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Old May 27th, 2003, 08:42 PM
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Default Solo/Single Travelers - Panama Canal -Oct/Nov 03??

Hi! I am planning a solo Panama Canal cruise on either the Island or Coral Princess in Oct / Nov '03. Am somewhat flexible on the dates. Are any other solo travelers going? Not necessarily looking for cabin mate, but cruise tour and dinner companions. Thanks, bb
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Old May 27th, 2003, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: Solo/Single Travelers - Panama Canal -Oct/Nov 03??

You might check out the CruiseMates cruise on the Island for October 27-November 6 - see the home page and click on CruiseMates cruises. The prices are terrific. I've booked it and am travelling single. If you hook up with them, you'll get all sorts of goodies and chances to meet like minded cruisers.

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Old May 28th, 2003, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Solo/Single Travelers - Panama Canal -Oct/Nov 03??

Hi Baby,
Yes, definitely check out the Island Princess canal cruise, you'd be able to cruise with our CM Mike, I know he's really looking forward to this special cruise on a brand new ship. Here is the link to all the info:

http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/...ndprincess.cfm

Cruise starts Oct. 27th, so it does fit into your timeframe :-)

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Old June 2nd, 2003, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Solo/Single Travelers - Panama Canal -Oct/Nov 03??

babybear,

Hi! I am planning a solo Panama Canal cruise on either the Island or Coral Princess in Oct / Nov '03. Am somewhat flexible on the dates. Are any other solo travelers going? Not necessarily looking for cabin mate, but cruise tour and dinner companions.

I'm single & heading for the Panama Canal on 02 November -- but aboard Celebrity's MV Infinity rather than either of these Princess ships. This 14-day transit is from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego, so it goes through the canal in the eastward direction.

Before you book, you should be aware that the 10-day "Panama Canal" cruises do not transit the entire length of the canal. Rather, they go through one set of locks to Gatun Lake, then return to the Caribbean through the same set of locks. If you opt for that cruise, you won't see the actual canal, the continental divide, the other two sets of locks, or the Bridge of the Americas. I think that Princess's advertising can be misleading in this regard.

Have a great cruise, whichever you decide.

Norm.
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Old June 3rd, 2003, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Solo/Single Travelers - Panama Canal -Oct/Nov 03??

Norm - I think your reply is rather misleading. The FLL to San Diego trip of the entire Canal goes westward. I've taken the San Diego to FLL trip and also have sailed Princess 3 times doing the 10 day round trip from FLL. The 10 day definitely gives you enough of the feeling of the Canal even if it does just go through the Gatun locks and then out again. You are seeing the actual Canal on the 10 day trip.

It would depend on how much time a traveller has as to which itinerary they might choose and how much money they want to spend, but I believe they would be happy with either.

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Old June 4th, 2003, 01:18 PM
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Default Re: Solo/Single Travelers - Panama Canal -Oct/Nov 03??

Just my two cents! If you're traveling by yourself, I'd definitely check out the CruiseMates cruise doing the canal, which is around the dates you are interested! Traveling as a single myself, I find the CruiseMates group cruises are great!

Choosing between Princess and Celebrity in terms of traveling alone, I'd always opt for Princess. The "Millie" class ships just don't have the friendly feel to them like Princess does, I traveled on the Summit and if I hadn't been with a group, I would have been very lonely and unhappy.

Sure the food may be a little better, the ship more ship-like, elegant, but me I don't want an European Hotel Lobby with no windows, I like light and airy, lots of glass and windows!!! There were times on the Summit I had a hard time finding a place to sit indoors where I could still see out and be where there were other people going by.

Just a matter of personal preference and what you're looking for!

Susie
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Old June 4th, 2003, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Re: Solo/Single Travelers - Panama Canal -Oct/Nov 03??

Jane,

I think your reply is rather misleading. The FLL to San Diego trip of the entire Canal goes westward.

Actually, what's deceptive to many folks is the geography of the Isthmus of Panama and consequently of the canal itself. My statement that

This 14-day transit is from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego, so it goes through the canal in the eastward direction.

is in fact absolutely true! If you look at a map of Central America, you'll see that the Isthmus of Panama actually is in the middle of an "S" turned sideways with the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to he south. Thus, the isthmus lies on a northeast-southwest orientation and the canal, which is perpendicular to the isthmus, thus falls on a on a northwest-southeast axis -- with the "Atlantic terminus at Colon, on the Caribbean Sea, at the western end and the Pacific terminus at Panama city, on the Gulf of Panama, at the eastern end. This is the only place in the world where you go from west to east to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific!

The 10 day definitely gives you enough of the feeling of the Canal even if it does just go through the Gatun locks and then out again.

I'm sure that some passengers would agree with that statement. Nonetheless, there's a difference between getting "the feeling of the Canal" and transiting the canal. I don't have a problem with people choosing the "part way" package, so long as they understand what they are getting, but folks who choose this package thinking that they will see the whole canal will be quite disappointed.

You are seeing the actual Canal on the 10 day trip.

IIRC, that technically is not true. My recollection is that the passage from the Caribbean Sea to Gatun Lake is a river with a dam and a set of locks, so the real canal (man-made) goes from the other side of Gatun Lake to the Pacific Ocean -- which means that you really don't see any of the actual canal if you don't go past Gatun Lake -- but maybe my memory is bad?

It would depend on how much time a traveller has as to which itinerary they might choose and how much money they want to spend, but I believe they would be happy with either.

How happy a traveller would be would depend upon the traveller's purpose. If you want "braggin' rights" of having transited the Panama Canal, the ten-day "part way" itinerary obviously is not satisfactory. For those who want just a taste, though, it certainly would be satisfactory.

I'm actually surprised that Princess has dropped the alternating 10-day and 11-day full transits between San Juan and either Acapulco or Puerto Caldera, which were quite popular in the past. These itineraries provided a full transit in a shorter cruise.

Norm.
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Old June 4th, 2003, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Re: Solo/Single Travelers - Panama Canal -Oct/Nov 03??

Susie,

Long time, no hear-from. I do hope that all is well!

Choosing between Princess and Celebrity in terms of traveling alone, I'd always opt for Princess.

After thirteen cruises with Princess, I decided to give Celebrity a try for three reasons.

>> 1. I have owned stock in Celebrity's parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL), for a while and would like to see the product first-hand.

>> 2. I got a very good deal on the 14-day cruise.

>> 3. I really don't want anything to do with any cruise line controlled by Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL), which recently acquired control of Princess Cruises via a merger of operations and interests with Princess's parent company, formerly known as P&O Princess Cruises Plc. (LSE: POC) and now known as Carnival Plc. (LSE: CCL).

Thus, I'm testing the waters elsewhere now.

The "Millie" class ships just don't have the friendly feel to them like Princess does, I traveled on the Summit and if I hadn't been with a group, I would have been very lonely and unhappy.

This could be more a function of the passengers aboard the ship on a particular cruise than of the line itself, but I'll be taking note to see if I have a similar experience aboard MV Infinity in November.

Norm.
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Old June 4th, 2003, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Solo/Single Travelers - Panama Canal -Oct/Nov 03??

Hi, Norm!

Knew I'd get a comment or two from you on my post! :-) I was counting on it actually!!!

Somehow I no longer have your email address so that is why you haven't heard from me in awhile! Otherwise I'd be updating you on what is or isn't going on!!!

Good for you to try Celebrity, I'm sure you will love it! I also think you should try the Radiance class,too! I really loved the Brilliance, that is one gorgeous ship!

My issue with Celebrity had nothing to do with passenger mix that cruise, it was just the overall "feel" of the ship, strictly my individual take on it. Other people same cruise thought it was fine. I am not a Celebrity person, probably never will be. I think though that you will like it a great deal.

My next cruise is on the new Carnival Glory so I can see first hand how they operate and what's up with them.

Susie
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