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Old February 7th, 2002, 06:57 PM
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Default Panama Canal

We are thinking of taking a Panama Canal Cruise in 2003. Leaving Ft.Laurdale and ending up in San Francisco. Looking for feedback on what to expect and things to do and not do. What was your overall experience. Thanks
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Old February 7th, 2002, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Panama Canal

Maureen,

just came back from the round trip canal cruise out of ft. lauderdale. The trip was fantastic and i would say go for it. the canal is an experience that should not be missed. i can only tell you about the ports on the atlantic side not the pacific. if you want to know about them send an email.
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Old February 8th, 2002, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Panama Canal

For your info, transcanal trips are very long and for most part boring . many days at sea and few ports, (but u may prefer that). I would strongly recommend you take a cruise that goes to canal and back and go on excursion to canal in Panama.The reason that is better is following: 1) wHEN YOU ARE ON A CRUISE SHIP THROUGH CANAL U ARE TOO HIGH UP AND U DONT GET SAME FEEL AS WHEN U TAKE FERRY ACROSS ON EXCURSION, U FEEL RT ON TOP OF CNAL, BETTER DESCRIPTIONS BY TOUR GUIDES THROUGH WHOLE TRIP.. ON TRANSCANAL CROSSING, IT IS LONG DAY AND U SEE AND LEARN VERY LITTLE. ANY MORE QUESTIONS U CAN EMAIL ME AT WILDJORDY@AOL.COM
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Old February 8th, 2002, 08:43 AM
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Default Re: Panama Canal

I've done the canal dozens of times and it never ceases to fascinate me. The full transit is a remarkable day. Whether something is "boring" or not is quite a personal judgement.

If you are doing it, I'd recommend reading "Path Between the Seas" by David McCullough before you go. It will surely help in your enjoyment of the transit.
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Old February 8th, 2002, 09:01 AM
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Default Re: Panama Canal

I agree on the facination of the canal transit, although I have only done it once. I also agree that anyone transiting the canal for the first time should read Path Between the Seas. Having done so, you then understand every aspect of the transit and the effort that went into creating it. I made a Pacific to Atlantic crossing last year
(14 day SanDiego to Ft Lauderdale). Best cruise ever.
Figuring I might only do this once in my life, I got up at 4:45 am
and got myself the best seat in the house on deck. After transiting two sets of locks we retreated to the shade of a promenade deck.
I did kind of bounce back and forth to get pictures.We viewed the decent through the locks on the Atlantic side from the stern with a gigantic cargo ship following in the adjacent locks. The view looking up and back at this 900 foot ship , at times above us, was unbelievable.
My wife thinks I overdid the pictures, but , I have 3 rolls of video,
8 rolls of regular film and over 300 digital shots.
I crashed at the pool at the end of the day , but , it was an amazing experience.
Having read in detail about the canal, I didn't need the Disney World guided tour version, You knew and recognized each portion of the canal as you went through it.
Enjoy your trip
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Old February 8th, 2002, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Panama Canal

I suggest you go through the reviews on CruiseMates. There is a lot of good info there on Panama Canal. Went through the canal last year on the Sea Princess. It was the best trip ever. We spent most of the day watching from our balcony Cabin. Get a window seat in the dining room and have lunch while travelling through the lake.
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Old February 8th, 2002, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Panama Canal

Bill... I think you have it exactly right! (Except, perhaps, for the quantity of exposed film!)
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Old February 11th, 2002, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Panama Canal

I've probably done it the one time I'm ever going to get there. So, I overdid the film thing a little.!
I figure the digital cost me about $4.00 for diskettes , the video a couple of bucks a roll . The film maybe $30.00 with developing
(I happen to be CFO of a photography company). I have never been "captured" by a destination as much as by this one (perhaps it was the book). I'm just a grown up kid from the south Bronx.
There wasn't anything like it in my neighborhood.
Happy cruising everyone
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Old February 27th, 2002, 09:21 AM
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Default Re: Panama Canal

We are considering the P. Canal for 2003. Are there different Princess ships that do the cruise? If so, is a larger or smaller best? We wanted to do the Ocean (Ft. Lauderdale RT) in 4/02, but all balcony rooms were booked. Do you experienced sailors think a balcony room would be an advantage? I would much rather do the trans-canal, then spend a few days in CA. Its too late for 2002 as we are booked in a balcony cabin on the Grand 4/7/02, but good to know for 2003.
Thanks!
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