I love cruising, but I am very picky about my cruise excursions. Typical ship excursion involve big busses and large tour groups that take passengers to the most popular sights. This may let you check off one more item on the “bucket list” but does nothing to provide a true connective experience to the local culture or the environment.
However, on my recent Princess Cruise through the Panama Canal, a ship excursion in Costa Rica billed as one of their “Local Connections” program had me intrigued. The tour promised to take us to the Macaw ecolodge high in the rainforest where we would take part in a cooking experience using locally grown ingredients. This sounded quite appealing and would not be something I could easily do on my own, so I signed up and hoped for unique glimpse into Costa Rican culture.