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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 17th, 2002, 12:38 PM
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Default 14 night panama canal cruise

Has anyone done this cruise before? Well of coarse someone has, my ? is did you like it? How were these ports.
1. Aruba
2.Caldera
3.Alcapulco
4.Cabo San Lucas
Does someone think there is a better iterinary than this to see the Panama Canal?
This is a 14 night Summit Panama Canal Cruise April 2003
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old July 17th, 2002, 01:25 PM
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Default Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

This is the best cruise you will ever do. Did it on Mercury . My next cruise is on Summit so I would have to say good choice . Cabo San lucas is one of the busiest cruise ports and vacation spots in Mexico. Wake up early and have coffee outside facing the lands end rocks. The view is fabulous. Tons of shopping, sightseeing and boating/water sport options here. Acapulco can be a bit seedy in areas immediately around the port and harbor. Take a tour. There is an all day one that takes you to cliff diving (private show, not crowded) Shopping for silver, tour(by land ) around the harbor with several scenic photo ops, and lunch with an afternoon at the pool and beach at one of the fabulous 5star hotels outside Acapulco. There is virtually nothing to see in Puerto Calderra. It is an industrial port. Take the all day tour. You go up into the mountains on the Pan American highway to coffee country, shopping stop is made (great place) then you go to Capital City where you see Opera house , state mueseum (interesting place)
have lunch (and seranade) at a 5 star hotel. On trip back the last stop is at a souvenir place. Long bus trip but beautiful and when are you going back to Costa Rica? You might as well see as much as possible. Aruba is one of the two or three best cruise ship ports there is. Mrs . Bill prefers shopping here even over St. Thomas. What do you like? Take an all day jeep tour with 6 or 7 sightseeing stops, swimm (beaches can be done by bus on your own) snorkel(several wrecks are part of most snorkel tours. Aruba is a dessert island, windaward side is uninhabited, leeward side developed with great tourist hotels and beaches (and 12 or 13 Casinos). I take it Categena has been eliminated from the itinerary. Then there is the Canal. Pacific to Atlantic crossing starts at about 730 (I got my spot on deck at 445, but I'm a bit nuts). Two sets of locks on the pacific side, we stayed up front for passage through the first, and approach to second. WE then experienced the passage through the locks from a window seat in the dining room. We found a shaded deck (temp was 115 degrees) for the transit of the canal and lake and approach to Atlantic locks Then experienced the downward trip from a stern deck looking back at a 900 foot freighter adjacent, behind and above us in the opposite lock. Read a good book on the canal. Helps you to understand the wonder of it all the more. I believe the book I read was Passage Between the Seas by McCulluh. A couple of sea days between each port. Fabulous trip. Best cruise out of 10 I've taken.
More than you ever wanted to know.
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Old July 17th, 2002, 02:20 PM
maryk
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Default Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

I agree with Bill. One of the best cruises we've ever taken, though ours was on the Galaxy for 17 days!! I never wanted to get off the ship. You will absolutely love it.
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Old July 17th, 2002, 02:47 PM
Hobie
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Default Agree....17 days Galaxy too!

I agree with the above. Great cruise.
Mary, I also did Galaxy 17 day cruise from San Diego to Puerto Rico in Oct. 1999. Were we on the same cruise?

Hobie
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Old July 17th, 2002, 04:27 PM
Rob H
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Default Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

Jean ,
A good question as we are also exploring if we take this cruise for April 27 2003 on Infinity.

Thanks for the answers so far,

My question is as we are from the Pacific West on Vancouver Island;

Where is the actual Cruise Port in Fort Lauderdale and which is the right airport to go to..

Some folks say it is a mile from airport and others suggest ones goes to Port Everglades

We are looking forward to more inof on this trip

cheers
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Old July 17th, 2002, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

Port Everglades is what the port is called in Ft. Lauderdale and yes, in a straight line it is only a mile or so from the Ft. Lauderdale airport (probably a 3 or 4 mile cab ride as you wind around out of the airport and into the port area). Fly in to Ft. Lauderdale airport .
No matter which ship you do this trip on it is a must do and is a great cruise (do I sound like I had a good time?).
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Old July 17th, 2002, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

I could kiss you Bill, you just made my excitement level of this cruise go through the roof. What a critique of the cruise you wrote. I was thinking maybe we made the wrong choice. I will get the book you mentioned. Thanks again for taking the time to be so generous with your cruise experience, Also to others that responded thanks also. God, I want to go pack. This has been a life long dream of mine to see the Panama Canal & as we all know not many of our dreams get to come true. So this will be very special to me. Regards, Jean
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Old July 17th, 2002, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

Rob H, what I have learned is that is if you are coming in the day before the cruise most of the hotels will transport you to the ship on the day of sailing, although most people say to take a cab. Most people that come in the day before stay at the Amerisuites with a free b'fast & free shuttle from airport & bid for rm on priceline & get rm for about $55-60. ? Why not the Summit, I was on the Summit in May 2002 & she was just about perfect. Although Celebrity does a fine job with all their cruises. Happy Sailing whatever ship you choose. Jean
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Old July 17th, 2002, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

Bill, Forgot to ask, where on Summit? I was on the Summit in May, 11 night Hawaii. That is why we chose the Summit again, the best ship we have been on so far. Jean
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Old July 17th, 2002, 06:59 PM
Rob H
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Default Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

just got home
thanks all for explanation on port and hotel and airport.

Jean , as to why the Infinity, couple of reasons which might sound lame
- INFINITY (Alaska) was our first cruise and of course on Celebrity
- The April 27 departure date allows to us to be cruising into our 35th wedding anniversary, at the end mind you but would still be on holiday, so we would stay a day or so into San Diego.

We thought about Princess as we had done their LA Mexico LA trip but the food wins out if we have an option.

We also learned on INFINITY we like to be at least one deck under Skydeck, more sun and less noise and we liked the second sitting.

My wife just went banana's when we took a balcony on the November trip, sun and all

cheers
Rob Holloway
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Old July 18th, 2002, 05:41 AM
maryk
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Default Re: Agree....17 days Galaxy too!

Yup sure sounds like it. The only part of the cruise I didn't like was the 2 days in Acapulco. I didn't much care for Acapulco and thought we could've gone somewhere else but I sure did love the whole trip. And it wasn't long enough! It really spoiled us since we no longer can do anything less than 11 days.
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Old July 18th, 2002, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

Careful, Mrs Bill reads this board too. Unlike any cruise we have taken, this one was perfect in every aspect. We traveled with dear friends, met several new ones from as far away as England, the ship itinerary ,weather etc etc were great. The sea days in the beginning and at the end allow you to unwind nicely . My experience with the canal was perhaps a bit over what most people will do (the getting up at 445 thing). I just needed to do it. I shot a few pictures that day as well, (three rolls of video, 5 or 6 rolls of film and
about 150 digital shots). Figured I'm not likely to go back .
I hope you enjoy this trip as much as we did.
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Old July 18th, 2002, 01:53 PM
les les is offline
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Default Re: Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

Your are getting great advice. We were on Infinity inagural 14 Canal trip last year, and
like it so much we booked on Summit for the Hawaii-Vancouver cruise and continued
on to Alaska. We are now bookedk on the April, 2003 Canal transit of Summit. The
ship is larger than many, but there is no feeling of being crowded. The amenities are
great---ENJOY
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Old July 18th, 2002, 11:47 PM
Rob H
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Default Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

Tomorrow I get quotes to renovate our bathroom and tonight I got a quote on the Infinity and Summit for the April 25/27 2003 from my TA
The Summt was quoted $1300 CDN less than the Infinity, must be the Friday vis Sunday departure for cruise and flight

Liz asked if the ship was differnt, said yup.. newer by 9 months and the same in size et cetra.
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Old July 19th, 2002, 11:43 AM
eeinusa
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Default Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

Thanks for all the information. We're on the December 8 TransCanal sailing on Infinity and I have been disappointed in the lack of information available on the boards, so every posting is welcome. Like Mr. Bill, I will probably also be on deck first thing in the a.m. for the initial part of the sailing and then retire to our balcony to enjoy the rest of the transit - of course occasional re-visits to the public decks will be made throughout the day :-) (We were in the Niagara Falls area for the 4th, and spent an afternoon at Welland Canal where we were able to see how the lock system works from the ground level perspective - I can't wait to see it from the ship's perspective.)

I highly, highly recommend David McCulloughs book - The Path Between the Seas. I checked it out from my local library as soon as we put the deposit down in April and read it cover to cover. I plan to check it out again and take it on the cruise with me.
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Old July 19th, 2002, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

Les, we also did the Hawaii-Vancouver, we went in May 13, 2002 on the Summit. Now we are going to be on the same as you guys Summit, April 25---Panama Canal. I just loved that ship. We got such a great deal on a Sky suite this time so we grabbed it. Where are you guys coming from, we are from Syracuse, Ny.
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Old August 11th, 2002, 02:18 PM
Ruthie
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Default Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

Just found this board. I, too, found very little about the Infinity mentioned anywhere. Thank you for asking some of the questions I wanted to ask. Also thanks to Mr. Bill for the detailed answers that are so informative. How does one get an upgrade? Is there an extra charge? Forgive the ignorance but I have always traveled with a group and everything was taken care of for me. This is my first time doing it all myself. We are leaving Oct. 20. Any pointers offered are greatly appreciated.
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Old August 11th, 2002, 04:05 PM
Pooh Bear
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Default Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

We had already booked 11 day Eastern Carib. on Galaxy for Feb. 24, '03. I'm now trying to transfer our deposit on that cruise over to the Transcanal on Infinity Dec. 8. If that doesn't work - guess we'll have to do both. Got a tentative hold on a veranda cabin which is something I swore I'd never pay for after several cruises in inside cabins in the Medit. I thought we didn't need a veranda - until we were UPGRADED TO A 1C cabin with veranda on Infinity in April '01 on 11 day Hawaii. Now we are spoiled!

I loved Infinity (hubby prefers RCCL - Legend, Splendor and Rhapsody) but he will certainly "tolerate" Infinity for a second cruise thru the Canal!

Our "big" cruise was canceled for this year. In August of '01 we had booked Millie for May 12, 2002, sailing in the Medit. but that itinerary was canceled after 9/11 - this will be our "biggie" for this year, I guess.

We did Mardi Gras cruise on Rhapsody in February of this year - but it was only a 7-day cruise and we are really spoiled when it comes to longer cruises - seems like you just get on-board on a 7-day when you have to turn around and get right back off. We try to book longer cruises where possible. This 14-day Transcanal should be just about perfect.....but they'll probably still have to pry me off the ship on the last day - and I'll go as I have on all of our other cruises: Kicking and Screaming!

Glad to hear someone else is booked on Infinity Transcanal with us on December 8.

Pooh Bear
=^-.-^=
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Old August 18th, 2002, 03:30 PM
Bill&June
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Default Re: Re: 14 night panama canal cruise

Hi Thanks everyone for the valuable information we are on the infinity Cruise from Fort Lauderdale 3/11/02 We have also read David Mc,Culloch's book and found it excellent reading. But we also found a real eye opener was Johnson's "Four Centuries of the Panama Canal." I did not belive the title at first. It is so informative of the History,Politics and Negotiation's endeavoured in order to Build the canal and yes the history does go back 400 years. Regards Bill/June
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