My husband and myself are going on the Island Princess to the Panama March 25th. Anybody else going the same time? or can anybody gives us some pointers? First timers with Princess. Have travelled with Carinval before.
Due to the long bus rides involved, we did not do any shore excursions. Rick, the on-board shopping advisor, has some suggestions for local travel by taxi. There will be a red tent set up pierside for non-ship excursions - we heard no negatives and several positives for these. ( I have a picture of the prices and destinations if interested.)
We just went to the local shops at the pier center and shopped for several hours. Lots of handmade craft items. Look at the beautiful hand made puzzle boxes. 3 small ones for $10 at one booth. The whistles are also interesting as well. 2 for $5.
Thank you for the information. Yes, we are interested in getting the information on the destinations. Also sounds like a great place to pick up some souvenirs.
I have a lso read somewhere else about the puzzle boxes. Can you explain what they are?
The puzzle boxes are hand carved native wood in shapes like dolphins, flowers, turtles, birds, hearts, etc. Most puzzle boxes have three pieces that come apart like a puzzle. A little locking piece come out, like the flukes of a dolphin, then the rest of the dolphin slides off and then an internal piece comes off to reveal an internal compartment felt lined.
I will email you the pictures of the rates and setup at the dock.
If you want to buy coffee, take advantage of the Cafe Brit sales that Rick, the port and shopping advisor, is pushing. We just got our order. 20 bags for $99. At Puerto Limon, the bags were going for $4-$7 each, but no idea of age or quality. One guy actually had a bag with a hole in it to show us how good the beans smelled.
I did not see Vanilla at Costa Rica, but we bought ours in Cozumel at the Marketplace near the pier. Three bottles for under $10. All of the baker's we have given them to like the fresh smell. Better than domestic brands is the common reaction.
We took the Panama cruise on Island Princess end Jan. to Feb.5th. We thought it was great! We had a balcony room on Baja Deck. We can't say anything bad about the entire trip except the size of the shower in the cabin BR. The personnel were all wonderful, the food and service in the dining room was excellent , and the Broadway production like shows were outstanding; especially the Princess dancers and vocalists.
A couple comments:
We took the Ocean to Ocean excursion in the canal. I thought it was really exciting to get down into the locks in a smaller boat and see all that goes on. There can be a few boring moments while waiting for other ships to enter your lock before you can proceed, but I thought it was worth the time. Some of our friends took the train ride and seemed satisfied.
In Limon, we took the "Rain Forest Cruise." It was a delightful day in the sun and water, but more of a cruise down a river with some wildlife etc., rather than a real rain forest; still a nice way to spend an afternoon. One of friewnds took the long day long trip to San Jose, which they enjoyed, but said it was a lot of travel. The wood craft in the port stores at Limon is really great to bring home for souvenirs! We were lucky and had beautiful weather and a great experience. We have cruised several times before on other lines and enjoyed it as well. I think Princess was the best organized and the most service conscious of all the others we have experienced.