to the places we want to see and normally have them take us to an authentic local place for lunch and a local beer.

 

Edited by angelNY

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On 5/24/2019 at 1:14 PM, summersigh said:

We did the Panama Canal on HAL with calls at Aruba, Curacao, The Canal, and Puerto Limon. We'd love to do it again.  Our day in the Canal was one of our best cruise days ever (well, maybe tying with Alaska😊 )

Normally the first time at a Caribbean port we take a tour of the island so we get all the history and see the tourist/historical highlights.  When we go back we have an idea of where we'd like to spend more time and grab a cab to go there. 

Recently, We're also finding, rather than book excursions, it's about the same price to book a car and driver for the day or half a day depending on the length of the stopover.  We research and book this a few months before the cruise.  We do our research and have them take us to the places we want to see and normally have them take us to an authentic local place for lunch and a local beer.

Exact itinerary we are doing in a week. Is it safe? I have heard both ways. I would love to catch a church service at 9 and then see jungle or sloths or something (idk. Just found church. 1.2 km away) do you think we can catch a tour after 10 and do you think it is safe to walk around? The only port we have ever felt unsafe in was Belize (and we actually had locals turn us around). 

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On 5/24/2019 at 5:03 PM, tallnthensome said:

We just did the 15 day full transit from a Miami to L.A. in April with our 9 and 11 yearnold daughters. It was a wonderful trip with perfect weather. We did Colombia , Costa Rica, Guatemala,  Cabo, Mazatlan, and Acapulco . It’s something that all devout cruisers should experience. The  Canal and ports on the Pacific side were more unique and a world destination, not like going to Cozumel and Nassau and such. We had some amazing private tours in Cartagena and Costa Rica. We were blessed to have our kids experience it with us and would do it again down the road even though it cost a pretty penny.

What did you do in Costa Rica? Were you in Limon? Was it safe to wander around? 

Edited by Sea-Bos

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3 hours ago, Sea-Bos said:

What did you do in Costa Rica? Were you in Limon? Was it safe to wander around? 

We were on the full transit so we were in Punta Arenas on the Pacific side. Limon is done on partial canal transit cruises. We did a private excursion with Gio Tours. 

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