2013-2014 Southern Caribbean Cruise From Panama

Price

5,795/Couple for 10 NIGHTS

Southern Caribbean Cruise From Panama
Enjoy 10 nights of relaxing vacation cruising through beautiful Southern Caribbean islands and Cartagena from Panama, our Port of Call and home to the 8th wonder of the World "The Panama Canal" waterway. And, when it comes to beautiful beaches and sparkling blue waters, the Caribbean really is in a league of its own. And no one does the Caribbean better than Royal Caribbean International. There are countless adventures within reach on your cruise vacation-get up close and personal with nature and culture in Cartagena-Colombia and the ABC Islands of Netherland Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao).

Summary

NOVEMBER 16, 2013 – APRIL 12, 2014

It is currently the only airport in Central America with two runways for use and is also the largest and busiest airport in the country and Central America by passenger traffic.

Exotic tropical rainforest, beautiful mountain refuges, and Caribbean-style beaches, one of the best birding sites worldwide, seven living Indian cultures, Panama is the sophisticated capital city with a vibrant night life, Spanish colonial historical sites (UNESCO World Heritage Site), golf, diving, snorkeling, not to mention that 8th wonder of the world and engineering marvel, the Panama Canal. It is hard to think of any other destination in the world that has such a variety of attractions that close and easy to get to.

On the beautiful Vision of the Seas, you'll never lose sight of why you came onboard - thanks to endless windows that immerse you in the coastal scenery and wide open sea. More relaxing moments can be had at the Vitality Spa, boasting treatments from massages to acupuncture, or at the sunlit Solarium pool - the perfect adults-only retreat. At-sea adventure more your style, try your luck at the Casino Royale, catch a spectacular Broadway-style show, or see what the evening holds at eight bars and lounges across the ship.

Day to Day Itinerary

DAY #1 — THURSDAY

TOCUMEN INTL AIRPORT (PTY) ARRIVAL TRANSFER
CHECK-IN AT VICTORIA HOTEL OR SIMILAR - PANAMA CITY (2 NIGHTS)

DAY #2 — FRIDAY

PANAMA CANAL & CITY TOUR

DAY #3 — SATURDAY

PORT OF COLON, PANAMA DEPARTURE TRANSFER
5:30 PM BOARDING ROYAL CARIBBEAN "VISION OF THE SEAS" CRUISESHIP

DAY #4 — SUNDAY

CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA - 10:00AM DOCKED
"BEST OF CARTAGENA" CITY TOUR
9:30PM CARTAGENA DEPARTURE

DAY #5 — MONDAY

CRUISING

DAY #6 — TUESDAY

BONAIRE, DUTCH ANTILLES - 10:00AM DOCKED
FREELANCING KRALENDIJK
6:00PM BONAIRE DEPARTURE

DAY #7 — WEDNESDAY

ARUBA, DUTCH ANTILLES - 8:00AM DOCKED
FREELANCING ORANJESTAD
6:00PM ARUBA DEPARTURE

DAY #8 — THURSDAY

CURACAO, DUTCH ANTILLES - 7:00AM DOCKED
"LITTLE AMSTERDAM" CITY WALK (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE)
4:00PM WILLEMSTAD DEPARTURE

DAY #9 — FRIDAY

CRUISING

DAY #10 — SATURDAY

6:30AM PORT OF COLON, PANAMA DOCKED
SPANISH FORTRESSES TOUR (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE)
CHECK-IN AT VICTORIA HOTEL OR SIMILAR - PANAMA CITY (1 NIGHT)

DAY #11 — SUNDAY

TOCUMEN INTL AIRPORT (PTY) DEPARTURE TRANSFER

Activities

This World Heritage Site is defined by two properties, the Archaeological sites of Old Panama and the Historic District (aka "Casco Viejo"). Old Panama is the oldest European settlement in the Pacific Coast of the Americas (established in 1519 by Spain). It was laid out on a rectilinear grid and marks the transference from Europe of the idea of a planned town. Abandoned in the mid-17th century, it was replaced four miles west of its original location by a 'new town' (the 'Historic District'), which has also preserved its original street plan, its architecture and an unusual mixture of Spanish, French and early American styles. Its massive historic sea wall built in the 1670s to defend the city from attack by the pirates still stands. Today it is one of the most important historical monuments in the Americas. The streets are filled with buildings that served as homes, cathedrals and churches and government buildings over centuries and many architectural phases. Some of these structures have been painstakingly restored and now house museums, gourmet restaurants, quaint shops and upscale residences offering an excellent peek into the varied history that the district has experienced.

The Panama Canal Visitor Center is an expression of the permanent commitment of the Panama Canal Authority to strengthen the public's knowledge of the Canal. Located on the east side of the Miraflores Locks, the Center allows the visitor to observe transiting vessels from a distance of only a few meters and learn firsthand about the various operations of the Panama Canal, the history of its construction, its participation in the world markets, and the importance of its watershed. The center features an ample, fully equipped theater, three observation terraces, two snack bars and restaurant with panoramic view, a gift shop, and a hall for special events. Four exhibition halls constitute the heart of this Visitor Center. The exhibitions include historic pieces, interactive modules, video presentations, models of the Panama Canal, and objects used in Canal operations. The History Hall portrays the background, technological innovations, and sanitary initiatives that went hand in hand with the construction of the Canal. This exhibition hall honors the hundreds of men and women who made this achievement possible. The Hall of Water: Source of Life emphasizes the importance of water, conservation of the environment and biodiversity, protection of the Canal Watershed, and the Panama Canal Authority's commitment to the sustainable management of this resource and the interoceanic region. The Canal in Action depicts in an amusing manner how the Canal operates and allows us the experience of being inside a navigation simulator and one of the lock culverts. A virtual ocean-to-ocean transit is also made possible through the use of a topographical model. This exhibition showcases Canal improvement, modernization, and maintenance projects. The Canal in the World provides information on the importance of the Canal to world trade; describes the trade routes it serves; and identifies its main users, the various types of vessels that transit the waterway, and the commodities they carry. In addition, it presents an overview of studies conducted in order to guarantee the future competitiveness of the Canal and the benefits to the Republic of Panama.

Curacao is known for its beautiful city center with 'The Little Amsterdam' line of buildings. Because of its history and stunning architecture, Curacao is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. You will be taken along the highlight in town, during a relaxing walk, together with an experienced guide. After a short briefing by your guide on the tour and the route, you will walk to the Rif Fort where the guide will explain the history of the area. On your way to the city center of Punda, with its world famous colored houses, you will cross the St Anna Bay by public ferry. This will give you a unique photo and video opportunity of the city. At the 'handelskade' you will pass by Punda's shopping area and your guide will inform you of its colorful history. Another of Curacao's "must see" areas is the famous "floating market" where merchants from Venezuela sell their fruits and vegetables. A refreshing welcome drink will await you at the Maritime Museum where you can see the nautical history of Curacao. At the end of the tour you can walk back to the ship through "Punda", on your own, while enjoying shopping and some more sightseeing opportunities. Minimum age to participate is 12 years.

Travel through time and explore a city as timeless as it is unique, Cartagena de Indias, discover the history and culture in a visit to the Inquisition Palace, San Pedro Clavers Santuary and enjoy some shopping at Las Bovedas and Pierino Gallo shopping Centers. Start your journey with a photo stop at San Felipe Fortress, the largest work of Spanish Military engineering in South America. Visit the Inquisition Palace which served as headquarters to the Court of the Holy Inquisition, inside this building you can see samples of jails and torture chambers. Wander the narrow cobblestone streets and squares inside the walled city and walk to the majestic San Pedro Clavers Sanctuary built to honor the missionary Saint Peter Claver, the patron saint of slaves. Las Bovedas Artisan Center is next, built as dungeons and as a means of storage, today local artisans display their work there. Enjoy some shopping at Pierino Gallo shopping center before returning to the ship. Note: The sightseeing portion in the old town requires extended periods of walking and standing.

(UNESCO's World Heritage Site). Enter into the rainforest to observe the vast array of animal species that make this pristine habitat home. We will encounter Fort San Lorenzo which is known as the "Guard of the Chagres River" since for 75 years this fort, with only 300 soldiers, repelled numerous attacks by the Pirates of the Caribbean preventing them from trespassing the gateway to the Americas. Its cannons still stand in this living testament to history. From here we continue to the historic town of Portobelo, famous for its trade fairs during the 17th century colonial times, it was one of the most important strongholds of the Spanish Main in the Americas. Once there, we will visit Forts San Geronimo and Santiago de la Gloria as well as the Church of San Felipe. The journey will end with a 45-min Trans-Isthmian train ride back to the Pacific coast of the continent. The railway follows the route used to transport 49ers coming from the east coast of the United States across the Isthmus to continue their journey by boat to California during the Gold Rush.

Tour Highlights

  • TAKE ADVANTAGE OF 100% GUIDED ACTIVITIES
  • EXPERIENCE THE STUNNING ARCHITECTURES OF HISTORIC DISTRICTS AND FORTRESSES
  • LEARN ABOUT THE FASCINATING CULTURAL HISTORY OF THE REGION
  • ENJOY BOTH CARIBBEAN SEA AND PACIFIC OCEAN BREEZES AND ADMIRE ITS COASTLINES
  • VISIT THE 8TH WONDER OF THE WORLD: THE PANAMA CANAL
  • MARVEL AT THE SIGHT OF GREAT VARIETY OF RAINFOREST FLORA & FAUNA

Lodging

Victoria Hotel & Suites

Offering an unbeatable location in the heart of Panama City, Victoria Hotel & Suites is close to shops, restaurants, museums, and other entertainment choices. Enjoy Panama's newest hotel, catering to the leisure traveler with spacious accommodations, modern technology and amenities designed with your comfort and convenience in mind. 1 Room Double Occupancy, Complimentary Breakfast.

Vision of the Seas Cruise Liner

Thousands of windows showcase the world's most memorable coastlines and ports. Whether you're cruising the Inside Passage or docked in Cartagena, you'll never lose sight of the reason you came aboard. Your 151 sq. ft. Large Ocean View Stateroom includes two (2) twin beds that convert to a Royal King, measuring 72.5 inches wide by 82 inches long, sitting area with sofa, vanity area and a private bathroom.

Transportation

Private transport service offers a safe, convenient, and flexible way to travel anywhere within Panama. Private transport can be scheduled anytime you wish and from any airport, hotel, private home or identifiable landmark in Panama. All the vehicles used for private transportation are air conditioned, well-maintained minibuses (passenger vans) driven by reliable and punctual Panamanian professionals, who are eager to help your group move safely about the country.

Not Included

  • MEALS (U.N.O.)
  • INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE
  • SOME GRATUITIES/SERVICE FEES
  • HOTEL/CRUISE EXTRAS
  • PERSONAL EXPENSES
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE
  • ONBOARD ROYAL CARIBBEAN: SPECIALTY RESTAURANT FEES, SOME BEVERAGES, PHOTOGRAPHS, MEDICAL SERVICES, ETC.

What to Bring

  • Binoculars, preferably 7x35 or bigger
  • Camera with extra batteries & film
  • Money in small denominations
  • Toiletries & personal medications
  • Hat, Day pack / dry sack
  • What to Expect

    • Prices and itineraries are correct at the time of printing, however they are subject to change due to tidal/weather or local conditions, availabilities or factors beyond our control.
    • When booking your airfare, please enter PTY or TOCUMEN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT under "Going to" or "To:" airport;
    • FTS will require itinerary information before we can expedite reservations and obtain vouchers;
    • Shipboard accommodations, ocean transportation, most meals, some beverages and most onboard entertainment are included onboard Royal Caribbean;
    • FTS strongly recommends that all guests travel with a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the end of the trip.
    • Day tour guide: US$10.00 per person/day
    • Transfer driver: US$2.00 per person
    • Tour driver: US$5.00 per person/day
    • Hotel bellman: US$1.00 per person per suitcase
    • International airport bellmen (red caps): US$1.00 per piece of suitcase
    • Travel protection is the unique combination of insurance benefits and assistance services specifically designed to help protect travelers.
    • Coverage benefits can include Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical/Dental Coverage, Emergency Medical Transportation, Travel Delay, Baggage Delay, Baggage Coverage, and Accidental Death.
    • Travel protection insures your prepaid and nonrefundable tickets, accommodations and other travel expenses, in case you miss your trip for a covered reason.
    • There are many covered reasons for cancelling a trip; however, the most common is an injury or illness. For example, a family is planning a summer vacation and a week before the trip, a close relative is admitted to the hospital with a life-threatening illness. The family could file a claim for any prepaid, nonrefundable expenses or other costs associated with a change or cancellation of their vacation plans.
    • While you can buy travel insurance up until the day before you depart, we recommend you purchase as early as possible to receive the maximum benefits if you have to cancel your travel arrangements for a covered reason.
    • Travel protection policy coverage generally starts at 12:01 A.M. on the day the scheduled trip begins. Therefore, travel protection cannot be purchased after that time.
    • FTS can only recommend the services of companies that provide top-quality coverage and impeccable customer service to our clients. You may purchase your policy directly by contacting Allianz Travel Insurance at http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com/.