My partner and I are sailing on Galaxy 18-30 December this year and chose this trip because the Panama Canal is on the itinerary. However, we're wondering what is the best way to see the sights. The ship goes into Lake Gatun from the Caribbean and back out again. Is it better to stay on the ship or to take one of the shore excursions, eg the coast to coast train, or even the ferry from Balboa back into the canal. Has anyone got any advice? Many thanks.
I went to the Panama Canal last November on RCL from Galveston, Tx for a 12 day cruise. We sailed into the lake from the Atlantic side and tendered off the boat in the lake and took an excursion to Panama City. When we came back the ship and gone back through the locks it just came from and docked in Cristobol Pier where we got back on. I would highly recommened taking a tour of some kind rather than staying on the ship and watching the same thing you just did in reverse.
One suggestion is to take a tour that includes the cable car ride. You climb up a tour which shows you a great view of the canal. Our tour incuded a butterfuly aviary with hunderds of beautiful butterflies.