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NCteacherlovescruising

Is this a good itinerary?

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Posted (edited)

I don’t know much about the Panama Canal, is this a good itinerary?  Would this go through the locks?  (Not quite sure what they are but I will look them up if it does.)

 

Edited to add this is on the NCL Pearl. 

 

 

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Edited by NCteacherlovescruising

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If you read down the board, you will see this is referred to as a "partial transit". Full transits...sailing from Atlantic side to Pacific,  or vice versa, is always preferred. But, you do what you can. Seeing the Canal is something you really need to see. So, this will work just fine.

 

You will only sail the Gatun Locks, into Gatun Lake, and back out again.

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5 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

If you read down the board, you will see this is referred to as a "partial transit". Full transits...sailing from Atlantic side to Pacific,  or vice versa, is always preferred. But, you do what you can. Seeing the Canal is something you really need to see. So, this will work just fine.

 

You will only sail the Gatun Locks, into Gatun Lake, and back out again.

 

Thanks!  Yes, I see it’s a partial. That’s what fits our time and budget at this time. 

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2 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

 

You will only sail the Gatun Locks, into Gatun Lake, and back out again.

I realize you know this, but for those reading this thread who may not know, sailing through the Gatun Locks into Gatun Lake and back out again doesn't mean that  once the ship enters Gatun Lake it just turns around and exits. The ship stays in Gatun Lake for many hours, allowing passengers to disembark and be tendered ashore for shore excursions.

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Just to expand on what njhorseaman said once the ship reaches Gatun Lake after locking through Gatun Locks passengers who have purchased shore excursions will tender ashore.  There normally is a wide selection of excursions, but one of the popular ones is Panama Canal by Ferry.  In short once you leave the ship you will be bused to the Pacific side where you transit both Pacific Locks and Gaillard Cut.  Then you will return to the ship by bus.  While you are on the tour the ship will lock back down Gatun Locks and be in Colon when you return.  This excursion does provide you the opportunity to see the more scenic parts of the Canal and some of Panama's countryside as well.  Another benefit of this excursion is being able to see the locks in operation from your large ship at Gatun Locks and then see the operation at the Pacific Locks from the smaller vessel later that day.  Two completely different perspectives.

 

So if you can't do the full transit at this time, then your cruise and the above mentioned shore excursion is an excellent next choice.

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Yes, that is a nice partial transit itinerary. We did the full 15 day on the Bliss in April and have already booked the NCl Joy partial transit for feb 2021. I like that itinerary you posted .... except Cozumel of course ..... 

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2 hours ago, tallnthensome said:

Yes, that is a nice partial transit itinerary. We did the full 15 day on the Bliss in April and have already booked the NCl Joy partial transit for feb 2021. I like that itinerary you posted .... except Cozumel of course ..... 

This doesn’t go to Cozumel...

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Just now, NCteacherlovescruising said:

This doesn’t go to Cozumel...

Sorry, I misread ...... GC is fine and better than my error of course. 

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5 hours ago, BillB48 said:

Just to expand on what njhorseaman said once the ship reaches Gatun Lake after locking through Gatun Locks passengers who have purchased shore excursions will tender ashore.  There normally is a wide selection of excursions, but one of the popular ones is Panama Canal by Ferry.  In short once you leave the ship you will be bused to the Pacific side where you transit both Pacific Locks and Gaillard Cut.  Then you will return to the ship by bus.  While you are on the tour the ship will lock back down Gatun Locks and be in Colon when you return.  This excursion does provide you the opportunity to see the more scenic parts of the Canal and some of Panama's countryside as well.  Another benefit of this excursion is being able to see the locks in operation from your large ship at Gatun Locks and then see the operation at the Pacific Locks from the smaller vessel later that day.  Two completely different perspectives.

 

So if you can't do the full transit at this time, then your cruise and the above mentioned shore excursion is an excellent next choice.

 

That sounds perfect, I will be sure to book this!  Thanks so much!  I assume we would book this excursion through NCL?

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1 minute ago, tallnthensome said:

Sorry, I misread ...... GC is fine and better than my error of course. 

 

Yes, although we enjoy a relaxing beach day in Cozumel, we’ve only been to GC once before and I wasn’t feeling well so I stayed on the ship. We had already booked and paid for a jet ski tour to stingray city with Fat fish so dh went without me.  They refunded the money for me since I wasn’t feeling well.  He had a blast so we are going to book the same for this trip. 

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10 minutes ago, NCteacherlovescruising said:

 

That sounds perfect, I will be sure to book this!  Thanks so much!  I assume we would book this excursion through NCL?

Yes, all of the tours at the canal have to be booked through the ship.  EM

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1 minute ago, Essiesmom said:

Yes, all of the tours at the canal have to be booked through the ship.  EM

 

This truly sounds amazing!  Is there a chance it would sell out?  Should I book it right away?

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, NCteacherlovescruising said:

 

That sounds perfect, I will be sure to book this!  Thanks so much!  I assume we would book this excursion through NCL?

 

 Yes, but only for the Gatun Lake stop.  Everywhere else you can use private operators.  Even if you could book the Transit by Ferry independently, it would not be the best idea.  This excursion can experience delays as the ferry usually locks through with other vessels.  The actual length of the tour can be "flexible" so you really don't want to be nervously looking at your watch as departure time for the ship nears.  Even though the ship's excursion is the only option, it is the best option.

 

The Ferry Transit is a very popular excursion.   It has been my experience even if they sell out on line. the cruise line normally holds back a portion to sell on board ship.  I have never seen the price of the excursion change, so it may not be a bad idea to book it before you sail.

Edited by BillB48

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42 minutes ago, NCteacherlovescruising said:

 

This truly sounds amazing!  Is there a chance it would sell out?  Should I book it right away?

The transit by ferry excursion sells out.

Book this as soon as it is available. I did a partial on the Pearl 2 years ago and this was a popular excursion.

Now looking forward to a full transit on the Joy!

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21 minutes ago, BillB48 said:

 

 Yes, but only for the Gatun Lake stop.  Everywhere else you can use private operators.  Even if you could book the Transit by Ferry independently, it would not be the best idea.  This excursion can experience delays as the ferry usually locks through with other vessels.  The actual length of the tour can be "flexible" so you really don't want to be nervously looking at your watch as departure time for the ship nears.  Even though the ship's excursion is the only option, it is the best option.

 

We are still debating which two perks to pick. We know we’re getting the beverage package, but it’s a toss up between the specialty restaurants and shore excursions credits. I’m leaning toward the specialty restaurants because we rarely do ship excursions. I will for the locks though. 

 

21 minutes ago, BillB48 said:

The Ferry Transit is a very popular excursion.   It has been my experience even if they sell out on line. the cruise line normally holds back a portion to sell on board ship.  I have never seen the price of the excursion change, so it may not be a bad idea to book it before you sail.

 

Will do. 

 

3 minutes ago, TIBTEE said:

The transit by ferry excursion sells out.

Book this as soon as it is available. I did a partial on the Pearl 2 years ago and this was a popular excursion.

Now looking forward to a full transit on the Joy!

 

I don’t want to risk missing it so I will book it right away. Our cruise planner won’t be back in the office until tomorrow, but he knows we want to change to this itinerary and he will take care of it then. We can’t do it ourselves because we used our CruiseNext Certificates on the cruise we are canceling to do this. He’s going to do it as a change so we don’t have to wait on them to show back in our account. Anyhow, I should be able to book it tomorrow night. 

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