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Old April 30th, 2002, 01:17 PM
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Default Panama Canal cruises

I know it's early yet, but I'm planning to do a Panama Canal cruise in 2003. I've just started looking at cruise line options, embarkation/debarkation ports. I'm doing an RCCL cruise - W. Carribbean from Galveston this fall (my first) and a Texas port would be easiest, but I'm wondering about the Florida-California cruises, or other options. Also what time of year are the prices usually lowest - we're pretty open in our schedule? Is it best to book early or wait until closer to cruise time?

Thanks for any advice.
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Old April 30th, 2002, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: Panama Canal cruises

My Panama Canal experience was Celebrity Mercury 14 days San Diego to Ft. Lauderdale. Lot's of sea days (8) , 5 ports and a day to transit the canal . We went in late November and found fares to be quite reasonable. My wife likes to pick specific cabins, so we book as much as ayear in advance. I have never spoken to anyone who got a substantially better deal all things being equal. Wait if you choose but you may not get what you want. We don't like to settle or play the guarantee game.
This was an absolutely fabulous cruise. I could write a book about it. Read a good book about the Canal before you go and you will have a greater appreciation for the passage.
A lot of canal cruises are repositioning of ships from Carib to Alaska or vice versa.
Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy it as muh as we did.
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Old May 1st, 2002, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: Panama Canal cruises

We are considering an in and back out Canal trip, that leaves and returns to Florida. Get to experience the locks and see what the canal is like without having the hassle of a return cross county flight.
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 07:57 AM
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Default Re: Re: Panama Canal cruises

You can't experience the canal without transiting the whole thing(personal opinion).
If you are going to do it, do it. Don't do it half way.
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Old May 6th, 2002, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: Panama Canal cruises

We sailed on the RCI, Vision of the Seas from East to West; San Juan to Acapulco the end of October to November 10. There was a hurricane the very next week and the reverse itinerary actually had to disembark passengers at Aruba. Our ports were St. Thomas, St. Martin, Aruba, canal passage, Puentaras, Costa Rica, and disembark at Acapulco. There could have been one more port. The weather was pretty good with intermittent showers on a few days. Nothing to ruin a day at sea or port. It was the most relaxing cruise for 10 nights. We extended a night at Acapulco. If you price out a multi-city air fare on the same carrier or carriers that have an agreement, the price is not as high. We did schedule our own air for a savings well over $700 per couple.
Bon Voyage
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Old May 6th, 2002, 02:25 PM
Bob Boucek
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Default Re: Panama Canal cruises

Sherie, My wife and I just returned from a partial to the Gatun Lake in Panama. If the ship you choose does go to Gatun Lake, you will go through the Gatu n Locks, they have a pilot narrator on board giving all kinds of information about the Canal. This was a great cruise. Our ship anchored in Gatun Lake and tendered us ashore. We had wonderful lunch, entertainment and free drinks of beer and soft drinks. Bring your Camera and plenty of film. The Melody of Mediterranean Shipping Cruises is one choiice, small ship about 1100 passengers . Clean excellent Italian service. Sail from Fort Lauderdale Fl. The Regal cruise line, Regal Empress sails from Port Manatee, sixty miles south of Tampa at Palmetto Fl. If flying, Regal has bus service from Tampa to Port Mantee. Check the travel agency on line AllAboardTravel.com for prices. Regal has 11 ite as does Med. Shipping Co. Regal is a small old ship with over 50 crowd. Melody is mixed with as lot of Europeans as the ship is from Italy. We sailed on both. Any questions, just ask/ Neither cruise line is sailing to the Canal until about January 2003. Bob Boucek {hey at GATUN LAKE GO INSIDE THE BAR AND HAVE A GATUN SUN SPLASH ONLY $1.00 {ASK FOR JILL OR SKIP BERGER, THEY RUN THE BAR, THE OUT SIDE TRAVEL IS RUN BY BERNARD ( JOE] JOSEPH.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: Re: Panama Canal cruises

Sounds like you had a great time. Wish that the port was sixty miles south of Tampa - it would only be forty miles from us. Have wondered how MSC is to cruise with.
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Old May 24th, 2002, 08:53 AM
Joe Reynolds
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Default Re: Re: Panama Canal cruises

The Book is "The Path Between the Seas"
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Old May 24th, 2002, 08:57 AM
Joe Reynolds
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Default Re: Re: Panama Canal cruises

If you can't do the entire canal, then that is better than not at all. Nice if you get to tender to shore out of Gatun Lake. We didn't get to do that, but we did go to San Blas Islands
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