Excursion Plans?

2 Jan

Melinda Turner made the following comment:

“Hi…I’m really enjoying your blog…thank you!! My family and I will be on the Celebrity Century from April 29, 2011 – May 14, 2011 on the exact same itinerary as your cruise. Can you share with me what excursions you will be doing for your whole cruise. We haven’t booked any yet but are now starting our research. We would be interested in ship excursions as well as private ones. If you have any suggestions for me that would be greatly appreciated. My dad and mother are going along with me and my fiance. My dad is 75 and my mother is 78. My mother is in a wheelchair so if you know of any excursions that are accessible I would really love to hear about them. Thank you so much and I’m looking forward to hearing from you!!!

Melinda”

Melinda,

Thanks for your kind comments about my blog. I’m sure you will really enjoy your cruise on the Century. She is the sister ship to my first cruise ship, the Celebrity Mercury. I really like the layout and size of the Century Class ships. To answer your question about excursions, here is what we have planned.

Cartagena – We are going to explore the Historic Old Town and Castillo San Felipe (fort) on our own. I first considered taking a tour, but later decided that it’s an easy area to explore on your own. We will take a taxi to the fort, first thing in the morning, and then spend our remaining time exploring the Old Town.

Colón Panama – Our excursion plans for Colón are still unsettled. I thought I had everything arranged when I booked the Gatun Lake Safari through Celebrity. Then I got an email from Celebrity indicating that the tour has changed.  I’m am in the process of trying to book directly with the original operator of the “houseboat” tour.  The reason I want to book this tour is to see all of the wildlife in and around Lake Gatun.

February 28, 2011 update: I tracked down the original operator of this tour, Carl Davis, at JunglelandPanama.com. There is a review of this tour on Cruise Critic. I went ahead and made a reservation for our cruise in April.

Puntarenas Costa Rica – I booked the “Jewels of Monte Verde Cloud Forest” through Celebrity. This is a trip to Selvatura Park in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. I figure after several days of tropical heat, it will be nice to go into the mountains to experience the cooler weather of the cloud forest. I booked this trip through the cruise line for two reasons: 1) the independent tour operator was the same price as Celebrity, and 2) most Costa Rica excursions, including this one, take you far away from the cruise ship. I like the peace of mind being on a cruise ship operated tour, knowing the ship will wait for a late tour.

Puerto Quetzal Guatemala – I booked the tour “Lake Atitlan From Another Angle” through Celebrity. I explain the reasons for my interest in Lake Atitlan on my Puerto Quetzal itinerary page. If we didn’t go to Lake Atitlan, then I would pick  Antigua Guatemala (Antigua – Self Guided via Celebrity). We didn’t pick Antigua because my wife thinks she will be tired of Spanish colonial cites by the time we get to Guatemala (after seeing San Juan and Cartagena).

Acapulco – We visited Acapulco on our 2006 Celebrity Mercury cruise. We went on a tour with Rosie Diaz Hernandez (see my Acapulco itinerary page for more information). I would really recommend Rosie if you want a guided tour. This time we are going explore on our own, visiting the Old Acapulco Zócalo, and Isla Roqueta.

Cabo San Lucas – We have visited Cabo on two previous cruises. This time, we plan to visit the town of San Jose del Cabo, located to the east of Cabo San Lucas. We will take a taxi. If this is your first time in Cabo, then I would recommend visiting El Arco and Lover’s Beach. There is no need to book this ahead of time. Just get a water taxi in the marina. Note – Your mother will probably not be able to get off the ship in Cabo because this is a tender port. Contact Celebrity to confirm. You and your fiance might want to visit Cabo on your own.  By this time, you will have earned a nomination for the daughter of the year award. Some time away from mom and dad might be very needed by then.

Accessible Excursions – I do not have any firsthand information on accessible excursions. But here is what I have seen. Celebrity has an Exciting And Accessible Shore Excursions section on their web site. You will want to read this and contact Celebrity very soon to see what arrangements they can make.

Good luck with your excursion plans.

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16 Responses to “Excursion Plans?”

  1. JoePatNYCT March 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Mercruiser,

    Is transportation to Gamboa included in this price?

    Thanks for taking the time to put all this info in one place!

    • mercruiser March 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

      Yes, the JunglelandPanama “houseboat” tour includes transportation from the cruise ship to the tour location near Gamboa.

      • JoePatNYCT March 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

        Mercruiser: I’ve contacted Carl on the JunglePanama tour. Did you send payment via AAAecotravel?

        Thanks.

      • mercruiser March 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

        Yes, I sent the payment information to info@panamacitytours.com and I also CCed it to Carl (the tour guide) at Carl at info@junglelandpanama.com

      • JoePatNYCT March 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

        Ok, I sent payment info to them. Thanks.

  2. Sally Schneider March 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    Mercruiser,
    Do you know if you do the Selvatura Park trip with the cruise company, if you can still do zip lines while you are there?
    Thanks,
    Saaly

    • mercruiser March 4, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

      I do not know if they will allow you to substitute the zip line (canopy tour) for the tree top walkways. It looks like Selvatura normally charges more for the zip line, see http://www.selvatura.com/selvatura/rates. So I would expect an extra charge if they allowed it. But, I have no way of knowing for sure if they will do that for you.

      I you have your heart set on the zip lines, then you might want to look at “Original Canopy Tour – Mahogany Park – CR12”. That is is a zip line tour.

      • Sally Schneider March 5, 2011 at 11:14 am #

        Thank you! I was just trying to spend part of the day with my husband and he will not do the zip lines. I emailed the cruise line, but I have not heard back from them. I may be walking the canopy instead of riding through it!! See you in a couple of weeks.
        Sally

  3. Madeline Thomas February 28, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Hi,thank you for the awesome work you have put into getting info out on this cruise. It is extremely helpful. My husband and I would love to share the taxi to the fort in Cartagena if you would like to. Thanks again for all your effort. Madeline

    • mercruiser March 2, 2011 at 6:49 am #

      Madeline,

      Thanks for your kind comments on my web site. I’ve enjoyed reading about our port stops and sharing that on the web site.

      I would be happy to share a taxi. We plan on going as soon as possible in the morning to beat the worst of the heat. I’ll send you a separate email with my contact info.

      If you have not already done so, I suggest joining our Cruise Critic Roll Call at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1191386
      My Cruise Critic name is mercruiser
      There is also a place to sign up for the free Cruise Connections Party hosted by Celebrity. It’s a good way to meet other people, and some groups have even received a free bridge tour.

  4. LisaH February 8, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    I came here via your post on Cruise Critic about excursions in Colon. Your information is so helpful! Thank you for making your research available to us- I like your conciseness. When you decide, will you please post an update on this comment thread regarding your plans for an excursion in Colon? I too would like a Disney jungle-boat style Gatan Lake cruise, and will be curious as to whether you track down that tour operator that Celebrity no longer uses. Thank you again!

    • mercruiser February 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

      LisaH, I ‘m glad to hear the Colon page is helpful to you. The ball is in my court to finalize the Gatun Lake Cruise reservations. I need to get on that. I’ll post an update when it’s done.

    • mercruiser February 28, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

      LisaH,

      I finally took the plunge and made a reservation for the real Gatun Lake Safari “houseboat” tour. This tour was previously offered by the cruise lines as the “Gatun Lake Safari”. Here is a review of the tour at Cruise Critic: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1364217

      Here is the tour info page and video:
      http://junglelandpanama.com/tours/day-adventure

  5. Rick Kneeshaw January 5, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    Yesterday Celebrity dropped the price of our 2A cabin $400.
    Looks like the high end cabins are sold out.

    • mercruiser January 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

      Hello Rick,

      It’s good to hear from you. That sounds like a nice discount on the 2A cabin. I imagine they will be adjusting the fares more often as the cruise date gets closer to make sure they fill every last cabin. It pays to check prices.

  6. Melinda Turner January 3, 2011 at 4:58 am #

    Hi. Thanks for taking the time to reply. Sounds like you have it all planned out. Thanks for sharing and enjoy cruise!!
    Melinda

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