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Guest Speakers on Canal Transits


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We are doing a full transit this December on the Island Princess and I wondered if there is a way to find out who they will have as a guest speaker during the canal transit. Most reviews just mention that they had a great speaker. Can one assume the speaker will be the author of the Panama Canal Guidebook on the recommended reading list from the cruise line website?

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You will have a range of speakers. We've always enjoyed them.


Many have worked for the Canal when it was under the management by the USA.




Thanks for that information. We are on Legend of the Seas next month for our first transit through the canal and I for one am looking forward to the guest speakers. :)



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Bill, what Keith1010 says about the Canal speakers is true in so far as the ones on RCI during the transit. RCI has had their destination lectures and in addition they have brought commentators from the Canal on for the actual transit, many of them are former and now retired US government employees having a go at a second career. Now in regards to your destination lecturer, that is another story... I have done a number of Canal transits both partial and full and the lecturers have ranged from good on a few to don't ask on the others. I don't know how to say this without sounding like I am full of myself, but I do have a great deal of professional knowledge of the Canal and their presentations have left a lot to be desired. Hopefully yours will be creme de la creme. Enjoy, it's a great trip!!

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Thanks for the info! I plan on attending any lectures they may have but wanted to read up on the transit beforehand. Don't want to have my nose buried in a book (or Kindle in my case) when I can be taking in the sights. I spent several years stationed with the military in Panama during the early 90's and look forward to seeing what has changed along the Canal. Unfortunately our cruise only goes through the Canal and does not actually stop in Panama so will have to return for a land trip in the future (or maybe a bigger ship in the "Third Lane" will stop). I have settled on Richard's book since it is available on Kindle and it has brought back many good memories. I can hardly wait to breathe in that warm, humid Panamanian air!

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There' s no doubt you will see some changes during your transit, with some exceptions the Canal has not changed too much to the eye. So many of the improvements have been in the area of straightening and deepening channels, shaving a few hills to improve visibility. The construction of the new Pacific Locks with its access channel to Gaillard Cut west of Miraflores Locks is one of the exceptions and the Centennial Bridge across the Cut just north of Pedro Miguel is another.


Ft. Clayton, now Ciudad de Saber will still have a familiar look to it, although much has changed inside. When you were there Panama City had a very modern skyline, wait til you see it now... just wow! One thing that hasn't changed... there still is plenty of humid air! Let's hope it doesn't get too humid as in rain:D!!

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Thanks BillB48! I am looking forward to the humidity. One of our family stories is about our then 5 year old who upon exiting the airplane from Miami and hitting the wall of hot, humid air in the jetway at Tocumen, wilting adults instantly, took in a deep breath and stated rather loudly "Awwwww, Panamaaaaa!" to the amusement of all those around him. I will be keeping an eye on that one to see his response 20 years later!

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