Panama Canal Cruise

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#1
Los Banos, CA USA
4,212 Posts
Joined May 2001
So now that I booked one of my husband's bucket list cruise, Hawaii, we now are wanting to plan a Panama Canal cruise. I briefly looked and I guess the departure and arrival ports are usually different. We live in California so I'm sure airfare will be involved as well. We aren't retired yet so the longest time we could possibly manage is 14 day cruise. We are looking at possibly next November or December. January is out because my husband is out of town for 2 weeks in January for work.
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Carnival Spirit 2010
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas 2011
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#2
9,722 Posts
Joined May 2009
Do you have a question?
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#3
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
29,505 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by Turtles06
Do you have a question?
I think there is one here- one that could be resolved by just a little research.

Full transits are almost never less than 14 days. However, as commonly discussed here, partial transits, which do round trip out of the same port, are typically 10 or 11 days.
#4
Los Banos, CA USA
4,212 Posts
Joined May 2001
This will probably be our only panama cruise so I am trying to figure out the best option to get the most out of our trip. I'm just starting my research so it is a bit confusing. We plan to purchase FCC on our upcoming cruises. I will study the history to figure out what to do. So much to think about.
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Carnival Jubilee June 1996
Voyager of the Seas June 2001
Sea Princess January 2002
Carnival Elation June 2002
Carnival Pride December 2003
Monarch of the Seas March 2004
Carnival Liberty December 2005
Regal Princess June 2006
Dawn Princess November 2007
Carnival Pride November 2008
Carnival Spirit 2010
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas 2011
Carnival Breeze November 2013
Carnival Miracle March 2014
Norwegian Star November 30, 2014
Crown Princess November 2016
Grand Princess June 2016
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#5
Los Banos, CA USA
4,212 Posts
Joined May 2001
Just trying to figure out the best option for us since this will more than likely be our only Panama Canal cruise. I'm not sure if full or partial is best. I plan to purchase FCC on board our next cruise. I'm just starting my research so I have a lot to consider,
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Carnival Jubilee June 1996
Voyager of the Seas June 2001
Sea Princess January 2002
Carnival Elation June 2002
Carnival Pride December 2003
Monarch of the Seas March 2004
Carnival Liberty December 2005
Regal Princess June 2006
Dawn Princess November 2007
Carnival Pride November 2008
Carnival Spirit 2010
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas 2011
Carnival Breeze November 2013
Carnival Miracle March 2014
Norwegian Star November 30, 2014
Crown Princess November 2016
Grand Princess June 2016
Ruby Princess November 2016
#6
South Carolina
28,882 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Since you're only going to do it once ....
Go for the FULL transit!
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80+ Cruises .... Princess, Celebrity, RCCL, HAL, Carnival, NCL, Costa, etc. (Still miss Sitmar)
#7
Los Banos, CA USA
4,212 Posts
Joined May 2001
Originally posted by OCruisers
Since you're only going to do it once ....
Go for the FULL transit!
Ok I will research the ships that do that. Thanks.

Our other bucket list is Greece.
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Carnival Jubilee June 1996
Voyager of the Seas June 2001
Sea Princess January 2002
Carnival Elation June 2002
Carnival Pride December 2003
Monarch of the Seas March 2004
Carnival Liberty December 2005
Regal Princess June 2006
Dawn Princess November 2007
Carnival Pride November 2008
Carnival Spirit 2010
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas 2011
Carnival Breeze November 2013
Carnival Miracle March 2014
Norwegian Star November 30, 2014
Crown Princess November 2016
Grand Princess June 2016
Ruby Princess November 2016
#8
Palm City, Fl
4,164 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
For a little background, Princess used to do a 10 day full transit, but the drug cartels decided that the western terminus (Acapulco) was a good place to have their drug wars and endanger the indigenous tourists....so now Princess begins/ends their full transit itineraries in Los Angeles (San Pedro).

If you really want to avoid flying, my buddy says to do a B2B, full transit. (He is not a fan of air travel)
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Carnival Splendor 2008 ( E. Mediterranean)
Carnival Glory 2010 (b2b E+W Caribbean)
Emerald Princess 2012 (Caribbean)
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Ruby Princess 2014 (W. Caribbean)
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HAL Zaandam 2016 (BA to Santiago)

HAL Zuiderdam 2018 (Partial Canal)
HAL Maasdam 2018 (Tahiti)
#9
9,722 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by lbfluffy
Just trying to figure out the best option for us since this will more than likely be our only Panama Canal cruise. I'm not sure if full or partial is best. I plan to purchase FCC on board our next cruise. I'm just starting my research so I have a lot to consider,
Thanks for clarifying.

With two weeks, you should have time for a full transit (you can find 14-nighters). Having just done one (16 nights), it was awesome, and I'd certainly recommend it for the "full" experience of ALL the locks, as well as the transit of Gatun Lake and the Culebra Cut, and for understanding just how incredible a feat of human engineering this was by experiencing it completely from one end to the other. My detailed review, with photos, is here:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2456255

I don't know where in CA you are, but at least on one end of a full transit, you won't be flying across the continent.

There's plenty of info on this board about the Canal and partial and full transits, so with some reading and deciding what is important to you, you should be able to make a decision. (You have mentioned a "bucket list" several times. If you are just trying to tick off stuff on a list, maybe a partial transit would be sufficient for you. It would not have been for us. We did not even consider it.)
#10
Los Banos, CA USA
4,212 Posts
Joined May 2001
Originally posted by Turtles06
Thanks for clarifying.

With two weeks, you should have time for a full transit (you can find 14-nighters). Having just done one (16 nights), it was awesome, and I'd certainly recommend it for the "full" experience of ALL the locks, as well as the transit of Gatun Lake and the Culebra Cut, and for understanding just how incredible a feat of human engineering this was by experiencing it completely from one end to the other. My detailed review, with photos, is here:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2456255

I don't know where in CA you are, but at least on one end of a full transit, you won't be flying across the continent.

There's plenty of info on this board about the Canal and partial and full transits, so with some reading and deciding what is important to you, you should be able to make a decision. (You have mentioned a "bucket list" several times. If you are just trying to tick off stuff on a list, maybe a partial transit would be sufficient for you. It would not have been for us. We did not even consider it.)

We are central California so we can leave out of LA or San Francisco with not too long of a drive. We may do Panama Canal in 2019 and possibly a different cruise next year. We like to take at least one cruise a year.
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Carnival Jubilee June 1996
Voyager of the Seas June 2001
Sea Princess January 2002
Carnival Elation June 2002
Carnival Pride December 2003
Monarch of the Seas March 2004
Carnival Liberty December 2005
Regal Princess June 2006
Dawn Princess November 2007
Carnival Pride November 2008
Carnival Spirit 2010
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas 2011
Carnival Breeze November 2013
Carnival Miracle March 2014
Norwegian Star November 30, 2014
Crown Princess November 2016
Grand Princess June 2016
Ruby Princess November 2016
#11
Florida
5,563 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Well if this going to be your only pass through the Canal then hold out for the full transit if you can. There is one partial transit that may be worth consideration even though it is a wee bit out of your parameters. Princess has offered one partial transit round trip from LA on the Island Princess in the November time frame, it is around 18 or 19 days. The ship enters the Canal on the Pacific side, travels almost to Gatun Locks where it will anchor and tours can be taken. After an overnight in the Canal the ship will sail back through the Canal and exit on the Pacific side. It is practically two complete transits of the Canal all on the same cruise. However there is no way to know if they will offer in 2019.
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#12
Phoenix, az area
381 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
My detailed review, with photos, is here:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2456255


There's plenty of info on this board about the Canal and partial and full transits, so with some reading and deciding what is important to you, you should be able to make a decision. (You have mentioned a "bucket list" several times. If you are just trying to tick off stuff on a list, maybe a partial transit would be sufficient for you. It would not have been for us. We did not even consider it.)[/quote]

Thanks for your review, doing 24 days at the end of April and you gave great info!
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Steve & Linda
(Steve: USS Guardfish SSN 612 (75-76); USS Queenfish SSN 651 (77-79) Both at Pearl Harbor) Carnival Holiday 7/02 Cozumel ;Celebrity Mercury/04 Pacific Coastal ; Carnival Legend 9/05 St Thomas ; Diamond Princess 5/06 Reposition ; NCL Star 9/06 Reposition ; Carnival Spirit 1/07 Mexico ; Carnival Paradise 2/07 Mexico ; Regal Princess 4/07 Hawaii ; HAL Zaandam 5/07 reposition ; Sun Princess 9/07 Alaska ; Dawn Princess 2/08 Mexico ; HAL Zaandam 4/08 Repositioning ; RCL Serenade 5/08 Alaska ; Carnival Victory 6/08 Canada: Carnival Elation 11/09 Baja; Carnival Elation 01/10 Cabo Carnival Freedom 9/10 Caribbean; HAL Oosterdam 11/10 Mexico; HAL Oosterdam 1/11 Mexico: HAL Oosterdam 5/11 Repositioning Golden Princess 10/11 Hawaii RCL Navigator 1/12 Caribbean; RCL Rhapsody 5/12 Alaska; Carmival Splendor 1/13 Mexico; Carnival Inspiration 2/13 Mexico; Sapphire Princess 5/13 Northbound Alaska; 6/13 Island Princess Southbound Alaska; 09/13 RCL Majesty Bahamas; 10/13 Star Princess Hawaii 4/14 NCL Getaway Caribbean: 8/14 RCL Brilliance Transatlantic 1/15 HAL Eurodam Country Music Cruise -Caribbean: 6/15 Celebrity Millennium Alaska-Northbound; NCL Sun 9/15 Repositioning; NCL Star 11/15 Western Caribbean; 9/16 Crown Princess Mexico; 1/17 RCL Brilliance Country Music Cruise -Caribbean; 4/17 HAL Maasdam Panama Canal;4/18 Sun Princess Auckland to Sydney
#13
Los Banos, CA USA
4,212 Posts
Joined May 2001
Thank you all. We may do a partial transit. We love cruising, but 10 days was the longest cruise we have done. We have a 15 day coming up to Hawaii. That's a big step for me. Some of you may think I'm nuts, but I am a bit anxious being away from my dogs that long. I have a 25 year old son that lives with us and will watch them, but ooh I'll miss them. So I'm thinking Panama Canal should be a max of 2 weeks for us especially if I have to fly which is an extra day.
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Past Cruises


Carnival Jubilee June 1996
Voyager of the Seas June 2001
Sea Princess January 2002
Carnival Elation June 2002
Carnival Pride December 2003
Monarch of the Seas March 2004
Carnival Liberty December 2005
Regal Princess June 2006
Dawn Princess November 2007
Carnival Pride November 2008
Carnival Spirit 2010
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas 2011
Carnival Breeze November 2013
Carnival Miracle March 2014
Norwegian Star November 30, 2014
Crown Princess November 2016
Grand Princess June 2016
Ruby Princess November 2016
#14
Coastal GA USA
21,709 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
If you can squeeze out a few more days, Princess has one on Island that is R/T LA. She goes through Miraflores and Pedro Miguel locks and all the way to Gatun Lake, spends the night there and then goes back out the Pacific side. It is 19 days.

http://www.cruisetimetables.com/crui...s-dec2017.html

She does it again in April 2018:

http://www.cruisetimetables.com/crui...s-apr2018.html

There is no schedule for her past Sept 2018, but chances are she may do it again in that Nov or Dec., maybe again in Spring 2019. EM
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Booked: Carnival Fascination 10/8/17; Carnival Elation 12/11/17;Carnival Splendor 1/14/18
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Carnival Pride B2B 21 nites 2/19/17 Caribbean
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MSC Divina 5/7/16
Carnival Fascination 22 Feb 2016 Bahamas
MSC Divina 11/20-23/2013 Bahamas
Coral Princess 17 July 2013 Alaska
Celebrity Silhouette 22 May 2013 Adriatic & Italy
Queen Elizabeth 15 May 2013 4 nights
Celebrity Infinity 16 April 2013 B2B San Diego to Harwich
Nieuw Amsterdam Mediterranean 4/30 - 5/24/2012
Millennium B2B2B 2/6-20/2012 Caribbean
Caribbean Princess 10/29/2011 Caribbean Islander NY to FLL
Celebrity Solstice 5/1/2011 FLL to Barcelona
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QM 2 12/8/2010 Caribbean Delights
Celebrity Summit 10/24/10 B2B NY to San Juan
Emerald Princess 8/29/10 Western Caribbean
Diamond Princess 5/29/10 B2B Alaska
Westerdam 2/7/10 Eastern & Southern Caribbean
Carnival Dream 10/27/09 Transatlantic
Carnival Sensation 6/18/09 Bahamas
Carnival Splendor 5/17/09 B2B Mexi-not to Canada
Oosterdam 2/28/09 San Diego to Rome 32 nights
Carnival Fascination 12/13/08 Bahamas
QE 2 7/31/08 Lands of Fire and Ice
Celebration 3/27/08 Bahamas
Celebration 1/26/08 Bahamas
Norwegian Spirit 10/20/07 CTN
Elation 4/23/07 B2B Bahamas
Zenith 8/2006 Bermuda
Calypso 7/2005 Greek Isles
Star Princess Inaugural 2/2002 Pacific Rim Singapore to LA 26 nights
Millennium 8/2000 Baltic
Fantasy 6/1999 Bahamas
Royal Princess 1/1999 Buenos Aires to Manaus
Home Lines Oceanic x 2 1973 NYC to Nassau 7 nights
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#15
3 hours east of Toronto
7,971 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Hi all!

I'm doing a full transit on the new NCL Bliss in Nov '18. It leaves from Los Angeles & ends in Miami, 14 days.
Should be great, a new ship through the new locks! Would that work for you?

~ Jo ~
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#17
USA
5,510 Posts
Joined May 2012
We did the partial transit on the Island Princess and enjoyed it immensely. My wife took tons of pictures for her website. If you take a partial cruise, you may be going to some of the same ports of call that we visited on our cruise. If you have time, you may want to take a look at her website at the link below which includes our shore excursions. It may give you an idea of what to expect.

Partial Panama Cruise on the Island Princess

Have a great cruise everyone. It's a wonderful way to travel!
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You can view my wife's cruise pictures on her website Nancy's Oasis and individual cruise links below my cruise countdown.



2016 14 day Alaska Maasdam Ketchikan,Juneau,Dawes,Icy Strait Point,Anchorage,Homer,Kodiak,Hubbard,Sitka, Victoria,BC
2015 Christmas Adventure of the Seas St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Dominica, Barbados
2014 Christmas Island Princess ~ Partial Panama Canal with Columbia, Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, Aruba
2013 Christmas Adventure of the Seas ~ So.Caribbean St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Aruba, and Curacao
2012 Christmas Mariner of the Seas ~ W.Caribbean Cozumel (Tulum) Jamaica, and Grand Cayman
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2011 Christmas Mariner of the Seas ~ W. Caribbean Belize (Lamanai), Roatan, Costa Maya (Kohunlich), Cozumel
2011 Carnival Ecstasy ~ Western Caribbean Cozumel and Progresso (Chichen Itza)
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#18
Los Banos, CA USA
4,212 Posts
Joined May 2001
Originally posted by JimAOk1945
We did the partial transit on the Island Princess and enjoyed it immensely. My wife took tons of pictures for her website. If you take a partial cruise, you may be going to some of the same ports of call that we visited on our cruise. If you have time, you may want to take a look at her website at the link below which includes our shore excursions. It may give you an idea of what to expect.

Partial Panama Cruise on the Island Princess

Have a great cruise everyone. It's a wonderful way to travel!

Ok back to my Panama Cruise research. I believe we will stick with Princess. I will look into the Island Princess,

Thanks
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Past Cruises


Carnival Jubilee June 1996
Voyager of the Seas June 2001
Sea Princess January 2002
Carnival Elation June 2002
Carnival Pride December 2003
Monarch of the Seas March 2004
Carnival Liberty December 2005
Regal Princess June 2006
Dawn Princess November 2007
Carnival Pride November 2008
Carnival Spirit 2010
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas 2011
Carnival Breeze November 2013
Carnival Miracle March 2014
Norwegian Star November 30, 2014
Crown Princess November 2016
Grand Princess June 2016
Ruby Princess November 2016
#19
Jensen Beach, FL
126 Posts
Joined May 2011
Go to one of the big box TA web sites that markets most of the major cruise lines where you can put your criteria in (dates, length of cruise, etc.) and you will find many 14 to 15 day full transits.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
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Terry & Elaine

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RCL Song of America (November 1991) - Western Caribbean
NCL Pride of America (November 2010) - Hawaii
Carnival Inspiration - (November 2008) Western Caribbean
Carnival Pride (x2) (February 2011/September 2011)- Bahamas/Bermuda
Celebrity Millenium (June 2011) - Alaska (Inside Passage)
HAL ms Zuiderdam (April 2012) - Repositioning - Panama Canal (full transit)
Caribbean Princess (July 2012) - British Isles
Carnival Dream (February 2013) - Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Glory - Canada (Maritime Provinces) (June 2013)
Carnival Imagination - (November 2013) Key West/Cozumel
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HAL ms Noordam (March 2014)- Transatlantic (Azores/Spain)
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Carnival Splendor (November 2015)- Western Caribbean (Cozumel/Belize/Isla Roatan/Grand Cayman)
HAL ms Westerdam (February 2016) - Eastern Caribbean
Fathom Adonia (July 2016) - Cuba
HAL ms Koningsdam - (September/October 2016) - Netherlands, England, Girbraltar, Albania, Spain, Greece, Italy
HAL ms Koningsdam - (February 2017) - Southern Caribbean
HAL ms Koningsdam - (March 2017) - Eastern Caribbean