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-   -   Panama Canal Help -- Please !! (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/caribbean-panama-canal/388664-panama-canal-help-please.html)

Cajungirl April 5th, 2012 02:47 PM

Panama Canal Help -- Please !!
 
DH & I will be celebrating our 40th Anniversary next February... We are planning on Panama Cruise... I don't see any info about these cruises. Need info... Should we do a one way or leave out of California and get off in Florida... Please someone help...

Mike M April 5th, 2012 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cajungirl (Post 1423523)
DH & I will be celebrating our 40th Anniversary next February... We are planning on Panama Cruise... I don't see any info about these cruises. Need info... Should we do a one way or leave out of California and get off in Florida... Please someone help...

I strongly suggest that you do a full transit. The partial transit, while interesting, does not give you the full experience. On the partial transit you go through the Gatun Locks, anchor in Gatun Lake, get off for excursions and then meet the ship back at the dock in Colon.

The full transit will let you see the entire canal and it is a much more interesting and relaxing way to experience the canal.

If you do a partial transit I suggest doing the Ocean to Ocean excursion via boat and not doing the train. If you like trains it's OK but you basically are transported at 70 mph from one end of the canal to the other with a bus trip back. The boat excursion is more interesting and allows you to see the entire canal.

A Panama Canal cruise is one of the "must do" cruises for cruisers and I know you'll enjoy it and congratulations on your 40th Anniversary.

Take care,
Mike

Lakers Fan April 5th, 2012 04:34 PM

We went from Ft.Lauderdale and back and had a great cruise ,however ,I would agree with Mike M.

sptrout April 5th, 2012 05:13 PM

I also agree with Mike M. "On the partial transit you go through the Gatun Locks, anchor in Gatun Lake, get off for excursions and then meet the ship back at the dock in Colon."

Exactly right, which is about 10% of the whole Canal. If at all possible, make sure you see the other 90%.

MercedMike April 6th, 2012 01:27 PM

Panama Canal
 
The Panama Canal cruises are sort of a special category. There are many different options, the main one being Full Transit vs. Partial Transit as noted above.

With so many things to consider, the very best advice I can give you is find a good local Travel Agent who is a CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor (look for the agent's diploma on the wall, not just an agency sticker). Ask your friends and co-workers for a recommendation. The service is entirely free to you. ACC's are trained to find the very best cruise for you, after learning your personal situation and preferences, and work hard to get you the very best rate.

Many of us on this board have done one or the other, but few have experience of all the different options. That is why a good Travel Agent to combine all the different choices works well.

Our particular Panama Canal cruise was wonderful. You can see our review at Zenith Review

Cajungirl April 12th, 2012 11:49 AM

Thanks so much Mike -- full transit it shall be....

Cajungirl April 12th, 2012 11:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MercedMike (Post 1423672)
The Panama Canal cruises are sort of a special category. There are many different options, the main one being Full Transit vs. Partial Transit as noted above.

With so many things to consider, the very best advice I can give you is find a good local Travel Agent who is a CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor (look for the agent's diploma on the wall, not just an agency sticker). Ask your friends and co-workers for a recommendation. The service is entirely free to you. ACC's are trained to find the very best cruise for you, after learning your personal situation and preferences, and work hard to get you the very best rate.

Many of us on this board have done one or the other, but few have experience of all the different options. That is why a good Travel Agent to combine all the different choices works well.

Our particular Panama Canal cruise was wonderful. You can see our review at Zenith Review


Thanks to you also Mike --- I will definately find a good travel agent..... Loved your review...

OldFartCruiser April 12th, 2012 12:12 PM

February?
 
I agree, full transit is the way to go as everyone suggests.

With your anniversary in February, that time of year may not be an option. You have to remember most of these cruises are repositions from Alaska to the Caribbean or vise versa. Therefore you will have to go in late winter/spring or late summer/fall. Other times are pretty rare and not done routinely, since it cost the ships plenty for traversing the canal.

O F C'er

OldFartCruiser April 12th, 2012 12:20 PM

Oops Sorry,
I spoke to soon. I looked up cruises thru the Panama canal to see what would be the closest dates to February and I found 2 Princess cruises going thru the Canal in February.

O F c'er


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