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Panama Canal transit - Panama to Costa Rica or reverse?

Panama Canal transit - Panama to Costa Rica or reverse?

Sep 9th, 2017, 10:12 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2015
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Panama Canal transit - Panama to Costa Rica or reverse?

We are planning on going through the Canal in February 2018. Planning on Windstar or UnCruise, not sure which one yet but my question is they both go from Colon, Panama or Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica or depending on week you can reverse trip. Does it matter where you start or finish? What would be the difference? Thanks. Also, any suggestion which cruise line ?
lindakwalter is offline  
Sep 9th, 2017, 01:15 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3,863
Not much difference either way other than the canal transit being at the beginning or end of your trip. I'd plan the itinerary around what works best for flying in and out. You are about 90 minutes (Panama) to 120 minutes (Costa Rica) from cruise port to international airport. Both airports recommend a three-hour advance check-in. If you plan on staying overnight before or after your cruise, there's nothing in Caldera; you'd need to find a hotel near the airport. Colon isn't too safe for walking around. The best selection of hotels will be near the airport or in Panama City, a good hour from Colon, depending on traffic.

Will the cruise line arrange your flights and transfers?
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Sep 9th, 2017, 05:22 PM
  #3  
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From what I can understand flight and transfer are not included on either UnCruise or Windstar though UnCruise includes a hotel pre night.
lindakwalter is offline  
Sep 10th, 2017, 05:20 PM
  #4  
 
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I thought I'd read that going north to south is generally smoother. And that sailing under the bridge at the South end is more impressive.

Colon is a pit, just get on the ship as quickly as possible.

If you fly in early to Panama you could see Panama City or stay around Gamboa at the Rainforest Resort.
mlgb is offline  
Sep 10th, 2017, 05:39 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Okay, not included, but would the cruise company help you make arrangements with flight and transfer? In neither case is the cruise port near the airport.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Oct 14th, 2017, 05:35 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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As to which cruise...well, I can't compare the two, as I've only been on Windstar. This December we will be sailing from Colon to Puerto Caldera on Windstar. This will be our 4th Windstar cruise, so you can guess we're more than satisfied with them! I don't know which direction is purported to be better; we chose to end in Puerto Caldera as we wanted to spend a week in Costa Rica at the end of the trip.
hanabilly is offline  
Oct 14th, 2017, 05:38 PM
  #7  
 
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Jeff, yes I know Windstar will help you with hotel, although you may find better rates yourself. They will provide shuttle only if you book you pre or post hotels with them, as I understand it.
hanabilly is offline  

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