Vaccinations for Panama Canal Cruise

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Ask a Cruise Question
Post your general cruise questions here.
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
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 07:16 AM.
#1
262 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Do we need to get vaccinated for a LA to Miami Panama Canal Cruise? We make stops in Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Columbia. Should we be concerned with Yellow Fever, Typhoid Fever, Malaria or Measles? Please help!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Christie & Steven
Carnival Magic-Nov 2016 (Grand Turk and Amber Cove)
Carnival Pride-Feb 2016 (Bahamas)
Carnival Magic-Dec 2015 (Cayman & Jamaica)
Celebrity Summit-Aug 2015 (Bermuda)
Norwegian Jewel-Jan 2015 (W.Carib.)
Celebrity Solstice-Sept 2013 (California Coast)
Carnival Pride-Jan2013 (Bahamas)
Golden Princess-Feb 2012 (Hawaii)
Norwegian Jade-Nov 2011 (Med/Egypt)

Norwegian Pearl-Sept 2010 (Panama Canal LA-Miami)
Norwegian Jade-May 2009 (N. Europe/British Isles)
Norwegian Pearl-May 2008 (AK Cruise)
Explorer of the Seas-Dec 2007 (S Carib.)
Mariner of the Seas-Oct 2006 (E Carib.)
Grandeur of the Seas-Jun 2006 (W Carib.)
#2
North Carolina Coast!, USA
5,785 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
NO, you do not need any vacinations for cruising here. If you did, the cruise lines would make sure EVERYONE knew that! WE have been on MANY, MANY cruises and the only thing people get sick with might be a norovirus type thing.

CRUISE LINES WE'VE BEEN ON:
Dolphin
Commodore
Regency
Premier
Cape Canaveral Cruises
Carnival
Royal Caribean
Celebrity
NCL
Princess
Costa
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
CRUISE LINES
Dolphin
Commodore
Regency
Premier
Cape Canaveral Cruises
Carnival
Royal Caribean
NCL
Celebrity
Princess
Costa
#4
GTA, Ontario, Canada
32,973 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
We have done the cruise twice & no shots required
Be sure to take a good sunscreen though
#5
Greensboro, NC
1,482 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
No vaccinations are required, but check with your physician if you have specific health concerns.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Janis




Holland America Rotterdam
Norwegian Skyward
Fantasy Amerikanis
Celebrity Horizon (2)
Celebrity Zenith
Celebrity Mercury
Celebrity Infinity
Celebrity Summit
Celebrity Galaxy
Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas
Carnival Miracle
#7
san antonio tx
703 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
There are many conflicting opinions from professionals ranging from nothing needed to a huge number of shots. When we went on a cruise to Panama and Costa Rica last year we got Hepatitis A and B and tetnus shots. I thought this was a middle of the road approach. Since kids need them to be in school. then we probably needed them also. If you will be going off the beaten path and eating in out of the way places, you may need to consider more immunizations.
Marcia
#8
1,819 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
None needed. I guess you could always get them if you wanted to, and if your doctor is willing to give them to you, but they are not required as you will not be going into the "wilds" of the jungles for days & days. We are a couple in our late 60's and have never gotten any vaccinations or inoculations for any of our cruises, and have never had one sick day at sea or when returning home.

Smooth Sailing!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature



"Adventure Before Dementia!"
Proud HAL Mariner
#9
south of france
277 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by luvs2travl
None needed. I guess you could always get them if you wanted to, and if your doctor is willing to give them to you, but they are not required as you will not be going into the "wilds" of the jungles for days & days. We are a couple in our late 60's and have never gotten any vaccinations or inoculations for any of our cruises, and have never had one sick day at sea or when returning home.

Smooth Sailing!

we had to have yellow fever, hepatitis, polio for a cruise up the Amazon. We were also loaded down with antimosquito drugs (which I eventually threw away as they made me sick!) plus sprays etc. Perhaps we were lucky but never even SAW a mozzy, let alone got bitten by one. Get more bites here in my own backyard! still I guess it's better to be safe than sorry
#10
1,819 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by catllar
we had to have yellow fever, hepatitis, polio for a cruise up the Amazon. We were also loaded down with antimosquito drugs (which I eventually threw away as they made me sick!) plus sprays etc. Perhaps we were lucky but never even SAW a mozzy, let alone got bitten by one. Get more bites here in my own backyard! still I guess it's better to be safe than sorry
Totally agree with you for an AMAZON cruise where you will be deep in the jungle for several days. The OP was asking about a cruise through the Panama Canal. Two totally different types of cruises and lengths of times in jungle areas.

We are just off a 19-day full transit of the Panama Canal (FLL - San Diego) where we stopped in Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and many stops along the Mexican Riviera, etc - no vaccinations needed or required for those areas. And we didn't even use our recommended high-Deet "OFF" spray once!

If we were to take a cruise down the Amazon, we would most definitely get all the recommended vaccines for that area.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature



"Adventure Before Dementia!"
Proud HAL Mariner
#11
Redmond, WA
877 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Just as a side note here. If you donate blood you will NOT be able to do so for a full year after your return. Both DH and I went to our local blood drive after we got back and the nurse there said that Costa Rica was the problem.

Melody
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature




Past cruises
Celebrity Eclipse/Caribbean/April 2013
Celebrity Infinity/Panama Canal/ September 2012
Celebrity Summit/Canada/New England/ September 2011
Celebrity Infinity/Alaska/June2010
Celebrity Infinity/Panama Canal/September 2009
Celebrity Millennium/Alaska/September 2008
Sun Princess/Alaska September 2006
#12
Ontario, Canada
1,774 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
No vaccinations needed as per our physician but the recommend Twinrix (Hep A & B) combined if you plan on doing lots of travelling. A good mosquito repellant with deet is also recommended in the rain forest areas of Costa Rica.
Stay in the main touristy areas and you will not have a problem.
#13
northern UT
8,691 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
when we did the PC last year...no shots, but we did use deet mosquito spray in the Costa Rican rainforest
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
~~HAPPY SAILS TO YOU~~

LIFE IS NOT MEASURED BY THE BREATHS WE TAKE~~BUT BY THE MOMENTS THAT TAKE OUR BREATH AWAY

NCL STAR~(MR)_12-05/2-07/12-08/2-11
NCL STAR~(PC)_12-09
NCL JEWEL~(W.Carib)_1-10)
NCL SUN~(E/W.Carib)_12-10*/12-11*
NCL SPIRIT~(CN/NE)_ 9/08
RCL LegendoftheSeas-(HI)_11/04
CCL Victory-(W.Carib)_ 1/04
X Mercury-(AK)_7/02
USNS BARRETT-(Guam, HI, CA)_7/64
#14
262 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Thanks for all the responses. I am concerned because I have Diabetes and my husband has Asthma. I think we will get Hep A&B and use lots of Deet. Is Deet repellent enough? or do we have to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts. Thanks.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Christie & Steven
Carnival Magic-Nov 2016 (Grand Turk and Amber Cove)
Carnival Pride-Feb 2016 (Bahamas)
Carnival Magic-Dec 2015 (Cayman & Jamaica)
Celebrity Summit-Aug 2015 (Bermuda)
Norwegian Jewel-Jan 2015 (W.Carib.)
Celebrity Solstice-Sept 2013 (California Coast)
Carnival Pride-Jan2013 (Bahamas)
Golden Princess-Feb 2012 (Hawaii)
Norwegian Jade-Nov 2011 (Med/Egypt)

Norwegian Pearl-Sept 2010 (Panama Canal LA-Miami)
Norwegian Jade-May 2009 (N. Europe/British Isles)
Norwegian Pearl-May 2008 (AK Cruise)
Explorer of the Seas-Dec 2007 (S Carib.)
Mariner of the Seas-Oct 2006 (E Carib.)
Grandeur of the Seas-Jun 2006 (W Carib.)
#15
1,819 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by nascartony20fan1
Thanks for all the responses. I am concerned because I have Diabetes and my husband has Asthma. I think we will get Hep A&B and use lots of Deet. Is Deet repellent enough? or do we have to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts. Thanks.
You will be miserable in long-sleeved shirts and long pants. The climate is extremely hot and humid, with little to no breeze. You might pass out from the heat if you dress like that! We saw no one in anything other than shorts, bermuda shorts or capri pants and s/s shirts.

My DH is also a diabetic and had no issues of any kind. What are you concerned about specifically? We took our "DEET" with us at each port stop & never had to use it even once - not even on our Forest Canopy Ride in Costa Rica!

Have a wonderful cruise & Smooth Sailing always!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature



"Adventure Before Dementia!"
Proud HAL Mariner
#16
Moon Township, Pa
23,138 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by nascartony20fan1
Thanks for all the responses. I am concerned because I have Diabetes and my husband has Asthma. I think we will get Hep A&B and use lots of Deet. Is Deet repellent enough? or do we have to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts. Thanks.
I have severe asthma, only 48% lung function left, and I've taken four full transits of the Panama Canal, and never got shots for those cruises. I did get the Hep A and B a few years ago, but that was for a cruise to Vietnam and Cambodia. At least for me, some of those bug sprays put me into an asthma attack, so you need to be careful of that.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Darcie
#17
1,987 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
We got the HepA/B, Yellow Fever, and Typhoid vaccinations before our Panama Canal cruise in 2007. They weren't required, but mosquitoes LOVE me, and I can get bit when no one else has even seen a bug. We never saw a pest, nor did I get bit on that trip.

Last year in Belize and Roatan, we did see lots of mosquitoes, and in spite of using DEET, I did get bit, and I developed cellulitis from the bite. (Thankfully, at home.)

This year we'll be reupping our Typhoid vaccination as typhoid is endemic on all the islands we'll be visiting in the Southern Caribbean.

While they're not required, I don't know why people don't have the vaccinations if they have no underlying health problems preventing immunization. Why chance it when there's a prevention? Talk to your doctor. Call your county travel nurse. It's a nuisance, but I'd sure rather have a few shots than get any of those diseases (and Typhoid and Hepatitis A can be food borne).

Robin
#18
Delaware
1,197 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
We did the Panama Canal from LA to FLA. We both got vaccinated for yellow fever. We did alot of research and yellow fever was a concern for those areas. Although unlikely, it was a possibility and we didnt want to take any chances.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Eastern Caribbean 9/2003 "Explorer"
Hawaii 5/2006 "Radiance"
Bahamas 10/31/2006 "Majesty"
Panama Canal 11/4/2007 "Radiance"
Ensenada 1/11/2008 "Monarch"
Southern Caribbean 5/11/2008 "Adventure"
Bahamas 10/20/2008 "Sovereign"
Western Caribbean 5/30/2009 "Liberty"
Bermuda 10/24/2009 "Explorer"
Mexican Riviera 4/25/2010 "Mariner"
Western Caribbean 9/18/2010 "Oasis"
Southern Caribbean 3/21/2011 "Enchantment
Western Caribbean 9/11/2011 "Allure"
Western Caribbean 3/25/2012 "Mariner"
Bermuda 10/28/2012 "Explorer"
Western Caribbean 3/2/2013 "Navigator"
Southern Caribbean 11/16/2013 "Jewel"
Southern Caribbean 3/23/2014
"Independence"
Cruise to Nowhere 11/18/2014 "Quantum"
Western Caribbean 4/12/2015 "Freedom"
Western Caribbean 4/3/2016 "Allure"

Bahamas 12/2016 "Anthem"
Eastern Caribbean 12/2017 "Freedom"
RCCL Crown & Anchor
Diamond Plus Member



<!-- / sig -->
#19
262 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Originally posted by Robin7
We got the HepA/B, Yellow Fever, and Typhoid vaccinations before our Panama Canal cruise in 2007. They weren't required, but mosquitoes LOVE me, and I can get bit when no one else has even seen a bug. We never saw a pest, nor did I get bit on that trip.

Last year in Belize and Roatan, we did see lots of mosquitoes, and in spite of using DEET, I did get bit, and I developed cellulitis from the bite. (Thankfully, at home.)

This year we'll be reupping our Typhoid vaccination as typhoid is endemic on all the islands we'll be visiting in the Southern Caribbean.

While they're not required, I don't know why people don't have the vaccinations if they have no underlying health problems preventing immunization. Why chance it when there's a prevention? Talk to your doctor. Call your county travel nurse. It's a nuisance, but I'd sure rather have a few shots than get any of those diseases (and Typhoid and Hepatitis A can be food borne).

Robin
Originally posted by ws1965
We did the Panama Canal from LA to FLA. We both got vaccinated for yellow fever. We did alot of research and yellow fever was a concern for those areas. Although unlikely, it was a possibility and we didnt want to take any chances.
Thanks. I am glad to see other people consider these vaccinations as much as I do. Are there any risks in getting the Yellow Fever Vaccine? Were there any side effects? We are planning to get Hep A & B and boost our MMR. I think we will consider adding Typhoid and Yellow Fever. I do not like taking chances with our health either. Mosquitoes love me as well. I get bit all the time.

Thanks again.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Christie & Steven
Carnival Magic-Nov 2016 (Grand Turk and Amber Cove)
Carnival Pride-Feb 2016 (Bahamas)
Carnival Magic-Dec 2015 (Cayman & Jamaica)
Celebrity Summit-Aug 2015 (Bermuda)
Norwegian Jewel-Jan 2015 (W.Carib.)
Celebrity Solstice-Sept 2013 (California Coast)
Carnival Pride-Jan2013 (Bahamas)
Golden Princess-Feb 2012 (Hawaii)
Norwegian Jade-Nov 2011 (Med/Egypt)

Norwegian Pearl-Sept 2010 (Panama Canal LA-Miami)
Norwegian Jade-May 2009 (N. Europe/British Isles)
Norwegian Pearl-May 2008 (AK Cruise)
Explorer of the Seas-Dec 2007 (S Carib.)
Mariner of the Seas-Oct 2006 (E Carib.)
Grandeur of the Seas-Jun 2006 (W Carib.)
#20
Toronto, Canada
3,419 Posts
Joined May 2006
Originally posted by nascartony20fan1
Thanks. I am glad to see other people consider these vaccinations as much as I do. Are there any risks in getting the Yellow Fever Vaccine? Were there any side effects? We are planning to get Hep A & B and boost our MMR. I think we will consider adding Typhoid and Yellow Fever. I do not like taking chances with our health either. Mosquitoes love me as well. I get bit all the time.

Thanks again.
There is a small chance of a serious side effect from the Yellow Fever vaccine. I'd suggest that you ask your doctor about this risk and any other factors unique to your health that should be considered.

If you plan any excursions into the forests of Panama or Costa Rica consider anti-malaria medication.