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markf

zuiderman tips /inquiries

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We will be going on the Zuiderman in Feb. Our firsy on this line 18h overall.

A few questions

1. Do they have the 20 glass of wine special --how many choices are there--I understand the cost us approx 75 dollars.

2. Panama Canal-can you give me an idea of what goes on the day we go thru the Panama Canal__how early do we go thru it? What are the best tours if we want to absorb the workings of the canal-or can we see all from the ship?

3. Are all the shows / and talks taped and shown on TV during the day?

Is there the ability to reserve the specialty restaurant before the trip begins?

Our most recent cruises have been on NCL --we are ready for a change-

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Hi,

 

I can't answer all your questions but I will try to handle at least one of them.

 

The cruise you are going to be taking will be going through one set of locks twice. Once going into Gatun Lake and then again back into the Caribbean. The ship will probably spend sometime in Gatun lake during the day.

 

One of the best places to see what is going on in the locks in up near the top bow of the ship or on the bow. Most ships allow special access to the bow area during Panama Canal access. Either of these places will be better than your cabin even from a balcony because you will be able to see more and be able to move around a little more to again see better.

 

Because you will be going through the same set of locks but once east to west and then again from west to east, you might want to watch at least part of the west to east portion from a place someplace on the stern of the ship. There you should get a good view of the locks you have just went through as well as being able to see if other ships are following you through.

 

We have only down the Canal once but we are doing it again next spring in April on the Zuiderdam. It is a great experience and one that we really enjoyed the first time we did it.

 

Have a great cruise and be sure to post after you get back about your experience on the Zuiderdam.

 

Have a great next cruise.

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If anyone has done this cruise before, what shore excursions would you recommend as a "must see"

 

Tks...D

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We did this cruise last March and I can highly recommend the Canal Experience excursion. If you want a close up look at the workings of the canal this is an excellent choice. You disembark in Gatun lake and board a tour bus. The ride on the bus is about an hour and a half or so. Then you board a ferry that takes you thru the other set of locks on the Pacific side. After a couple hours you arrive in Panama City, reboard your bus and are taken back to the ship. Again a couple hours ride. You are served a box lunch on the ferry, not bad a nice sandwich, coke, chips, and a desert. You get to see a lot of Panama on the bus ride to and from the ship. We loved it. It is very long, about 8 hours. Bring a hat and sunscreen as it can be very hot. Also bring some bottled water, you'll get thirsty. It was a a wonderful tour, very educational.

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Just got back from this cruise.

We enterd the proximity of the canal in the dark (~0530)and seeing the structure lit up was spectacular. As we approached the first gate the dawn was breaking and we exited in broad (rainy ) daylight. If you are up when they transit you will get panama rolls and Mimosas.

Bow is a good spot but there is a great Observation deck just in front of the Gym Deck 9 (exit just past the change rooms on the starboard side)

It is right above the bridge and not very crowded.

We were happy with the rain forest arial tram in Costa Rica but the 2hr ride there and back is a bit tedious and the start is very early.

Can't answer re wine cards.

You CAN book the Pinnacle on line but on our cruise it was never full

WONDERFUL itinerary

Bon Voyage

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I didn't do it but heard from other passengers that the trip to the Embera Indian village was very good. Also a member of my group did the Canal Experience that Savannahgirl mentioned. They also said that it was very good. I did buy a 20 glass wine card and a 10 glass cocktail card. I just barely finished the cocktail card as our group got into the habit of going to "Happy Hour" from 4 - 5 PM when the drinks are 2 for 1 at the Crow's Nest and just outside the Crow's Nest on the Observation Deck. One other bar also ran this special, I think it was the Ocean bar. And the only time I saw the Pinnacle grill even close to full was on the next to the last night. My experience entering the canal was the same as tuchagrey's.

 

Bob

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While you are going through the locks, I suggest moving around the ship a lot. Go to the bow when the ship enters the lock and view the massive lock gates right in front of you. Then immediately go the promenade deck and notice how far up "land" is from your position. Next go to the top deck and walk all the way around. I stayed up there until it was almost time to leave the lock. Go back to the promenade deck and take note of your position in respect to the "land". I found this to be fascinating. Go back to the bow to see the gates open and you sail through them. Arriving at the locks was early in the morning for us so it was easy to get around the ship without any crowds.

 

Have a wonderful cruise!

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We did this cruise a couple of years ago on RCL (and are going to do HAL in December). One excursion that both lines participate in is the domed train that takes you to Panama City. We LOVED this excursion and it is one of the reasons we are so anxious to do a Panama Canal cruise again. :D

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A group of us is also going on the Zuiderdam next February 21st and after having done 7 Carnival, 1 RCCL and 1 NCL cruise we were wondering about the Pinnacle Grill for reservations (prefer last minute decision) and also about the shore excursions in Panama and Costa Rica We have always booked on our own but were concerned about safety. Any suggestions?

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I dont think travelling on your own in Panama is even possible--they only take passengers off the ship--on life boats--that are on tours--

 

In Costa Rica i assume you can go on your own--but there is no large town near where we docked

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we were wondering about the Pinnacle Grill for reservations (prefer last minute decision)

 

Then go for the PG on one of the first two nights of the cruise - apparently they are their slowest nights.

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