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Volendam Christmastime cruise


PatLuv
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We've now been on 2 HAL cruises,and have loved every moment.Looking at a Panama Canal Cruise  at Christmastime next year. Any thoughts? We've never done a holiday cruise,so we thought this would be fun!

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The Volendam is not sailing a Panama Canal cruise for her Christmas/New Year's Cruise in 2019.  I am booked on her, sailing from Port Everglades on 12/20/19 for 16 days.  The closest we get to the Panama Canal is when we visit Curacao .  

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22 hours ago, PatLuv said:

We've now been on 2 HAL cruises,and have loved every moment.Looking at a Panama Canal Cruise  at Christmastime next year. Any thoughts? We've never done a holiday cruise,so we thought this would be fun!

You will love the Volendam and Cruising over Christmas 2020 on a partial Panama Canal Cruise. My first cruise was on that ship.

 

I was on the Zaandam over Christmas and New Year in 2017/2018 and the ship was very nicely decorated for the holidays complete with a large tree. They had all of the normal Christmas activities including carol singing and Turkey etc.

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16 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

The Volendam is not sailing a Panama Canal cruise for her Christmas/New Year's Cruise in 2019.  I am booked on her, sailing from Port Everglades on 12/20/19 for 16 days.  The closest we get to the Panama Canal is when we visit Curacao .  

  RKA, this cruise will be in December 2020

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We did the holiday Panama Canal full crossing in December 2015 on the Amsterdam.  It was excellent.  There was just enough Christmas but not over kill.

 

I hope to do it again some day when my kids are older I can see the crossing rather than be the parent at the Lido pool 🤣🤣.  My husband and in-laws really enjoyed the canal and locks 😜

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This cruise is not a full transit of the Panama Canal.  It is only a partial transit.  In fact, when I searched for Panama Canal cruises in 2020.  The Volendam did not even show up.  It is listed as a Caribbean Cruise.  However, I am now wondering if this cruise would be better than the full transit?  The Zaandam is doing a full transit for Christmas 2020.  What do you folks think?

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The full transit is much better. The partial goes in through three locks, turns around, and goes out again. The full transit includes all of Lake Gatun and then the "Cut," the channel cut through mountains. Beautiful scenery, and it helps you understand the incredible undertaking it was to plan and build the canal. 

 

Of course, the full transit is a bit more complicated, as it's a one-way trip, rather than beginning and ending at the same port.

 

Christmas on a ship is special, and the full transit makes it even more so. 

 

When I did a partial transit on Zuiderdam a few years ago, I was standing at the railing, watching the "mules" pull us forward. A woman next to me commented, "Well, it isn't very pretty." I don't know what she thought it was going to be, but I wanted to scream, "It's a bleeping technological wonder, it doesn't have to be pretty!" Maybe if we'd sailed through the Cut, where there's lots of vegetation to see, she'd have been happier.

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I'd always prefer doing the full trip through the canal because it was a fantastic day from lining up to begin the transit until we came out at the other end. We had a cabin at the stern and loved every minute of watching the procedure!

 

May I intrude with a quick question of my own? Many of the posts mention Christmastime. Can you remember when Holland America usually starts decorating in December? We unfortunately won't be able to do a "real" Christmas cruise but would love to see the decorations start to emerge and to see some festivities like we did on Cunard"'s "Queen Elizabeth" in last year's December.

Thank you for your answers. We'll probably be on Westerdam in December .

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