Hi Jack Stephan Sr., welcome to CruiseReviews! What a fantastic choice. We were scheduled to do the canal a couple of years ago, but couldn't go after the economy took a nose dive. I'm glad you're getting to go!
Either cruise line is going to give you marvelous service, great food, and comfortable cabins. Princess is my personal favorite, but that doesn't mean it would be yours. Both lines are elegant, not as many announcements, and they don't push activities down your throat. I personally think it boils down to the itinerary and price. If one offers longer in a port than the other, or the price is more reasonable with one, then I'd go with that.
We've sailed both HAL and Princess, so for me, I'd book Princess unless HAL was a good deal less than Princess. So far, the prices I've seen, they're pretty even. I know you won't go wrong with either line!
Have wanted to go on a cruise through the Panama Canal and am ready to do this October. Which line should I use. Which has the best service, cabins,etc. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
Hello Jack Stephan Jr.
I saw your post and was wondering which cruise line you picked for the Panama Canal Cruise?
On Feb.23, 2011 we left Ft. Lauderdale, FL. on a 10 night Panama Canal cruise on the Coral Princess. It was FANTASTIC!!!! The ship was beautiful (it had been refurbished in 2009 I believe).....the ship was clean, the food was very good, the staff was very friendly. We had 1 day of rain, the rest of the time it was basiclly in the 80's.
Carnival Fascination 12/2001, Triumph-5/2003--11/2/2008
Glory-9/2004 -- 10/2006 --9/2007 -- Victory-7/2006,
Costa Atlantica 2/2002-- 2/2005----Magica 2/2006
HAL MS Zuiderdam 9/03
MS Zaandam 1/04
Sun Princess 9/05
Royal Caribbean :
Majesty of the Seas 11/01
Sovereign of the Seas 12/02
MSC Orchestra 1/09
Ruby Princess 10/09
We did the Panama Canal last Sept/October on the Holland America Statendam....San Diego to Ft. Lauderdale...It was the Best overall cruise that we've been on...and that was our 24th cruise....The ship was small enough to meet almost everyone on board...we met some couples that we are still in contact with...Canada and Australia (we are meeting the Australia couple in Skagway Alaska this May) ....food was very good, service was outstanding and the entertainment was first class....we are booking the same cruise next March and doing it in reverse....You can't go wrong on any ship going thru the canal, and I would take a 14-15 and go all the way thru...Happy Sailing....
We went through Panama Canal, from Fort Lauderdale to LA Harbour last November on Coral Princess. Lovely ship the Coral. Go Princess you won't regret it.
Whatever the ship - enjoy, a memorable journey.
We've gone through on Princess a number of times & RCI once but never HAL. I'd say that RCI has the better ships for viewing the canal especially from the dining room compared to Princess's dungeon like dining rooms. Their ships dining rooms have full floor to ceiling glass walls which offer a great view while eating lunch.
That being said we're sailing with Princess once again but RCI was still better overall. Maybe next year once again.
I loved the one HAL cruise I've been on but the smaller HAL ships don't have any moderately priced balcony cabins--a must for a Canal cruise. I've done the Ft. Lauderdale to L.A. twice on Princess (Sea Princess and Island Princess) and hope to do it again sometime soon.