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I want  to  take a Panama cruise  from either west to east or vice versa. I am open to a repositioning cruise or not and departure  dates are flexible. Can anyone offer any advice for either a reposition or full cruise and what questions should I be asking. Thank you.

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We have a forum here for Panama Canal.  https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/54-panama-canal/  Some reading there might answer some of your questions.  During the winter, basically Nov - March there are ships doing regular full transits.  Then starting in April, those that are on the east coast but spending the summer in Alaska will do full westbound transit.  In the fall, Sept/Oct they will return to the Caribbean doing an eastbound transit.  Be aware that there are the original locks, 100+ years old, and the new locks that opened in 2016.  Most ships will use the old historic locks, a few larger new ships will have to use the new locks.  For your first transit, I recommend a ship that uses the old locks.  EM

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A Panama Canal cruise is a repositioning cruise if it full transit which means you go the full distance. 

A partial transit goes through  a lock or two and turns around in Gatun Lake and goes back to the original port. It doesn't go through the entire canal from the Pacific to the Atlantic. They are less expensive and fewer days.

The port fees going through the canal can be as much as the cruise as we noted in a recent last minute cruise.

I agree to try to go through the old locks on your first transit.

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Also, a full transit is available without repositioning through Windstar. They have 7 day cruises between Costa Rica and Colon Panama. I suspect there are other lines that do this, but I'm a Windstar fan. 😉

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The full crossing is so much more interesting than the ones that don't go through the canal.   It is very interesting to watch the locks working and the views are incredible.

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I am interested in the history and the engineering of the canal and will be traveling half way round the world for one day's crossing. But will be flying into LA then onto onto a departure point in Florida and sailing back to LA (or similar). I have been looking at Relocation cruises and am flexible with dates . Have you any thoughts?

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On 2/3/2020 at 6:38 PM, Markanddonna said:

A Panama Canal cruise is a repositioning cruise if it full transit which means you go the full distance.

 

A full transit of the Canal is not necessarily a repositioning cruise (that is, a cruise where the cruise line takes a ship from one market where it's been for a season, such as the Caribbean during the winter, and repositions it to another, like Alaska during the summer).  Full transits are one-way cruises (e.g., Miami to LA), and the ship may well just go back and forth from the East to West Coasts for several months. Those are not repositioning cruises. 

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lemuzz: Look into the Windstar 7 day trips between Colon and Costa Rica. Small boats with an up and personal view of the locks. You can fly into San Juan, Costa Rica and out of Panama City or vice versa.😉

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14 hours ago, Turtles06 said:

 

A full transit of the Canal is not necessarily a repositioning cruise (that is, a cruise where the cruise line takes a ship from one market where it's been for a season, such as the Caribbean during the winter, and repositions it to another, like Alaska during the summer).  Full transits are one-way cruises (e.g., Miami to LA), and the ship may well just go back and forth from the East to West Coasts for several months. Those are not repositioning cruises. 

Yes I realise this. My thoughts are to fly to Miami or similar, then a cruise through the Canal and disembark in LA or San Francisco, ( wherever I decide to fly into and get a reduced fare round trip flight from NZ). As a repositioning cruise doesn' t necessary call at many ports, that is not an issue as my main intent is to see this engineering feat.

 

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2 minutes ago, lemuzz said:

Yes I realise this. My thoughts are to fly to Miami or similar, then a cruise through the Canal and disembark in LA or San Francisco, ( wherever I decide to fly into and get a reduced fare round trip flight from NZ). As a repositioning cruise doesn' t necessary call at many ports, that is not an issue as my main intent is to see this engineering feat.

 

Since you are relatively new to posting here on CC, I wanted to pass along a tip in terms of using the CC quote function - - in your post number 9 above, you quoted my comment, but then inserted your own reply into the body of the quote box, making it seem as though those were my words as well.  When you quote and then reply to someone, it's a good idea to type your own remarks *outside* the quote box, as I've done here, thus making it clear who said what.  (I also like to have a line space between the quote box and my text as well, so it's even easier to read.)

 

In those instances where it's appropriate to reply inside someone's quote box (e.g., you might be responding to a list of numbered question), you can do so by putting your language in a different color and noting that you've done so.

 

I hope that's helpful.  

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