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Embara Indian trip - fabulous!


larie

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We just returned from the Panama Canal. We weren't going to get off for an excursion but had a tip from a friend of a friend on a excursion. We decided to take the same tour at the last minute and booked thru the ship. (the only excursion we booked thru the ship on our cruise.) We have done alot of traveling and the Embera Indian Village excursion rates in the top things we have done over the years. We went up the river in dug out canoes that the Embera Indians made. The scenic view was incredible. We make our way to their authentic village and were greeted by the tribe. We were able to converse with the tribe as well as their children. We saw how they lived, ate, danced etc. It was such a rich cultural event that it will be with us for a long time. The women do not wear shirts but it was not offensive or uncomfortable as this is how they live. We purchased crafts that they made, viewed their little huts and how they live. It was truely a highlight and I would highly recommend it. I don't think you can book outside of the ship and it was pricey at $89 but we have no regrets.

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We missed an opportunity to do this on our last trip there. And when we heard people who did go on this excursion raving about it afterwards we were really sorry we did not do it. If you get a chance to go, this is one trip you should not pass up.

 

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Hi - Your post was just what I've been looking for. We already did a Panama Canal cruise and cruised through both sides from the Atlantic to Pacific. I didn't want to "do" the canal again. Your comments on this excursion sound wonderful. Thanks for posting. I would LOVE to hear from others who have taken this excursion. Anyone else out there???

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  • 3 weeks later...

How large are the boats? My husband has some (limited) vision, and he uses a guide dog for the blind. The dog is a handsome 97 pound black lab. Would he be able to lie comfortably on the floor of one of the boats? He generally lies at our feet very quietly when we are on any kind of transportation. He has been on small boats before.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The boats are long, but not deep. Your wife will have to be the very last one on the boat in order to avoid having to step over MANY wooden slat seats. I show a pic of the boat on my web site, you can count the seats. The ride is rather long on the lake (at least 30 min.). It's picturesque, but the boat ride is NOT comfortable and you ride rather low in the water. I am a sailor/kayaker and I have to say that this boat ride made me a little nervous (probably because I had no control and had to depend on the captain and the one outboard motor which sounded like it was going to die from time to time!)

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  • 1 month later...

Hi there, If we did this excursion do you think we could still grab a cab when we got back and go see the locks? It seems a shame to come all this way and not really see the canal? Also did you see alot of monkeys and birds and did they tell you what they were seeing as you went along? Thanks, We are sailing on the Carnival Legend over New Years! Debbie

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  • 2 weeks later...
Which port in Panama offers the Embara Indian Village excursion? We're booked on the Oceania (Barbados to Costa Rica) in November, with a stop in San Blas Islands, Panama.

San Blas is a very small island with one village, you tender off the ship and walk around the village, sounds like what is described in the excursion. When the ship arrives small canoes will come out to greet you from the island, they also dive for any change you toss into the water. All the islanders open their homes to you to view from the front door, mostly one room huts. They also sell their home made crafts. I will remember that little island for the rest of my life, a true culture experience :)

I'm sure you will enjoy it as well :)

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  • 5 months later...

When we were in Panama Canal with Galaxi last month, we visited the Embera Indian village and I have the same opinion that snorklgrl, the trip was the top things we have done, was amazing know how they maintain their traditions during century, and the ride on an authentic indian canoe was the highlight of my kids.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I will be sailing on Royal Princess later this month and have booked the Embera Indian Village tour. It sounds wonderful and everyone gives it such glowing reviews! Could someone please tell me what one should wear? Are there mosquitos? Would we need to wear long pants? Is it muddy? Tennis shoes OK? Can you take pictures in the Village? Someone mentioned taking fruit to the children. Any other suggestions of "gifts" for the kids? Thanks for answering.

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When we visited the village last month we just wore shorts and t-shirts. No problem with insects of any kind. There was some mud, but we stepped around it; not really a problem and it had rained earlier in the day.

 

Unlimited pictures are OK; I took a bunch!

 

I don't know about gifts to the kids. I image it would be OK. No one did during our tour that I noticed anyway.

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My husband and I are going to Panama Canal on Coral Princess in two weeks and we have been considering this trip. It sounds wonderful. Do you have to disembark the canoe by stepping into the water or do you step out on land? Sitting in the canoe, are you sitting flat or on your knees or what? I have the beginnings of arthritis in my spine and get a bit stiff when in one position for any great length of time. It would be worth it to visit the village however. I am usually very mobile, and it doesn't slow me down a bit. Does anyone assist you in or out if you have a problem?

 

Loved the photos!

 

If we go on this, I am planning to bring a bunch of stickers to give out to the children. Just a thought.

 

One more question--if you do this trip and then go back to meet the ship in Colon, do you have time to shop a little by the dock?

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cruiserus,

 

For our tour (Grand Tour of Panama) we used large flat bottom boats (~20 people), not canoes. There are standard docks at both ends of the boat trip. Other writers have said that they used canoes, but I believe that they were on private tours.

 

When you go to the pier in Colon, there is a large shopping mall right next to the ship.

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  • 1 month later...

We were on Coral for New Years, my son and his wife did the village and raved about it, my daughter in law bought the most gorgeous wooden bowls. My daughter and I did the lock tour and eco curise and believe me don't waste your time or money if you see it from the ship that is exactly what you see except your sitting in grandstands on the side nothing more. And the eco cruise was boring although the river was gorgeous.

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Just got back from Legend cruise, March 19, 2005. Panama is a city that needs an excursion. The city of Colon is big, dirty, and dangerous. The people are very aggressive. I book a "grand tour" through Mario at myfriendmario.com His tour was $55.00. The ship charged $155.00 for the same tour. He picked us up at the dock. Took us to a river dock where an Embera Tribesman and his canoe were waiting for us. We rode to his villiage. There we met the chief who told us of the EMberan ways. A dance was performed. A authentic lunch was cooked...the fish is delicious. We then got to shop from their wares. Mario then took us to the canal. He was very entertaining. I can recommend him.

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Hi there, If we did this excursion do you think we could still grab a cab when we got back and go see the locks? It seems a shame to come all this way and not really see the canal? Also did you see alot of monkeys and birds and did they tell you what they were seeing as you went along? Thanks, We are sailing on the Carnival Legend over New Years! Debbie

 

Just got back from Legend cruise, March 19, 2005. Panama is a city that needs an excursion. The city of Colon is big, dirty, and dangerous. The people are very aggressive. I book a "grand tour" through Mario at myfriendmario.com His tour was $55.00. The ship charged $155.00 for the same tour. He picked us up at the dock. Took us to a river dock where an Embera Tribesman and his canoe were waiting for us. We rode to his villiage. There we met the chief who told us of the EMberan ways. A dance was performed. A authentic lunch was cooked...the fish is delicious. We then got to shop from their wares. Mario then took us to the canal. He was very entertaining. I can recommend him.

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Just returned from the Legend of the Seas through the Panama Canal (April 27th sailing). I have to say that the Embara Indian Tour was simply terrible. It could have been easily done in 45 minutes but most of the tour was just killing time trying to make the excursion last longer as it was advertised. Very disappointing to most in our group. We were all looking very forward to this tour too. Such a shame. The actual visit to the Indians was good, but to drag this tour out for 4 hours was just a bit over the top. After we left the village we went on an animal hunt through the shoreline that lasted for a very long time. Many of us were almost asleep by the time we returned to the pier it was so boring (and we love to look at animals). Just a total waste of an afternoon for many in our boat. :(

Sorry, but I have to say it ranked right up there with one of the worst tours on our cruise.

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