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Old 09-17-2012, 11:38 AM   #1
pdwimmer
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Panama Canal Cruise

Has anyone been on one of the re-positioning cruises via Panama Canal? I see there is one this time next year that falls on my 15 year anniversary and am thinking of going. I've never been on a cruise for 2 weeks. Does it get boring or do you really get to relax? Unfortunately due to the length we won't be able to take the kids. I can't take them out of school for 2 weeks. Wish we could.

Any information is greatly appreciated.

My Best,
Trish
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:55 AM   #2
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I've not been on the PC cruise but did do a West Bound Transaltantic Cruise in 2010. It was 14 days with 9 sea days (i believe) with 5/6 of them between Portugal and St. Maarteen.

They schedule activities (seminars, trivia contests, food demonstrations, tastings, towel folding, napkin folding, animation classes, ets - to name a few things) or you can just relax.

One of the best trips I've ever taken and would do it again in a split second. I love the long cruises.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:44 PM   #3
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My DH and I were on the westbound Panama cruise that brought the Wonder out to CA. It was our first cruise. I have waited 25 years for a Disney cruise and wanted to do the canal too. I had over 3000 points on my rewards Visa that needed to be used so we did it. It was, pun fully intended, Wonderful. The ship wasnt nearly full because of the time of year and they estimated that there were only 300 kids. Because of that some of the kids clubs/labs had events that adults could do, i.e. making flubber, lol.

I was not bored in the least. There was so much to do and see. We used our verandah every day for coffee, mimosas and pastries. We did so much we wore ourselves out and missed some of the evening entertainment. The only thing I got tired of was eating!! The last few days I insisted on the children's menu because I was just wanted small portions of normal, not fancy food. Cheese sticks, our table mates said how did she get cheese sticks!

My only disappointment with the cruise was it was too stormy to dock at CC, so I had to plan another cruise.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:29 PM   #4
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We did the WBPC sailing in `08 for our 15th anniversary and it was FANTASTIC! Nice combo of good ports as well as plenty of sea days. The sea days were filled w/ stuff to do or not do, depending on how 'active' you wanted to be while on vacation. We loved it and would really love to do one again and take our girls with us, but we cannot take them out of school for 2 weeks. So unless they repo during summer, we won't go again and take them. I highly recommend it for anyone that is even remotely considering doing a Panama Canal Cruise. If you can swing it, definitely go!
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:52 PM   #5
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Hmmm. Now I am wondering if we could make it work with 2 weeks off with the kids. We have 4 and there are no "rules" for how much time they can take off. Maybe I can get work assignments for them and devote part of the day to school since it is such a long cruise. We can let them go nuts for a few days and then settle into a routine for the rest of the cruise.

I did "summer school" with them this year because they were driving me nuts. Both my hubby and I work out of a home office. Without a little structure to their day they literally were crazy.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:47 PM   #6
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We did the WBPC cruise last year and often saw kids studying up on deck. Getting the schoolwork out of the way so they could go party.

There were lectures about the Canal, very interesting as well as educational, and no doubt some of the kids wrote reports about the Canal as part of their make-up assignments. It's definitely one of those places where you learn a lot more by being there than reading about it in a textbook.

We also went on the DCL Hawaiian cruise this spring, where we had several days at sea, then several days in port, then several more days at sea. It was nice to intersperse some of the Canal ports among the sea days, instead of grouping them all together. The Hawaiian ports were all upscale and there was so much to do everywhere. Some of the Canal ports just didn't have much to offer. A lot of beach, and even more poverty. The best port was in Costa Rica, but the sides of the highway were strewn with piles of garbage. huh? If they're so concerned about saving the environment, why don't they clean it up?

Long story short: the Canal takes a whole day to navigate and is the focal point of the cruise, and while there are several days in port, don't expect them to be as nice as Hawaii. Hopefully you'll get to Castaway Cay (as a PP stated, our cruise wasn't able to stop there.) Other passengers found lots to do on the beaches of the other Panama Canal ports, and hopefully your family will too.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:26 PM   #7
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DW and I took the Wonder PC cruise from Port Canaveral to LA and loved it. We both love sea days and neither of us got bored. We also went kidless because of school (actually college). Boy was DS upset with us that we would take a cruise and NOT TAKE HIM

There was a lot fewer children on board this cruise I'm sure because of the school issue. We shared a table with two other couples and one of the women mentioned how strange is was, we were one of the younger groups of people and we were the first dining rotation. Their were a lot of people that looked like they would be retirement age on this cruise.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwimmer View Post
Hmmm. Now I am wondering if we could make it work with 2 weeks off with the kids. We have 4 and there are no "rules" for how much time they can take off. Maybe I can get work assignments for them and devote part of the day to school since it is such a long cruise. We can let them go nuts for a few days and then settle into a routine for the rest of the cruise.

I did "summer school" with them this year because they were driving me nuts. Both my hubby and I work out of a home office. Without a little structure to their day they literally were crazy.

Thanks for the feedback!
We are doing the EBPC cruise in December. We are taking DD14 along and she will miss 10 days of school. We are working with her teachers to ensure that she has her classwork to take along, plus she will have the week off when we return for the Christmas Break.

I'm one that would not be able to enjoy a cruise of that length if we left her at home, but that is me. This is an opportunity of a lifetime that I want to experience with her - real world experience that she won't get in the classroom.

Tammy
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:40 PM   #9
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I really wish I could do this one but my semester ends later than normal this year but I'm happy to be going to the Med in June.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:43 PM   #10
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This looks interesting. What are the on board booking credits and discounts for this cruise? We will be on the Fantasy next week. I might look into this.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:15 PM   #11
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This looks interesting. What are the on board booking credits and discounts for this cruise? We will be on the Fantasy next week. I might look into this.
I believe it we'd be 10% off and $200 on board credit. Because of the cost make sure you list a TA when you book on board so you can get their credit too!!! You can use www.cruisecompete.com just to see who might give you the best OBC then list them on board. You'll lose tons of extra money if you don't list an agent. Most people here use dreams unlimited and love them,
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwimmer View Post
Has anyone been on one of the re-positioning cruises via Panama Canal? I see there is one this time next year that falls on my 15 year anniversary and am thinking of going. I've never been on a cruise for 2 weeks. Does it get boring or do you really get to relax? Unfortunately due to the length we won't be able to take the kids. I can't take them out of school for 2 weeks. Wish we could.

Any information is greatly appreciated.

My Best,
Trish
Check out the Trip Reports forums and read over the meets threads for the current PC cruises, lots of info to be found there.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:24 PM   #13
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I believe it we'd be 10% off and $200 on board credit. Because of the cost make sure you list a TA when you book on board so you can get their credit too!!! You can use www.cruisecompete.com just to see who might give you the best OBC then list them on board. You'll lose tons of extra money if you don't list an agent. Most people here use dreams unlimited and love them,
Thanks for the reminder. We use Beth Fejer from DU. She is great and we definitely will enjoy the extra on board credit.
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