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Old July 10th, 2006, 11:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Default Where best to view Panama Canal

Hi, Does anyone have any advice on where is the best place to view the Panama Canal locks as we go through. We have a balcony on Caribe deck Sun Princess, but is it a better view from somewhere else. I have heard that there is a lot of pushing and shoving in some areas and would want to avoid that./
Sun PRINCESS Sept. 24, 2006
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Old July 11th, 2006, 12:49 AM
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Location: Massachusetts
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Does anyone have any advice on where is the best place to view the Panama Canal locks as we go through. We have a balcony on Caribe deck Sun Princess, but is it a better view from somewhere else. I have heard that there is a lot of pushing and shoving in some areas and would want to avoid that.

Generally anyplace with a forward view so you can see both sides. The balconies at the forward ends of cabin decks are often less crowded than other places.

I have never known pushing and shoving to be much of a problem, as nearly all of Princess's passengers are more sophisticated than that. Bear in mind that a full transit takes about eight hours, so most people will not remain on deck the whole time.

Have a great cruise!

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Old July 11th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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Location: Palmer, Massachusetts
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Your balcony is a great place to see what is going on while actually going thru the locks, it is a close fit for the ship, if you have a starbord side cabin you will be able see the mules(trains) working to raise your ship.If you are doing a partial transit you will turn around in Gatun Lake and you will experience the same thing if you feel that you missed anything the first time thru. going aft is also a great place to see what is going on in the locks. Bear in mind that it gets unberably hot going thru the canal zone, i am talking about heat-stroke and folks passing out because they stayed outside and didn't stay hydrated. You will have plenty of time to wander around and find the place that works the best for you.
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Old July 11th, 2006, 07:26 PM
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We had a balcony on the Baja deck, starboard side, and stayed right there during the transit into Gatun Lake. We could pop into the cabin for a drink, potty break, or just to get cooled off. No crowds, no trying to find a spot with a clear view. Before the transit began, as the ship approached the Canal, we did go up to the Horizon Court, and were able to get right up to the windows at the front of the ship, and watch the approach. That started before daylight, and we could see the lights of the Canal "beckoning" the ship in.
If your cruise is a partial transit, you might want to consider the ship excursion to takes you off the ship in Gatun Lake; you board a smaller ship that takes you thru the rest of the Canal and into the Pacific, where you sail out around Panama City, dock, and are returned across Panama to the ship by a tour bus (air conditioned), which is docked at Cristobal. We took this excursion, and it was worth every penny it cost. We went thru the western locks with 2 sailboats and an automobile transport ship. One of the sailboats had sailed from Germany and was sailing to the South Pacific. It was interesting because we stood at the rail and chatted with the folks on the sailboats while in the locks.
When we took it, it was called "Ocean-to-Ocean"; not sure that is the name now.
Just another option if yours is a partial transit. You actually get a full transit that way[/b]
Past Cruises:
2004 Coral Princess - Panama Canal
2005 Sun Princess - Eastern Caribbean
1/06 Island Princess - Hawaii
2/07 Sea Princess - Southern Caribbean
11/07 Golden Princess - Mexican Riviera
3/08 Diamond Princess - Hawaii
11/9/08 Tahitan Princess - Tahiti & French Polynesia

Booked cruises:
9/13/09 Star Princess - Alaska
3/14/10 Golden Princess - Hawaii
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Old July 12th, 2006, 09:46 PM
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Posts: 594

I think walking around the ship and getting views from different places is best as there is alot going on at each lock. I've done it twice and pretty much stayed and watched the whole time, even though both cruises were in late May.

Pulling in the lock is awesome but catching the view aft is great, too! At
one point there is a lock that is also a road, too and people wait so they can drive over. You won't see this from a side view.

Of course, I'm sold on full transit, I've done it both directions and it was awesome both times. On my first one, they locked a sailboat through with our ship, which was really cool to watch, made for a great picture!
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