Anyone done the Island Princess to the Panama Canal?
We are booked on the Island Princess for a 10 day Panama Canal cruise on Nov. 24th 2009. Has anyone taken this cruise before and what should we look for as highlights and don't miss excursions?
We did the 14 day version last November. If Cartagena is on your itinerary, be very careful in that city.
This is one place where you do not want to roam around on your. In the center of the city there are military and police with machine guns on every corner. As you get away from the center of the city, the military and cops are no where to be found.
Make sure you do a tour with Princess or a private tour operator. I would not trust a cab driver to give you a tour.
We did a city tour which was a disaster. We stopped three times for a shopping break. The first stop was about 15 minutes into the tour. It was the tour guide daughter's shop.
This was the worst port stop on the itinerary.
The best stop for us was San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua where we took a countryside horseback ride.
I've done the 10 day Island Panama itinerary twice and the Coral four times.
Highly recommend the ferry in the Canal - you go through the other two locks (Miraflores and Pedro Migueles) all the way over to the Pacific Ocean and get an entirely different perspective of the Canal.
I did a Princess Cartagena old city bus tour last November - very interesting.
I'm not much on shore excursions but really liked the ferry boat trip. Did the Limon river trip and found it boring.
You'll love the ship.
You will enjoy the Island. She is truly a great ship.
Also, we have been to Caratgena several times. We have taken cabs and explored on our own each time. We have found the people friendly. If you get the chance then go to the walled city. The architecture is grand. They still use carts with donkeys. The city is no different than any other. Just be careful. Common sense goes a long way. You will have a great time.
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