Panama Canal veranda?

Old Apr 29th, 2014, 07:32 PM
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Panama Canal veranda?

We've taken several cruises - sometimes we get a veranda & sometimes not. We'll be taking a Panama Canal cruise this fall, probably on Princess or Holland America. Is it worth the big chunk of money to get a veranda for this one? Your thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!
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Old Apr 30th, 2014, 06:51 AM
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Here's my take on this experience. You go through 4 locks when traversing the Panama Canal - it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to raise/lower the water level. After passing through one lock you keep repeating the process for the remaining 3 locks. It's a bit like the movie Groundhog Day - doing the same thing over and over. After the first lock we found it pretty boring.

Save your money. You'll see just as much from any of the "free" vantage points on your ship.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 10:16 AM
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I disagree. While going through the locks we were outside on deck. However, we had to wait in Lake Gatun for our turn to transit the next set of locks. We sat on our balcony with binoculars watching birds, other ships, etc. The weather is warm at that time of year and we sat on the balcony each night. It was the first time we booked a balcony and I was glad we did. If you prefer balcony cabins in the Caribbean, go with a balcony through the Panama Canal.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 12:21 PM
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For us balcony is the preference. However speaking strictly for the PC experience you don't. You end up taking pics from various points on the ship as you traverse the locks and it's better this way as you can get shots fore and aft. Our pic of the Coral Princess right in front of us showed just how tight the fit is amd you can get side, or balcony shots from the decks so if that is your only criteria for a balcony then save your money.
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Old May 4th, 2014, 08:00 PM
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The first time we went through the Panama Canal we had no balcony so I got up early and went to the front of the ship and as high as I could get for a view of the first "locking" experience.

TRUST ME! In almost 40 years of cruising I have never, EVER seen as many absolutely rude people as I did that morning. They pushed and jockeyed to get a viewing position. Since I was in front as it were several decided to bring deck chairs into position directly behind me so I could barely move.

And you go through a set of three chambers for the Gatun locks; the other two locks (Miraflores and San Miguel) don't take as long to get through but the entire passage will take about 8 hours.

Would I get a balcony if I went again? Absolutely if only to avoid the people who thought they were more important than anyone else even though they were apparently too lazy to get up early enough to stake out a prime position. Or perhaps they were "bored."
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Old May 5th, 2014, 07:16 PM
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We really enjoyed our veranda on the Panama Canal cruise. We got up before dark to be out on one of the front decks that were open up for the canal to see it as we approached. During the second locks we watched it from our veranda for different views. Since we were delayed while they had to evacuate a passenger three different times for medical reason it was nice to have the comfort of our veranda and cabin to watch what was going on. For the third set of locks we were out on front the front deck of the ship. We didn't find it boring at all.

Besides the Panama Canal I'm sure there are other ports you will be going to. We were on the Port side and woke early to watch as we approached places like Half Moon Cay, Aruba and Columbia, South America to name a few. In Cabo San Lucas, Mexico the ship was tendered right across from Lands End so after an excursion and walking around town we were able to relax and the watch pirate ship, parasailing and other activities. We did a re-positioning cruise on Holland America so we had several more ports and 20 nights.

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Old May 8th, 2014, 08:28 PM
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I get a veranda cabin on most cruises because I like to have a place to get fresh air, though I wouldn't get one specifically for the Panama Canal. In truth, the view from a regular cabin veranda isn't that great. you get a much better view from one of the top decks where you can look forward or backward. Looking sideways doesn't really show you that much. So if you could get an aft-facing balcony that would definitely be worthwhile on a Panama Canal cruise.
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