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Panama Canal in Handicap Cabin on Island Princess??


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I have booked my parents on Island Princess in a Handicap balcony cabin on the Promenade Deck and we have now read the Travel Summary and it says:  While I understand the safety concerns, should I book them on a different cruise/ship?  One that allows them to enjoy their balcony during the locks?  Or, is this something that no one sits in their cabin for anyway and it's not a big deal?

PROMENADE DECK BALCONY ADVISORY

Please be advised that due to operational and safety reasons, guests in BE-category cabins located on the Promenade deck will be unable to access their balcony while the ship is in the locks on Canal transit day.
When traveling through the canal, heavy cables are attached to the ship to help guide the vessel through the locks to maintain its correct position. As these cables are strung near the Promenade deck, as a safety measure access to these balconies will be restricted during the Panama Canal transit.
Please note this only applies to Promenade deck balconies, and will only apply when the ship is in the locks; guests will be able to use these balconies at all other times.
If you are in a balcony cabin on any other deck, please disregard this message.

 

While I understand the safety concerns, should I book them on a different cruise/ship?  One that allows them to enjoy their balcony during the locks?  Or, is this something that no one sits in their cabin for anyway and it's not a big deal?  It's a bucket list trip for my Dad.

 

Thank you for your thoughts and opinions, in advance. 

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Posted (edited)

Book a cabin on another deck, or spend the transit out on deck, forward from the cabins.  This ship was butchered when they removed the Universe Lounge and added cabins and suites, killing the wraparound promenade.  Research on the Princess board would have alerted to this before booking.  EM

Edited by Essiesmom
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We did the transit in 2014 on celebrity Infinity. We did not spend any of the lock  time in our cabin. The view was much better from the various decks on the ship. Plus you could go from one side to the other to see what was happening on each side of the ship. We did spend time while in Gutan lake on our balcony. From the reading of the letter that will still be available to your parents.  If they have any interest in the canal the transit is not to be missed.

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18 hours ago, Essiesmom said:

Book a cabin on another deck, or spend the transit out on deck, forward from the cabins.  This ship was butchered when they removed the Universe Lounge and added cabins and suites, killing the wraparound promenade.  Research on the Princess board would have alerted to this before booking.  EM

There are no other handicap cabins available for any sailings through the PC on Princess in 2021.  Since they have so much credit from prior cancelled Princess cruises due to Covid, we are bound to Princess.  My TA felt it would be fine for them and I came out to CC for thoughts and opinions, not to be chastised. WOW!

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17 hours ago, Mosttoyswin said:

We did the transit in 2014 on celebrity Infinity. We did not spend any of the lock  time in our cabin. The view was much better from the various decks on the ship. Plus you could go from one side to the other to see what was happening on each side of the ship. We did spend time while in Gutan lake on our balcony. From the reading of the letter that will still be available to your parents.  If they have any interest in the canal the transit is not to be missed.

That is very helpful, thank you for your thoughts!

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I think your parents will be fine. I found it necessary to move around the ship to get the best views. I use a wheelchair and book accessible cabins. The place to be varies with what is happening. On approach to the old locks you need to be at the front of the ship to see the men in a row boat bringing the ropes which will be attached to the ship. After entering the lock it is great to go to the middle of the ship to see the canal walls. Then later it is great to go to the back of the ship to watch the gates close. For us it was a long hot day but so worth it. I recommend your parents keep their cabin and also that they read "The Path Between the Seas" by David McCullough. 

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2 hours ago, katisdale said:

I think your parents will be fine. I found it necessary to move around the ship to get the best views. I use a wheelchair and book accessible cabins. The place to be varies with what is happening. On approach to the old locks you need to be at the front of the ship to see the men in a row boat bringing the ropes which will be attached to the ship. After entering the lock it is great to go to the middle of the ship to see the canal walls. Then later it is great to go to the back of the ship to watch the gates close. For us it was a long hot day but so worth it. I recommend your parents keep their cabin and also that they read "The Path Between the Seas" by David McCullough. 

Excellent recommendation and very helpful information.  I'll keep them "as is".  I'm ordering the book as soon as I hit submit.  🥰

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My wife and I are also in a Handicap cabin on the De 12 partial cannel voyage and the Jan 5/22 full cannel voyage.  We were also on a full voyage early 2020.  It is not the best ship for viewing.  The best view on deck 14 would be from Horizons court but being a dinning area there is not a lot of seats with a view and they get claimed early.  On deck 15 the sanctuary blocks any aft view. 

 

The Island will very likely use the old set of locks. Try to get a spot to watch from either side on deck 14 (shaded) or open air on deck 15.  Most people disperse while going through the lake so lots of good spots then.  There will be a local naturalist doing commentary over the loud speakers.  If doing the full voyage there will be views of Panama cities skyscrapers on port side just before end of cannel. 

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On 6/17/2021 at 10:11 AM, Lauraally said:

That is very helpful, thank you for your thoughts!

I agree with Mosttoyswin--you want to be free to wander all over the ship while locking.  Go aft and forward, port and starboard, different points of view all around.  There's plenty of time while in the locks to  move around, take pictures, gawk all you want, and you will not miss anything.  We went through on the NCL Sun from LA to New Orleans once, then on the Island Princess through and back again (seeing the length of the canal twice, missing only the actual locking process on the northern/eastern end).  If the Island Princess is still doing that, you get two near-transits for the price of one!

So don't worry about being restricted from your balcony during the locking.  You will want to be outside!

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On 6/17/2021 at 11:29 AM, katisdale said:

I think your parents will be fine. I found it necessary to move around the ship to get the best views. I use a wheelchair and book accessible cabins. The place to be varies with what is happening. On approach to the old locks you need to be at the front of the ship to see the men in a row boat bringing the ropes which will be attached to the ship. After entering the lock it is great to go to the middle of the ship to see the canal walls. Then later it is great to go to the back of the ship to watch the gates close. For us it was a long hot day but so worth it. I recommend your parents keep their cabin and also that they read "The Path Between the Seas" by David McCullough. 

Excellent advice!

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