Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Cruise Lines "A - O" > Holland America Line
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Holland America Line
Read thousands of Holland America Cruise Reviews from real cruisers and compare the best Holland America Cruise Deals

How to Organize a Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle (Meet & Greet) on Board Your Holland America Cruise

NEW! Find Your HOLLAND AMERICA Roll Call

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old July 9th, 2009, 09:21 PM
armfool armfool is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: ontario
Posts: 36
Default Panama Canal round trip from Miami

We are thinking of doing the 10 day Sunfarer in December and would like any comments from people who have done this cruise. In particular does the cruise up to the Gatun Lake give you a true sense of the wonder of the achievement and the scope of the canal??
Any advise on shore excursions would also be appreciated.

Thanks
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old July 9th, 2009, 09:27 PM
jtl513's Avatar
jtl513 jtl513 is offline
20,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Space Coast FL
Posts: 22,076
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by armfool View Post
We are thinking of doing the 10 day Sunfarer in December and would like any comments from people who have done this cruise. In particular does the cruise up to the Gatun Lake give you a true sense of the wonder of the achievement and the scope of the canal??
Any advise on shore excursions would also be appreciated.

Thanks
It doesn't give you a look at the Gaillard/Culebra Cut, or the Pacific end Pedro Miguel or Miraflores locks from on board. The Cut constituted the major part of the effort of building the canal.

OTOH, the partial canal cruise does give you a chance to do shore excursions, which we could not do on a full transit. I believe one excursion is a train ride to the Pacific end, but can't say what you see on it.
__________________
John
AMSTERDAM 2641 Alaska 7/02 | WESTERDAM 8010 Baltic 9/05 | NOORDAM 7124 Western Mediterranean 6/06 | VEENDAM 712 Western Caribbean 12/06
| Sovereign of the Seas 6556 Bahamas 4/07 | STATENDAM 394 Alaska Cruise-Tour 9/07 | ZUIDERDAM 8021 Eastern Caribbean 12/07 | AMSTERDAM 3385 Panama Canal transit 4/08 | EURODAM 4130 Bahamas 10/08 | NOORDAM 8009 Southern Caribbean 12/08 | NOORDAM 4178 Southern Caribbean 12/09 | NIEUW AMSTERDAM 8057 Eastern Mediterranean 9/10 | RYNDAM 394 Western Caribbean 12/10 | VEENDAM 418 Bermuda 10/11 | MAASDAM 404 3/12 | PRINSENDAM 303 Trans-Atlantic 5/13 | Disney Dream 10508 Bahamas 11/13 | Eurodam 4094 8/14

Last edited by jtl513; July 9th, 2009 at 09:28 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old July 9th, 2009, 09:55 PM
DutchByAssociation's Avatar
DutchByAssociation DutchByAssociation is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,562
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by armfool View Post
We are thinking of doing the 10 day Sunfarer in December and would like any comments from people who have done this cruise. In particular does the cruise up to the Gatun Lake give you a true sense of the wonder of the achievement and the scope of the canal??
Any advise on shore excursions would also be appreciated.

Thanks
FYI, this is round trip Ft. Lauderdale. HAL doesn't operate out of Miami.
__________________
DBA
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old July 10th, 2009, 07:30 AM
Krazy Kruizers's Avatar
Krazy Kruizers Krazy Kruizers is offline
50,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 87,961
Default

Welcome to Cruise Critic.

HAL has the Zuiderdam cruising round trip out of Ft Lauderdale.

You do get to see onloy the first set of locks as you enter the canal.

But if you choose to do a tour once you anchor at Gatun Lake you will not return to the ship there and view the locks again as the ship leaves the canal. Instead your tour will end in Colon/Crystobal.

Some of the tours are the train trip to the Pacific side -- also return by train. Another takes you by train to the Pacific side and you return by bus.
__________________
Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Far, far too many cruises to list.
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old July 10th, 2009, 07:42 AM
catl331's Avatar
catl331 catl331 is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Central FL
Posts: 6,925
Default

I would say if you are not a canal engineering enthusiast this cruise via one lock would give you an idea of how it works. You could always watch the making of the canal on History Channel. pancanal.com has a webcam that lets you view ships actually going through the locks. We have pictures taken by cruisecritic members of our cruise on the Amsterdam via the webcams.
__________________
Carol
Queen of Bermuda circa 1963 * Carnival Festivale 1995 * AMSTERDAM Alaska 7/02 * Sovereign of the Seas Bahamas 1/05 * WESTERDAM Baltic 9/05 * NOORDAM West Mediterranean 6/06 * VEENDAM West Caribbean 12/06 * Sovereign of the Seas Bahamas 4/07 * STATENDAM Alaska Cruise-Tour 9/07 * ZUIDERDAM Eastern Caribbean 12/07 * AMSTERDAM Panama Canal transit 4/08 * EURODAM Bahamas 10/08 * NOORDAM Southern Caribbean 12/08 * NOORDAM Southern Caribbean 12/09 * NIEUW AMSTERDAM Eastern Mediterranean 9/10 * RYNDAM Western Caribbean 12/10 * VEENDAM Bermuda 10/11 * MAASDAM Southern Caribbean 3/12 * PRINSENDAM TransAtlantic 5/13 * Disney Dream Bahamas 11/13 * Eurodam 8/14
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old July 10th, 2009, 08:15 AM
Love the beach's Avatar
Love the beach Love the beach is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 1,828
Default

We took this cruise last January and loved it. We took the Canal Experience excursion which takes you by bus to a smaller boat that then goes thru all of the locks. You get an "up close & personal" view of the locks and can even reach out & touch them--it was a long day, but well worth it. Others have raved about their trip to the Embera Indian Village. Have a great cruise!
__________________






Carnival Splendor 4/18/14, 8 night Caribbean
HAL Nieuw Amsterdam 2/24/13, 14 day Caribbean
RCCL Navigator of the Seas 1/29/12 14 day Caribbean
Disney Dream 11/6/11 4 day Bahamas
HAL Noordam 9/5/11 20 day Mediterranean
HAL Noordam 2/15/11 10 day Southern Caribbean
Princess Crown Princess 8/22/10 12 day British Isles
HAL Noordam 1/24/2010 10 day Southern Caribbean
HAL Statendam 8/16/09 14 day BtoB Alaska
HAL Zuiderdam 1/28/09 So. Caribbean & Panama Canal
Hal Eurodam 8/29/08 -3 day NY Introduction
HAL Noordam 1/26/2008 Southern Caribbean
HAL Noordam 1/27/2007 Southern Caribbean
Carnival Legend Of The Seas 7/7/2006 Eastern Caribbean
RCCL Majesty Of The Seas 1/22/2000 Southern Caribbean
RCCL Majesty Of The Seas 2/14/1999 Western Caribbean
RCCL Monarch OF The Seas 6/7/1998 Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Inspiration 10/20/1996 Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Fascination 1994 Eastern Caribbean
Celebrity Horizon ?? Bermuda
Cunard QE2 1980's
Chandris Galileo 1980's
Chandris Amerikannis 1980's
Chandris Britannis 1980's
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old July 10th, 2009, 09:52 AM
jtl513's Avatar
jtl513 jtl513 is offline
20,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Space Coast FL
Posts: 22,076
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love the beach View Post
We took the Canal Experience excursion which takes you by bus to a smaller boat that then goes thru all of the locks. You get an "up close & personal" view of the locks and can even reach out & touch them--it was a long day, but well worth it.
How long a day? On our full transit we entered the Gatun locks very early (about 6:30a) and didn't clear the Miraflores lock until approximately 4:30p. To go through the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks twice and the Cut twice must take a lot of time. About what time did you get back to the ship?
__________________
John
AMSTERDAM 2641 Alaska 7/02 | WESTERDAM 8010 Baltic 9/05 | NOORDAM 7124 Western Mediterranean 6/06 | VEENDAM 712 Western Caribbean 12/06
| Sovereign of the Seas 6556 Bahamas 4/07 | STATENDAM 394 Alaska Cruise-Tour 9/07 | ZUIDERDAM 8021 Eastern Caribbean 12/07 | AMSTERDAM 3385 Panama Canal transit 4/08 | EURODAM 4130 Bahamas 10/08 | NOORDAM 8009 Southern Caribbean 12/08 | NOORDAM 4178 Southern Caribbean 12/09 | NIEUW AMSTERDAM 8057 Eastern Mediterranean 9/10 | RYNDAM 394 Western Caribbean 12/10 | VEENDAM 418 Bermuda 10/11 | MAASDAM 404 3/12 | PRINSENDAM 303 Trans-Atlantic 5/13 | Disney Dream 10508 Bahamas 11/13 | Eurodam 4094 8/14
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old July 10th, 2009, 09:59 AM
momatibm momatibm is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: SC
Posts: 1,158
Default Canal Experience

According to the shorex for that trip it's a 7 hour tour. that is 'long' - you only go through once and come back by 'air conditioned' land transport to the boat
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old July 10th, 2009, 10:02 AM
jtl513's Avatar
jtl513 jtl513 is offline
20,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Space Coast FL
Posts: 22,076
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by momatibm View Post
According to the shorex for that trip it's a 7 hour tour. that is 'long' - you only go through once and come back by 'air conditioned' land transport to the boat
Thanks! We're thinking about doing a partial this winter.
__________________
John
AMSTERDAM 2641 Alaska 7/02 | WESTERDAM 8010 Baltic 9/05 | NOORDAM 7124 Western Mediterranean 6/06 | VEENDAM 712 Western Caribbean 12/06
| Sovereign of the Seas 6556 Bahamas 4/07 | STATENDAM 394 Alaska Cruise-Tour 9/07 | ZUIDERDAM 8021 Eastern Caribbean 12/07 | AMSTERDAM 3385 Panama Canal transit 4/08 | EURODAM 4130 Bahamas 10/08 | NOORDAM 8009 Southern Caribbean 12/08 | NOORDAM 4178 Southern Caribbean 12/09 | NIEUW AMSTERDAM 8057 Eastern Mediterranean 9/10 | RYNDAM 394 Western Caribbean 12/10 | VEENDAM 418 Bermuda 10/11 | MAASDAM 404 3/12 | PRINSENDAM 303 Trans-Atlantic 5/13 | Disney Dream 10508 Bahamas 11/13 | Eurodam 4094 8/14

Last edited by jtl513; July 10th, 2009 at 10:04 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old July 10th, 2009, 03:40 PM
Richard in Panama Richard in Panama is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
Posts: 1,167
Default

Quote:
In particular does the cruise up to the Gatun Lake give you a true sense of the wonder of the achievement and the scope of the canal??
Any advise on shore excursions would also be appreciated.
I did the lectures on the cruise last Spring on VOLENDAM and last fall and this spring on ZUIDERDAM. I think it's a great itinerary and if you don't get "a true sense of the wonder of the achievement and scope of the canal" . . . you're sleeping in on Canal day! I've got lots of thoughts on shore excursions . . . I've been on almost all of them . . . at http://richarddetrich.wordpress.com/canal-cruise/

I'm not doing the Canal this year . . . so I have no vested interest, other than you having a fantastic cruise!

Regards, Richard
__________________

Richard Detrich - Port & Canal Lecturer & Author
Panama Cruise Blog
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old July 10th, 2009, 04:25 PM
SandyMc's Avatar
SandyMc SandyMc is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Posts: 518
Default

Richard - are you by chance doing the Canal NEXT year We are doing our second partial transit in January, this time on Zuiderdam, and would so love to have someone along who will pass along the knowledge that we know can make it even more special.

Love your website!
Sandy
__________________





S.S. United States ~ Norwegian Sea ~ HAL Maasdam ~ Sea Princess x 2~ HAL Volendam ~ RCI Splendour of the Seas ~ RCI Rhapsody of the Seas ~ Celebrity Mercury ~ RCI Mariner of the Seas ~ Norwegian Jade ~ HAL Zuiderdam ~ Golden Princess ~ Crown Princess ~ RCI Navigator of the Seas
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old July 10th, 2009, 05:16 PM
cb at sea cb at sea is offline
50,000+ Club
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Fredericksburg, va. USA
Posts: 63,042
Default

If your ship goes into the lake, there's no need to spend hours and hours in the MAJOR heat, and pay all that money for an excursion. You will see all you need to, and the canal navigator gives a running commentary of all things "canal" while you're entering the locks. Very informative!
And, if you stay on the ship, many will go on the excursions, leaving the ship totally uncrowded and pleasant for the day!
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old July 11th, 2009, 01:22 PM
armfool armfool is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: ontario
Posts: 36
Default Panama Info

Thanks folks for all your input to answer my questions re Panama cruising.
I guess in the final analysis I have to decide how to get the best out of the trip to suit our particular interests.
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old July 11th, 2009, 06:56 PM
Krazy Kruizers's Avatar
Krazy Kruizers Krazy Kruizers is offline
50,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 87,961
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by armfool View Post
Thanks folks for all your input to answer my questions re Panama cruising.
I guess in the final analysis I have to decide how to get the best out of the trip to suit our particular interests.
Something you have never answered -- are you on HAL??
__________________
Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Far, far too many cruises to list.
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old July 11th, 2009, 07:32 PM
kyriecat's Avatar
kyriecat kyriecat is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 5,797
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazy Kruizers View Post
Something you have never answered -- are you on HAL??
The only other board s/he posted this question on is the Royal Caribbean board. However, RC's Jewel doesn't do a partial PC transit anymore. They dock in Cristobal and you take a ferry to Gatun Lake if you are interested in seeing the locks. April 2009 was the last cruise (if I remember correctly) that RC offered for a partial transit.

If armfool wants a partial transit on the cruise ship, RC is out of the running.
__________________
UP NEXT
PG Paul Gauguin - Apr. 11, '15 - 11 nt. Tahiti, Cook, & Society Islands
RC Navigator - Jun. 7, '15 - 7 nt. W. Caribbean

COMPLETED
Silversea Silver Explorer - Feb '14 - 10 nt. Antarctica (Ushuaia to the Antarctic Peninsula)
=X= Xpedition - Apr, '13 - 13 nt. Galapagos "B"/Machu Picchu (Quito, Baltra, Santiago, Rabida, Bartolome, N. Seymour, Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Lima)
=X= Silhouette - Sep '12 - 12 nt. Holy Land (Rome, Santorini, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Alexandria/Cairo, Naples)
RC Adventure - Feb '12 - 7 nt. S. Caribbean (San Juan, St. Croix, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados)
RC Liberty - Dec '11 - 4 nt. Bahamas (Fort Lauderdale, Coco Cay, Nassau)
HAL Zuiderdam - Apr '11 - 10 nt. Partial Panama Canal (Fort Lauderdale, Half Moon Cay, Aruba, Curacao, Panama Canal, Costa Rica)
RC Serenade - Jan '10 - 7 nt. S. Caribbean (San Juan, Tortola, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, Grenada)
HAL Maasdam - Apr '09 - 14 nt. Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten, Tortola, Half Moon Cay)
RC Legend - May '08 - 13 nt. Italy/Croatia (Rome, Portofino, Florence/Pisa, Messina, Split, Venice, Dubrovnik, Naples)
RC Sovereign - Jan '08 - 3 nt. Bahamas (Port Canaveral, Nassau, Coco Cay cancelled)
=X= Xpedition - Sept '07 - 10 nt. Galapagos (Baltra, N. Seymour, San Cristobal, Espanola, Santa Cruz, Bartolome, Floreana, Isabela, Fernandina, & Quito, Ecuador)
RC Rhapsody - Jan '07 - 7 nt. W. Caribbean (Galveston, Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
RC Radiance - Sept '06 - 7 nt. NB Alaska (Vancouver, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Icy Strait, Seward)
RC Brilliance - Oct '05 - 12 nt. Med Greek Isles (Barcelona, Nice, Florence/Pisa, Naples, Mykonos, Athens, Ephasus, Santorini, Rome)
RC Majesty - Jan '05 - 3 nt. Bahamas (Miami, Coco Cay, Nassau)
RC Rhapsody - Oct '04 - 7 nt. W. Caribbean
RC Monarch - Jun '00 - 7 nt. S. Caribbean
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old July 11th, 2009, 07:42 PM
Chelly Chelly is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
Posts: 3,569
Default

Richard, Will you be on the Zuiderdam's partial transit in April 2010? Say yes!!!
__________________
------------------------------------------------------------

Chelly's email: MeetGreet@hotmail.com









Sitmar, Royal Caribbean, Cleopatra (Nile), Mississippi Queen, Delta Queen, Princess, Celebrity, Holland America
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old July 12th, 2009, 05:59 AM
Richard in Panama Richard in Panama is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
Posts: 1,167
Default

Quote:
Richard - are you by chance doing the Canal NEXT year We are doing our second partial transit in January, this time on Zuiderdam, and would so love to have someone along who will pass along the knowledge that we know can make it even more special.

Richard, Will you be on the Zuiderdam's partial transit in April 2010? Say yes!!!
You guys are so nice! Will be elsewhere November '09 through March '10 - not sure what's happening in April. I'm sure you will enjoy ZUIDERDAM and the turn around. More info on my blog about the Canal Cruise http://richarddetrich.wordpress.com/canal-cruise/ and schedule. Regards, Richard
__________________

Richard Detrich - Port & Canal Lecturer & Author
Panama Cruise Blog
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:03 AM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.
Cookie ConsentCookie Policy