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Old January 5th, 2005, 07:20 PM
Dorothy DeFrancis
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Default Panama Canal cruise port excursions

We sail on the Regal Princess on Feb 22 thru Panama Canal(Ft L. to LA). Would love advice on port excursions in Ocho Rios, Aruba, Puntarenas,Costa Rica, Huatulco,Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico If you took excursions in these ports and would like to comment, it would be greatly appreciated. Will probably use Peat Taylor in Jamaica. Want to see Natural Bridge, the lighthouse and probably the Aloe factory in Aruba---just get a taxi??? Don't want to miss the cliff divers in Acapulco. In Cabo San Lucas--- any word on the Land's End boat ride. It costs $19 thru the ship. Also wondered about the carriage ride in Cabo that goes thru the town. It costs $29 thru the ship. Also, is the night tour of Panama City worth it?? Thank you for any help you can give. We usually take the ships excursions but are going to try more things on our own this time!!
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Old January 6th, 2005, 12:29 PM
hcat
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Default Re: Panama Canal cruise port excursions

Also interested in ideas--our trip in not a Canal transit--but stops at Costa Rica, Aruba, Gr Cayman & trips are offered from the canal lake. If you don;t take those trips what happens when you stay on the ship?-- Can anyone compare the Monkey watching boat ride to the Gillard Cut versus Portobellos Paradise & Lock tour from land? We have it narowed down tot hose two.. Thanks
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Old January 6th, 2005, 12:53 PM
Dale C
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Default Re: Panama Canal cruise port excursions

We were on this cruise a year ago. Great trip! In Aruba, we took the ships tour of the Natural Bridge and other sights for about $45.00/person? After getting back from the tour and getting a taxi to the beach, there were plenty of local tour vans available near the ship which would have taken to the SAME places for about half the price. The people on Aruba are VERY friendly and great to deal with. If and when I go back, I will definately use the local groups. Aruba is not very large so it will not be a problem seeing all the sights.
I can't say the same about Jamaica, that is a whole different island. We went snorkeling there but the natives are very pushy.
In Costa Rica, we took the bus tour to the Cafe Brit coffee plantation. Even if you don't like coffee, the trip is worth it. We got to see a lot of the countryside.
We just walked a lot in Huatulco. Did some shopping. That area is very new to developement so has a very relaxed atmosphere.
Definately see the cliff divers. We took a bus tour to Princess' hotel along with this tour. I don't know, you may just want to take a taxi to the divers.
We went whale watching in Cabo. So we got to see the lands end. Not sure about the other trips.
The night tour of Panama City was not offered on our trip.
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Old January 6th, 2005, 08:42 PM
Dorothy DeFrancis
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Default Re: Re: Panama Canal cruise port excursions

Thank you for you help. What did you think of the tour in Acapulco? We signed up for the one you took that also goes to the Princess Hotel. Suppose that is worth seeing. Did you hear anything about the eco-jungle cruise in Costa Rica? Were you on the Regal Princess also. What did you think of the ship--entertainment, food etc.?
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Old January 8th, 2005, 01:57 PM
hcat
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Default Re: Panama Canal cruise port excursions

Has anyone tried the aerial tram at Gamboa forest in Panama or the Tortuguero canals (I know Papa Bill has!) If you do not get off for a tour at Panama Canal what happens on the boat--ours is not a through transit to the Pacific so I assume it cruises Gatun Lake..
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Old January 9th, 2005, 09:44 PM
Dale C
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Default Re: Panama Canal cruise port excursions

First, in answer to "hcat", on a partial canal transit, you go through the locks on the Gulf side, turn around in Gatun Lake, and go back. You will miss the cuts that were made to connect the locks to the Pacific side. You will miss the Pan Am bridge at Panama City. Both very impressive sights.
Dorothy, On the trip to the Princess Hotel, besides seeing the cliff divers, you do get to go along the coast where all the hotels are and make a stop or two over looking Alcapulco and the bay area. As far as seeing the hotel, "it was just another hotel" as far as I was concerned. Our tour was a bit late for the divers so we only got to see a couple of dives. A little dissappointing. That probably doesn't happen too often but it did for us. I'm thinking if I had it to do again I would just take a taxi to see the divers. There are a lot of taxis available and it is not too far from the ship.
I think someone at our dining table took the eco-jungle cruise. They did like it. I still liked our tour if you want to get a "feel" for the countryside.
Yes, we were on the Regal Princess. The ship was nice. I didn't exactly like the semi enclosed top deck as you couldn't see out real well. But inside was OK. Entertainment was good. Food was excellent, and the service was excellent.
One piece of advice for the canal transit on the Regal. There is not much outside forward looking bow space. It is located, I believe on the Baja deck, (8th floor)? Go to the front of the ship on the right side in the inside hallway, all the way forward until you have to turn left. Go left to the center of the ship and there will be two doors to walk through until you get out into the open. Only room for about 50 people or so, so get out there EARLY! Do some looking around a few days before so you know for sure where it is. Being off to one side or the other is best. Be careful with the sun exposure. In January, it wasn't too bad, but it is more intense later in the season. It is warm...have water with you if your going to be out for long periods.
If you make an early morning transit, have your own alarm. The day we transited the canal, a LOT of people did not get a wake up call from the ship. Something really got mixed up and some people did not get to see Panama City nor the 1st set of locks. (We approached from the Pacific side). I would not take the chance!
Have a good trip. I would love to go again.
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