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2 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

Windy as heck...  Lockheed  books them when their wind tunnel is down. Bring goggles to protect your eyes

 

You should preface your comments by saying you are speaking only for yourself here.  We had a forward-facing Grand Suite on our most recent Regent Explorer cruise and found the balcony a great place to canal-watch and have lunch.  

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Princeton123211 above has the right idea.  The four cabins he/she mentioned are category A2, meaning they are Concierge class (for what it's worth), forward-facing and not all that expensive.

 

For years, we've only booked 7000 or 7001 if they're available (or 6000 or 6001 if not) on every cruise except a trans-oceanic.  Facing forward in fjords or sailing under the Golden Gate or heading up the Amazon or any number of other places is simply the best (for us).  

 

Breezier than the sides or the stern?  Of course!  But we'd rather get our hair mussed than see only (A) half the view from port or starboard, or (B) where we've been as it recedes into the distance, along with the faint brown haze of the ship's exhaust.

 

That said, if these cabins aren't available or aren't something you'd enjoy, then the front windows in Horizons Lounge are a mighty nice place to see exactly what the Captain sees -- plus you can order a cocktail to enhance your experience.

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We have been through the PC twice with one time being 2 days ago on the Island Princess. The other time was on the HAL Veendam. Both times we were in an aft-facing cabin. 
 

If we were booking a PC cruise on the Insignia and it was within our budget, we would book one of the aft-facing A1/A2 balcony cabins if any are still available. The view of the locks as you are leaving them is simply wonderful plus you can have breakfast on your balcony while you’re going through the first set if the timing is right. 

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33 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

We have been through the PC twice with one time being 2 days ago on the Island Princess. The other time was on the HAL Veendam. Both times we were in an aft-facing cabin. 
 

If we were booking a PC cruise on the Insignia and it was within our budget, we would book one of the aft-facing A1/A2 balcony cabins if any are still available. The view of the locks as you are leaving them is simply wonderful plus you can have breakfast on your balcony while you’re going through the first set if the timing is right. 

For reference, here’s a couple of pictures from our aft-facing balcony we took a few days ago. 
 

96685554-49F8-4632-9853-0B88FF1E8F9D.jpeg

902FB8F2-C55C-41FA-86D3-CFA4798152B5.jpeg

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5 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

We have been through the PC twice with one time being 2 days ago on the Island Princess. The other time was on the HAL Veendam. Both times we were in an aft-facing cabin. 
 

If we were booking a PC cruise on the Insignia and it was within our budget, we would book one of the aft-facing A1/A2 balcony cabins if any are still available. The view of the locks as you are leaving them is simply wonderful plus you can have breakfast on your balcony while you’re going through the first set if the timing is right. 

Thanks for the tip.  TA is working on it.  Appreciate the pics.

Katie

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We've seen several shows on the Panama Canal over the years - Modern Marvels, Impossible Engineering etc. If you have any streaming or on demand options, won't hurt to do a quick search. Maybe some things on you tube as well; I haven't looked lately.

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On 1/15/2020 at 11:47 AM, Silver Sweethearts said:

 

You should preface your comments by saying you are speaking only for yourself here.  We had a forward-facing Grand Suite on our most recent Regent Explorer cruise and found the balcony a great place to canal-watch and have lunch.  

I have no knowledge of the Regent Explorer....or how  Windy it is.    I do know any forward facing cabin with a veranda is going to have at least a 25-30 mph wind any time the ship is moving at sea. inasmuch as most savvy ships officers tend to steer the ship "into the wind"  any other wind will only add to the situation. I do know that on O ships  they have to tie down the furniture on these cabins many times while underway.

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So, Dan, are you saying that on, say, a Caribbean cruise headed from Miami to Cozumel with a prevailing east wind (i.e., blowing from the east), a savvy ship's officer will steer more or less toward Europe or Africa, leaving the Mexican coast ever farther behind? 

 

Our experience in forward-facing A2 cabin 7000 on multiple O itineraries, including the notoriously windy North Sea, Tasman Sea and around the bottom of South America, indicated that the wind in our faces varied from day-to-day, direction-to-direction depending upon that day's route and wind conditions.  Sometimes, we were clearly sailing with the wind and felt virtually no breeze while enjoying the Captain's view from our balcony directly below the bridge.  And yes, there were also times when we had to enjoy the view from behind the glass lest we become airborne.

 

That said, our furniture was never tied down on Insignia, Regatta or Nautica.  Forward-facing cabins have a solid, inward-angled wall with handrail on top instead of just bars with a handrail like cabins along the ship's sides.  Veranda chairs were folded and slid beneath that wall to be sheltered from the wind, and the small table fit under there, too.  No further action required.

 

Ken the Cruiser (above) makes a valid point about choosing the stern instead because it is more sheltered going in either direction vis-a-vis the wind.  But for those who prefer to see where you're headed as you watch it grow ever closer, it's the "pointy end" for sure.

Edited by DrHemlock
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16 hours ago, DrHemlock said:

That said, our furniture was never tied down on Insignia, Regatta or Nautica.  Forward-facing cabins have a solid, inward-angled wall with handrail on top instead of just bars with a handrail like cabins along the ship's sides.  Veranda chairs were folded and slid beneath that wall to be sheltered from the wind, and the small table fit under there, too.  No further action required.

Yup

Looks like this:

b_010619.jpg

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Say...you've got nicer verandah furniture than ours!  Is that because you took the photo aboard one of the newly-refurbished ships, and we'll probably have the same next time?  Or is it because you were in a Vista Suite (based on what appears to be bow structure in the background) as opposed to our A2 cabin next door? 

 

If the former, we're looking forward to it next time.  If the latter...well...them's the breaks.

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Ok, not Insignia, but I just got back from Panama Canal trip on Sirena.... fabulous experience!!  Bow was open (yep we all stomped on the putting greens... yep, many up on chairs etc to see over front wind screen).  I stood near the very front and had a great view of all the locks.  There was a Panamanian canal expert on board giving us a great running commentary.   Later in the morning I went down to my cabin (veranda level 6) with a glass of champagne.  I was basically a few feet from the guys working the mule, ropes etc, and I actually had a fun conversation with them  - until they filled the lock, and then I waved to them from several stories above. 

 

A unique and incredible experience!!!!!

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3 hours ago, ksolliday said:

Ok, not Insignia, but I just got back from Panama Canal trip on Sirena.... fabulous experience!!  Bow was open (yep we all stomped on the putting greens... yep, many up on chairs etc to see over front wind screen).  I stood near the very front and had a great view of all the locks.  There was a Panamanian canal expert on board giving us a great running commentary.   Later in the morning I went down to my cabin (veranda level 6) with a glass of champagne.  I was basically a few feet from the guys working the mule, ropes etc, and I actually had a fun conversation with them  - until they filled the lock, and then I waved to them from several stories above. 

 

A unique and incredible experience!!!!!

What an awesome experience!

Thanks for sharing.

 

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We watched from several places.  First we were up on deck 11 watching as we approached the canal and got ready to enter the first lock.  I don't know what level of interest you have in that sort of thing, but my DW, who is as non-technical and as non-technically interested as anyone on the face of the planet, stayed up watching for quite awhile.  We stayed up there for awhile, and then I went down on deck 4 or 5, where there are deck chairs, and watched the electric "mules" doing their work as the ship was in and then moved out of a lock.  It is a fascinating process.

 

They had a fairly extensive explanation of the process the night before, showing how the water is moved into and out of the locks, etc., so you have a rough idea what is going on. 

 

IMHO you have chosen to take this trip, and the point of it all is to see the Panama Canal.   When you get home, you won't get a chance to go back and see it ever again (in all likelihood).

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  • 2 weeks later...

We also just returned from Marina’s PC transit:  loved the B3 deck 7 aft rooms, with an extended  Balcony.  Could just about touch the side of the locks, and it was fascinating, all 6 times, to watch us raise up and lower to each one.  Early in the am we were up on Deck 14 so we could watch the approach and also get a glimpse of the new locks up and off the port side (we approached from the Pacific).   We ordered breakfast in the room at 8:30 am, timed so we could eat while going through the locks.  

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On 1/14/2020 at 4:29 PM, KatieBelle said:

DH is a civil engineer.  His company did CM work on the new canal.  Very important trip for him.

Just wanted to mention, the Insignia does not use the 'new canal', it uses the original canal.  The new canal is used by ships too large to use the original one.   Didn't know if that makes any difference to your DH...

You can see the tops of ships using the new canal at times...

 

 

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8 hours ago, bob brown said:

Just wanted to mention, the Insignia does not use the 'new canal', it uses the original canal.  The new canal is used by ships too large to use the original one.   Didn't know if that makes any difference to your DH...

You can see the tops of ships using the new canal at times...

 

 

 

Thanks Bob Brown.  He is aware.  Still will be so exciting for him.  And me too!  BTW we very much enjoyed following you all around the world last year.  God bless you and Betsy.

 

Katie

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6 hours ago, KatieBelle said:

 

Thanks Bob Brown.  He is aware.  Still will be so exciting for him.  And me too!  BTW we very much enjoyed following you all around the world last year.  God bless you and Betsy.

 

Katie

 

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18 hours ago, KatieBelle said:

 

Yes we are!  We are so looking forward to meeting you and Stu.

You will love them!  Betsy and I had the pleasure of meeting them for lunch aboard the NCL Gem on our recent New York to San Francisco cruise, while we were at Santa Barbara...they are such good company!

 

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On 2/6/2020 at 6:34 AM, bob brown said:

You will love them!  Betsy and I had the pleasure of meeting them for lunch aboard the NCL Gem on our recent New York to San Francisco cruise, while we were at Santa Barbara...they are such good company!

 

Thanks Bob,

I am blushing..it was so much fun to spend time with the two of you..look forward to doing it again soon..

Love,

Jan

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