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Panama Canal direction and time


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Since you are in California it depends on which flight you would prefer, going or coming. :)


If I lived in California I would prefer the flight to be at the beginning not the end, so I would do East to West


Royal Caribbean has Legend of the Seas going West to East 4/1/2014 and then East to West 4/16/2014, so actually I would probably cruise both ways.

As it is we aren't near either coast. :D


We are going April 1 so I guess I prefer West to East.

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I live in the east so we did west to east to get the long flight (and fewer flight options -Acapulco) out of the way first. There were lots of flights home from FLL and it was shorter and in the same timezone.

It's a great cruise!

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I always prefer East to West so you move the clock back a few times during the voyage.




That's my vote also.

My vote as well.

Also being from California, I got the flying part out of the way first.

It was nice to sail back to LA and not have to worry about baggage weight for the souvenirs and other goodies I picked up.

I also liked getting my 3 hours back on the cruise (although we did have to set our clock ahead for Aruba)


We went in the month of November, and the weather was warm and a little humid, but not unbearable. We had no rain, although I heard that December is the beginning of the dry season.

The Panama Canal is a wonderful cruise! You will love it.

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I would rather fly TO my embarkation port, than have to fly home.....when my vacation is over, I just want to get home ASAP.....


Panama is HOT all year round....it's only a few degrees off the equator. Any time of the year will be fine.

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Your choice in direction IMO is totally dependent on what works best for you in your connections before and after the cruise. The Canal will be equally rewarding in either direction. Your question as to when is it better, fall or spring.... that's little of it depends answer. The Dry Season in Panama runs from late December through April, so if you choose a cruise in early fall (the first full Canal cruises show up usually around Sept.) there's more of a good chance you may have a little rain to contend with. A cruise in March on the other hand there would not be much of a chance of rain during your transit. Don't let the threat of rain scare you away from the fall time period if that is what is convenient for you. A good portion of my Canal cruises have been in the fall and yes I have been rained on, but it's not a wash out! When it rains during your transit, all the good viewing spots open up and the only crowded places are the dining venues:D!

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It's a small thing really but it was a VERY sunny day when we went through. We had sailed from Acapulco and on the day we went through the Panama Canal we had the sun behind us. As we stood at the front of the ship for the majority of the transit I am so glad I was not squinting into the sun all day.

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I think Atlantic to Pacific (east-west is actually an ambiguous terms since the Atlantic end is west of the Pacific end) is a better transit in terms of the sightseeing holding your interest through the day. You get the early excitement of entering the canal and the Gatun locks, then the lake followed by the Culebra/Gaillard cut and then the Bridge of the Americas. Going in from the Pacific the excitement seems to be over once you've gotten to the lake.

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Is one direction better than the other on the Panama Canal or does it not matter? Also, is fall or spring better?


We prefer going from Atlantic to Pacific so that we do the first three locks while we're still fresh since the transit takes all day.


Even though people talk about 'east to west' the canal is actually north/south direction. If you look at it on a map, you will see that.


Since the Canal is near the equator it will be HOT no matter when you transit. I would think maybe Fall might be better.

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