We are holding reservations on the Crown Princess for a 10 day Panama Canal cruise and also for a 13 day Vision of the Seas Panama Canal Cruise. Any comments on which would be the best? Have to decide by tomorrow 11/28. Thanks!
I think that I would trade the "Round Trip Panama Canal" cruise aboard MV Crown Princess for the "Classic Panama Canal" cruise aboard MV Sun Princess. I just came back from the latter, and had a really great experience.
In case there's any misconception or confusion, please note that the "Round Trip Panama Canal" cruise aboard MV Crown Princess does not transit the whole length of the canal. Rather, the ship transits the Gatun locks at the western terminus into Gatun Lake, spends some time cruising on Gatun Lake, and transits the Gatun Locks again in the afternoon to return to the Caribbean.
Meeting MV Sun Princess in Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, was no problem at all. The cruise line's transfers operate between Puerto Caldera and the main airport in San Jose (the capital), so there are plenty of flights from the States. As a bonus, you will get a brief tour of the Costa Rican countryside (mostly rain forest and plantations, the principal crops being sugar cane and coffee) en route.