Day 7 of our MSC Divina Cruise: Stop in Panama
If I could give you one piece of advice for you MSC Divina Caribbean cruise, it would be to stay on the ship in Panama.
Unlike the stops in other areas, the stop in Panama is super industrial. You can get to the Panama canal locks, so if you’re interested in seeing that, go for it. But otherwise, there’s nothing but some expensive shopping. We had even looked up this cool train ride that goes along the canal – but it comes from the West side of Panama to the East, and then back…..not the other way around, so it wouldn’t have worked for us.
But, we decided to check Panama out anyway.
Getting off the ship was a mess here. They have these shuttles that take you to the port exit, and that’s where you find cabs to go where you need to go. That being said, everyone exiting the ship has to make it onto the same shuttles, so the line was immense. One of the perks of the Yacht Club is that you get front line access, but it seems nobody else knows this.
Our butler brought us over to where other Yacht Club members were standing, and told the guy in charge to get us on the next shuttle. As the shuttle pulled up, he basically told us to join at the front of the line which pissed off the people who had been waiting and didn’t know why this group of people were suddenly cutting the line – it was awkward, but I paid good money for this so I wasn’t about to be shy. At one point this Italian lady tried yelling at us and luckily didn’t take it too far, and we all got on the bus. This was where we met our awesome friends, Justin and Gary. They, too, were told to stand awkwardly and wait, and then we all pushed to the front of the line together.
We hadn’t really been social on the boat up to this point – we’re a pair of introverts, so we’re pretty selective about who we socialize with for the most part. Realizing the snarky sarcastic personalities of Justin and Gary, we quickly realized we should friend this pair. As we all emptied off the shuttle bus, I rushed to ask Gary and Justin if they wanted to share a cab. Everyone was talking about this shopping area, pretty much the only area to go nearby, so the 4 of us grabbed a cab, and off we went.
Once we got to the shopping area, we went our separate ways through the streets of Panama. I was hoping for some cheap stores with great deals, but really, the prices for everything were still quite pricey. There were no restaurants in this area – it was literally just…all….shops. It was strange too – you had to show your cruise ship card to get in to the gates for the shops. Very strange. Eventually, we got tired of shopping and decided to find someplace with wifi so we could check in with the world back home. We walked a few blocks and found a cafe with wifi and sat with some drinks for a few. Sadly, Ransom wasn’t feeling great, so we didn’t stay long and eventually grabbed a cab back to the ship. On a positive note, the police were incredibly helpful and nice to us American tourists.
We got back to the MSC Divina and were happy to be home. We got some lunch, and decided to lay out up on the pool deck with a cocktail. I honestly would have been perfectly fine doing that all day, and regretted getting off in Panama – except for our new friendship that would bud into a super fun rest of the trip!
The next day we would be pulling into Costa Rica – no day at sea in between this time. I had been to Costa Rica previously, but on the West Coast, so I was excited to see what the East Coast had to offer!
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Stay tuned for day 8 in Costa Rica!