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Old July 4th, 2010, 09:50 AM
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Default Round trip?'s

What do we miss, of the actual canal experience, on a round trip to the canal and back to Ft. Lauderdale?

Thanks, Robert
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Old July 4th, 2010, 10:09 AM
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Briefly, about 45 miles of the Canal. Most Panama R/T's only do what is called a "partial transit" and some do not even do that; they just dock at Colon 2000 which is near downtown Colon.

Having said all that, let me backtrack a little and add that I think I remember reading recently that at least one cruise goes all the way through the Canal, turns around in the Pacific, and then goes back through (I may be totally wrong on this!!!).

As I said in the first sentence, most R/T's do a partial transit, which means that the ship goes through the first set of locks that are located near the Atlantic, pass into Lake Gutan, anchor, let passengers with prebooked tours disembark, and then later sail back through the same set of locks and then docks at Cristobal Pier (an industrial port area in the Canal Zone).

The problem with a partial transit is that unless you do a land/Canal tour of somekind you are only going to see about 5 miles of the 50 mile Canal.

We have done all three of the major cruise trips; 1) full transit, 2) just dock at Colon 2000, and 3) partial transit. The full transit was by far the best. However, full transits usually require much more of your time and money so those two things become the real limiting factors IMO.

Just a word of caution, becareful when booking a Panama Cruise, the cruise lines are very good at poorly wording exactly what their ship will do in Panama. I have seen many, many, very confused people (based on their posts) on this board and others about Panama Cruises.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 10:40 PM
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Default Panama Canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by sptrout View Post
Briefly, about 45 miles of the Canal. Most Panama R/T's only do what is called a "partial transit" and some do not even do that; they just dock at Colon 2000 which is near downtown Colon.

Having said all that, let me backtrack a little and add that I think I remember reading recently that at least one cruise goes all the way through the Canal, turns around in the Pacific, and then goes back through (I may be totally wrong on this!!!).

As I said in the first sentence, most R/T's do a partial transit, which means that the ship goes through the first set of locks that are located near the Atlantic, pass into Lake Gutan, anchor, let passengers with prebooked tours disembark, and then later sail back through the same set of locks and then docks at Cristobal Pier (an industrial port area in the Canal Zone).

The problem with a partial transit is that unless you do a land/Canal tour of somekind you are only going to see about 5 miles of the 50 mile Canal.

We have done all three of the major cruise trips; 1) full transit, 2) just dock at Colon 2000, and 3) partial transit. The full transit was by far the best. However, full transits usually require much more of your time and money so those two things become the real limiting factors IMO.

Just a word of caution, becareful when booking a Panama Cruise, the cruise lines are very good at poorly wording exactly what their ship will do in Panama. I have seen many, many, very confused people (based on their posts) on this board and others about Panama Cruises.
Due to the increase in crime in Panama ,HAL and presumably other cruise lines will no lonher dock in Cristobal ,only in Colon and they are urging passengers not to do any private excursions.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 07:50 AM
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Thanks all. Still planning. Considering HAL or Princess.

Quote, "Just a word of caution, becareful when booking a Panama Cruise, the cruise lines are very good at poorly wording exactly what their ship will do in Panama. I have seen many, many, very confused people (based on their posts)exactly what their ship will do in Panama"

Except for going though the canal, what should I expect our ship to do?

Will do full transit I think.

We do not need to get off the ship anywhere we have to worry about or are not wanted. Not scared but smart enough to know I've done my fighting for my lifetime.

Thanks again all, Robert
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Old July 5th, 2010, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
Due to the increase in crime in Panama ,HAL and presumably other cruise lines will no lonher dock in Cristobal ,only in Colon and they are urging passengers not to do any private excursions.
That's too bad. Panama is interesting to visit on land as well as by ship. I am surprised to read that they have decided not to dock at Cristobal since it would seem that Cristobal would be much easier to secure since it is in a tightly controlled area; Colon 2000 would be more difficult to secure it would seem IMO (much more open area).......
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Old July 5th, 2010, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehoss View Post
Thanks all. Still planning. Considering HAL or Princess.

Quote, "Just a word of caution, becareful when booking a Panama Cruise, the cruise lines are very good at poorly wording exactly what their ship will do in Panama. I have seen many, many, very confused people (based on their posts)exactly what their ship will do in Panama"

Except for going though the canal, what should I expect our ship to do?

Will do full transit I think.

We do not need to get off the ship anywhere we have to worry about or are not wanted. Not scared but smart enough to know I've done my fighting for my lifetime.

Thanks again all, Robert
My caution note was based on reading many posts where people were confused by the following names/terms and sometimes the wording in the brochures:

1. What is "full" vs. "partial" transit?
2. Where is Colon 2000, or what is Colon 2000?
3. Cristobal always has folks confused (now...maybe; had)

If you decide on a full transit, there is usually less confusion since you will embark in one ocean and disembark in another ocean. However, even with a full transit the wording used by cruise lines concerning land tours can be confusing to many. For example, an often seen question: Where does the ship stop to disembark & reembark passengers that have land tours?

Another example was a wording about a specific Princess cruise that was discussed (and cussed) over on CruiseCritc, after many posts, we all came to the conclusion (many of us repeat Panama visitors) that we could not figureout what Princess was talking about in their brochure.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 07:25 AM
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Quote, " that we could not figureout what Princess was talking about in their brochure. "

I do not mind not having some feature or not going somewhere as long as I know it going in. Surprises shows I did not do my homework and really makes me mad...at myself no. 1.

A lot of them are this way. I guess they are that way on purpose.

I takes considerable research to know what exactly what is going on. I love these forums as it makes me look very educated by the time get there!

Thanks for help,

Robert
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Old July 6th, 2010, 11:06 AM
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doing a full canal transit you get an amazing history lesson, you really get awestruck with the scope of what was done at that time. you get to see the Bridge of the Americas, and personally i think that Miraflores locks are much more impressive than the locks at Gatun Lake
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Old July 6th, 2010, 12:17 PM
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Usually on a full transit most ships do not stop in Panama you just spend the day doing the transit
We have done the full transit each way

We did a stop in Colon on another cruise but did not take the small boat trip through the locks
Those that did almost missed the ship due to delays in some of the ship's transiting . The boat was hot & no a/c so be warned but if you have not done any locks before it is very interesting to be on the inside
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