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About BillB48

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Panama Canal, TAs, Alaska

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  1. As many of you probably know cruise ships almost always make reservations to transit the Canal on a particular day when the cruise includes the Canal on the itinerary. While cruise ships are a big user of this function, reservations are made by other ships as well. These include ships that are running on fixed schedules as well as ships that can't afford to gamble on a several day wait for their turn to transit. The fee for reservations is a graduated fee schedule with the highest fee paid by the larger ships. The Transit Reservation Fee, unlike making a guaranteed ressie at your favorite
  2. Encore and the Joy would use the new locks, while the Gem and Jewel the old locks.
  3. The easiest way to judge if the ship will use the new locks or old is try and find the demensions. Many times you can find it by Googling the ship. Anything longer than 965' or wider than 106' will use the new locks. When you are looking at the width, sometimes they will give you the extreme width that would include things like the bridge wings. The 106 dimension is the at the waterline.
  4. I see what you mean, just looked at Google Earth. It does look fairly near completion even without knowing the date of the image. I suppose it is understandable that my contact down there does not have the most up to date info. Movement by the general public has been on the restricted side of things. At one point you could only shop between certain hours on certain days with men on particular days and women on other days. Until recently there were complete lock downs on the weekends, so taking in the latest construction projects was not a priority.
  5. I assume you are flying in the same day as you board the ship. If that is the case I think NCL's deal is not bad at all. Another fly in the ointment is the completion of the ship passenger terminal at Ft. Amador has not been completed yet and the last word I received was they did not have a definite date of completion. If the port completion comes to fruition, you will be a trailblazer for the rest of us. On a side note, looks like NCL has taken up the Canal's offer of a free transit for cruises originating at the new passenger terminal at Ft. Amador. So maybe things will shak
  6. In some of the beaching videos I have seen, the person conning ship was not the captain. Whether or not he was an "official" pilot or someone connected with the scrapping facility, I don't know.
  7. March 2020 on the Brilliance which turned out to be her next to last cruise before the shutdown. The first cruise we had cancelled was on the Serenade later in March '20.
  8. As of this AM they are all back up.
  9. Stick with it, a good read!
  10. Ships are permitted under the BoA on a case by case basis with an air draft of 205' at low tide. The tides at Balboa can range up to 21'. There also is potentially another issue and that is the part of the outside promenade deck that protrudes as it goes around the MDR. Canal regs don't permit protrusions beyond the hull that are less than 55' above the water. That protrusion might not be high enough.
  11. OK, curiosity got to me and I went and looked up the regulation... anything under 55.268' (16.85m) is not permitted. I guess the question is the protrusion around the MDR at least the 55.268'? As I stated above, it is over 50'... just not sure if it gets to 55 figure.
  12. The Voyager class are too long and wide to use the original locks, so new locks it is. While the lifeboats extend beyond the side of the ship, they won't be an issue. The Canal permits protrusions and overhangs provided they are high enough. If there is an issue with the Voyager it would be the sponson for the "outside" promenade deck under the lifeboats that extends beyond the side of the ship as goes around the dining room. It is over 50' above the water, so I "believe" it is high enough.
  13. Not without getting a waiver for air draft. Right the permitted air draft for the Bridge of Americas is 205' on a case by case basis. The Voyager/Freedom class ships have an air draft of 208'. The Canal has been fairly lenient in granting waivers for what is termed delivery transits, which usually consists of 3 or less transits. However I have knowledge of them granting waivers for air draft (other than for one of their cranes), what I have seen is usually regarding length, beam or draft.
  14. If you are selecting a cabin based on the sun, from LA to the Canal you will generally find PM sun on the starboard side. Depending on your route from the Canal to Miami, the PM sun will be somewhere on the port side. Now even though you indicate you will move about the ship during your transit (highly recommended) you may wish to kickback on your balcony for a spell. If that is the case then I would recommend the starboard side. While both sides are important and part of the Canal experience, the starboard side has more distinct items of interest. For example, when first enter the Canal
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