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Panama Canal, West to East - which side for balcony


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Hello!

We are about to book a Panama Canal cruise- going from LA to Miami.  Is there a preferable side of the ship going in that direction?  We will have a balcony.  We will definitely be up on deck for the canal transit- I am more interested in generally on this itinerary, is there a preferred side of the ship!

thanks for any info!

-Jerie

Edited by JC in CA
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     I don’t think there is a preferred side when going through the actual canal.  When going through the original locks be sure to roam the entire ship.  It takes a while to get through the locks so you will have plenty of time to see and photograph it all. 

     I’ve never been through the new locking system so I can’t help you with that. 

 

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As with many cruises, it is not always going the same direction.  Going down the west coast, you will have morning sun on port side, and afternoon sun and sunset on starboard.  Mostly it will be reversed after you leave the canal.  So it may just come down to what is available.  EM

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You will not want to be stuck on your balcony for the transit, or you will miss 3/4 of the sights.  You MUST get out of the cabin, and roam the ship...all deck levels and all sides.  Different vantage points give an entirely different perspective.   

 

In other words...doesn't matter one little bit!

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I struggled with this choice as well. We are going Miami to San Diego on Jewel in Feb.

 

Finally it came down to - did we want to look at the Sea or at land if it was in site (for us we wanted to see land when we could so that meant starboard). We will get afternoon sun on our deck  from Miami until we turn north, then we will have morning sun.

 

And, the best laid plans always change so we got RoyalUp bid accepted so now in a Junior Suite on port side...and we are very ok with that!🙂

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Thank you all!  Our internet has been down since before Christmas and it is finally back!  (Dang squirrels keep eating the wires!)

I was thinking about sunset as we cruised south out of Los Angeles, but other than that figured it really won't make a difference.  Sounds like you all agree!

We will definitely be up on deck and all around the ship on the canal passage, we will want to see everything from all angles!

-Jerie

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If you take a port side cabin you will get a good view of the arch (El Arco) at Land's End as you come into the port at Cabo San Lucas.  I take it for granted that your ship will stop in Cabo.  Here are a couple of pics.  In the second picture notice the boat going by the arch formation to give a perspective of the size of the rock formation.

s48i2g.jpg

 

1z6bhuu.jpg

 

If you're doing this PC cruise in Jan or Feb be sure to bring some binoculars with you because humpback whales spend the winter in Cabo.  You might spot some as you come into port...if luck is on your side.

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We cruised from LA to Miami just this past month.

We had a port side balcony and were very glad to be on that side of the ship.

We went through the old locks so not sure if going through the new ones will make a difference but we were able to see tons from our balcony! We did not roam the ship as our cabin was very comfy and our balcony was lovely too! We were able to see other ships going in the other direction. We saw the opening and closing of the locks. We saw a lot!

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7 hours ago, riffatsea said:

We cruised from LA to Miami just this past month.

We had a port side balcony and were very glad to be on that side of the ship.

We went through the old locks so not sure if going through the new ones will make a difference but we were able to see tons from our balcony! We did not roam the ship as our cabin was very comfy and our balcony was lovely too! We were able to see other ships going in the other direction. We saw the opening and closing of the locks. We saw a lot!

When cruising through Gatun Lake, the ship maintains the Stbd side of the channel, so you often see other ships from the port side going in the opposite direction. Going through the cut, it is 1-way traffic, so you will not be passing other ships and in the locks there is no guarantee which side the ships uses, as the pilot is normally notified just prior to arrival - look for the big arrow at the entrance.

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On 12/30/2018 at 9:09 AM, riffatsea said:

We cruised from LA to Miami just this past month.

We had a port side balcony and were very glad to be on that side of the ship.

We went through the old locks so not sure if going through the new ones will make a difference but we were able to see tons from our balcony! We did not roam the ship as our cabin was very comfy and our balcony was lovely too! We were able to see other ships going in the other direction. We saw the opening and closing of the locks. We saw a lot!

 

While I agree you will have a great view from your balcony, if you don't roam the ship you miss some great views.  Being at the bow of the ship will give you an appreciation of the change in water levels.  This is also true being aft on the ship as it goes through the locks.  It takes awhile to go through the locks so there is plenty of time to spend on your balcony and roam the ship.  Here are a couple of picture taken facing forward on an upper deck.

2zjazxy.jpg

 

9awpxu.jpg

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