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Panama Canal cruise questions


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Seasoned cruiser (30+ mostly on Carnival) but have never done the Panama Canal. Is a partial transit that much less of an experience? What is the difference just less time in the canal? How special or different is this cruise? Also what are the highlights in Limon? Thank you!

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Because DH does not like to be away from home more than absolutely necessary and hates to fly, we will book a cruise that does just a partial canal transit from Ft. Lauderdale/Port Everglades. However, we will book the excursion that goes by "ferry" through the locks on the Pacific side of Gatun Lake and returns us by bus to the ship in Colon. That way we can experience most of what those doing a full transit do. We will not traverse the whole of Gatun Lake - the ferry begins in Gamboa and we get there by bus after tendering from the ship after it clears the Atlantic side locks.

 

With engineering backgrounds this is one cruise neither of us wants to miss.

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The partial transit cruise is a great cruise and you can get a good feel for the Canal if you include the shore excursion that takes you on a partial transit that goes through the Pacific Locks and Gaillard Cut.  However, a full transit cruise is truly the best way to experience the Canal.  If you decide on a partial transit cruise with Carnival,  ensure that the ship will offer shore excursions once the ship reaches Gatun Lake.  Most cruise lines do offer shore excursions upon reaching Gatun Lake, however in the past I am aware of some Carnival partial transit cruises that have not offered the shore excursions.  The ship will just lock up at Gatun Locks and then lock back down Gatun Locks as soon as is convenient.  The reason I mention this is the partial transit cruises I looked at offered by Carnival make no mention of a port call at Colon.  Passengers on shore excursions at the Canal disembark once the ship reaches Gatun Lake and rejoin the ship when it docks in Colon.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/2/2021 at 4:59 PM, BillB48 said:

The partial transit cruise is a great cruise and you can get a good feel for the Canal if you include the shore excursion that takes you on a partial transit that goes through the Pacific Locks and Gaillard Cut.  However, a full transit cruise is truly the best way to experience the Canal.  If you decide on a partial transit cruise with Carnival,  ensure that the ship will offer shore excursions once the ship reaches Gatun Lake.  Most cruise lines do offer shore excursions upon reaching Gatun Lake, however in the past I am aware of some Carnival partial transit cruises that have not offered the shore excursions.  The ship will just lock up at Gatun Locks and then lock back down Gatun Locks as soon as is convenient.  The reason I mention this is the partial transit cruises I looked at offered by Carnival make no mention of a port call at Colon.  Passengers on shore excursions at the Canal disembark once the ship reaches Gatun Lake and rejoin the ship when it docks in Colon.

Great info- the one I'm looking at doesnt mention Colon. Thanks!

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The partial transits offered by Carnival do not offer any shore excursions.  You simply lock up into Gatun Lake, loiter for a couple of hours, lock back down to the Caribbean and continue on your way.  EM

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