We ahve a cruise plan for this year...can't wait! Next year we want to fly to California and cruise the Panama Canal back to Miami or Ft. LAuderdale. Can someone recommend the best ship for this? We've only cruised on RCI which we love, but are open for suggestions.
I'm doing the cruise you are talking about (in reverse) in April, 2008; flying to Ft. Lauderdale and sailing back to L.A. on Princess Cruises Island Princess. It's called "Exotic Panama Canal", is 15 days and makes some interesting stops. The eastbound itinerary sails on February 21 and March 22,2008.
I did this same trip in 2000 on Sea Princess and absolutely loved it--can't wait to do it again.
I can't say if Island Princess is the "best" ship for this; I know Holland America has a similar itinerary. But I'm a confirmed Princess cruiser and would highly recommend them.
A balcony cabin is always preferred, but it is an absolute must for the Canal. You can sit on your private balcony and enjoy the Canal without the pointy elbows, bickering malcontents, and walkie talkies blaring...