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We did a 15 day from Los Angeles to Tampa. If you do one, do the entire route. Some itineraries go half way and then turn back. It was terrific. We lucked out and had port side a balcony, which happened to be the side that allowed us the best view of the locks. Also, do some reading. There is a fascinating book, that is well worth the time.

The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914
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We did this cruise many years ago on Disney, the 14 day westbound from Canaveral to Los Angeles.  It was amazing!  I agree with the poster above, if you read about it ahead of time you will appreciate it a lot more.  We didn't have a balcony on that cruise so we spent the entire day on the top decks.  I didn't realize ahead of time that it actually is a whole day process to go through the locks.  Very cool!! 

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We did westbound in November of 2013 on Legend of the Seas. 15 days and I believe the itinerary was:

  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Cruising
  • Cartagena Columbia
  • Colon Panama
  • Crusing
  • Puntarenas Costa Rica
  • Puerto Quetzal Gutemala
  • Crusing
  • Puerto Vallarta Mexico
  • Cabo San Luca Mexico
  • Crusing
  • San Diego

It was a fantastic cruise. The highlights were obviously traversing the Panama Canal with took most of one day. The low point was Colon Panama. There was a tourist area at the dock with security guards stationed around advising you not to go into outside that area. You see Panama City in the distance as you enter the Pacific and it looks like a fairy land city or something from a science fiction movie. There is a lot to learn and it is all fascinating to me.

Along the way, Costa Rica was absolutely great. Among other things we did the Tarcols River that is absolutely teeming with crocodiles.. In Guatemala we hiked a volcano and roasted marshmallows over lava. Cabo San Luca has a gorgeous waterfront and shops that seem to go on for miles with the ocean on one side and rocky hills as a back drop. We finished up by spending 3 days in San Diego and could have easily spent a week or more.

We were initially concerned about 15 nights on the ship but it was pleasant and we found plenty to keep busy. We met nice people and ended up making a nightly pre-dinner trivia contest in the Schooner Bar that was casual and fun. At the end we were looking forward to getting off and spending time in San Diego while at the same we looked longingly at Legend knowing it was going back to all those fabulous places on the return voyage. We could have spent another 15 days on board going back.




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4 hours ago, fonemanbob said:

Has anyone done this cruise?  Any and all information would be greatly appreciated.   Thank you

Did the cruise on a Princess ship many years ago and would highly recommend taking the cruise, so far in my life it has been a once in a lifetime trip that I hope to repeat if possible.

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On 7/17/2019 at 1:18 PM, IRMO12HD said:

@packercruising What ship were you on?  I understand that the larger ships go through a separate channel because the original channel is too small?  Do you know if you can see the other channel/ships?

We were on NCL Star. It was in 2011, before there was an expansion to the locks. I would suggest a smaller sip so you go through the original locks, but that is just an opinion. Whatever works best for you. It is something you will be really glad you did.

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