Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Ports of Call > Panama Canal
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old December 11th, 2008, 03:38 PM
Ivy86's Avatar
Ivy86 Ivy86 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: somewhere near a cruise port
Posts: 694
Default Beware booking tours in Panama.....!

MY Mother in Law was in Panama this past week on a cruise from RCCL and some 50 passengers book an excursion w an independent tour operator instead of the cruise line ...they were heading to the tour when a group of men stopped their van and they all got robbed. lost passports,cameras, money ,jewelry etc.
__________________


Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old December 16th, 2008, 10:22 AM
MandyGirl's Avatar
MandyGirl MandyGirl is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,392
Default

I hope everyone was okay! Do you know which independent tour operator or which tour they were doing? Something more remote vs something more popular?
__________________
Upcoming: 05/14 Carnival Dream , 08/14 Norwegian Star - Baltics , 09/14 Westbound Transatlantic on Disney Magic BCN-SJU
Previous: 12/13 Disney Magic Bahamas, 11/13 Caribbean Princess, 06/13 NCL Spirit Barcelona to Venice with Turkey and Croatia,
05/13 Disney Eastbound Transatlantic ,
11/12 - Disney Western Caribbean,
09/11 - Disney Westbound TransAtlantic, 03/09 - Celebrity Southern Caribbean
03/06 - Celebrity Infinity Eastern Caribbean , 06/05 - NCL Sun Alaska
11/04 - HAL ms Zuiderdam Eastern Caribbean , 11/03 - HAL ms Maasdam Western Caribbean
03/2003 S/S Norway E. Caribbean Wedding Cruise ~ Married on the beach on St John, USVI!
12/01 - Celebrity Galaxy Southern Caribbean , 12/00 - NCL Sky Western Caribbean
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old December 29th, 2008, 04:50 PM
J&R Cruisers J&R Cruisers is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 68
Default

This post needs more info. How was this tour booked and the name of the tour. Without the proper infor this can only be used to scare people. Please give details.
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old December 30th, 2008, 06:13 AM
BillB48's Avatar
BillB48 BillB48 is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,129
Default

Not a lot of details such as the tour operator or the ship, but here is a link......

http://www.panama-guide.com/article....81212185014926
__________________
BB
"If the phone doesn't ring, it's me!"
"Is it ignorance or is it apathy? ... I don't know and I don't care!"
S.S. Badger R/T from Manitowoc June 02
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old December 30th, 2008, 09:04 AM
MandyGirl's Avatar
MandyGirl MandyGirl is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,392
Default

Thank you for sharing the link.
__________________
Upcoming: 05/14 Carnival Dream , 08/14 Norwegian Star - Baltics , 09/14 Westbound Transatlantic on Disney Magic BCN-SJU
Previous: 12/13 Disney Magic Bahamas, 11/13 Caribbean Princess, 06/13 NCL Spirit Barcelona to Venice with Turkey and Croatia,
05/13 Disney Eastbound Transatlantic ,
11/12 - Disney Western Caribbean,
09/11 - Disney Westbound TransAtlantic, 03/09 - Celebrity Southern Caribbean
03/06 - Celebrity Infinity Eastern Caribbean , 06/05 - NCL Sun Alaska
11/04 - HAL ms Zuiderdam Eastern Caribbean , 11/03 - HAL ms Maasdam Western Caribbean
03/2003 S/S Norway E. Caribbean Wedding Cruise ~ Married on the beach on St John, USVI!
12/01 - Celebrity Galaxy Southern Caribbean , 12/00 - NCL Sky Western Caribbean
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old January 7th, 2009, 09:26 PM
abhb abhb is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 1,179
Default

This article did not say which cruise line. It could not have been Royal Caribbean. They do not allow anyone to get off the ship in Panama unless they booked it through them. They can control this since the ship is anchored in Gatun Lake. You must have excursion tickets to take the tender to shore.

The ship docks at the pier for several hours after 3:00pm. If this tour was then, they would have missed the ship leaving.

Just did the Panama Canal is December on RCCL-Jewel.

From my understanding most ship do not allow private excursions in Panama for the same reasons.
__________________




Past Cruises:
Explorer 12/30/12 Makes us Diamond
Liberty 1/3/12
Oasis 4/16/11
Mariner 6/27/10
Explorer 6/11/09
Jewel 12/19/08
Navigator 1/24/08
Navigator 6/06
Voyager 6/04
Century 7/03-20th Anniversary
Viking Serenade 6/94
Norway 7/83-honeymoon
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old January 7th, 2009, 09:56 PM
MandyGirl's Avatar
MandyGirl MandyGirl is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,392
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhb View Post

From my understanding most ship do not allow private excursions in Panama for the same reasons.
Carnival Freedom does allow it... anyone can get off for whatever shore excursion. Does not have to be a ship's excursion at all. I had been booked on the Freedom for March up until a couple days prior to final payment, which is why I had been curious about this thread...
__________________
Upcoming: 05/14 Carnival Dream , 08/14 Norwegian Star - Baltics , 09/14 Westbound Transatlantic on Disney Magic BCN-SJU
Previous: 12/13 Disney Magic Bahamas, 11/13 Caribbean Princess, 06/13 NCL Spirit Barcelona to Venice with Turkey and Croatia,
05/13 Disney Eastbound Transatlantic ,
11/12 - Disney Western Caribbean,
09/11 - Disney Westbound TransAtlantic, 03/09 - Celebrity Southern Caribbean
03/06 - Celebrity Infinity Eastern Caribbean , 06/05 - NCL Sun Alaska
11/04 - HAL ms Zuiderdam Eastern Caribbean , 11/03 - HAL ms Maasdam Western Caribbean
03/2003 S/S Norway E. Caribbean Wedding Cruise ~ Married on the beach on St John, USVI!
12/01 - Celebrity Galaxy Southern Caribbean , 12/00 - NCL Sky Western Caribbean
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old January 8th, 2009, 04:00 AM
whisperinglove1 whisperinglove1 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Preston
Posts: 6
Default tour operator

I don't think is a problem of which tour operator to choose, is a problem that this area is dangerous to do with anyone. I would just book through the cruise line.

Wis
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old January 8th, 2009, 04:03 AM
whisperinglove1 whisperinglove1 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Preston
Posts: 6
Default tour operator

Quote:
Originally Posted by MandyGirl View Post
Carnival Freedom does allow it... anyone can get off for whatever shore excursion. Does not have to be a ship's excursion at all. I had been booked on the Freedom for March up until a couple days prior to final payment, which is why I had been curious about this thread...
I was reading a few articles about this too, and some cruise lines companies let you book with private agencies.
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old January 16th, 2009, 12:22 AM
drdaddy's Avatar
drdaddy drdaddy is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Coral Springs, FL
Posts: 1,144
Default

But why couldn't an excursion booked and taken with the cruiseline NOT get held up? If the independent went into an area that is dangeous, that is one thing but I am sure it can happen anywhere anytime, no?
__________________
Rob

1984 - 2009
Emerald Seas, Majesty of the Seas,

SS Norway including Her "Farewell Voyage" to Europe on September 11, 2001,

Zuiderdam, Volendam, Coral Princess, Island Princess, Explorer of the Seas,
Liberty of the Seas, Carnival Valor

Navigator of the Seas 10/23/10 Westbound TA
NCL Epic Western Caribbean 4/30/11
Celebrity Eclipse 10/30/11 TransAtlantic
Ruby Princess 10/9/12 TransAtlantic
Royal Princess 10/9/13 TransAtlantic
Oasis of the Seas 6/28/14 : My 60th Birthday Getaway!

Oasis of the Seas 10/15/14 Southampton Transatlantic
Allure of the Seas 10/22/15 Rome-Barcelona Mini
Allure of the Seas 10/25/15 TransAtlantic
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old January 17th, 2009, 12:28 PM
mlbcruiser mlbcruiser is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 3,698
Default

I agree totally w/drdaddy. It's not like there are armed guards on the cruiseline's tours. Even if there were, you just never know . . .!) Smart things to do are: don't wear ANY "real" jewelry or a "good" watch; take very little money w/you; use a disposable camera; have a little "mixed" money you can turn over if confronted; and if you feel you MUST bring money, you can TRY sticking a few bills in your sock or pin it to the inside of your shorts or pants in a place where it's not likely to be noticed much. Or maybe you can "stash" it to the bottom of your bus seat w/elec. tape or something. Just don't forget it!

Last edited by mlbcruiser; January 17th, 2009 at 12:35 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old January 19th, 2009, 08:09 AM
Jeffski Jeffski is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 118
Default

I think the implication here is that a private guide could be part of the heist by telling the robbers where and when they will be and getting paid to do so. You would hope that scenario would be less likely with a ship sponsored outing.
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old January 30th, 2009, 01:43 PM
travellovers2's Avatar
travellovers2 travellovers2 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 765
Default

As I was reading this thread I kept wondering the same as others, why would a tour booked through the ship not get held up and others do. But then again the ship may be very careful who they book with and that company could face consequences if security for the tourists is compromised, like losing the business. You just never know, maybe the tour operator alerted the thieves as to the route they would be taking. We usually take little cash, mostly credit cards that can be cancelled. When we have carried cash, we put a little bit in different areas of the body. I know this is not funny, but just picturing the tourists taking photos of the thieves....
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old January 31st, 2009, 07:14 AM
pokeyjones's Avatar
pokeyjones pokeyjones is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Northern Greater Cincinnati
Posts: 549
Default Police escort

Quote:
Originally Posted by drdaddy View Post
But why couldn't an excursion booked and taken with the cruiseline NOT get held up? If the independent went into an area that is dangeous, that is one thing but I am sure it can happen anywhere anytime, no?
I did the Canal Experience with HAL-Zuiderdam in mid December. Once we got back on our buses (4 filled) and headed for the ship, we had a 2 car police escort for more than 45 minutes of an anticipated 2 hour ride. The ride only took 1:45 with the escort. We also traveled with an empty bus which was provided as a back up, if one of the other buses broke down. I'd say we really got our money's worth!
__________________



Zuiderdam Dec 2008
Veendam May 2006
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old January 31st, 2009, 10:59 AM
dpm321's Avatar
dpm321 dpm321 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Westford, Massachusetts
Posts: 121
Default Life in the "third world"

Unfortunately this kind of thing is a fact of life in that part of the world. Costa Rica is another place big on highway hold-ups. Unfortunately, use of cruise-line excursions is not a guarantee. Two years ago a cruise-line sponsored excursion bus was boarded by two armed gunmen. The passengers eventually overpowered them (and in fact killed one). Costa Rican authorities thanked them and sent them back to the ship in time to depart. As in travel everywhere, it pays to be aware of your surroundings, always pay attention and blend in as best you can. If you book an independent tour, be sure you know who you are dealing with.
__________________


My first cruise was on RMS Carinthia (Transatlantic) at age of 3, been loving it ever since!
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old February 1st, 2009, 05:53 AM
Richard in Panama Richard in Panama is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
Posts: 1,164
Default

Quote:
Unfortunately this kind of thing is a fact of life in that part of the world. Costa Rica is another place big on highway hold-ups. Unfortunately, use of cruise-line excursions is not a guarantee. Two years ago a cruise-line sponsored excursion bus was boarded by two armed gunmen. The passengers eventually overpowered them (and in fact killed one). Costa Rican authorities thanked them and sent them back to the ship in time to depart. As in travel everywhere, it pays to be aware of your surroundings, always pay attention and blend in as best you can. If you book an independent tour, be sure you know who you are dealing with
First,neither Costa Rica nor Panama are "third world", unless you define everything outside of your comfort zone as "third world." Both are definitely "second world" moving toward "first world."

This type of thing is NOT common! "Two years ago. . ." in Costa Rica. Common? This type of thing happens in New York, New Orleans, everywhere there are poor people who see a bunch of rich tourists as targets. I believe the incident in Costa Rica "two years ago" was a group of independent travelers from a Carnival ship who were doing their own thing and asked to be taken to a "remote beach." Dah! Both of these countries value tourists and make every attempt to take great care of them. On a recent ship Embera tour from Madden Lake where these independent tourists encountered problems I noticed that there was a uniformed tourist policeman with us, as well as a plain clothes policeman.

You are right that a tour purchased through the ship is not a "guarantee" - ever read your "cruise contract" lately? - the cruise lines do pick the best and most reliable operators and if there is reason for safety concerns will either not use that operator or tour, or even not go to the port at all. When you choose to be "on your own" you are "on your own."

Quote:
As in travel everywhere, it pays to be aware of your surroundings, always pay attention and blend in as best you can. If you book an independent tour, be sure you know who you are dealing with
. . . EXCELLENT ADVICE!

Regards, Richard
__________________

Richard Detrich - Port & Canal Lecturer & Author
Panama Cruise Blog
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old February 2nd, 2009, 12:28 PM
dpm321's Avatar
dpm321 dpm321 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Westford, Massachusetts
Posts: 121
Unhappy Sorry...

Richard, you are right and I guess I should have been more careful in my use of terms. I apologize if I offended. These types of things do indeed occur everywhere. My, not very well made, point was that there are no guarantees and to not think you are in your backyard when travelling abroad. I have extensive international travel experience, both pleasure and business (including a couple of real third world countries) and one of my pet peeves has always been Americans thinking the world should adapt to them rather than them trying to fit in to the country they are visiting. Thanks for the clarification.

As an aside, are you going to be on board the Zuiderdam at the end of March? I've read wonderful reviews on your Panama talks, and we are really looking forward to the trip.
__________________


My first cruise was on RMS Carinthia (Transatlantic) at age of 3, been loving it ever since!
Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old February 3rd, 2009, 05:32 AM
Richard in Panama Richard in Panama is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
Posts: 1,164
Default

dpm321, Hey, great! Look forward to meeting you. You can give the speech about being "street smart" and leaving all your Rolexes and diamond tennis bracelets in your safe on board the ship! Regards, Richard
__________________

Richard Detrich - Port & Canal Lecturer & Author
Panama Cruise Blog
Reply With Quote

  #19  
Old July 14th, 2009, 09:47 PM
Ivy86's Avatar
Ivy86 Ivy86 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: somewhere near a cruise port
Posts: 694
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillB48 View Post
Not a lot of details such as the tour operator or the ship, but here is a link......

http://www.panama-guide.com/article....81212185014926


This is the tour I was talking about my mother in law was in that ship at the time...the persons injured were her friends .
__________________


Reply With Quote

  #20  
Old July 16th, 2009, 12:33 AM
Miss Dot's Avatar
Miss Dot Miss Dot is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 212
Default

WOW, I just happened upon this thread. Just returned last week, did not take a tour. Just got off the ship for a little while at the port. Was suprised to find an armed guard (shotgun) at the entrance to the grocery store. My Mom overheard some passengers talking about being on a tour and being stopped by the police; and everyone had to give $5.00 to cotinue on the tour.
__________________


6-1979 ~ CCL Carnivale
9-1991 ~ CCL Ecstasy
9-1993 ~ CCL Ecstacy
11-1994 ~ CCL Fascination
7-2008 ~ RCCL Grandeur of the Seas
7-2009 ~ CCL Freedom
11-2009 ~ CCL Triumph
12-27-2010~ RCCL Enchantment of the Seas
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:45 AM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.
Cookie ConsentCookie Policy