Though I am booked on the Crown, I've heard it is not the best ship for going through the Panama Canal. Can anyone give me some advice as to the best location for viewing? Also, I'd appreciate any other information on the Crown that you may have.
I tried finding a "crown" review from the members review, but the only one there is a transatlantic one and mostly covers the daily ports of call. This one will give you a general feeling of the ship. Have a great cruise.
I found a review on http://www.cruisereviews.com/ from April, 99. I can tell you my uncles did this last Nov. on the Crown. We actually just saw the pics. last night (finally organized). They had a blast. Some of the photos going through the locks--the ship looked WAY close to the walls of the locks. Interesting pics from shore excursions too. (like the 8 ft. iguana in Cartegena and the dung beetle and armidillo in Limon.)
Was on the Crown Princess, 8/9/2000 Trans-Atlantic. She is an absolutely fabulous ship, wide walkways in the public areas, the Atrium is very sedate and lovely, food and service great! A co-worker took one of the September sailings to Canada/New England on her and agreed with me about her totally!
As for going thru the canal. You will want to be able to get to the back and front of the ship. Here are my suggestions.
On Baja and Aloha decks, there are aft decks with lounge chairs. Head out there early and secure your spot. These would be great views of the lock operations. Also, on Baja deck, all the way forward there is a public observation deck. No chairs, but a great place to see where you are going and you can look up at the bridge.
The problem with the CROWN PRINCESS (and the REGAL PRINCESS, for that matter) is that, for the Panama Canal (and selected other itineraries for other reasons), you want to be able to see the activities at the locks. This requires forward viewing. (You can also see where you've been ... lots of rear views ... but that's not what transiting the canal is all about!) You can sit in the dome (where the casino is located), but you can't take any pictures through the windows, and seating is limited. There is a VERY small viewing platform at the front of the BAJA deck (limited to about 40 or so people), but limited railing space for good picture taking. In my opinion, the best ships for the Panama Canal are the ROYAL PRINCESS and the SUN PRINCESS (and its sister ships, the DAWN/SEA/OCEAN). Also, be aware that it can be very HOT during the canal transit.
I agree. We just returned from the Canada/New England itinerary and found the Crown to have good service, food, entertainment but sorely lacking in good observation locations. The solid steel exterior prevents seeing from a seated position even on the stern.
We did the Panama Canal itinerary on the Sun in 98 and it or the Dawn, Sky, etc would be a much better choice for this trip.