Many trans canal cruises take place as the cruise lines shift ships to and from the Alaska market. Ships head to Alaska in the spring(April and May) and from Alaska in the Fall (October) . You will find cruises doing trans canal on Princess, RCCL, Celebrity,
Holland America just to name a few. It is impossible to recommend a cruise and cruise line without knowing who you are and what you like to do. This is the job of an experienced cruise travel agent who can steer you to the best cruise /ship and cruise line for you after getting to know you.
My personal preference would be Celebroty Summit .
We just got back from a cruise on the Coral Princess roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale to panama Canal. FANTASTIC!!!
Princess offers some things that make the cruise head and shoulders above the rest:
Fresh water pools on board, not saltwater
Anytime Dining. You can elect to dine at a traditional set time, or elect to dine whenever you like in the dining room. Of course, the Buffet is always open.
The crew and staff are more coordinated than I have ever seen. The service is seamless and invisible. They have compant incentives to learn your name early and use it often.
Tipping is easier and less "in your face"
The ports were carefully selected and security was well in force, but invisible.
The Ship's shore excursions were Fantastic. I know people say you can save money by booking your excursions yourself, but there are logistic, liability and security reasons to book with the cruise line. In this post 9/11 world, why take chances?
just don't go in the summer. The heat and humidity is unberable. We went in January and could not stay outside going thru the canal for more than 1/2hr at a time.
Its an amazing journey. Princess does an excellent canal cruise.