I have booked the 8 1/2 Hours excursion "Panama aCity by Motro Coach" through Royal Caribbean. It states that the trip leaves at 10:30 in the morning and returns at 7:00 in the evening. The ship is scheduled to leave at 7:00. If anyone has taken this excursion, does it really cut it that close or is there a time change involved from where we leave the ship and where we catch in again? Thanks
You will use virtually all your day on the tour. Don'y worry, the ship is not going anywhere without you. We took this tour in November 2002 and found it to be a bit tiring , but, very worthwhile. Since I am not likely to ever travel to Panama again it gave us a great cross section. There is a lot of on and off the bus, but, as I said, we found it to be great. Panama is not a place you want to tour or travel on your own. The guides are with you 100% of the day and are there to handle your every requirement and the buses are escorted , all day, by police from the Panamanian Tourist Department.
You see everything from the countryside and mountains, to colonial Panama City to Old Pananma City, modern Panama City, the Canal, Mira Flores locks and the new tourist areas in the old Canal Zone.
Yes they are armed. They are regular Police.They are assigned directly by the tourist department to keep you safe, to safe guard the buses while you are off the bus, and to get the buses through traffic (especially in Pananma City) so that the 3 or 4 buses can stay together . They will jump ahead and block intersections at busy points so the buses can all get through together.
Ships going through the Canal have been doing that for a long time. It is a relatively new thing to Panama to have cruise ship passengers getting off and touring in Panama. They escort the tours so that nothing happens.
The ship is also met by dancers and a band from the tourist department and usually a representative from the tourist department stands by the gangway. He will literally shake the hand of every passenger disembarking and welcome them to Panama and will still be there when you get back to make sure you enjoyed his country and to ask you to return.
There is no reason not to be comfortable on this tour.
Completely agree with above postings. The beauty of cruising is that it affords you the chance to see places you would never see on your own. How would we see the Panama Canal? Go to Panama City, rent a car and start driving? Not chicken hearted me!
It's a long day but certainly worth the experience. I travel alone and always felt secure in the group and on the bus.