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Royal's offerings for Canal cruises have be scant over the past few years. First they dropped their partial transit cruises and finally only had an occasional reposition cruise Looking at their destinations, the Canal no longer even listed. So for the foreseeable future it does not look like there are any Canal cruises in the cards.

Edited by BillB48
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We also did a partial transit with Princess in January. It was the worst cruise ever. If you are set on going and do Princess, do NOT go on the Island Princess. The excursions were all messed up, many cancelled, the lines were long for dinner and shows, many of the staff were unhappy. We did a great PR job recommending Royal Caribbean to other cruisers. Even their elite members were complaining. It was a nightmare! It is a beautiful ship, though!

 

 

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Our Panama Canal Partial Transit cruise was on the Island Princess. We had a fantastic cruise, wonderful excursions, met a lot of great people. Our room steward and waiters were very attentive. The food was tasty and properly prepared. The shows were entertaining. The ship was beautiful. Our room service meals were always the appropriate temperature. I guess you could say we have no complaints about anything on that cruise.

 

Any cruise can have it's problems. We never let that possibility keep us from booking a cruise. For us, the itinerary is the priority.

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That partial transit cruise we took a few years ago was one of the best cruises. Its itinerary was very good, not the same islands over and over again.

 

Agree completely. We did a 10-night on Serenade in 2008 and it remains one of our favorite. Hopefully they will add that back again someday, but my understanding is that the canal access cost became prohibitive.

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Agree completely. We did a 10-night on Serenade in 2008 and it remains one of our favorite. Hopefully they will add that back again someday, but my understanding is that the canal access cost became prohibitive.

 

I believe there are other forces at play when it comes to Royal's absence from the Canal. No doubt, the cost to transit the Canal is not for the faint of heart since they can run above $300K/transit for a Radiance class ship. The truth is the passenger directly pays for the transit from the taxes, fees and port charges portion of the fare. A 10/11 day (non Canal) Caribbean cruise taxes, fees, etc. run just a little over a $100, where a 10/11 Canal cruise is over $300 for the taxes, fees, etc. Partial or full transit, same price.

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...Partial or full transit, same price.
Absolutely correct. Which actually makes sense as you go through six locks whether doing partial or full transit - three into Gatun Lake and three out of the Lake.

 

I see that the new bigger locks are now scheduled to open 26 Jun 2016, but since this date has been repeatedly pushed back for several years, I'll believe it when it happens. Even with the new bigger locks many/most new large cruise ships will not be able to do a full transit due to the air-clearance under the Bridge of the Americas.

 

Thom

(who has done full transits in both directions)

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Up until this past year Royal did cruises back and forth between Fort Lauderdale and San Diego. However they have discontinued them and currently they have none scheduled into 2018

 

Celebrity does this cruise itinerary every Spring and Fall. I gave up waiting for RCL to schedule this cruise again and booked the Celebrity Canal cruise next May 2nd from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego.

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Would be interested in a partial transit 10 - 11 night round trip from Florida.

 

Check out HAL or Princess. We took HAL's Amsterdam ship on a partial a few years ago and it was very nice. Great service and interesting ports. The Amsterdam actually leaves FLL today for a full transit heading up to Vancouver with stops in San Diego and Seattle among others.

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Check out HAL or Princess. We took HAL's Amsterdam ship on a partial a few years ago and it was very nice. Great service and interesting ports. The Amsterdam actually leaves FLL today for a full transit heading up to Vancouver with stops in San Diego and Seattle among others.

 

Yes, I saw the Amsterdam itinerary, very nice 3 week cruise. Too long for me though :(

 

Princess is on the radar; their mailers I get sometimes have great 3/4 rates. Same with NCL.

 

I'm going to be relatively brand agnostic when it is time to pull the trigger for a partial transit because it is more about itinerary, timing, and finally, bottom line pricing. I'd prefer Royal but if they don't run it, they don't run it.

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