We did the Ocean to Ocean in the Panama Canal. We were tendered to the Colon Yacht Club after we arrived in Gatun Lake. We were then taken by bus to Gamboa,
where we boarded our tour boat. It is a very comfortable boat and you can stay inside, where it's airconditioned, or outside. I stayed outside during the trip and took a lot of great pictures. I could almost reach out and touch the canal walls. I believe there were about 200 people onboard, so it's not a small boat.
Another tour that a lot of people took was the Atlantic to Pacific Railway Journey. The dome car tour sells out quickly, so if you want to do that, you should book soon.
The Ocean to Ocean also sold out.
We did the Coral last March and took the combination rain forest (adventure?) and canal tour in Limon $189.00. All day tour. Well worth the money and it fills up fast. Book it online and you can still cancel it if you want. Booked Don Foster for sting ray city in Grand cayman. We dont usually book on board but in Limon it was worth it.
Not sure if I'll be much help since I haven't gone yet, but I have asked the same basic question on a few boards and the overwhelming feedback seems to be to do the Ocean-to-Ocean Tour in the Canal as a first choice and the Railway Dome Car as a second choice. The only drawbacks I've heard about the Railway tour is the fact that it doesn't follow the Canal closely and you don't get the experience of going through the whole Canal on water. Hopefully, people will post that have done both so you can decide what works best for you.
We did a few other tours. Some we booked on ship, others we just did on our own. In Limon, we did the Rain Forest Pontoon Boat. It did rain, but since we had taken ponchos with us, we didn't get wet. I recommend you carry a poncho with you. Maybe you won't need it, but it's nice to have, if you do. The Pontoon Boat was fun. If you go on it, try to get the front seats. Others have recommended the Rainforest Aerial Tram. Since we had gone on the Ocean to Ocean the day before, we decided to do a shorter tour in Limon. You don't really need to book a tour in Grand Cayman. There are plenty of tours you can do on your own. Some will take you on a tour of the city, others will take you to Stingray City. We went on the semi-sub. Just make a right after you get off the tender and you'll see where you can buy tickets. We paid $20pp. On the ship, it was $34. If you like to snorkle, you can go to Eden's rock. It's also to the right, past the place you buy the submarine tickets. You can also rent snorkle gear there.
In Cozumel, we went to Chankanaab National Park. It's a beautiful park and I highly recommend it. It was just a short cab ride to the park from the ship. Actually, we could see the ship from the park. The cab ride was $10 for up to 4 people (not each) and admission to the park was $10pp. You can rent snorkle equipment for $9.00 (Includes, mask, snorkle, fins and life vest.) In Ft Lauderdale, we did the Everglades Airboat and Tropical Gardens Tour, booked on the ship. You can only book this on the ship, if you have a late flight. If we go back to Ft Lauderdale, we will do this on our own, for a lot less money.
Hope this info helps. Enjoy your cruise.
KS - Can you tell me more about the Pontoon Boat Tour? What animals did you see? Was it a long drive? Were there restroom facilities at the dock or on the bus?
We've also booked that one, for the same reasons you did. I chose the earliest tour (7:45 AM I think), figuring we might see more animals then. I will definitely get the ponchos. I have to look around a bit more, as I haven't found them anywhere yet. (I guess that's one of the drawbacks of living in So. Cal.) :worried
Lady Jag- We took the early tour and we still didn't see very many animals. It was mostly riding around, looking for them. We saw a couple of monkeys, a sloth, some bats on a tree and some birds. I have to admit, it wasn't the most exciting tour I ever took. I think the bus ride was about an hour, each way. The bus was comfortable and had air conditioning. I believe there was a restroom on the bus and at the dock. There is a gift shop at the dock. I wouldn't worry too much about getting ponchos, the only rain we had was in Limon and that didn't last very long. If you do get a poncho, you'll want the very light weight one, that you can roll up real small. They did have a cover on the boat, that they put up when it started to rain.
You're welcome Lady Jag. Glad to help. Randy, I don't have any idea who operates this tour. It may be something that was put together for cruise ships. I wouldn't feel real comfortable going off on my own in Limon. I think this is one port that a person is better off booking a tour on the ship. I wouldn't even want to venture off the main street in Limon alone. JMHO
a great tour in Limon is to the sloth santuary, Princess on board is $99 per person, you can do much better in port. Great tour and your tour guide can also take you other places for less money. If anyone is interested I have one booked for the 19 of Feb, cruise departs 14 Feb Island Princess. Have room for Four more, tour guides name is Carlos and he comes highly recommended
Colo Cruiser... I am on the Coral Princess March 12 and am interested in the tour you mentioned in Limon -- Costa Rican Adventure. I am traveling with my grandmother who, though not confined to a wheel chair, does have limited mobility. I'm as worried about the length of the tour as anything, but she wants to try. The essence of my question is: How physically challenging is the tour? Is it hard to get in tram or boat???? Any assistance you can offer would be GREATLY appreciated!
A year or so ago I picked up cheap, plastic poncho's in K-mart..sporting goods dpt. Well worth it..You can always toss them at the end of the trip if they get funky. That gives you a bit of room for new treasures in your bags!!!
Any suggetions for indepent tours in Grand Cayman...especially for Stingray tours. They are cheaper off the ship but who, how long etc...
Thanks for the info about the ponchos, Star. I will be brave and venture into that dreaded store. :grin
We've done Capt. Marvin's in Grand Cayman and had a great time. The crew was incredible! Very professional, helpful, knowledgeable. My only 'beef' is that they use a fishing-type boat that is noisy and stinks of exhaust. It gets you to the sand bar before other boats, but I'd rather sail on a catamaran. This time, we're trying Capt. Bryan's which is $36 per person for 2 stops, one of which is Stringray City. They have a very professional-type booking system and answer e-mails very promptly. Here's a link:
i went on the celebrity cruise to panama last year full transit and we did the river rafting in costa rica . it was alot of fun saw alot of monkeys birds iguanas ( didnt spell that right i know lol). really enjoyed it .
Rainforest--get it, rain! We got soaked in the morning and again in the afternoon. When we started the ecological area land tour in Costa Rica it was sunny so most people left their raingear on the coach. Just about when we got to the furthest point, gushing down showers came. The ecologists offered two choices: they would take our two umbrellas and everyone's camera gear or everyone could run for the coach themselves. (We took a few cameras and kept our umbrellas.)
We saw mighty venimous vipers, too close. Like, someone went right under a dead-looking vine where the eyelash viper the next person saw could have bitten the first guy on the neck. Also, when everyone was running for the coach and trying to avoid puddles by stepping to the side of the trail, we could have just as easily stepped within the strike of the Ferdinand de lance viper we spotted at the edge of the trail later in the day.
I'm still spooked. Also cancelled a n Amazon cruise shortly thereafter.