The Panama Canal is one of lifes must see's. Look up the history of it all before you go and you will appreciate, all the more, the effort and ingenuity that went into creating this incredible achievement. The transit through the canal and lake takes a full day but you need to spend all of it on the upper deck. The lock transits and Gaillards Cut are the best. Insect repellent is a necessity. Ashore in the area you will be fine on ships excursions but be wary if going solo. Team up with other like minded people and avoid seedy markets and back street areas.
We did a tour to a monkey island in Gatun lake
Not bad but a very long bus ride for a relatively short experience
Panama Canal is fascinating.
If you do venture into Panama City make sure that you go to the 'Modern' area.We wrongly took a Taxi and were taken into the old market area.Its fair to say that it was interesting but more than a little intimidating.P&O normally run a shuttle service into a very smart shopping Mall [FOC].
When going thro the Canal be prepared to move around the ship to get the best vantage points.