Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Ports of Call > Panama Canal
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old January 22nd, 2012, 08:53 PM
DAVECHIPP1974's Avatar
DAVECHIPP1974 DAVECHIPP1974 is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: long island, n.y.
Posts: 792
Question what can i expect on transit day

im doing my first full transit of the panama canal from east to west in early may, with no stops in or near the canal. it seams from reading this board that i would need to get up very early to get a good spot on the ship for an"ideal view." how long will the transit take? is there a lecture type course offered in a lounge as we transit? any suggestions or advice on what to do during or trip through the canal?
for me canal day is the big "get" of the entire 17 day cruise
any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
see my countdown clock for cruise line and ship, also im in a port side balcony if that makes any difference either way
thanx
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old January 22nd, 2012, 09:25 PM
CruiserBruce's Avatar
CruiserBruce CruiserBruce is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Petaluma, Ca. 94954
Posts: 18,337
Default

Yes, you want to be up early, and at the bow, if NCL allows that. Something to research on the NCL board. While you are over there, ask what NCL provides, but pre transit lectures and info is common. Plus there will be a narrative by a Canal tour guide, while in the Canal.

Your cabin will allow you some viewing, but the bow is the best for lock operations, and you will want to see all around at times.

Last edited by CruiserBruce; January 22nd, 2012 at 09:28 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old January 23rd, 2012, 06:24 AM
BillB48's Avatar
BillB48 BillB48 is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,095
Default

With most passenger ships going in your direction will arrive at the Cristobal breakwater by around 5AM. You could be up to the first locks, Gatun around a little after 6. Of course the times can slip some but as CruiserBruce suggested if NCL permits access to the bow, you will need to be there early.

As far as the time for the Canal transit, from the time you arrive at the Cristobal breakwater until the time you leave the Pacific entrance, that could run 12 hours or so. From the first lock at Gatun until you clear the last lock at Miraflores probably 7-9 hours. After clearing Gatun Locks in the morning, this starts your crossing of Gatun Lake and begins more of the scenic portion of your transit and probably would be a good time for your breakfast. Generally speaking there is narration provided in the open deck/public areas and on your cabin TV, sometimes it may be provide in house or narrators brought on at the Canal. Either one should give you a good idea of what's is happening and some history as well.

At the Canal, if I had to pick a side of the ship, I would choose the port side in the direction you are going. There may be just a wee bit more to see, but please don't homestead the old balcony.... you will only see half the Canal! It is easy to position yourself so that you can readily take in whatever is of interest.
__________________
BB
"If the phone doesn't ring, it's me!"
"Is it ignorance or is it apathy? ... I don't know and I don't care!"
S.S. Badger R/T from Manitowoc June 02
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old January 23rd, 2012, 08:50 AM
Cornishpastyman1 Cornishpastyman1 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: St Ives, England
Posts: 1,678
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVECHIPP1974 View Post
im doing my first full transit of the panama canal from east to west in early may, with no stops in or near the canal. it seams from reading this board that i would need to get up very early to get a good spot on the ship for an"ideal view." how long will the transit take? is there a lecture type course offered in a lounge as we transit? any suggestions or advice on what to do during or trip through the canal?
for me canal day is the big "get" of the entire 17 day cruise
any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
see my countdown clock for cruise line and ship, also im in a port side balcony if that makes any difference either way
thanx
Hi Dave

I'm very happy to plug Richard's book 'Cruising the Panama Canal as it's the perfect accompaniment to the journey through the canal. Wish it had been around before I did mine in 2007 !

I don't know that you have to get up VERY early for that ideal view - these Panamax ships have plenty of great viewing areas from the top decks, and in any case you'd want to move around quite a bit over the 8-10 hours of the transit. From memory I got up on deck as we entered the Amador Causeway and saw all I wanted. As I did not go back to my cabin at all so personally I would not make that a factor in choosing a cabin.

I read TPBTS before my trip and here's my shot at summarising the 'story' in 17 minutes :

YouTube - THE HISTORY OF THE PANAMA CANAL (Part 1 of 2)
(Pacific Ocean- Culebra/Gaillard Cut)

YouTube - THE HISTORY OF THE PANAMA CANAL (Part 2 of 2)
(Culebra/Gaillard Cut - the Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean Sea)

It was one of the best days of my life, hope you enjoy it as much as I did,
Tony
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old January 23rd, 2012, 10:10 AM
DAVECHIPP1974's Avatar
DAVECHIPP1974 DAVECHIPP1974 is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: long island, n.y.
Posts: 792
Default

thank you for your responses, im even more excited now.
richard in panama, is your book available as an e-book? i cant seam to find it in my nook. perhaps i'll go old-school for the cruise

great youtube link as well, thanx
__________________
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old January 23rd, 2012, 10:45 AM
RSF Cruiser RSF Cruiser is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 472
Default

We just got back from a Panama Canal Cruise - East to West. It was an incredible experience. I got on deck by 4:45 AM when the pilot and linemen were expected to get on the ship. It was pitch dark and there was a full moon. I found it fascinating to watch it get lighter out and figure out what I was looking at.

We stood in the front of the ship going through the Gatun Locks, then had breakfast on our balcony as we sailed Gatun Lake. The rest of the time we moved around the ship on the open decks - for Mira Flores we were on the Promenade Deck and experienced being eye level with the lock walls. It was also exciting seeing them build the new locks. Other times at the back of the ship. Which side of the ship you stand on also depends on which lane you are in. All vantage points were great - just don't spend the entire day in one spot.

As others have said, move around - the experience is different from different vantage points. I hope to go back when the new locks are open. Although they are scheduled to open in 2014 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the canal, there is skepticism that the locks will be done by then.

Last edited by RSF Cruiser; January 23rd, 2012 at 10:46 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old January 23rd, 2012, 01:39 PM
Idahobaker's Avatar
Idahobaker Idahobaker is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 209
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSF Cruiser View Post
Although they are scheduled to open in 2014 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the canal, there is skepticism that the locks will be done by then.
Yep, the workers in the Canal area walked off the job last week and are still on strike. They want higher wages (and who doesn't). The whole project is behind even though the Panamanian government is reporting that they are on schedule.
__________________
Ed, the Idahobaker

"Never eat spinach with a stranger."
____________________________________________

Celebrity Millennium Sept 19, 2011 Panama Canal

Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old February 14th, 2012, 12:42 AM
Azulann Azulann is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: St. Paul MN
Posts: 1,937
Default

Booked my upcoming full transit for exactly the trip through the canal.

Thanks for all the advise. Plan to read both books before the cruise.
It will be a perfect Christmas gift. We do the transit on Christmas Eve 2012 on the Celebrity Century.
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old April 24th, 2012, 02:18 PM
wickedwitchofthewest's Avatar
wickedwitchofthewest wickedwitchofthewest is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Knighton Wales
Posts: 453
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVECHIPP1974 View Post
thank you for your responses, im even more excited now.
richard in panama, is your book available as an e-book? i cant seam to find it in my nook. perhaps i'll go old-school for the cruise

great youtube link as well, thanx
Take a look at Amazon found the kindle version there
__________________
Ann



Remember never play leapfrog with a unicorn and to be old and wise first you need to be young and stupid

Sept 2005 - Island Princess - Alaska
March 2007 - Sea Princess -Caribbean
July 2007 - Grand Princess - Norwegian Fjords
Oct 2009
- Crown Princess - Canada and Colonial America
June 2011 - Emerald Princess - Baltics
April 2013 - Coral Princess - Panama Canal




Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old April 24th, 2012, 04:49 PM
NitaBcruising's Avatar
NitaBcruising NitaBcruising is offline
20,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Vancouver, Wa.
Posts: 20,639
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornishpastyman1 View Post
Hi Dave

I'm very happy to plug Richard's book 'Cruising the Panama Canal as it's the perfect accompaniment to the journey through the canal. Wish it had been around before I did mine in 2007 !

I don't know that you have to get up VERY early for that ideal view - these Panamax ships have plenty of great viewing areas from the top decks, and in any case you'd want to move around quite a bit over the 8-10 hours of the transit. From memory I got up on deck as we entered the Amador Causeway and saw all I wanted. As I did not go back to my cabin at all so personally I would not make that a factor in choosing a cabin.

I read TPBTS before my trip and here's my shot at summarising the 'story' in 17 minutes :

YouTube - THE HISTORY OF THE PANAMA CANAL (Part 1 of 2)
(Pacific Ocean- Culebra/Gaillard Cut)

YouTube - THE HISTORY OF THE PANAMA CANAL (Part 2 of 2)
(Culebra/Gaillard Cut - the Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean Sea)

It was one of the best days of my life, hope you enjoy it as much as I did,
Tony
Thanks for the links on youtube! We cruise on Fri., so excited!
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old April 24th, 2012, 08:46 PM
DAVECHIPP1974's Avatar
DAVECHIPP1974 DAVECHIPP1974 is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: long island, n.y.
Posts: 792
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitaBcruising View Post
Thanks for the links on youtube! We cruise on Fri., so excited!
i cruise on sat.
just as excited
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old April 26th, 2012, 02:00 AM
lamchops lamchops is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 653
Default

Did the full transit west to east on the NCL Pearl last fall and it was very interesting. The Pearl brought onboard a canal expert who narrated the crossing over the ships PA system. I was on deck from 6am-4pm (other than meals).
__________________
MSC Magnifica, Northern Europe 09/2014 (7)+ London( 7) +Paris (7)
Sapphire Princess, Pacific Wine Coastal 9/2013 (7)
Grand Princess, Trans-Atlantic 11/2012 (14)+London (6)
NCL Pearl, Panama Canal 10/2011 (14)+Orlando (5)
NCL Pearl, Pacific Coastal 9/2011 (5)
NCL Star, Pacific Coastal 9/2010 (5)+Los Angeles (5)
Golden Princess, Pacific Coastal 10/2009 (7)+Los Angeles (5)
Celebrity Century, W. Med & Malta 10/2008 (10)+Barcelona (6)
NCL Wind, Hawaii & Fanning Island 10/2005 (10)
RCL Rhapsody of the Seas, Alaska 8/2000 (7)
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old June 11th, 2012, 03:42 AM
pepsigirl64's Avatar
pepsigirl64 pepsigirl64 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Whittier, CA
Posts: 504
Default

I love cruise critic, it is great reading about my upcoming adventure through the Canal, I am going April 2013, East to West. I am going to overload my brain with all of this wonderful information. Thank you for sharing!!!
__________________






www.MyVacationCountdown.com Ticker


Teri

2014 April-Mexico CCL, Aug-Western Caribbean Disney Fantasy
2013 Feb-Pacific Coast CCL, April-Panama Canal Zuiderdam, Aug-Alaska Westerdam, Sept-Pacific Coastal Disney Wonder, Nov-Mexico CCL
2012 Dec-Mexico Christmas Zaandam, Sept-Alaska Amsterdam, May-Alaska Amsterdam, April-Hawaii Oosterdam
2011 Oct-Mexico Zaandam, May-Alaska Sapphire, Jan-Mexico Oosterdam
2010 Aug-Alaska Zaandam, May-Alaska Oosterdam, March-Mexico RCC
2007 March-Mexico Ryndam
2006 Jan-Mexico Sapphire
2005 May-Alaska Zaandam
2003 May-Alaska Amsterdam
2002 Aug-Alaska Zaandam
1992 Oct-West Coast Regent Star
1989 April-Bahamas The Big Red Boat
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old June 28th, 2012, 02:49 PM
Richard in Panama Richard in Panama is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
Posts: 1,150
Default

Quote:
I'm very happy to plug Richard's book 'Cruising the Panama Canal as it's the perfect accompaniment to the journey through the canal. Wish it had been around before I did mine in 2007 !
Gee, thank you for the plug! The reason WHY I wrote the book is to help folks get the most out of their Canal adventure.

Quote:
richard in panama, is your book available as an e-book? i cant seam to find it in my nook.
Sorry, I've been off on the high seas and with the shipboard "Internet" and the costs of those carrier pigeons they use to carry your Internet packets back and forth to the ship, I can't follow CC while I'm on board. The book is available on Amazon and Kindle, unfortunately not nook yet.

Regards, Richard
__________________

Richard Detrich - Port & Canal Lecturer & Author
Panama Cruise Blog
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old July 5th, 2012, 09:03 PM
Jasperdo's Avatar
Jasperdo Jasperdo is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,258
Default

The Port Lecturer on our Panama Canal cruise had this interesting slide. It showed what to expect on the transit day. It's a pretty accurate guide to how the day goes. This shows a full transit southbound, from the Atlantic (Caribbean) side to the Pacific side.


Coral Princess by Jasperdo, on Flickr
__________________

Star Princess (Hawaii) - 3/14 ... Photos ... Patters
Coral Princess (Panama Canal) - 4/12 ... Photos ... Patters
Golden Princess (Alaska) - 6/11 ... Photos ... Patters
Golden Princess (Hawaii) - 1/11 ... Photos ... Patters
Mariner of the Seas (Mexico) - 12/09 ... Photos ... Compasses
Sapphire Princess (Mexico) - 2/09 ... Photos
Star Princess (Alaska) - 5/08 ... Photos
Dawn Princess (Caribbean) -4/05 ... Photos
Rhapsody of the Seas (Mexico) -1/01
Carnival Holiday (Mexico) - 1/99
RCCL Song of America (Mexico) - 3/97
Carnival Imagination (Caribbean) - 4/96
Celebrity Meridian (Caribbean) 3/94
NCL Southward (Mexico) - 7/93
Carnival Jubilee (Mexico) - 2/91 ... Photos ... Capers
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:38 AM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.