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cousins 09-13-2007 07:57 AM

Is there one particular time of the year over another to take a cruise from Cal through the port to Ft Lauderdale/Miami? RCCL has acruise next fall we were thinking about. I've heard conflicting reports about going on a 10 day to and back from Miami vs. all the way through. One person said going through it is like watching paint dry- but this is not what I got from this chat line.

LHT28 09-13-2007 08:13 AM

I guess it depends on your perspective....
We went on a full transit and it was a long day through the canal.
If you have seen locks before it may be boring
If this is a wonder to you it will be exciting...many people do the trip several times

Personally i found it a bit boring we have better locks here in Ontario just not as big!!!

f-mattox 09-13-2007 08:17 AM

Most full canal transit cruises are really repositioning cruises in disguise and they usually take place in Fall and Spring. Either time is great.

If you only have 10 days, the round trip from Florida is good. But if you have the time I urge you to do the full transit. I live on the West coast so I like to fly first and then just sail home. But either direction is great.

As for the "watching paint dry" comment, whoever said that must be very very hard to please. How you can compare a first hand look at one of the marvels of human engineering to watching paint dry is beyond me.

cousins 09-13-2007 09:56 AM

Thanks, I have seen "small locks" before. It's our husbands that are dying to do this crusie...perhaps this is more of a male marvel???
I have notice on the 14 and 15 night cruises there are a lot of at seas days...not my favorite but there is always Bingo I suppose (ha-ha)

Lil' Lori 09-13-2007 10:13 AM

When you do the roundtrip Miami to Panama Canal, do you go partially through the canal. Do you go through some of the locks and turn around, and go through those locks again? I would prefer to do the full transit via the canal. I think it'd be cool, to go from one ocean to another via locks. What a awesome thing to do. I think it truly is a marvel, especially since they did it sooo long ago. Lil' Lori

f-mattox 09-13-2007 05:31 PM

Yes Lil' Lori, that's exactly right; you go up the Gatun locks to Lake Gatun, cruise Lake Gatun, back down the same locks, and back to sea. You miss the very narrow Gaillard Cut, the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks, and the thrill of sailing under the Bridge of the Americas.

The 10 day gives you a good look at the Canal and its operation; but the full transit is really the way to experience it. As cousins noted, the full transit cruises have more sea days than most cruises--as they are essentially repositioning cruises; but to me, that's a plus--I love lots of long leisurely days at sea--but not everybody feels that way.

But Lori, you sound like you have the right attitude and would really love the full transit. I did it in 2000, I'm doing it again next April, and hope to do it again and again. I love it the way some people love Alaska; not that I have anything against Alaska--I just prefer long warm weather cruises.


gdjoslin 09-13-2007 06:30 PM

I might be dating myself, but in school we learned the name of that structure as the Maurice H. Thatcher Bridge. I forgot who he was, guess I will have to Google that sometime.
I would love to see it someday. My History Teacher would be proud I remembered her lesson.

f-mattox 09-13-2007 06:47 PM

Well Gary, I Googled it and it was quite a history lesson. You are absolutely right about the name. Somebody was paying attention in class.

cousins 09-14-2007 07:09 AM

Thanks Rick. When it gets closer to actually making a decision I will be back asking you for more advice. You still prefer the whole CAL to Miami...what about someone once said flying to San Juan and then taking the cruise from there to Miami. Is that any good or the same as Miami to Miami?

f-mattox 09-14-2007 08:08 AM

To me, that would be even less desireable than the RT from Miami--longer flight; and you still don't go through the canal, just up to lake Gatun and back down.

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