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Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 271
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 12
Countries Visited:

USA, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Japan, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, China, India, Turkey, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Scotland, England, France, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, Montenegro, Slovenia, Albania, Luxembourg, Croatia, Russia, Finland, Egypt, Jordan, Panama, Colombia, Iceland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.

Traveler Since: 2005

December 16, 2015

I'd like to hear from anyone who has taken the one optional tour, The Route of Rum, on the Panama Canal Cruise, and also anyone who chose to take either optional tour on the post trip to Cartagena, Colombia. (Those are called Colonial Coffee Experience and Rosario Islands.) Were these fun experiences, and a good value? What about the snorkeling time on the Rosario Islands tour? Was there good rental equipment available, and much underwater to see?  I know that we don't have to decide until we are actually on the trip, but I'm trying to do a little research ahead of time.  Thanks!

Author: grtbritfan

Joined: 3/7/2010
Posts: 24
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2010

December 22, 2015

We didn't take the Rum tour, but nearly half of our group did, and from everything they said, they apparently really enjoyed it - and returned VERY happy!  :-)   We just went in October - it's a great trip!

Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 271
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 12
Countries Visited:

USA, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Japan, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, China, India, Turkey, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Scotland, England, France, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, Montenegro, Slovenia, Albania, Luxembourg, Croatia, Russia, Finland, Egypt, Jordan, Panama, Colombia, Iceland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.

Traveler Since: 2005

December 31, 2015

Is there anyone who has been on the Cartagena post trip and can give me information about the snorkeling part of the Rosario Island optional?  I particularly want to know if masks with magnification are available.  Thanks!

Author: dillontwosome@ya...

Joined: 2/3/2015
Posts: 72
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

GCT - South America. Dalmatian Coast. Panama

Traveler Since: 2015

January 21, 2016

This trip is on our short list for 2017. Would love to have more info from those that have already taken this one. Thanks!

Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 271
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 12
Countries Visited:

USA, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Japan, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, China, India, Turkey, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Scotland, England, France, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, Montenegro, Slovenia, Albania, Luxembourg, Croatia, Russia, Finland, Egypt, Jordan, Panama, Colombia, Iceland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.

Traveler Since: 2005

January 25, 2016

We just returned from this trip, Dillontwosome.  The Route of the Rum optional was a fun day, included a good lunch and there were interesting things to see, hear.....and taste!  I would definitely take it. We loved going through the Panama Canal and learning about the country's history, crafts, and customs, and enjoyed the main Panama trip very much.

The Cartagena, Colombia post trip, not so much.  We both agree we would skip the whole thing. It was extremely hot, the hotel was full of mold and mildew (although it has a lovely patio), the guide had a definite political agenda, and you could see Cartagena quite well in about a day and a half instead of the four and a half days this trip allows. Instead of flying direct on a one hour flight from Panama City, the Grand Circle air desk routed everyone through Bogota (two 1 1/2 hour flights, plus a 1 1/12 hour layover with a difficult plane change in Bogota), possibly to save money, I don't know. The flying day was an unnecessary ordeal. The volcano trip and the Rosario Islands were both arbitrarily cancelled. People were not friendly as they were in Panama; the main welcoming faces were saw were at the emerald factory.  Hardly anyone smiled back when you smiled at them. We did like the old fort and the gold museum, and the food was good, although not much of it was included in the extension price. We were very unhappy with most of this post trip extension. Our advice is to spend your precious time and your money elsewhere.

Author: dillontwosome@ya...

Joined: 2/3/2015
Posts: 72
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

GCT - South America. Dalmatian Coast. Panama

Traveler Since: 2015

January 26, 2016

Thank you Gaynell. That was great feedback.

Author: dillontwosome@ya...

Joined: 2/3/2015
Posts: 72
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

GCT - South America. Dalmatian Coast. Panama

Traveler Since: 2015

February 13, 2016

The hotel used in Colombia gets hit or miss reviews on Trip Advisor. For the amount of money and the limited time of guided tours, it doesn't seem worth it.

We did think the pre-trip sounded nice, although it's basically a trip to the beach.

Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 271
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 12
Countries Visited:

USA, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Japan, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, China, India, Turkey, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Scotland, England, France, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, Montenegro, Slovenia, Albania, Luxembourg, Croatia, Russia, Finland, Egypt, Jordan, Panama, Colombia, Iceland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.

Traveler Since: 2005

February 14, 2016

We thought the pre-trip to Bocas Del Toro sounded nice, too, and if it had been offered on the dates we were able to travel, we would have taken it.  I can only comment on the main Panama trip and the Cartagena post-trip, since we did not go on the pre-trip.

Author: teddy4949

Joined: 7/17/2014
Posts: 5
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2008

July 06, 2016

We enjoyed the trip to the rum factory, though I thought it was a little overpriced.  But you do get a nice lunch and touring the facility was very interesting.  The ox cart ride was great fun. The rum tasting was extremely informative.  I had no idea there were so many grades of rum.and you got quite a lot to taste.  And fellow travelers are eager to pass what they don't wish to drink along to others.

Author: dillontwosome@ya...

Joined: 2/3/2015
Posts: 72
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

GCT - South America. Dalmatian Coast. Panama

Traveler Since: 2015

July 06, 2016

We booked our trip departing on 28 April 2017. We decided to go for the post trip to Cartagena despite some of the reviews. One of our neighbors who has taken many GCT and OAT trips loved this one, so we are very excited.

Author: carolinetompkins

Joined: 11/14/2015
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 8
Traveler Since: 2008

July 09, 2016

My husband and I went to Panama in April on the first of four back-to-back trips with GCT and OAT (Panama, Brazil, Colombia and Peru).  We added the pre trip to Bocas del Toro, which we'd highly recommend: gorgeous beach, amazing visit to the local indigenous community and beautiful jungle experience.  Since we were going to Colombia with OAT, we didn't do the post trip.  Cartagena is just one of the many amazing places in Colombia, so why not do a back-to-back with the Colombia trip with OAT?  It's well worth it, especially the Coffee Triangle and Medellin!

Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 271
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 12
Countries Visited:

USA, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Japan, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, China, India, Turkey, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Scotland, England, France, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, Montenegro, Slovenia, Albania, Luxembourg, Croatia, Russia, Finland, Egypt, Jordan, Panama, Colombia, Iceland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.

Traveler Since: 2005

September 06, 2017

Dillontwosome, I just wondered how you felt about your decision to take the post trip to Colombia. Did it live up to your expectations? Were you glad you took that post trip, or did you wish you had skipped it?  Sometimes I re-read a dialog, and wonder how it all turned out.

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