My wife and I are going on a Southern caribbean in January, and are considering a 10-day cruise which includes a partial transit of the Panama canal (plus Gatun Lake). I've always wanted to travel the Panama canal, but I wonder if this short excursion really does it justice? It would be on HAL, Jan 12th Zuiderdam (Half Moon Cay, Aruba, Curacao, Panama, Cristobal, Puerto Liman).
Our other choice would be Jan 14th on the Noordam (Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados, Martinique. St. Maartan).
If anyone has any comments on either of these cruises, I'd love to hear it.
I agree that the Panama Canal is a "one of a kind" trip. We have been to Panama three times; full transit, partial, and just docked at Colon 2000 (ship never entered the Canal).
The full transit visit was by far the best, however I realize that it is difficult for most cruisers to be able to do a full transit cruise. Therefore, if you do a partial transit, be sure to take a tour that lets you see the entire Canal including the Pacific side. A partial transit just goes into Gutan Lake and then back out covering about 5 mles of the 55 miles of the entire Canal. Do not miss the other 90% of the Canal, not to mention seeing more of the country.