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Great experience, a must in Panama!
All perfect from pickup at hotel to the return to hotel!
It was an amazing trip. JC our guide was so knowledgeable. We loved it.
logistically, the trip was executed perfectly from hotel pickup to hotel drop off. They called the hotel the day before to confirm pickup time ranges Panama City traffic is bad in the AM. Well done! Took a bus to Gamboa, about 45 minutes and boarded the ship. A note of caution, no pictures are allowed from outside the ship in this area.
The ship itself is historic as it was commissioned in 1912 by JP Morgan and later owned by Al Capone. During it's lifetime it has been chartered by many celebrities, John Wayne and Steve McQueen are a few. It also holds the record for canal passages. Every time it makes the transit there is a new record.
The trip from the boat is great. Our guide was extraordinarily knowledgable about the canal and the boat itself. If you listen and want to hear some fascinating stories, this is the trip for you.
Make sure to get a picture touching the wall of the canal inside the locks. There are tlles with depth indicators - look for them and snap away.
On the downside, the trip can be longer than anticipated. Since our boat is not huge, it has to wait for a large ship to come to make the usage of water worthwhile to operate the locks. The tour does time this as lock appointments are scheduled and paid for 48 hours in advance. This is one of the reasons the departure times vary. Every tour is different in that. Way.
Allow extra time and enjoy the trip. It is a worthwhile usage of a day. Remember tips for the guide, the crew and your bus driver.
We had an awesome experience on the Panama Canal - went through 3 locks! The tour guide did a fantastic job! Once in a lifetime experience!
The partial transit tour was great. JC was a great tour guide. One problem was our bus was late and we were the last group to get on the boat and so we got the only seating that was left which were lightweight aluminum deck chairs that were not secured. It was a little scary a couple of times when the boat lurched and the chairs tipped. Since most everybody was 70 years old or older this could've been a disaster if the chairs had tipped over. Some of the people already on the boat seem to be getting more attention and better service than our group and we couldn't understand the reason for that but it was still a great day. Would highly recommend the tour.
If you go to Panama you have to go through the canal. It is somewhat long and while pretty it is one thing that lasts 4-5 or so hours. Our guide he's been doing it for 12 years so probably the one everyone gets is REALLY good: knows all there is to know, fluent English, very entertaining. Food is so so, but it's boat food. Bus was late picking us up seems to be the main negative but they claim it was other passengers so if reading please be on time.
The tour guide was great. So much good information. Food- not a highlight.
JmanX27 United States of ...
This is a must do once in Panama. Great value for money. Host was very informative and entertaining.
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