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About BillB48

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    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Panama Canal, TAs, Alaska

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  1. I was able to find a post by Hoopster95 who took a series of pics of the Solstice sailing under the Lions Gate Bridge. In the series of shots there is one showing a close up of the top of the forward mast in the down position. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2315715-solstice-mast-modification-under-the-lions-gate-bridge-90902016/?tab=comments#comment-49762737
  2. As EM pointed out only the Solstice is the only ship of that class that has had the forward mast modified to clear the Lions Gate Bridge. The LGB has a clearance slightly less than the Bridge of Americas and her dimensions won't challenge the new locks permitted length and beam of 1200x167. A friend of mine who was working on the Infinity had some time to speak with the Captain at length about when (if?) a Solstice class ship would transit the Canal. The Captain said that one of Celebrity's concerns was the fendering at the new locks. There have been a number of issues with the fendering, and sometimes it seems that the only thing less forgiving than the fendering, is the lock wall! The Canal has been working to improve and increase the fendering, but it is a work in progress. Passenger ships are handled differently than the other ships using the new locks. All other ships make fast to the lock wall while filling or spilling the chamber, then move to the center of the chamber to move to the next chamber. Passenger ships on the other hand are tied off to both walls and held in the center of the chamber during the filling/spilling. While this method does minimize contact with lock wall it doesn't completely prevent it.
  3. You're welcome. Since you are on a partial transit you will disembark the ship after it passes through Gatun Locks (or possibly the new locks of Agua Clara if the ship is too big for Gatun Locks) and reaches the nearby Gatun Lake Anchorage. After tendering off the ship your bus will take you to board the train. While I mentioned before there is no way to tell just how your tour will operate, there is a better chance it will start on the Atlantic side. The main thing I want to point out is there is a "better side" of the train as far as the view is concerned. When traveling Atlantic to Pacific the better side is the right side. The right side will give you the better views of the Canal. Of course if it winds up being Pacific to Atlantic, then grab a seat on the left side. After the train, your bus will take you to Colon to rejoin the ship. Enjoy your trip on the world's first transcontinental railroad.
  4. As part of your excursion you will be bused from your point of disembarkation to the rail passenger station. The excursion can be operated in a few different ways, 1, they can bus you to the nearest passenger station to where you disembark to board the train. After the train you then will be brought back across the Isthmus via bus to your ship. 2. they may bus you to the opposite side of the Isthmus where you will ride train back across the Isthmus returning to ship on the bus. The last method is to bus you to the nearest train station and do a round trip on the train, then a short ride on the bus back to the ship. There is no way of knowing how your excursion will operate in advance. In other words the possibilities are... 1. Train over, bus back. 2. Bus over, train back. 3. Round trip on the train. The above will work whether your ship calls at Colon or Ft. Amador and when you tender off the ship in Gatun Lake on a partial transit cruise.
  5. I don't why, but the Canal Authority seems to be rather conservative with what live feed they put up on the web. There are plenty of cameras about as they can view in the control tower critical areas on the locks. There is also an extensive closed circuit TV system that all ties in with the Canal's Marine Traffic Control Center located on the Pacific side, So there certainly no shortage of cameras to provide a feed.
  6. The tours that are offered by the cruise ship generally don't pair a Panama City tour with any other tour with one exception. Often there is a tour that will include Panama City and Miraflores Locks. The Panama City tour is usually split between present day Panama City and the Casco Antiguo. Depending on how the tour is structured it could also include a visit to the ruins of Panama Viejo, the original settlement. Other popular tours that are usually available... a visit to an Embera Indian Village, a trip to see the legacy locks and the new expansion locks, a trip on the Panama Railroad, the world's first transcontinental railroad as well several eco- centered tours.
  7. Good news for those of you who enjoy checking on the Canal via the webcams. They have expanded their offerings, they have added links for the Cocoli and Agua Clara Locks. There is also a link for Pedro Miguel Locks, but the cam is not available at the moment. Enjoy!... https://multimedia.panama-canal.com/index.html
  8. The differences between The Radiance class and the Millennium are insignificant. I have seen lengths for the Radiance class ship at 963 ,964 and 965 again, no more than a rounding error for practical purposes. The fact is both class of ships were built to utilize the maximum dimensions for the legacy locks at the Panama Canal. Those dimensions for passenger ships and container ships are 965x106. The other items that makes them "semi sisters" besides the near identical dimensions and tonnage is they both have gas turbines for the prime mover. While they both have podded propulsion, the Radiance class has ABB's azipods and the Millie class has Rolls Royce's Mermaid pods. The RR Mermaid pods have had many more problems than ABB's azipods. I would think if Celebrity had a do-over in choice of pods, they might have made another selection.
  9. I would say just give it some time for that tour you are referencing as well as other tours will show up in Celebrity's offerings. I just don't see the possibility of Celebrity not offering one of the most popular tours at Colon. To answer your question about a tour company offering that trip, Panama Marine Adventures does scheduled partial and full transits of the Canal throughout the year. However when a ship calls at Colon, they are the ones that provide the partial transit tours to the cruise lines. As a result they usually suspend their scheduled tours and use their assets to serve the cruise line. Even if you could arrange for a partial transit excursion on your own, it really would not be a good idea. Panama Canal schedules and timetables are more of a wish list (particularly for smaller vessels like the tour boat) delays are not uncommon and it would be a roll of the dice that you would make it back to the ship in a timely manner.
  10. The Grandeur of the Seas did that itinerary before the Vision... think they did it about 5 or 6 years. Those cruises were also called "immersion" cruises as the primary language would be Spanish. Never did the 7 day cruises, but I was on the last Vision reposition from Colon back to Florida. The ship had only a little over 1000 guests on board and it probably was the cheapest cruise I ever took... $36/night! Now the air fare to Panama was not such a bargain😉!
  11. The Key Bridge is the higher of the two with a vertical clearance of 185', while the Bay Bridge has a vertical clearance of 182'. Although I don't know what the actual permitted air draft is, I would think that it is around 5' to 7' less than the vertical clearance.
  12. What I have seen, they will beach the boat, bow on the bank and then assist the passengers to shore as they unload from front to back over the bow. Probably won't get your feet wet, but water shoes may not be a bad idea tho.
  13. Glad you enjoyed😀! Thanks for reporting back.
  14. The Canal authority is trying to sweeten the deal by offering a free transit to any ship home porting at Ft. Amador. One thing that is not clear is whether it is a total of one free transit or one of the transits will be comped assuming the ship makes a round trip through the Canal for disembarking/embarking passengers. Guess they will sort that out. https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/news-headlines/panama-to-pay-one-canal-transit-as-homeporting-incentive/?utm_content=Panama to pay one Canal transit as homeporting incentive&utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Seatrade Cruise News&utm_contact=24896632&utm_term=Newsletter_Seatrade Cruise Weekly News&utm_campaign=146739
  15. Always some sneaks come with me... good for walking and I walk a lot. Usually more than one pair of jeans too, I really would pack as you would for any other Caribbean cruise.
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