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Customer Reviews for Gatun Locks & Kayak in the Canal to Colon

Gatun Locks & Kayak in the Canal to Colon

Gatún Lake was created during the building of the Panama Canal because raising the water level across the isthmus meant that excavations did not have to be so vast. A large earthen wall was built, villages were flooded and the water rose to form Gatún Lake. At the Melia Resort, you will gear up , and away you go—paddling a kayak on the Panama Canal itself. You’ll have approximately 1¾ hours to paddle among the islands of Gatún Lake. There are 1,368 species of vascular plants, 93 species of mammals and as many as 366 species of birds in this area. You will also visit the Gatún Locks Lookout where you will be able to see the operation of the canal—a great marvel of modern engineering.
Average Customer Rating:
3.5 out of 5
3.5
 out of 
5
(6 Reviews) 6
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (6 reviews)
5 stars
2
4 stars
1
3 stars
2
2 stars
0
1 star
1
4 out of 6(67%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Gatun Locks & Kayak in the Canal to Colon
Review 1 for Gatun Locks & Kayak in the Canal to Colon
Overall Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Very unsafe

Date:February 28, 2013
Alberta
Location:Calgary, Canada
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:February
Would you recommend this product to a friend? No
Enjoyed it?
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Value
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Did not enjoy this excursion at all. Kayaks plastic and very uncomfortable to sit in. Life jackets provided in poor condition and were not checked by anyone for a proper fit. No instruction given to anyone who had not kayaked before. My husband and I have both kayaked on a few occasions so this wasn't a big issue for us. Very windy on the lake and guide got way ahead of many in our group and left many of us behind to fight our way back through the wind and waves. Certainly not a fun trip. Also did not see any wildlife on this trip out. Felt very unsafe.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? No
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 2 for Gatun Locks & Kayak in the Canal to Colon
Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Beats Sittign on Your Butt on the Ship, the Train,

Date:January 20, 2012
BigDawg
Location:Newport Coast, CA
Cruise Date Year:2011
Cruise Date Month:December
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
If you want to do something active in this area, then this is really your only choice. Overall, we enjoyed it. The Gatun Lake area is very scenic, but, at the same time, not much going on at the time for wildlife. So, if you would like a relatively low key trip through a beautiful area, then this may be for you.
In response to the prior review, these are ocean kayaks and, yes, they are designed, to take on water - they are self bailing. I personally prefer open sea kayaks, as they are not as confining as the cold weather, enclosed kayaks. To each his own.
Contrary to other postings, we did enjoy viewing the locks again, mostly because we found the vewing angle better than on the ship. It was also narrated, and we did learn some new things.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+6points
6out of 6found this review helpful.
Review 3 for Gatun Locks & Kayak in the Canal to Colon
Overall Rating
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Gatun Lake Adventure Falls Short

Date:January 14, 2012
Cletus
Location:Minneapolis, MN
Cruise Date Year:2011
Cruise Date Month:December
Would you recommend this product to a friend? No
Enjoyed it?
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
On January 2, 2012, my wife, son and daughter and did the Gatun Lake kayak and locks adventure. It was overpriced, in my opinion, and not entirely the best. First we were bused to the viewing stand for the Gatun Locks. Having just gone through the locks, this was somewaht duplicative, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Our guide, on the bus trip, was somewhat "off the wall" in my opinion on his comments and he and his sense of humor didn't seem to be a particularly good fit for the Holland America passengers. When we got down to the hotel and resort we were put in the "kayaks". These were undecked "kayaks" of plastic or other synthetic material, however. They were completely open. I have spent hundreds of miles in a canoe. All of us are experienced canoeists. In my mid 50s, however, and with recent back issues, that very simple formed synthetic watercraft was not comfortable for either my wife or I. We were all simply loaded into the "kayaks" with no discussion or instruction that I (in the back) heard. People just wandered out into the lake and waited. Eventually we found a guide to follow. The wind came up and the kayaking became difficult. Successful wildlife spotting was limited. The guide tried hard, however. I am used to wind, but with the very awkward seating position and the very minimalist open watercraft, it was very difficult. My daughter and I made it back as did all but one of the "kayaks". That watercraft contained my wife and son. It had filled with water and been picked up by the boat that was trailing us. We were bused back to Colon, arriving there shortly before the ship.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? No
+2points
4out of 6found this review helpful.
Review 4 for Gatun Locks & Kayak in the Canal to Colon
Overall Rating
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Decent kayaking, competent guide, nothing special

Date:December 28, 2011
ArkansasTraveler
Location:Arkansas
Cruise Date Year:2011
Cruise Date Month:December
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
This excursion was executed competently, and it was pleasant overall, but it just wasn't all that memorable. The guide was honestly trying, and he led the kayaks well, but though he has spent much of his life in Panama, his knowledge of the area (and particularly the wildlife) wasn't as rich as I hoped. The Gatun Locks were mildly interesting, but since our boat had already passed through them, seeing them from the land side didn't have much more to offer. The guide competently led us in the kayaks, but really the 19 kayaks was about five too many to be close to the guide and be able to hear him. Also, the wildlife is quite similar to Costa Rica's, so this trip didn't add much after seeing the Tortuga Canal. Honestly, the most interesting part of the tour was completely unexpected: a drive through the buildings that used to form the School of the Americas, some of which are now in ruins, and another has been turned into an upscale hotel that was our launching point.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 5 for Gatun Locks & Kayak in the Canal to Colon
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

We loved the kayaking and the guides

Date:April 29, 2011
Anonymous
Location:Panama, NY
Cruise Date Month:February
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This was a great trip because the group was fairly small and definitely filled with the outdoorsy cruisers. One tour guide kept us entertained on the bus ride with the history of Panama and the other guide was really fun on the kayak portion. Getting out kayaking on the water and up close to the rainforest sights and sounds was wonderful. We also stopped at the Locks at the beginning which I didn't realize was part of the trip.
Cruise Date Year:2011
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+7points
7out of 7found this review helpful.
Review 6 for Gatun Locks & Kayak in the Canal to Colon
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Fun excursion - even in the rain!

Date:March 29, 2011
Anonymous
Location:Clearwater FL
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Well, the canal needs the rain to function - and the rain really wasn't much of a distraction. The stop at the locks was informative and rounded out the information we got on ship. The kayak trip was nice - it felt good to get in a little exercise. We didn't see much wildlife - mostly birds. On the trip back to Colon our guide told us a lot more about the canal and the area. The lunch/snack after kayaking wasn't the best, but it was sufficient to get me back to the ship.
Cruise Date Year:2011
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.