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  #1  
Old August 1st, 2010, 12:28 PM
flyboyswife flyboyswife is offline
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Default Canal by Train or by Ferry?

We've never been to the canal before and are trying to decide between the train or the ferry excursion (will probably book through the ship due to a variety of issues that are irrelevant to this posting). Both excursions cost about the same, though the ferry excursion is longer in time.

My initial reaction was that if I'm going to be there, I should do the ferry and really experience the canal. However, it's such a long day - could it get boring? We're not that intersted in the other sites in Limon (forts, indian village, etc), so a combo tour that gives us the opportunity to just go to an observation deck to view the canal is not really being considered. FYI.

I'd love to hear people's thoughts on which is preferable for a first-timer. Thanks so much!!
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Old August 1st, 2010, 12:35 PM
AlanAllyn AlanAllyn is offline
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Is this a cruise that stops in Colon or is it one that does a partial transit?

If you have never been through the canal, then you really want to experience it on a ship; the train does not cut it.

We have done the partial twice. On one of those, we took the ferry to the Pacific (and then a bus back to the ship). It was a completely different experience than the one on the cruise ship. Highly recommended.

Just one word of caution about the ferry. It is very hot with little or no ac. They did give us plenty of bottled beverage to drink.
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  #3  
Old August 1st, 2010, 03:09 PM
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BillB48 BillB48 is offline
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I'll throw my 2 cents in with AA in the previous post. Taking the partial transit on the ferry will give you a very good sampling of what the Canal is all about. The partial transit takes you through some of the more visually dramatic sections of the Canal. Even though you will have taken a partial transit, it will in no way deminish a full transit whenever you are able to take one. If by chance you are on a cruise that is doing a partial transit (as opposed to a cruise that just stops in Colon) combining the partial transit on the cruise ship and the partial transit on the ferry gives you two unique perspectives of the Canal operation.

While not trying to sell the railroad short, IMO the Canal is the main attraction in this case. The railroad has a lot of history and played a major role in the construction of the Canal, however you really don't see that much of the Canal from the railroad. The railroad is a nice excursion, but I would reccomend the partial transit on the ferry in this case.

The perfect solution is to plan another cruise to the Canal! Enjoy!
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Old August 1st, 2010, 03:36 PM
flyboyswife flyboyswife is offline
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"Plan another cruise to the Canal!" Excellent idea!!

We'll be on a cruise that goes to Colon. So no partial transit. We have to do an excursion to see the canal. Interesting about the poor (or no) AC. We'll be there at the end of September, not sure what the temperatures will be like then. Will have to research as I'll be with my folks who will be in their mid/late 70's and are not used to humidity. Hmmmm.

Thank you for your thoughts. I'll keep checking back!
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  #5  
Old August 2nd, 2010, 05:56 AM
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BillB48 BillB48 is offline
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The temps won't be that bad, usually the worst you can expect is upper 80s, the humidity is always the problem. There is less humidity from mid December through April which is the Dry season, but the temps are a little warmer. You can often times beat the worst of it by finding some shade and position yourself to get some breeze. The end of September is still the rainy season, but I would not be too concerned about it since it probably will provide you with more shade than it will rain. Probably the worst time for potential heat maybe when the ferry is in the chambers of the locks before the chamber has filled. While the ferry is underway there should be some breeze
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  #6  
Old August 5th, 2010, 12:32 PM
Oceanator Oceanator is offline
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The good thing about the ferry is when you enter a lock, you'll be tied to one side. When the water recedes and the ferry is lowered, you'll be able to touch the walls. OK they're a little slimy. Our tour guide said that if you touch the wall, you'll be married to your spouse forever. With that said, I touched the wall. My wife was staring at me.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 08:13 PM
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travellovers2 travellovers2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceanator View Post
The good thing about the ferry is when you enter a lock, you'll be tied to one side. When the water recedes and the ferry is lowered, you'll be able to touch the walls. OK they're a little slimy. Our tour guide said that if you touch the wall, you'll be married to your spouse forever. With that said, I touched the wall. My wife was staring at me.

Humm...did she touch the walls? I dont know, maybe she was hoping you would not touch them either. That was funny.

We went through the canal and were able to see the walls, but not touch them. Very interesting going through the locks and seeing ships coming behind you. Quite an experience.
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