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Cristobal Pier, Panama

Discussion in 'Celebrity Cruises' started by tgntm, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. tgntm

    tgntm Guest

    I will be on Celebrity in March stopping at Cristobal Pier. Can anyone tell me ANYTHING about this stop.

    My understanding is that upon arrival you go through the Gutan Locks into Lake Gutan. While in Lake Gutan passengers will take tenders to their excursion.

    After this the boat docks at Cristobal Pier. Is this familiar to anyone? It appears to me that the Boat would need to back through the locks to get to the Pier. Or is the Pier in the Lake?

    What about the Pier itself? Much to do there? Places to eat? Shopping? I do hear that Panama is not the best place to go off on your own.

    I will take any insight that the wisdom of this room can offer.
  2. Ted_D

    Ted_D Guest

    You may be entering the lake, but I doubt it. Check with your TA or Celebrity. Usually, the X cruises that dock at Cristobal do NOT actually enter the canal at all, but dock right adjacent to the Caribbean entrance. You will see dozens of ships right there getting ready to enter the canal or just exiting it. You are literally less than a half mile from the canal entrance.

    Cristobal pier has a small duty free shopping area, and there are almost always some additional craft vendors that set up shop there. The pier is located in an industrial area, and there isn't anything (safe) to do right there. There are good excursions to nearby Gatun Lake and the Gatun Locks, as well as longer excursions that go all the way to Panama City by rail, or through the locks by ferry. I particularly enjoyed an eco-excursion boat ride through the lake that also visited the locks to watch ships transit.

    I definitely agree with the observation that this is not an area that lends itself to independent exploring.

    Enjoy your cruise.
  3. geejay

    geejay Guest

    We were on the Coral in December and chose to stay on the ship on the return trip through the locks, then got off the ship at Cristobal. There is a large building with several shops set up and an area in the middle of the shops where locals dance and a band plays and sings. The band was awesome. At one end of it there was a bar with $1 beer. On the other side of the bulding there are many, many craft booths set up. All of this is perfectly safe, but you are not advised to go any further than these areas.
    We enjoyed this stop and I was sorry I had left my camera on-board, as there were many great picture opportunities.
  4. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

    Take the rain forest tour...you will go right THROUGH the locks, see them up close and watch ships travel through and the water come back in....this is because you have to wait to get over the bridge while waiting on the ships.
  5. Funcruiser56

    Funcruiser56 Guest

    When we were on the Brilliance we went through the locks into the lake, sat their for a couple of hours and then returned back throught the locks. Down the channel to the pier. There was plenty of shopping inside especially if you like local, craft type things. We purchased some beautiful wood hand carved items from a local indian tribe that rows in each day with their items. This area seemed secure to us and we enjoyed the stop.

  6. forensic

    forensic Guest

    We docked here on the Constellation last fall and did NOT enter the locks. We did not take an excursion, rather just walked around the port area. We enjoyed ourselves very much and had a very nice day. If we go again we would like to take at train with the dome car to the West Coast of Panama. We thought the time was a little tight to do that.
  7. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

    The Constellation was my sailing as well...again, I highly recommend the rain forest tour, not only for an excellent view of the locks and how they work, but the rainforest is amazing. I'm not a "tour" person, but this was one I really enjoyed alot and was glad I booked. Otherwise, I would have ended up doing what you did, just wandering around that little tent area at the port.

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