On the present itineray, MV Crown Princess goes into the canal as far as Gatun Lake, where it turns around and exits back into the Caribbean. It docks briefly only to take on pilots and to allow the ship's photographers do sneak off to take pictures from the drydock caissons.
MV Crown Princess will have a new 15-day Panama Canal itinerary next fall, on which she will transit the full length of the canal between Fort Lauderdale and San Diego. Calls at a couple "Distant Foreign Ports" (Aruba and Cartagena) en route do allow her to carry passengers from one U. S. port to another.
Just took Crown/Panama April 9th, 10 day. Yes she does go thru the locks into Gatun Lake, is there turning around approximately l hour, proceeds back through the locks and then docks at the new Colon 2000 docks and shopping center. Princess has added new shore tours and you disembark from the ship in Gatun Lake . We took a tour of the lake and then docked and boarded nice tour busses with guides. We spent about fourty-five minutes at the locks with great up-close view of everything then went on to Colon 2000 arriving before the Crown Princess.
It was my understanding from our staff that the Crown was doing one final Panama Canal April 19 then she would be going to Europe where she would remain as she has been sold.
We had a wonderful time on our cruise. Excellent service and food. The ship sure has a lot of wear and tear and there was one deck that flooded due to plumbing problems (not ours!).