Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Sign in to follow this  
poss

For those of you who love the Canal itineraries

Recommended Posts

I've finished the wonderful McCullough book on the history of the Panama Canal, and it's easy to understand how the transit of that wonder would be fascinating indeed.

But here's the question:    Are the other ports interesting enough to warrant the money/time?   (I know, I know — finally only I can answer that, but I sure would appreciate help in making the decision.)  

I've put a deposit on a Regent Mariner 18-day itinerary.   Here are the ports: Miami, Cartagena, Colon, Puntarenas, San Juan Del Sur, Puerto Quetzal, Acapulco, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, San Diego, San Francisco.    There's also, of course, the transit of the Canal, and 7 sea days.     There's also the fact that the trip, alas, begins May 17, not the best time for this itinerary, not by a long shot (but it's what made the cruise affordable for us no doubt).

So:  Are the Central America and Mexico ports all that interesting?   Is it worth spending 18 days (on an admittedly lovely ship), in terribly (how terrible?) hot and humid weather, with probably lots of heavy downpours — just to experience the Canal itself?   I go back and forth on the question, but I've got to get off the pot sooner or later.

Thanks!!

Edited by poss
typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, poss said:

Are the other ports interesting enough to warrant the money/time?

 

     Sure, I think any and all of those ports are worth at least a one time look-see.  Obviously some strike my fancy more that others, but they are just icing on the cake because of course in my mind the Canal is the main attraction.

 

Random thoughts on some of the ports...

 

Cartagena; Lots of history particularly in the old walled city, many tour the imposing Fort San Felipe de Barajas.  Great sail into the harbor of Cartagena as you pass Fort San Fernando de Bocachica.

 

Colon; Here you can have your choice to take a tour that will dig deeper into the Canal (pardon the pun) by visiting the locks and get a shore side point of view.  Other popular things are to visit the Embera Indians, take in modern day Panama City with its walled section (Casco Antiguo), tours to the ruins of Fort San Lorenzo and the fortifications around Portobelo.  Of course you can take a ride on the world's first transcontinental railroad also the quickest😉 and there are some eco based tours that could be of interest.  You probably hear some horror stories about Colon, that really is a non issue since you only just drive through there on your way to your tour destination. 

 

Puntarenas; Nothing much in the town, most of the tours will be take you into the country for volcanos, coffee farms and the like.

 

Puerto Quetzal; Probably one of the more popular things to do there is go to old capital city of Antigua.  They have coffee plantations tours as well.

 

The Mexcian ports are fine, just not a whole lot that I am particularly interested in, except I really did enjoy some of Acapulco.  Been to cliff divers, but what I was fascinated with was the old Hollywood connection in Acapulco.  We had a good tour that took in some the stars' old haunts.

 

in terribly (how terrible?) hot and humid weather, with probably lots of heavy downpours — just to experience the Canal itself?

Yes of course!  Sure it can be tad warm in the places you will stopping and you may see some rain, but unlikely you will experience a wash out.  Have made the trip numerous times during the rainy months and never really had any significant encounters with the wet stuff.  On a lot of the Pacific stops many of the tours take you away from the coast into higher elevations which offers some escape from the real hot stuff.  Seeing you are in Florida, summers here are a real good training aide for the H&H weather in the tropics.  Weather in Mexico warm, maybe not quite as humid... but it is still pretty warm.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are correct,  only you can make the "worth it" decision. 

 

We think the Canal is worth it all by itself. And the cruise lines keep adding cruises through the Canal. And they keep selling well. That should tell you something. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to you both.  And Bill, I much appreciate the specific comments.    

My husband is 89 (would turn 90 on the May cruise) , and we can do virtually nothing outside in Florida summers.   Too hot to take walks even.    That's one of the big reasons I'm not real enthusiastic about the itinerary.   We're not people who enjoy just hanging out on the ship, as many people do (though we do love the Regent ships).   I'm afraid we might drop like mosquitoes on the excursions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

93 year old hanging out on the balcony. We live in Hawaii and did a cruise from La to La with overnight in Gatun lake. We went to Antigua, canopy tour in Puntarenas, Managua and cultural in San Juan Del Sur.

Mom Panama Canal.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice photo-- and thanks for posting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...