Panama Canal humidity/headaches.

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#1
Ontario Canada
2,433 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
My DH often suffers from headaches(severe) when the humidity is very high.
We have been looking at a Panama Canal cruise but I understand it is very humid itinerary. We have traveled in the Carribean(Nov.) and Mexico(Dec.)( not cruises) and he was not bothered there. Anyone who has done this itinerary ,did you find the humidity to be extreme? Would there be a month that would be less humid than another? Thank you for any input.
#2
Lincoln CA USA, 95648
12,739 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Always humid in the Canal Zone.

Perhaps if you husband stayed inside during the transit, in one of the lounges, he might be more comfortable.

We've done the Canal three times - it is a fascinating engineering experience.
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#3
Space Coast FL
25,081 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
We transited in early May and didn't find the humidity excessive. Then again, we live in central FL, so we may be more adapted to it than others. I don't believe there are any HAL canal cruises between early May and mid Oct when it would be worst.
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#4
Burnsville, MN
1,558 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Humidity bothers me more than it does most people and I was very uncomfortable on the "Sunfarer" itinerary to Panama, Cost Rica, and the S. Caribbean. Despite the discomfort (looking for air conditioning wherever possible), this was my favorite cruise. It was in April, 2007. The humidity doesn't vary much between months.

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"Tranquillity, at my age, is the supreme good of life." - Thomas Jefferson
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#6
New Brunswick, Canada
9,585 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Cruisin' Ron VA
I visit Panama on cruise and land based vacations.

Panama is pretty close to the equator and the tropical climate can make the humidity pretty high at times.
We did the canal in April and at 5AM the air was so thick you could have cut it with a knife. We left the ship after the first set of locks and went through to the Pacific on a shorex ferry boat. I did not take advantage of the air conditioned relief compartment aboard and paid for it with a migraine headache all the next day. We missed Costa Rica completely---along with our shore excursions. However the canal experience was so wonderful that I would do it again in a heartbeat and consider the headache as part of the price. It is that amazing!!!
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#7
Texas
931 Posts
Joined May 2002
I also suffer from headaches from humidity. We did the Panama Canal trip a few years ago and I did well. I would suggest if he finds the humidity bringing on a headache, especially during the transit of the canal, he go up to the Crow's Nest. Perfect place to watch the transit and no humidity! If you are lucky enough to have a balcony he can also escape inside your cabin for a while and still watch. There are any number of places and things he can do to conquer this problem.
#8
106,616 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
We have done several full transits -- loved them.

Yes there is humidity -- if it bothers your husband too much -- jus tell him to go inside from time to time.

There are stretches where not much will be happening and he can definitely go inside and rest.

Full transits take the better part of a day -- lots of time to get out of the humidity.
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#10
New Brunswick, Canada
9,585 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Cruisin' Ron VA
Or just load up on water and pain pills when your day begins.

I am not being funny, will that work?
I suppose that would work as far as the headache is concerned, but the pain pills make you so dopey that you might as well not be taking the canal transit.
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#11
Norfolk, VA
3,299 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by sapper1
I suppose that would work as far as the headache is concerned, but the pain pills make you so dopey that you might as well not be taking the canal transit.
I guess I should have said advil or asprin.

Humidity doesn't bother me, it just causes me to make multiple costumer changes a day.
#12
Ontario Canada
2,433 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Thank you all for the information and suggestions. We are new to cruising and the Panama Canal was one that was high on our list of future cruises.
My DH was particularly interested in this itinerary,so to hear that despite the discomfort the cruise is given such a good endorsment ,is very encouraging.
We will just have to hope he'll be lucky and not suffer too much.We will certainly keep all your suggestions in mind. I suppose we could always sit him on the balcony with a bucket if ice on his head LOL. Once again thanks so much for all the input.
#13
Texas
931 Posts
Joined May 2002
Please check with his doctor before you go. I am sure he (or she) will have some suggestions to make the trip easier. Mine suggested keeping myself hydrated and making sure I took my meds and getting plenty of rest and coming back indoors when I felt headaches coming on. I also took a very large hat to keep the sun away. This is a trip well worth any extra planning you might have to do.
#14
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
1,194 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Yes, we're 9 degrees off the Equator so it can get very hot and humid, however, if the winds are blowing it does not feel hot, humid and muggy. When I went through this past April on VOLENDAM is was suprisingly . . . lovely . . . but the winds were blowing and it was the dry season . . . and we didn't have a drop of rain. The fall is the height of the rainy season here . . . rain and heat = humidity., No guarantees, but you might think about one of the April repositioning cruises. The entire trip, including up the West coast was smooth and the weather was great.

Maybe it's not the humidity but allegies? The tropics have lots of plants and flowers with lots of pollen . . . The grass the US brought into Panama to hold the earth on the slopes has become very invasive across Panama and it has horrible pollen! So I think the advice to take some allergy stuff and spend much of the day in the Crow's Nest is a good idea. It's easy to step out of the Crow's Nest onto the upper deck when you want.

Regards, Richard
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Richard Detrich - Port & Canal Lecturer & Author