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Panama Canal which side to book?

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Planning on going Panama Canal cruise from LA to Florida.  Are the new locks north or south of the old locks?  We are looking at the NCL Joy and wondering whether to book on port or starboard side?

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A quick look at Google maps shows the new locks on the west and southwest side of the old locks, port side of your ship in your sailing. Bear in mind, the Canal doesn't run east-west, rather it runs, if you are entering from the Pacific side, generally northwest.

 

A little reading on the board would get you tons of info. The side of the ship your cabin is on doesn't matter, as you should not stay just on your balcony. There are some many things to see from better and different locations, that you will be shutting yourself out of seeing things if you stay on your balcony. You would miss everything on the other side of the ship. As discussed here frequently, you want to see a lock transit form the bow, if your ship allows you to be on the bow. Also, while in a lock, the promenade deck around the ship is also an impressive view.

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When going through the Agua Clara locks into Gatun Lake, I would want to be up front or on my starboard side balcony.  But once you pass under Centennial Bridge and heading for Cocoli Locks and the Pacific, I would want to be portside.  So it's best to get the best you can afford and be out moving around as you transit the canal.  EM

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Book the type of cabin you prefer for the rest of the cruise, don't select your cabin based on the Canal.  An interior cabin is just fine for the transit of the Canal.  The reason I say that is you really don't want to nailed down to your cabin during the transit.  The best side of the ship is topside or outside😀!  Or at least position yourself where you can be where you need to be to see whatever is of interest.  Things happen in the Canal at a pretty gentle pace, so you should be able to position yourself to take in the view.

 

 

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You will want to ROAM about the ship during your transit.  If you stay on your balcony, you will miss 3/4's of the sights.  And go to different deck levels...things look different from the promenade deck compared to the upper higher decks.  Honestly, it doesn't matter WHERE your cabin is...you should not be IN the cabin for this!

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We are on a Los Angeles to Miami via the Panama Canal right now. We booked starboard side cabin thinking we would like to have sunset views on sea days.  BUT, I did not take into account how warm the afternoon sun might make the cabin!  Thank goodness the a/c works so well!

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That will change😀!  By the time you arrive at the Pacific entrance to the Canal and as long as the clouds cooperate, you will be able to see the sun rise in the Pacific from your starboard side cabin!  Later that day, you will be able to see the sun set in another ocean as well.

 

One more little disclaimer... depending on when your ship actually starts the transit, the view of the sunrise could be blocked by some islands.  However it will still be rising in the east!!😉

 

Enjoy.

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