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ajpmom

Panama Canal full or partial transit

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57 minutes ago, SantaFeFan said:

 

To be more specific, if transiting through the old locks, from the Pacific you go through two lock systems, one with two consecutive locks, and the other with a single lock. From the Atlantic side, you go through one lock system with three consecutive locks.

 

The  recently opened larger locks have sets of three consecutive locks at each end. 

 

PACIFIC SIDE, OLD LOCKS

APPROACHING MIRAFLORES LOCKS - SET OF TWO LOCKS

CIMG0871.thumb.JPG.e33eea10031affdcf677c1c255f41e01.JPG

 

APPROACHING PEDRO MIGUEL LOCK - SINGLE LOCK

CIMG0905.thumb.JPG.bd878efe4daa55414d508a848894630c.JPG

 

ATLANTIC SIDE

INSIDE GATUN LOCKS - SET OF THREE LOCKS

CIMG1049.thumb.JPG.1b843d18603ee9bd1adcfe62befe24dd.JPG
 

Nice pics.

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Thanks for the correction.

 

It has been over 16 years since I did the Canal.

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We did the full transit in 2014 and it was the Canal's 100th birthday year and we were the  closest cruise to the exact date so toasted many a birthday drinks. I can highly recommend the full transit as there was something magical about going from one ocean to the other.

 

Also, the purpose of the Canal is for voyages to go from one ocean to the next so by doing the full voyage you getting the experience in which it was created.

 

Still my favourite cruise ever....the ports are usually great selection.

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We travelled through the canal from Colon (Caribbean  Sea) to Panama (Atlantic Ocean). Full transit. However if partial only option from Colon would be the best as you get to see Gatun Lock and Lake which was excellent.

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1 hour ago, mjkStirling said:

We travelled through the canal from Colon (Caribbean  Sea) to Panama (Atlantic Ocean). Full transit. However if partial only option from Colon would be the best as you get to see Gatun Lock and Lake which was excellent.

 

Ah, no. Colon is on the Caribbean side. Panama doesn't have a side involving the Atlantic. If you did a full transit you came out at Panama City into the Pacific.

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5 hours ago, mjkStirling said:

We travelled through the canal from Colon (Caribbean  Sea) to Panama (Atlantic Ocean). Full transit. However if partial only option from Colon would be the best as you get to see Gatun Lock and Lake which was excellent.

On your full transit, if starting from Colon you were bound for the Pacific Ocean.

 

Having completed well over 20 full transits, if I could only do a partial transit, my preference would be one starting at the Panama City end of the Canal, which we completed once. We did the entire Canal twice, except for the Gatun Locks (triple locks) on the Caribbean side. Therefore, you transit under Bridge of America, Miraflores Locks, Pedro Miguel Lock, the Cut to Gamboa and Gatun Lake. The ship turns round approaching Gatun Locks & goes back through the Canal.

 

If doing a partial from Colon, you only see Gatun Locks & Lake unless taking additional excursions.

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Sorry still suffering from jet lag!

We were supposed to be sailing on March 31st and were sailing the opposite way.... That sailing was cancelled in December and we had to reschedule a date and sailing very quickly. After a 30 hour journey home I am lucky i know my name, only my second long haul.:classic_rolleyes:

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On 1/8/2019 at 9:55 PM, wheezedr said:

Highly recommend the full transit to really understand this engineering wonder.  I also recommend reading David McCullough’s “Path Between the Seas” before cruising.  It really gives you a much more detailed understanding of the entire project.

I just picked up this book recommended by a fellow cruiser on our roll call.

 

I figured if we were doing Panama we might as well wait and do it when we can do the entire transit....that will finally be next year!

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We decided to do the partial transit this time. It fit better with our schedule. Next time we will do the full transit. Thank you for all the information and GREAT pictures. 

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On 3/25/2019 at 10:57 PM, ajpmom said:

We decided to do the partial transit this time. It fit better with our schedule. Next time we will do the full transit. Thank you for all the information and GREAT pictures. 

We are first time Canal cruisers, too... January 2020. Doing a partial out of Galveston. Have LOTS of research in my future. Enjoy your cruise!!

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Probably a dumb question but . . .

 

If you do a partial and have a port day in Colon (9am to 6pm) is there an excursion you can do on a smaller boat that will take you the full way  and back?

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, dsotm73 said:

Probably a dumb question but . . .

 

If you do a partial and have a port day in Colon (9am to 6pm) is there an excursion you can do on a smaller boat that will take you the full way  and back?

 

The manner in which the cruise lines operate in providing partial transits... the ship will only call at Colon for about 3 hours late in the afternoon after the ship has completed the partial transit.  Passengers on a partial transit will tender off the ship after it locks through Gatun Locks and reaches the Gatun Lake anchorage.  At this point one of the tours offered is another partial transit of the Pacific Locks and the Gaillard Cut.  Essentially you will do two partial transits seeing a great part of the Canal, however you won't see the entire Canal.  On completion of the tour you will be returned to Colon where the ship will be waiting.

 

I am not aware of any cruise line offering a partial transit and an 8 hour port call at Colon.

Edited by BillB48

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13 hours ago, BillB48 said:

 

 

 

I am not aware of any cruise line offering a partial transit and an 8 hour port call at Colon.

 This is Carnival's Journey cruise on the Glory leaving NOLA 11/29/20.that specifies the stay in Colon to be 9am to 6pm.

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3 hours ago, dsotm73 said:

 This is Carnival's Journey cruise on the Glory leaving NOLA 11/29/20.that specifies the stay in Colon to be 9am to 6pm.

You cruise does not say it does a partial transit.  It does not.  It goes from Cartagena to Colon, where you will have the opportunity to take an excursion to see the canal.  EM

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7 hours ago, Essiesmom said:

You cruise does not say it does a partial transit.  It does not.  It goes from Cartagena to Colon, where you will have the opportunity to take an excursion to see the canal.  EM

Thanks for pointing that out. Not yet my cruise as I am still in the early stages of research.

 

My question remains about the same: Is there an excursion that involves a smaller boat doing a full transit from Colon to the Pacific and back?

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The excursion exists.  Whether that cruise will offer it is not yet determined.  Most cruise lines that do partial transits go through the Gatun or Agua Clara locks into Gatun Lake and then tender guests ashore for excursions, including that one.  They then go back out through the Gatun Locks and stop briefly at Colon to pick up the excursion passengers.  When Carnival does a partial she does not tender passengers ashore for excursions and does not visit Colon afterward.  Carnival does not routinely have a stop in Colon so there is no precedent as to what shore excursions will be offered.  However, on the Carnival website it is mentioned as one of the things to do while in Colon:  https://www.carnival.com/itinerary/14-day-panama-canal-cruise/new-orleans/glory/14-days/jp1?Military=N&PastGuest=Y&Senior=N&StateCode=GA&abCode=&evsel=j&itinportcode=msy&numGuests=2&offerCode=&promoCode=&rateCode=&roomType=IS&sailDate=11292020

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, dsotm73 said:

Thanks for pointing that out. Not yet my cruise as I am still in the early stages of research.

 

My question remains about the same: Is there an excursion that involves a smaller boat doing a full transit from Colon to the Pacific and back?

 

No there is not such a tour.  Keep in mind that the tour EM cited will be a partial transit of the Canal through the Pacific Locks and Gaillard Cut.  You will be bused from the pier in Colon to the Pacific side to board the boat that will take you through the Locks and Cut.  There is not enough time for you do to a complete transit of the Canal and return to the ship given the amount of time the ship is in Colon... even if that tour was available.

Edited by BillB48

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Posted (edited)
PANAMA CANAL CRUISE
 
 CULTURE AND HISTORY | CRI03
The journey begins when we board the buses for a ride to either Gamboa Dredging Division Pier or Cucaracha Pier inside the Panama Canal where you will take the ferry boat that will transport you through The Panama Canal. The ferry will have sufficient space for everyone. The navigation starts through Gaylard Cut that was the most important and difficult part of the Panama Canal construction, here is where the continental divide is located. After crossing Gaylard Cut we will enter Pedro Miguel Locks on our way into Miraflores Lake. After crossing Miraflores Lake we will enter Miraflores Locks on our way to the Pacific Ocean. Centennial and America’s bridge will be seen during the adventure. Finally you will arrive at Pacific Port that is the entrance of the Panama Canal at the Pacific Ocean. Here you will take the buses back to the ship. Each passenger will receive a commemorative certificate of doing the Panama Canal Transit and contributing on the expansion of it! Please note: The transit of ships is subject to the local authorities. Transiting time depends on the traffic schedule of each day. In case it is needed, the tour may be operated in a different way by transiting on the Atlantic Side instead of transiting on the Pacific Side. The tour includes an approx. 1.5 hr. bus ride each way.
 0 
Cart
MSC Divina.   159.00 per person,  this looks pretty interesting
 
Edited by potsie57
take something out

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On 6/24/2019 at 12:49 AM, potsie57 said:
PANAMA CANAL CRUISE
 
 CULTURE AND HISTORY | CRI03
The journey begins when we board the buses for a ride to either Gamboa Dredging Division Pier or Cucaracha Pier inside the Panama Canal where you will take the ferry boat that will transport you through The Panama Canal. The ferry will have sufficient space for everyone. The navigation starts through Gaylard Cut that was the most important and difficult part of the Panama Canal construction, here is where the continental divide is located. After crossing Gaylard Cut we will enter Pedro Miguel Locks on our way into Miraflores Lake. After crossing Miraflores Lake we will enter Miraflores Locks on our way to the Pacific Ocean. Centennial and America’s bridge will be seen during the adventure. Finally you will arrive at Pacific Port that is the entrance of the Panama Canal at the Pacific Ocean. Here you will take the buses back to the ship. Each passenger will receive a commemorative certificate of doing the Panama Canal Transit and contributing on the expansion of it! Please note: The transit of ships is subject to the local authorities. Transiting time depends on the traffic schedule of each day. In case it is needed, the tour may be operated in a different way by transiting on the Atlantic Side instead of transiting on the Pacific Side. The tour includes an approx. 1.5 hr. bus ride each way.  
Cart
MSC Divina.   159.00 per person,  this looks pretty interesting

 

Yes - especially the 'Gaylard' cut!! :classic_blink:

 

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On 1/9/2019 at 12:46 PM, peanutter said:

 

I agree with this post completely and well said.  Our interest in the locks was satisfied with the partial trip and the Pacific side Mexican ports were of no interest to us at all.  Our cruise (Coral Princess) stopped in Costa Rica and from there we saw sloths and howler monkeys  along with a visit to the banana fields.  I really enjoyed all of the stops on the cruise.  We are on the east side of the country and a round trip flight to FLL was much preferable than flying across county.  However, I see the OP has a California tag so a longer flight might be inevitable for either itinerary (except for a back to back out of L.A.).  As for me personally, I honestly would still prefer the partial, even if we had to fly cross country and even if the cost (per day) were the same.

 

Have a great cruise on whichever one you decide! 

THANK YOU! My sister today was so disdainful that we booked partial (she has done neither). All the posts say “full-transit” and I was annoyed because I didn’t research. Guess what? We booked for Aruba and Curaçao. So the Locks, more of a bonus rather than the decider.  And, we are flying from Seattle... Mexican ports... like them, but they aren’t the Caribbean. 

 

Thanks for just making me feel better.

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On ‎7‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 1:11 AM, Sea-Bos said:

THANK YOU! My sister today was so disdainful that we booked partial (she has done neither). All the posts say “full-transit” and I was annoyed because I didn’t research. Guess what? We booked for Aruba and Curaçao. So the Locks, more of a bonus rather than the decider.  And, we are flying from Seattle... Mexican ports... like them, but they aren’t the Caribbean. 

 

Thanks for just making me feel better.

 

Oh, you are quite welcome!  I love all the info on cruise critic and appreciate all the contributions and perspectives.  I generally try to process all of the pieces I read as best I can and then decide what I would like best (not what we "should" do but what we would want to do and enjoy).  However, I can tie myself up sometimes when reading opposing opinions and have to get away from it, get some perspective and come back to reading with a fresh/clear mind.  

 

I hope you have a simply fabulous cruise.  Aruba and Curacao are outstanding (if you haven't been to them before).  Enjoy it all!  

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On 6/6/2019 at 4:18 AM, BillB48 said:

 

The manner in which the cruise lines operate in providing partial transits... the ship will only call at Colon for about 3 hours late in the afternoon after the ship has completed the partial transit.  Passengers on a partial transit will tender off the ship after it locks through Gatun Locks and reaches the Gatun Lake anchorage.  At this point one of the tours offered is another partial transit of the Pacific Locks and the Gaillard Cut.  Essentially you will do two partial transits seeing a great part of the Canal, however you won't see the entire Canal.  On completion of the tour you will be returned to Colon where the ship will be waiting.

 

I am not aware of any cruise line offering a partial transit and an 8 hour port call at Colon.

BB, I wonder if our Viking Ocean cruise next Jan/Feb may be the exception to what you mentioned is usual.  Our partial transit cruise appears to have one day in Colon and a day for the partial transit.

 

Day 8 - San José (Puerto Limón), Costa Rica -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Day 9 - Colón, Panama from -- 9:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Day 10 - Cruising the Panama Canal -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Day 11 - Sea Day (on our way to Jamaica)

 

It's still a ways out, so this all may become clearer when we see what excursions are offered as we get closer to departure.

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22 minutes ago, PlanoTim said:

BB, I wonder if our Viking Ocean cruise next Jan/Feb may be the exception to what you mentioned is usual.  Our partial transit cruise appears to have one day in Colon and a day for the partial transit.

 

Day 8 - San José (Puerto Limón), Costa Rica -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Day 9 - Colón, Panama from -- 9:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Day 10 - Cruising the Panama Canal -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Day 11 - Sea Day (on our way to Jamaica)

 

It's still a ways out, so this all may become clearer when we see what excursions are offered as we get closer to departure.

 

Looks to me that you will have a port day in Colon on day 9 where you will be able to take tours.  Leave Colon at the designated time and wait for the arrival time at the Canal entrance the following day #10.  On your transit day there probably won't be any tours offered, just lock up and wait for a time to lock back down Gatun Locks.

 

What I meant about not being aware of anyone offering a partial transit and a eight hour stop in Colon... I was thinking transit and 8 hour stop in the same day.😀  Since writing that I noticed that Celebrity is also offering a partial transit and then a full stop in Colon on another day.  Think it is a good idea, that way the passenger doesn't have to give up part of the transit in order to see a little more of Panama.  No doubt the Canal transit and shore excursions will be a lot less hectic spread out over two days.

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25 minutes ago, BillB48 said:

 

Looks to me that you will have a port day in Colon on day 9 where you will be able to take tours.  Leave Colon at the designated time and wait for the arrival time at the Canal entrance the following day #10.  On your transit day there probably won't be any tours offered, just lock up and wait for a time to lock back down Gatun Locks.

 

What I meant about not being aware of anyone offering a partial transit and a eight hour stop in Colon... I was thinking transit and 8 hour stop in the same day.😀  Since writing that I noticed that Celebrity is also offering a partial transit and then a full stop in Colon on another day.  Think it is a good idea, that way the passenger doesn't have to give up part of the transit in order to see a little more of Panama.  No doubt the Canal transit and shore excursions will be a lot less hectic spread out over two days.

Thanks, BB.  I have seen comments that some ships offer excursions (ship-sponsored only) while on Gatun Lake.  Is that right?  I assume these excursions depart from the ship or passengers are tendered to shore.  Will our 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM advertised time be too short for such excursions along with the time needed to transit in and out through the locks?

Tim

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