I have been looking for an excursion in Panama. For the people who have been there, does the ship go through the locks or should I book a tour? I would like to do the lock and Indian Village, but the price is a bit high (125.00 per person) If it is worth it I don't mind spending the money. I am interested in mainly seeing the locks and maybe a little shopping. Any advice would be helpful.
What cruise are you on? All transcanal cruises obviously go through all three sets of locks . Ships doing a deep southern type itinerary may stop in Colon , outside the canal, and not enter the canal or go through locks. Some trips will sail into the canal, turn around on Gatun Lake and sail back out again. So, what trip are you sailing on?
I was there a few months ago on the Coral Princess. ( based on the RCCL brochure your trip will basicaly be like mine ) Your ship will enter the Canal through a set of locks into Gatun Lake. Those taking shore tours will be tendered ashore . The ship will continue to cruise around Gatun lake for a while, then go back through the locks and dock.
We took the tour to the Embera Indian Village and it was worth every penny. It involves a bus ride of approx. an hour or so and then a motorized canoe ride up the river to the village. I would recommend this highly. We arived back at the dock in plenty of time to get in some shopping.. Go through the main part of the terminal where all the modern shops are to the back area . That's where the Indians and locals have their shops and stalls set up.
I'm sure you will be in for a treat.
we were on Briliance in March for this itin--it was great..we did the aerial tram tour in Panama--definitely take a tour--ship will go thru the lock & you'll get off for the tour otherwise it'll just go back in line for same lock esp if canal trafic is heavey--you wil return t o a nice protected shopping area--enjoy--don't skip chops & portofino
I agree with Ron that the Indian Village Tour is very interesting. I think the version we took off the Galaxy may have been slightly different since it included a stop at Gatun Locks. In any case, you will never forget seeing the Indian Village.
Another tour that I can highly recommend if it is offered, is the Ocean to Ocean Train Tour. Great way to see the Pacific side of Panama. You see the Bridge of the Americas, Panama Canal Headquarters, and Mira Flores Locks. Very good tour, probably the best one I have been on of my 12 cruises. Have a great trip!
I did this tour and for me the best part was the boat ride in the Gatun lake just beautiful out there we stopped to watch a sloth in the tree over our boat. Also saw vultures flying high in the air, it's like the land before time here, you almost expect a dinasour to pop out. The indian village was ok, I was a bit bored by it, no one hardly asked the chief questions. I did ,I asked him when the girls marry, he said between age 16-18 and if they don't want to be married, they are no longer married, no divorce formality here! I also wish the tour included more of the locks, not just the Gatun locks which was very crowded with all the passengers. So for me at least the best part was the lake and the nice people of Panama waving to our bus. Bring a camera great photos! If you have a digital bring an extra large memory card and you can take mini movies to remember your trip.