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Old November 24th, 2010, 10:49 PM
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Default Panama Canal cruise

Just wondering when would be the best time to take a Panama Canal cruise and which cruise line to use?
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Old November 24th, 2010, 11:26 PM
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We are going next month on Holland America
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Old November 25th, 2010, 12:09 AM
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Ah Henry. I wish I was going with. I'll want a full report. I know you and DW will have a good time. I've been thinking of doing a Panama Canal cruise for a few months now, although I'll have to wait until at least 2012. Doing Alaska in 2011.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 09:57 AM
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Time: In the middle of their "dry" season (use that term very loosely). Their dry season is basically during the winter months December-March. We have been to Panama three times (all in January) and it rained lightly two of the three times.

Cruise line: I do not think it makes all that much difference. I would stick to whichever line that you would normally prefer. The more important choice is type of transit; full, partial, or none (just dock at Colon and then take a tour to see the Canal). We have done all three versions and by far the best was the full transit. However, I realize that full transit cruises are usually more expensive and take on average 14 days (especially if you embark and disembark at US ports (Florida to San Diego for example).
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Old November 25th, 2010, 11:09 AM
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We have gone Jan & Feb for a full transit
No problems with rain in port ...we did have some rough seas going from Grand Cayman to Columbia
Ship ..it depends on what your budget is
We prefer the small ships <700 PAX but I am sure they all are fine

We are off again in Feb from SFO to MIA 18 days
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Old November 25th, 2010, 12:49 PM
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Talking Panama Canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moiraine View Post
Just wondering when would be the best time to take a Panama Canal cruise and which cruise line to use?
This is such a broad question. There are many answers.

Panama in the Summer is very hot and humid. Some of the best Panama Canal cruises are the "transitional" cruises, in the spring when ships go from the Caribbean to Alaska, and in the fall when they go the other way.

Many cruise lines do the Canal. Some of the very biggest ships are too big to fit through the Canal, but most lines have "Panamax" ships which fit in the locks with only feet on each side, as well as some very nice smaller ships. Frankly, the person who can fit you to the best ship for you is a good local full service Travel Agent who is an Accredited Cruise Counselor of CLIA. They will learn what YOU want and expect and then make some suggestions. If you find a TA who only pushes ONE line, run like the wind to somebody more flexible.

Have a GREAT cruise!
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Old November 25th, 2010, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Moiraine View Post
Ah Henry. I wish I was going with. I'll want a full report. I know you and DW will have a good time. I've been thinking of doing a Panama Canal cruise for a few months now, although I'll have to wait until at least 2012. Doing Alaska in 2011.

We did Alaska in 2008
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Old November 25th, 2010, 01:04 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Think I'd like to do a two week full transit.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 01:05 PM
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Best line is of course very subjective. We're doing this on Coral Princess in May 2011. For us, that's the best ship. But, I have to say in researching the Panama Canal, I'd say Oceania and HAL had the best itineraries if you're looking for lots of stops rather than sea days.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 12:00 PM
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If your budget will allow check Oceania's smaller ships
The cruises are 16 to 18 days depending on which you choose also a 21 day if you can swing that
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Old November 27th, 2010, 12:14 AM
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Thanks lulu. I'll have a look.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 07:28 AM
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I chose the 10 day round trip from Ft. Lauderdale to save some money. Leaving in April 2010 on Princess.

The ship does not go all the way through, but I booked the ship's excursion to take a smaller boat that takes you through the rest of the canal and then back to your ship.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 01:07 AM
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That sounds really nice. I hope you have a good time.

I'm considering Celerbity, HAL, and Princess. I've never sailed these lines and wonder which I would like best. I am an informal person. I usually take dress clothes for formal night and then don't bother, just grab a bite on lido or call room service. I like having plenty of things to do on ship but I don't have to have a party every night.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 11:27 AM
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we did a full canal transit on Princess departing from San Juan to Acapulco, Mexico, that particular cruise has been our favorite out of all the cruises we have taken. We cruised in January to get away from the cold New England winter weather, and it was really hot on our cruise
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 10:46 PM
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I think that when I finally get the chance to do this that it will come down to HAL or Princess.
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