Panama Canal??

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Jefferson, Iowa
479 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
When is the best time to cruise the Panama Canal? Any specifics I need to know about a Canal cruise?
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GTA, Ontario, Canada
34,575 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Probably Dec to April would be best
we have done the cruise 3 time but in Jan, Feb & march all were HOT & dry

Read up on how the canal came to be
Path Between the Seas is a good one
Bring a hat & plenty of sunscreen
St. Paul MN
3,208 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
If you want to do a Panama Canal cruise, be sure to do a full transit.
These are usually 15-17 day cruise. Other ports will be in Central America, and stops in Mexico.
During the actual transit of the canal, the best place is to be on deck so you can see both sides front and back. It will take all day to go from ocean to ocean.

Read up on the building of the canal and watch some videos on you tube of the actual transit. Some are quite good.

whenever you go, know that Panama will be hot , humid and can have rain.
Santa Paula CA
3,415 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
The first decision is whether to do a partial transit or a full transit. The partial transit is usually part of a Caribbean cruise. You go through the 3 Gatun locks and cruise Gatun Lake then return through the Gatun Locks.
The full transit is usually part of a longer cruise, say from Miami to Los Angeles.
We did a full transit, but the problem was the great number of sea days.
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Crown Isle, BC & Fort Mohave, AZ
26,722 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
We have done a full transit in January and found the weather to be perfect. Look at the various itineraries and research the various ports of call before making a decision. We found the Central American countries fascinating, we hope to make another full transit soon.
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88,417 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
December through March is very nice. With that said, I've done November and while there is still more of a chance for rain that was nice too.

107,528 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
We have done the full transits quite a few times -- from November through the end of April.

Just keep in mind that since the ship is traveling slow through the canal, there isn't a breeze and it will get hot and muggy. Wear sunscreen.
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5,517 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I responded to your question over on the Panama Canal board, but I would just add over here that most (maybe all ) Celebrity itineraries include a full day stop in Panama. Usually Celebrity stops in Colon as opposed to Panama City/Ft. Amador. Colon is the pits, but it doesn't take very long to whisk you over to the Pacific side where a good number of the sights of interest are located. While there are some good things about Ft. Amador, it is a tender port, where Colon is a dock.
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Kings Park, NY
3,628 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
If you enjoy swimming in the ocean, I would suggest a fall transit as the Pacific will still be warm. Did a spring transit and the beach waters on the Pacific side were chilly.
2,373 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
We did a full-transit Miami to LA on NCL Pearl in mid-April this year and loved all the ports along the way. Our particular day going through the canal was overcast which made it nice for those who couldn't be out as long otherwise. Hot and humid, though.......especially Cartagena.