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About travelerchris

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Coronado, Panama
  • Interests
    Cruising, scuba, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Regent, Silversea, Crystal, Azamara
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Funny you should say that. We were going to go LA to MIA on Viking on 12-13. JUST before we made payment I found out that they had cancelled the Santiago stop and were spending 3 days in Cienfuego. We cancelled. Viking never notified anybody. Not travel agents or guests. We saw the ship in a couple of ports. It looks nice, but that turned us off to Viking. Their lack of communication. We had a VERY complete tour in Santiago to San Juan Hill, old town, Bacardi estates, Martyrs monument etc. Well worth it.
  2. They have lots of different tours and since my husband is a cigar smoker, our tour included some cigars. It was a fabulous tour and I highly recommend them. Tours are private not group. Cost was CUC 99.00 p/p I think and lasted 5-6 hrs. Including lunch and a stop at a famous rum bar. The final bill was in CUCs and USD. The USD bill was increased to include the exchange fee of 13%.
  3. Yes, it was quite a bit of walking. But Yoe can adjust the touring to your ability. He is local and knows the area well. Most people will take you to the Fort, which is a lot of walking. We also did a tour of old town walking. I would recommend you contact Yoe at yoe@outofthebox.zone. If you chose to do that, please tell him we recommended him It'll make him feel good. AND he took us to a fabulous restaurant for lunch on our tour.
  4. Perfect. Let him do the talking. Regardless of what the driver asks for, tell your husband to start at 3.00. There are charts and The Bio Museum is right on Amador Causeway, so there will be minimal traffic. 5.00 maximum. Good luck.
  5. It should be easy to get a taxi, but make sure you negotiate the price in advance. It really shouldn't be more than 5.00, but........
  6. We didn't have an overnight. I think that would have been fun. We were told we would tender and then the day before Capt. Gianmario announced we would be docking.
  7. We just returned from our Azamara Journey cruise for the Holidays. It was great as usual. The pier in Santiago has been repaired and we didn't have to tender. In Santiago we took a private tour with Out of the Box Tours and were very impressed. They are reasonably priced, accept USD or CUC. No credit cards. Several people on the ship didn't like Santiago, while we were very impressed. It may have had something to do with the private vs. bus tour. The guides speak perfect English and they will give you several choices of tours. They will also customize tours. Contact info is Yoennis Díaz Moreno yoe@outofthebox.zone.
  8. We just returned from Azamara Journey on 1-5. We were able to dock in Santiago. It's a very industrial port but we enjoyed it. We did a private tour with Out of the Box Tours and LOVED it. Several people that did the cruise ship tour didn't enjoy it. Contact for the tour operator is Yoennis Díaz Moreno yoe@outofthebox.zone. He and his guides speak excellent English.
  9. The locks are worth seeing from the canal as well as from the Visitors Center at the Miraflores locks. The Museum is VERY interesting. I would do the Colonial Panama and Miraflores Observation Center. The train ride to Colon is very cool too. As long as they have something planned for Colon. That's a pit and you don't want to be on your own. Gatun Lake is a fun experience. You'll see all kinds of animals from Sloths to Monkeys. It's nothing like the Canal. Gatun Lake feeds the old locks. You say you have gone through locks on a Kayak. Depending on what locks, I'm willing to bet it was nothing like the Panama Canal locks. . We have gone through the Suez Canal and found it quite anti climatic compared to the Panama Canal. If you are in physical shape for the Casco Viejo walking tour, it's very interesting. The hour to get there and back is allowing for traffic. Casco Viejo is actually quite close to Amador, if it wasn't for traffic. Also, likely you will tender. I believe the new dock at Amador will be done in 2020. We have gone through the canal 5 times and still see things we haven't seen before. It's all up to you and what you like.
  10. We live in Panama, outside of the city in Coronado. So ask away. My email is traveler_chris at hotmail dot com.
  11. Carol, You will be stopping at Amador, which is on the other side of the country from the various Embera Villages. I don't know how the cruise line handles it exactly, but you'll be driving through parts of Panama City and then on the toll road to the East. It's pretty much just countryside. They build in a cushion for traffic, which is horrendous in Panama City. Amador is a man made causeway right on the canal. You can rent bicycles, there are lots of boats, lots of restaurants etc. You can't walk into Panama City. It's way too far. You can walk around on the Causeway though. You can get a driver to take you into the city to shop. Or do a shore excursion into old town, Casco Viejo. That's very interesting. They usually have that. Casco Viejo used to be the most dangerous place in the city. Lots of gangs etc. Then a couple of US business men came in, collected money and educated the gang members, helped them get jobs and even build businesses. Now it's a thriving part of town being refurbished and it is very safe. I hope that helps.
  12. You'll like Panama Roadrunner. They are Canadian and are very efficient. I know them well. They live near us.
  13. That's interesting. OK Cool. I'll do that sometime when on a cruise ship. LOL. Sort of like the Embera Village Tour. It's 3 hrs. one way from our house and Colon is horrible. So we went on RSSC and did the Embera tour. Weird, I know. Thanks for letting me know they put in an extra trip.
  14. I'd be interested in knowing if they do that because those rails are used to move containers from East to West or the other way. So please keep me posted. Maybe we'll do it on some of the cruises. LOL. 7am departure from the city isn't worth it to me.
  15. The train operates twice a day. 7am (roughly) from Panama City to Colon, and 5pm (roughly) coming back. So if you go to Colon by train it'll be early. That's why you return by bus.You don't want to hang out in Colon any longer than you need. High crime area.
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