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Partial Transit vs Full Transit?


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I'm new to the boards, but I am considering a Panama Canal Transit.

In doing some research, I saw where the departure port and arrival port are the same. I am thinking this is a partial transit. Now the part that I don't understand is how do you go partially through the panama canal? Do you actually go through the canal or do you just go to the canal?


I am considering this trip for 2006, someone please help?:confused:

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We have booked the partial crossing on the Coral for April 2005. It is my

understanding we will go through the first 3 locks. Those who have

exursions planned will then be tendered off the ship. The ship will

turn around in Lake Gatun and go back through the same 3 locks, before

docking and waiting for those who had excursions.

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In doing some research, I saw where the departure port and arrival port are the same.
It depends on the cruise.


Some ships (Coral Princess, for instance) does what lesharona said. Others are too big to go in the canal at all.


Your travel agent will know exactly what each ship does, or if you post here the ship name and itinerary, someone here should know.

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  • 2 months later...

Please give your opinion as to which you would pick. My wife and I, along with 5 other couples will be taking a Panama Canal Cruise next Feb., 2006. We have narrowed it down between the following 2 cruises. A 14 night full transit from west to east on Celebrity's Summit or a 10/11 night partial transit on RCCL's Brilliance of the Seas. Some of our friends have said the full transit is too much of the canal and a partial transit is more than enough. They also say that a 14 day crusie is too long. Some other differences besides the cruise line and the ships include ports of call (Mexican Riviera vs. Caribbean) and extra cost of 14 day cruise (approx. $1500 more).

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IMHO only,having done both, the full transit is something every one who should do once! Just going thru Gatun Locks (in and out on partial transit) doesn't give you an appreciation for the engineering marvel and the actual transit itself is very scenic.. Going east to West seeing the Bridge of the America's as we exited the last locks near Panama City at sunset was a pretty awesome sight. I also really don't understand getting off and doing a tour if you think it's your only transit.. There used to be some 10-11 night full transits back when we did it in late '90s... IMHO a 'not to be missed' cruise experience...

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Hi Carol:


Thanks for your opinion and advice on full vs. partial canal cruising, however, due too other reasons we will only be taking a partial canal cruise. On that subject, do you reccommend, staying on the ship for the canal, seeing them by ferry, or doing the grand tour of Panama.



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I’m not Caroline, but I thought I would jump in and comment since my wife and I took the “Grand Tour of Panama” a couple weeks ago during our visit to Panama (Galaxy 1/22 sailing).


(To make sure we are talking about the same tour, our tour was booked through Celebrity and included a visit to Gatun Locks, and a visit to an Indian village).


After tendering off our ship, which was anchored in Gatun Lake, our bus first stopped at the Gatun Locks. We stayed there about 45 minutes and were lucky to see two very large ships pass through the locks.


We then went to a very nice hotel somewhere in the Colon area (short bus ride from the locks) where we boarded medium size (~20 people) flat-bottom boats that took us to the Indian village. The village is located on a small island somewhere in Gatun Lake.


The Indians met our boats at the dock and directed us to a large thatched roof building where the son of the chief (the chief was ill) gave a short talk describing his village and people. After his opening comments, we had a question and answer session. The chief did not speak English; only Spanish and his native language so the tour guides had to translate. Very interesting discussion and he was open to any questions. After the chief’s talk, they showed us a couple native dances and asked us visitors to join in. Then we briefly roamed the rest of the village to see their homes. We spent about 45 minutes in the Indian village.


The entire tour was about five hours and was very interesting and I can highly recommend it if you are at all interested in seeing different cultures.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We got back last week from our Galaxy cruise to the Canal. We stayed on the ship for the partial transit and back. It was enough for us. However, our tablemates took the tour sptrout described and really loved it. The amazing thing is that some people on that excursion decided to stay at the hotel and a didn't go back to the ship!!! No one knows what they did about the clothes and belongings still on the ship or what they were going to do for clothes, etc. while staying at the hotel. (Or why they would even consider doing it.) They had to sign some kind of release with the Celebrity officials and I assume they met the ship back in Galveston or somewhere else along the line to retrieve their belongings. It was really bizarre!!

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