Has anyone ever been on the Sun, for the 10 day Panama Canal cruise. We like the older smaller ships. I have found a deal for Thanksgiving I can't pass up though. Is there enough deck space to sit and relax. Sounds like if you do not have a balcony you can't see anything? I would only get an inside. Who stays in their cabin. Any one else thinking of going 11/19/01??? Ideas comments. Many thanks.
I went through the Panama Canal aboard MV Sun Princess last year. She is a truly wonderful ship, as you probably can tell from other posts on this board. With two show lounges and two identical main dining rooms, you will be amazed at how effectively Princess's designers have made her seem not so overwhelming. I love the magical teak lounge chairs on her Promenade Deck (warning: always sit in the chairs on the shady side rather than the sunny side!) where nobody -- and I really do mean nobody -- will disturb you, and she also has plenty of lounges topside around the main pools. There's live music for dancing every night in the Wheelhouse Lounge (5:00 PM to 1:00 AM) and also on the Horizon Court (9:00 PM to 12:00 midnight). Be sure to try Verdi's Pizzeria for lunch one day, too -- the pizza is very, very good!
Before it's too late to cancel, you should be aware that the "Panama Canal" portion of the cruise passes through the first set of locks into Gatun Lake, spends some time cruising on the lake, and then exits through the same set of locks back into the Caribbean. It does not go through either of the two sets of locks on the Pacific side of Gatun Lake, so you won't get to see the Bridge of the Americas at the easten end of the canal. (Thanks to a geographical quirk, the western end of the canal opens onto the Caribbean Sea and the eastern end of the canal is on the Pacific Ocean.) Nonetheless, the itinerary calls at some fantastic ports in the Caribbean!
Sorry I neglected to mention that there are plenty of places aboard MV Sun Princess where you can view the Panama Canal while the ship is in it. There's a great observation area at the forward end of the Lido Deck (you have to go up to the Sun Deck, forward, and back down to get there) and also at the forward end of the Sun Deck where you can see forward and to both sides of the ship. The lounge chairs on the Promenade Deck face outward, and you also can stand at the rails for an unobstructed view to either side, though you won't hear the canal guide's descriptions of the sights in this area. The lounges at the lower level of the atrium also offer unobstructed views to either side with the added benefit of air conditioning.
Have been on the Sun Princess two times. Last Thanksgiving, thru the Canal and am booked again this Thanksgiving for the RT Fort Lauderdale cruise. No problem finding a place to lay, and remember, several decks (I believe it is Aloha, Baja and Caribe) have public decks (no chairs) at the front that provide a great place to watch the canal.