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-   -   Eastbound or Westbound Panama Canal Cruise? (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/caribbean-panama-canal/330839-eastbound-westbound-panama-canal-cruise.html)

bluepanda March 30th, 2007 04:25 AM

Eastbound or Westbound Panama Canal Cruise?
 
I've seen discussions on whether to take the full transit or partial transit, and it seems more people prefer the full transit.

But is westbound or eastbound better? Or is there no difference?

Rev22:17 March 30th, 2007 08:55 AM

Re: Eastbound or Westbound Panama Canal Cruise?
 
bluepanda,

Quote:

Originally Posted by You
I've seen discussions on whether to take the full transit or partial transit, and it seems more people prefer the full transit.

But is westbound or eastbound better? Or is there no difference?

Yes, there are differences between eastbound and westbound because you see things from different perspectives, but neither direction is "better than" the other. It's worth doing cruises in both directions at some point in your cruising career.

Right now, Celebrity seems to have about the best "Panama Canal" itineraries that I have seen, with fourteen night cruises that operate one way between Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) to either Los Angeles or San Diego. These cruises have ports of call every two or three days, so you get a reasonable number of days at sea, but not consecutively, over the course of the cruise. I have not looked, but Royal Caribbean probably has a similar itinerary. Princess did a similar itinerary for a while, but seem to have reverted to Acapulco as a Pacific terminus this year to cut the itinerary to ten nights. I'm not sure what the other major lines are offering.

Norm.

LisaK March 30th, 2007 10:17 AM

a full canal transit is definately the way to go. We did what is called the southern route San Juan Puerto Rico to Acapulco, Mexico. We hit great ports of call.

dlm2005 March 30th, 2007 05:54 PM

It may depend where home is. I'd rather end up in my own time zone when its time to fly home.

lulu48 March 30th, 2007 08:14 PM

A full transit for sure
Direction ..I didn't notice any difference
We did 16 day on Cceania with 1/2 of the days in port.

bluepanda April 3rd, 2007 06:06 AM

It appears there's also a season, or two, rather - Fall (Sep-Nov) and Spring (Feb-Apr) - for the full transit on the mainstream lines, compared with higher frequencies, probably year round, for the roundtrip Ft Lauderdale (partial transit).

Any recommendations on which season is better? Whether it's weather (pardon the pun), or whatever?

I'm concerned about the hurricane season.

mehawk April 3rd, 2007 06:37 AM

Tongue in cheek here, but it seems like if you were to go to different sides of the ship during the crossing, then you would see both sides. :)

Rev22:17 April 3rd, 2007 02:02 PM

bluepanda,

Quote:

Originally Posted by You
It appears there's also a season, or two, rather - Fall (Sep-Nov) and Spring (Feb-Apr) - for the full transit on the mainstream lines, compared with higher frequencies, probably year round, for the roundtrip Ft Lauderdale (partial transit).

Any recommendations on which season is better? Whether it's weather (pardon the pun), or whatever?

I'm concerned about the hurricane season.

There's a slew of full transits in September and April when ships reposition between Alaska and the Caribbean. Nonetheless, many of the lines also have a ship doing full transits all winter, though sometimes interspersed with other itineraries such as Hawai'i round trip from the Left Coast (also a great cruise, BTW).

The season really does not matter all that much. Hurricanes could disrupt a port of call in the fall, but they are less of a factor than on Caribbean itineraries because the ships on Panama Canal transits spend less time in the Caribbean.

Norm.

bluepanda May 9th, 2007 12:03 AM

Thank you all for your replies and advices. I've been quiet for a while because I was doing some research for the full transit cruise.

I came to know of a steal - 14N Full Transit on 7 Dec 2007 from Ft Lauderdale to Los Angeles on board Celebrity Summit in a balcony cabin at $1,999. Most full transit cruises of similar itineraries (and in balcony cabins) go for more than $2,500.

But also because it seems to be pretty good value, I wonder what's the catch. Call me paranoid, but I believe there's no free lunch in this world. I think cruise lines would price their cruises according to what they expect demand to be. So is it because it's not a good time to travel (in Panama, Florida or LA) in Dec?

The last I checked the Celebrity website, balcony cabins are still available. So I guess after my post, it will be snapped up pretty soon, and people like me who procrastinate won't be able to get the deal. But I guess it's my way of contributing to the cruising community for the vast amount of information I get from this (and other) forum.

I would like to get views on this specific itinerary.

Rev22:17 May 9th, 2007 06:21 PM

bluepanda,

Quote:

Originally Posted by You
Thank you all for your replies and advices. I've been quiet for a while because I was doing some research for the full transit cruise.

I came to know of a steal - 14N Full Transit on 7 Dec 2007 from Ft Lauderdale to Los Angeles on board Celebrity Summit in a balcony cabin at $1,999. Most full transit cruises of similar itineraries (and in balcony cabins) go for more than $2,500.

But also because it seems to be pretty good value, I wonder what's the catch. Call me paranoid, but I believe there's no free lunch in this world. I think cruise lines would price their cruises according to what they expect demand to be. So is it because it's not a good time to travel (in Panama, Florida or LA) in Dec?

The last I checked the Celebrity website, balcony cabins are still available. So I guess after my post, it will be snapped up pretty soon, and people like me who procrastinate won't be able to get the deal. But I guess it's my way of contributing to the cruising community for the vast amount of information I get from this (and other) forum.

I would like to get views on this specific itinerary.

The only "catch" is that the dates put it at a time of year when many people are not available to go on cruises and many others choose not to go on cruises because they anticipate being very busy with preparations for the upcoming holidays. As a result, nearly all itineraries in the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas tend to be less expensive than at other times of year. Basically, the cruise lines lower their prices in order to attract passengers to those cruises.

BTW, a ship that's not crowded often translates into better service....

Norm.


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