90th birthday cruise....Panama in October????
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If you can find a cruise that does at least a "partial" transit, she'll never even need to get off the ship in Panama....the partial takes you through 3 sets of locks and will show you all you really need to see...and the canal navigator will be giving running commentary on what you're seeing, the history, engineering, etc. of the canal.
We loved staying onboard during our transit....many got off the ship for extremely long excursions, so we almost had the ship to ourselves! Very nice (and air-conditioned!!).
I had knee surgery shortly before trip, so I did not do much walking. Our hallway had at least 3 wheelchairs parked in it. Our 80 y.o. neighbor was recovering from a stroke and used the fitness center to do his PT routines. You might want to check that her chair or one you rent can go into the cabin. Do not rely on a ship's wheelchair for transfers either. The time I needed it I could not get on the list. I believe you can rent ahead and have the chair/scooter waiting in your cabin. I saw beach chairs with appropriate tires on my last cruise, but she may want to pass on the beaches. There are other threads on wheelchairs on Cruise Critic blogs for RCI.
I think that with the right preparation she'll have a good time. The transit through the canal may be enjoyed from the deck, diningroom or balcony cabin.
Windstar - 2/90
Fantasy - 4/95
Monarch of the Seas - 4/98 So. Carib.
Grandeur of the Seas - 4/99
Crown Princess - 11/00 Panama Canal
Explorer of the Seas - 4/01
Radiance of the Seas - 5/03 Alaska
Mariner of the Seas - 12/03
Westerdam - 12/05
Explorer of the Seas - 6/07 9 day
Liberty of the Seas - 9/12/09 1st B2B
Liberty of the Seas - 9/19/09
Oasis of the Seas - 10/1/11
We just got back from a Panama Canal transit on Sea Princess, ending in S.F., 60 miles from home yesterday. We ate exclusively in the buffet to have a healthier diet, and gained no weight even though we stayed full the whole time.
Buffet on this ship turned out to be cramped for people with mobility problems. however that may be because of the large number of elderly and disabled on this trip.
90% of pax were over 60, many of them over 75, and the ship did not seem prepared for that many of us.
I'll soon start a new thread with more about this cruise, but for now, be sure to get all the info you can about excusions beforehand, not just from ship staff (who didn't always know) and from printed material but from others who've done the same excursions before. Excursions we took were more difficult than we expected.