We are limited to sailing between April 6th and 20th of 2008 and wanted to do the Panama Canal. RC Brilliance has one 4/4 to 4/14 round trip Miami with stops in Aruba, Cruising Panama Canal 1/2 day with Cristobal Pier, Panama for other 1/2 and then Puerto Limon, Costa Rica and Grand Caymen. I am wondering if we would be disappointed with this schedule and should we look for a West to East with longer timing if we are able to find one and if not settle for 10 day? Should we look at other lines as well? Looking for some input that can help us to make a decision in the next few days...AS always thanks in advance for the expertise out there. I am looking at the 4/4 as this is close enough that we could do it if need be.
Does it have to be West to East? I ask because I'm taking Island Princess from Ft. Lauderdale to L.A., 15 days, leaving on April 6, 2008. I would highly recommend it. I've never cruised with RCI so I can't make any comparisons. But I did the same trip in 2000 and loved it so much I'm doing it again.
Another possibility on Princess is a 10 day RT from Ft. Lauderdale on Coral Princess leaving April 5; it has pretty much the same itinerary as the one you mention. If you have cruised RCI before and are happy with them I would stick with them.
To me, doing half the Canal is just, well, incomplete--It's kind of like a cruise to nowhere. And I must tell you I'm not a big fan of any of the ports of call on the 10 day--even Princess'.
I would urge you to consider the 15 day; it's not just a cruise--it's an adventure.
Hey, Peter. If you are saving money, you are going to be hard pressed to beat the RCCL cruise. That is a "hot deal" on the website at their price of $1199 for an inside. If you want to increase the length of your cruise and the variety and ports, there are many others that you can choose in your date range. For instance:
Holland America has a 15 day cruise on the Veendam that sails on April 11, 2008, from Tampa through the canal to San Diego. You can check the site for the ports of call.
Princess has a 15 day cruise on the Island Princess that sails on April 6, 2008, from Ft. Lauderdale through the canal to Los Angeles. This cruise in particular has a very nice itinerary. Check the Princess website for more details. Let us know if we can help you anymore.
My only response to the good dr. would be that on Veendam you have to book a full suite to get a balcony; Island Princess has lots of regular balcony cabins as well as mini-suites. Face it--a balcony is a "must" on a trip like this.
Great responses; thank you f-mattox and drlivingston. No, money is not the issue; more an issue of scheduling because my wife works at a college here in the East and she has be here when school is in session or as close to as possible with a little lee way.
f-mattox, I can see why you don't mind the East to West passage as you are home real time where we have the loooooong haul back to the East Coast. A stretch for us would be one that the wife brought home today; Panama Canal Adventurer 10 days on Coral Princess leaving 4/2 from Acapulco, Mexico arriving in Ft Lauderdale on 4/12. Ports of call are Huatulco, Mexico; Puerto Quetzel, Guatemala; Puerto Corinto, Nicaragua; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Panama Canal and Colon (Cristobal), Panama; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Do you just feel that the 1/2 day in the Canal area and at the pier in Panama just won't cut it? Thanks again. We have only been on RCCL and Celebrity but are NOT counting out a new cruise line experience.
HOT -HOT -HOT IN NEW ENGLAND !
peter 1, in your first post you mention April 6, 2008; but the Coral Princess sailing from Acapulco on April 2 is in 2009. Just checking.
The Acapulco to Ft. Lauderdale 10 day has most of the same ports as my Westbound 15 day. I would definitely prefer that to the 10 day round trip, even if it means a flight to Acapulco. The itinerary is just so much better--and you get the whole Canal experience.
Thanks f-mattox, you picked up on the 2009 that we had missed when looking at this one. We do like the itinerary of this one as an option and will keep looking for 2008 that fits. Thanks for all your input and quick pick up on the 2009.