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  #1  
Old April 4th, 2011, 08:03 PM
merknerk merknerk is offline
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Default Celebrity Equinox Panama Canal March 2012

Hi Everyone
We are looking into Celebrity Equinox March 2012. This will be our 9th cruise , first with Celebrity. The ship looks beautiful. Has anyone done the Panama Canal excursions ? If so what is your opinion. We saw a few on the web site and I know that one goes through the canal. Also any opinion of the Equinox would be appreciated. Thanks so much.
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  #2  
Old April 4th, 2011, 10:58 PM
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momzcruzing momzcruzing is offline
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Equinox is a fabulous ship and the Panama Canal an amazing destination. You will LOVE both.
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  #3  
Old April 5th, 2011, 01:22 AM
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dmwnc1959 dmwnc1959 is offline
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I couldn't imagine going to Panama and getting that close without actually going through the locks. Since your ship doesn't, I would recommend the tour that takes you to the other side of the country to board the small boat excursion that actually transits the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks then through the Gaillard Cut. The scenery on that side of the Panama Canal is a lot more amazing than on the Gatun Locks side.

http://www.celebritycruises.com/shor...Level=&SortBy=
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  #4  
Old April 5th, 2011, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmwnc1959 View Post
I couldn't imagine going to Panama and getting that close without actually going through the locks. Since your ship doesn't, I would recommend the tour that takes you to the other side of the country to board the small boat excursion that actually transits the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks then through the Gaillard Cut. The scenery on that side of the Panama Canal is a lot more amazing than on the Gatun Locks side.

http://www.celebritycruises.com/shor...Level=&SortBy=
Did this same trip off Equinox last Christmas. It was a great trip and going throught locks is amazing. I realize there are other things but the locks are a a must see. Equinoxx is a great ship.
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  #5  
Old August 7th, 2011, 09:34 PM
theseeker theseeker is offline
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Originally Posted by merknerk View Post
Hi Everyone
We are looking into Celebrity Equinox March 2012. This will be our 9th cruise , first with Celebrity. The ship looks beautiful. Has anyone done the Panama Canal excursions ? If so what is your opinion. We saw a few on the web site and I know that one goes through the canal. Also any opinion of the Equinox would be appreciated. Thanks so much.

We sailed on the Equinox in the Mediterrean last September and it is awesome. Celebrity is our favorite cruise line and the Equinox was the best ship ever. The Allure of the Seas was awesome but I think you will like the Equinox.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 02:08 PM
lcmslady lcmslady is offline
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Default Isn't Equinox too big?

Isn't the Equinox too big to get through the locks?

I'm looking at doing the PC in January 2013 and thought our only option with Celebrity was the M class ships.
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  #7  
Old January 19th, 2012, 10:28 PM
noyhabaru noyhabaru is offline
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Default Colonial Panama + Miraflores Locks

We traveled to Colon on the Celebrity Equinox (started Jan. 2, 2012) and took only one cruise-organized shore excursion the entire trip: Colonial Panama and the Miraflores Locks.

Although I was happily surprised to see how beautiful colonial Panama City is, the tour was extremely large and provided only a cursory introduction to the canal. Almost everyone lost the guide in the colonial part of the city and we ended up waiting at least 20-30 minutes in the heat for her to return to the bus with the stragglers. It was a 1.5 hour drive over to Panana City from Colon and rather than the 6-6.5 hour tour advertised, it ended up being a fatiguing 8 hour tour due to all of the sitting around on the bus waiting.

At the Miraflores locks, the tour did not include admission to the museum, only entrance to the viewing platform (a difference of $3 in ticket price, which by the time we realized and tried to pay ourselves the ticket line was too long, ugh) so we left still wondering how the whole thing really worked.

Overall the trip left me with a desire to read more about the history of Panama and the locks because the tour provided such a very superficial introduction to an amazing piece of history.
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  #8  
Old January 23rd, 2012, 12:38 AM
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GiannaD GiannaD is offline
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Default Shore Excursions

Quote:
Originally Posted by merknerk View Post
Hi Everyone
We are looking into Celebrity Equinox March 2012. This will be our 9th cruise , first with Celebrity. The ship looks beautiful. Has anyone done the Panama Canal excursions ? If so what is your opinion. We saw a few on the web site and I know that one goes through the canal. Also any opinion of the Equinox would be appreciated. Thanks so much.
We were on the Equinox in 2011 and loved the ship so much that we have booked her again for 2012.

We took the train excursion that goes parallel to the Panama Canal and to the Miraflores locks. The museum and viewing platform at the locks were included and very interesting. We booked the glass domed train car which I would not recommend. It was cramped, the view was not at all spectacular and the tour escort was annoying at best. The train was delayed for some reason so we were late departing the dock and then driven around the former US military base to see a lot of former this and that while we waited for the train. We were bussed back to the ship from the locks. This excursion was definitely not worth the price.
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  #9  
Old January 23rd, 2012, 06:28 AM
Orlandocruiser Orlandocruiser is offline
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We took the tour that bussed you to Gamboa where we boarded a ferry that took us through the locks to Panama City. We then returned to the ship (no city tour). It was an amazing experience to sit in that small vessel and watch your ship lower as they let the water out of the locks. You are really up close to the locks in such a small ship. We did a partial canal transit on another line's smaller ship a few years ago and realized that this experience of going through the locks on a small boat was so much better. By the way reading David McCullough's Path Between the Seas before you go is a good way to really make the most of your tour.
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  #10  
Old January 23rd, 2012, 06:53 AM
nbturfman nbturfman is offline
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Went on this cruise last year - it was our first with Celebrity. Equinox was great all the way around. We did a private excursion to the locks. It is pretty much a full day but they guarentee you will be back in time to catch the ship and had insurance to back it up. You can search the ports of call and find the best tour operators. Enjoy your trip.
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  #11  
Old January 23rd, 2012, 09:13 AM
backyardponder backyardponder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmwnc1959 View Post
I couldn't imagine going to Panama and getting that close without actually going through the locks. Since your ship doesn't, I would recommend the tour that takes you to the other side of the country to board the small boat excursion that actually transits the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks then through the Gaillard Cut. The scenery on that side of the Panama Canal is a lot more amazing than on the Gatun Locks side.

http://www.celebritycruises.com/shor...Level=&SortBy=
For years I've wanted to go through the Canal. Going on this tour met my needs. Seeing the Miraflores locks from a tour boat is very, very impressive. Good views of the new construction going on to expand the canal.

The best views on the tour were from the front of the tour boat. There's no shade there, so be sure to bring sun-screen and a hat.

On our tour (February 2011) they served a buffet lunch which was decent.
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  #12  
Old January 23rd, 2012, 10:51 PM
siestatom siestatom is offline
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Default Poor experience with canal tour

Just responded to a similar post so this is a duplicate reply but very applicable.

Just did this cruise in January.

Took the Celebrity Panama canal transit tour and it was pretty bad, especially considering it was $160 each.

The first bus ride was one hour and the buses don't have bathrooms. Then they dumped us at a deserted public park near the canal. The bathroom here was attached to a gynnasium and way too small to handle the 8 bus loads that arrived. Some people had to wait 30 minutes in line!

Finally we were taken to the boat. It was so crowded that we couldn't get two seats together. When something interesting happened, like a lock door opening, people would stand up blocking the view for everyone else.

Going through the canal and locks would have been great, in a comfortable boat, but this was pure cattle car.

After the boat trip, more lines, more waiting, and finally a two hour drive to get back to the ship. Remember, no bathrooms on the buses.

We complained to Celebrity and they did send us a nice note of regret and a bottle of wine but it hardly made up for a lousy tour that costs $320 for two.

Though I've had some good experiences on ship sponsored excursions, many have been disappointing.
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  #13  
Old February 2nd, 2012, 10:07 PM
stagebaby stagebaby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmwnc1959 View Post
I couldn't imagine going to Panama and getting that close without actually going through the locks. Since your ship doesn't, I would recommend the tour that takes you to the other side of the country to board the small boat excursion that actually transits the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks then through the Gaillard Cut. The scenery on that side of the Panama Canal is a lot more amazing than on the Gatun Locks side.

http://www.celebritycruises.com/shor...Level=&SortBy=
Is there time to do that in a one day stop? Who should I contact?
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  #14  
Old February 2nd, 2012, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Orlandocruiser View Post
We took the tour that bussed you to Gamboa where we boarded a ferry that took us through the locks to Panama City. We then returned to the ship (no city tour). It was an amazing experience to sit in that small vessel and watch your ship lower as they let the water out of the locks. You are really up close to the locks in such a small ship. We did a partial canal transit on another line's smaller ship a few years ago and realized that this experience of going through the locks on a small boat was so much better. By the way reading David McCullough's Path Between the Seas before you go is a good way to really make the most of your tour.
Good Point ! I think that after I finished the "Path Between the Seas" I could give a pretty good tour! Everything you could possibly want to know about the construction of the Panama Canal. Excellent book!

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  #15  
Old February 2nd, 2012, 10:25 PM
stagebaby stagebaby is offline
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Did you book that thru the ship or make your own arrangements. If so, who should we look for to contatct?
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  #16  
Old February 2nd, 2012, 11:48 PM
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Did you book that thru the ship or make your own arrangements. If so, who should we look for to contatct?
Check your specific sailings Shore Excursions. There should be at least one tour offered that will allow a canal transit via small tour boat that will go through the locks.
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  #17  
Old February 3rd, 2012, 05:07 AM
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Is there time to do that in a one day stop? Who should I contact?
Yes, there is plenty of time to do this tour. It will run you about 8 hours and of those 8 allow about 1.5 hours transportation each way to the Pacific side to join the ferry and return. You should be able to book it through the ship which I would recommend in this case even if private tours through are available, due to the fact you are a long way from the ship.
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