NCL Pearl Panama Canal

Sep 30th, 2015, 06:10 AM
  #1  
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NCL Pearl Panama Canal

We are cruising on the NCL Pearl to the Panama Canal and Caribbean this December. We will be stopping at Aruba, Cartegena - Colombia, Colon - Panama, and Puero Limon - Costa Rica. Any suggestions as to which shore excursions we should take? As part of the booking incentive, we are getting a $25 per person credit towards the shore excursions in each port.
bweeble is offline  
Sep 30th, 2015, 11:55 AM
  #2  
 
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What shore excursions to take depends on your likes and dislikes. Do you want beaches? Culture? Historic? Shopping? or ???
Eschew is offline  
Sep 30th, 2015, 08:40 PM
  #3  
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No beaches, snorkeling or diving. We are not drinkers so some of the party tours are out. We were thinking of the following: taking a train ride in Panama, the Boucare Jungle and rainforest in Estrella in Costa Rica, a see and sea island tour of Aruba, and tour of Cartegena that includes several stops.
bweeble is offline  
Oct 1st, 2015, 11:27 AM
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Aruba is known for it breaches and water activities, since you specifically said no beaches, snorkeling or diving, I am going on a limp here to suggest the Aruba Atlantis Submarine tour. There are lots of "city" tours and "ATV/Jeep" tours as well, but for me, Aruba is the beaches.

We love Cartagena, especially the old city. We would spend days walking through there. Castle of San Felipe, San Pedro Claver Church, and we thought the Inquisition Museum was a blast. There is also a naval museum nearby.

There is nothing much there in Colon. Most people go ashore at Colon and then go elsewhere. Although the ship will sail through the Gatun Locks, visiting Gatum Locks (on land) is interesting and gives you a different perspective of the locks. Afterall, you go on a canal cruise to see the canal and learn about the Canal, right?

As to Panama, the old city is more interesting than the new. If it is the excursion that they let you off at Guntum Lake that you are referring to, the train ride is okay, but you will actually see more by staying on board. After letting off passengers at the Guntum Lake, the ship will sail on if it is a full transit, and turns around if it is a partial transit, either way, the scenery aboard the ship is better than what you will see on the train.

The Veragua Rainforest Park and the Wildlife Sanctuary is interesting in Limon. We actually endured a long bus ride from Limon to San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica. The old downtown, the National Theater (opera house), the museums are all great destinations.
Eschew is offline  
Oct 1st, 2015, 05:00 PM
  #5  
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Thank you for your suggestions. We booked the Seaworld Explorer for Aruba. Similar to the Submarine, but it doesn't completely submerge and you sit at windows to look out.

In Cartegena the tour takes us to a fishing village, Rancho Grande, the Emerald Museum, and then the Old City.

In Panama, I thought the ship would go through part of the canal, let us off, turn around and go back to Colon. The train goes from Panama City to Colon (back to the ship).
But I will check to make sure we are on the ship for part of the canal.

In Costa Rica, we decided to see a rainforest in the Estrella Valley and the Bocuare Jungle, since we have already been to Costa Rica on a 10 day tour and saw the things on the other tours.

I'll keep looking to see what is offered. We can always change our reservations.
bweeble is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2015, 12:40 PM
  #6  
 
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It appears that you will be on a partial transit. You will see the locks on the Atlantic side but probably not the "canal". If you take the train excursion that the ship let you off at Guntum Lake, you will be tendered ashore, do a city tour of some sort, and train ride to Colon to catch up to the ship, meaning your canal experience will be limited to seeing the locks from the ship, and very early in the morning (around 6 or 7 am?)

The canal zone is located in a rain forest, so prepare for rain.
Eschew is offline  

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