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Old 10-07-2012, 05:23 PM   #1
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Past Panama Canal Reposition Cruisers

We just booked a Panama Reposition cruise for next September. It is a eastbound cruise. Just wanted to ask a few questions to those that have taken this cruise.

1. What type of activities did DCL plan for the at sea days?

2. Were there a lot of kids? How did they handle being at sea 14 days? (We are empty nesters and found the kids got pretty restless the last 2 days on our previous 7 day cruise. Lots of hall running, knocking on our door, taking our privacy sign, etc. Just wondered if we will be seeing that for over a week.)

3. What was the adult pool area like? Did you have to fight for a lounger?

4. What was going through the canal like?

Sure I will have more questions later. But thanks so much for any answers you can give me.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:44 PM   #2
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We just booked a Panama Reposition cruise for next September. It is a eastbound cruise. Just wanted to ask a few questions to those that have taken this cruise.

1. What type of activities did DCL plan for the at sea days? They had very interesting lectures about the history of the Canal -- presented by a Canal pilot who knew his stuff.

2. Were there a lot of kids? The cruise director said we had about 400 fewer kids than normal. How did they handle being at sea 14 days? (We are empty nesters and found the kids got pretty restless the last 2 days on our previous 7 day cruise. Lots of hall running, knocking on our door, taking our privacy sign, etc. Just wondered if we will be seeing that for over a week.) The kids were relatively well behaved when we cruised the Canal last year, but we've heard horror stories from other cruises. Since I don't have first-hand knowledge, I won't elaborate here. We saw kids doing homework up on deck, and taking notes during the lectures, evidently homework for reports on their "study abroad" experience.

3. What was the adult pool area like? Did you have to fight for a lounger? We lounged on our veranda.

4. What was going through the canal like? DCL pays a premium for a day-time crossing and it takes all day. Since the Canal is in a rain forest, it gets hot and steamy. We spent a lot of time on deck, but we also took breaks inside an air-conditioned lounge sipping smoothies. They had a huge buffet/barbeque up on deck that afternoon.

Sure I will have more questions later. But thanks so much for any answers you can give me.
Have a great cruise!
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:09 PM   #3
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. Quote:
Originally Posted by eva
We just booked a Panama Reposition cruise for next September. It is a eastbound cruise. Just wanted to ask a few questions to those that have taken this cruise.

1. What type of activities did DCL plan for the at sea days?

They had very interesting lectures about the history of the Canal -- presented by a Canal pilot who knew his stuff.

2. Were there a lot of kids? The cruise director said we had about 400 fewer kids than normal. How did they handle being at sea 14 days? (We are empty nesters and found the kids got pretty restless the last 2 days on our previous 7 day cruise. Lots of hall running, knocking on our door, taking our privacy sign, etc. Just wondered if we will be seeing that for over a week.)

The kids were relatively well behaved when we cruised the Canal last year, but we've heard horror stories from other cruises. Since I don't have first-hand knowledge, I won't elaborate here. We saw kids doing homework up on deck, and taking notes during the lectures, evidently homework for reports on their "study abroad" experience.

3. What was the adult pool area like? Did you have to fight for a lounger?

We lounged on our veranda.

4. What was going through the canal like?

DCL pays a premium for a day-time crossing and it takes all day. Since the Canal is in a rain forest, it gets hot and steamy. We spent a lot of time on deck, but we also took breaks inside an air-conditioned lounge sipping smoothies. They had a huge buffet/barbeque up on deck that afternoon.

Sure I will have more questions later. But thanks so much for any answers you can give me.
Have a great cruise! !
Thanks! We will have a verandah, but I don't consider sitting out there as lounging. I really hope that there are available chairs around the adult pool area. We like to layout around the pool or on the sun deck above. We never had issues on the Wonder of Magic until we did the Med cruise a couple years ago. Finding a chair during that cruise was awful. People were sitting around the pool saving chairs around 9am.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:02 PM   #4
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I don't know when your cruise is scheduled, but on the 2008 EBPC repo there were a lot of kids as it was during the end of August. Some of the kids did get restless. Christian would remind parents that there were kid clubs during the morning announcements the second week, then would add and emphasize PLEASE USE THEM. Honestly there was a mischievious group of teens from the beginning. One of them was discovered within the first few days sitting on top of one of the elevators. They were also fussed at by cruisers for sitting in the doorway of the elevator on deck 9/10 one night when the elevator just was not moving and someone went up to see if there was a problem.

That being said, I would not trade that cruise for anything! Going through the canal was amazing. We had an inside room so spent the crossing day on decks 10 and 4. It rained early in the morning and CMs passed out WDW rain ponchos. They had canopies set up on deck 10 with tables of coffee and danish in the morning and kept them stocked with water all day. CMs walked around with cold towels for those on deck 10 in the sun for several hours during the day. We made friends we still keep in touch with. The kids made friends onboard as well. There were extra shows and presentations. Our cruise group scheduled a wine tasting of our own and other gatherings as well.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:05 PM   #5
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Most longer cruises have fewer kids than usual. Our cruise had 15 teens total, and they were a really tight group.

Lots of activities--lectures about Panama, the natives, the canal, etc. as well as the usual. Extra movies, games, etc. to keep us all busy.

No problem getting chairs. Now if you wanted the row closest to the pool, maybe. Reality--it was too hot to lounge for long. You either got in the water or went inside.

The canal was neat to see. Honestly, a lot of it was just scenery, but seeing the sidewalls of the locks come up while sitting in Lumiere's was just way cool.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #6
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Thanks so much for the short reviews. We are pretty excited about this cruise. If anyone has anymore input about this cruise, I would love to hear it.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lbgraves View Post
I don't know when your cruise is scheduled, but on the 2008 EBPC repo there were a lot of kids as it was during the end of August. Some of the kids did get restless. Christian would remind parents that there were kid clubs during the morning announcements the second week, then would add and emphasize PLEASE USE THEM. Honestly there was a mischievious group of teens from the beginning. One of them was discovered within the first few days sitting on top of one of the elevators. They were also fussed at by cruisers for sitting in the doorway of the elevator on deck 9/10 one night when the elevator just was not moving and someone went up to see if there was a problem.

That being said, I would not trade that cruise for anything! Going through the canal was amazing. We had an inside room so spent the crossing day on decks 10 and 4. It rained early in the morning and CMs passed out WDW rain ponchos. They had canopies set up on deck 10 with tables of coffee and danish in the morning and kept them stocked with water all day. CMs walked around with cold towels for those on deck 10 in the sun for several hours during the day. We made friends we still keep in touch with. The kids made friends onboard as well. There were extra shows and presentations. Our cruise group scheduled a wine tasting of our own and other gatherings as well.
Yup, that was an awesome cruise! 1/3 of the passengers were kids. Mine had a blast. I really wish they would do it when they could go again. I would love to do the Dec one this year, but I can't take them out of school for 2 weeks.
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2007 December 8 - 7nite Eastern on the Magic! 2008 August 17 DCL Magic EB Panama Canal; March 2011 WDW trip with friends. 2012 Aug 25 DCL Bahamas Magic from NYC;2012 Sept 12 DCL Canadian Magic;2013 Aug AKL Kidani;2013 Aug DCL Fantasy

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Old 10-08-2012, 10:29 PM   #8
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On our January 2011 PC cruise, there were only about 200 kids total if I recall correctly. It was right after the holidays so not many could take their kids out of school. I actually missed the kids because there were SO MANY adults. Night comedy shows were in the theater instead of the club district because their weren't enough seats. Getting loungers by the adult pool was extremely difficult. I tried to follow the 'no saving seats' rule the first few days but after seeing that the majority weren't, and people were getting up at the crack of dawn to claim seats, we began to do the same. I remember setting my alarm to get up there at 7:30 AM to lay out our stuff, and many others doing the same. It was really frustrating. On our cruise they also grossly mismanaged the collectible pins and we spent a crazy amount of our vacation hours literally sitting in long lines down the halls to get them. This was the worst memory from the cruise, and I hope DCL has learned as I hope to never have to go through that again, yet sadly I admit I would if i had to because I love my pin collection.

Anyways, besides the overcrowded/competitive adult areas issues and the pins, it really was the most amazing cruise. We did miss CC due to winds, but other than that, the weather was absolutely perfect for the entire 21 days of our trip pre, during and post cruise. The crossing was a huge bucket list item for me to do before the new canal opens and it lived up to everything I imagined. Our port adventures were amazing, we had the best tablemates- the list of positives goes on and on. I would do it again in a heartbeat, love the longer cruises and I can't wait til July when we are doing the 12 night Eastern Med with Greece/Turkey!
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by WDW Princess 71 View Post
On our January 2011 PC cruise, there were only about 200 kids total if I recall correctly. It was right after the holidays so not many could take their kids out of school. I actually missed the kids because there were SO MANY adults. On our cruise they also grossly mismanaged the collectible pins and we spent a crazy amount of our vacation hours literally sitting in long lines down the halls to get them. This was the worst memory from the cruise, and I hope DCL has learned as I hope to never have to go through that again, yet sadly I admit I would if i had to because I love my pin collection.

Anyways, besides the overcrowded/competitive adult areas issues and the pins, it really was the most amazing cruise. I would do it again in a heartbeat, love the longer cruises and I can't wait til July when we are doing the 12 night Eastern Med with Greece/Turkey!
The Panama Pin distribution was such a debacle. Fortunately they used a totally different system for the pins for the spring Hawaii cruise. Passengers had to wait in line (90 mins max) for wrist bands. After receiving the wrist bands, passengers were then given several days to go into the shop and purchase the pins using the wrist bands: one color wrist band for the Hawaii cruise pins, and another color wrist band to purchase a pin for each port, sold as a set instead of waiting in line for each individual pin. They limited the wrist bands to two of each color per stateroom.

On the morning the wrist bands were issued, DCL cast members went up and down the line with breakfast pastries, coffee, and orange juice. After the time frame for redeeming the wrist bands had passed, the shop actually had pins left over.

DCL also limited the Hawaiian ltd ed clothing/souvenirs each passenger could purchase per day, so they didn't run out of the t-shirts the first day. Sooo much better. The first night the shops were open, they restricted the number of people allowed in the store at a time, so there were no mob scenes.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:56 AM   #10
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On our January 2011 PC cruise, there were only about 200 kids total if I recall correctly. It was right after the holidays so not many could take their kids out of school. I actually missed the kids because there were SO MANY adults. Night comedy shows were in the theater instead of the club district because their weren't enough seats. Getting loungers by the adult pool was extremely difficult. I tried to follow the 'no saving seats' rule the first few days but after seeing that the majority weren't, and people were getting up at the crack of dawn to claim seats, we began to do the same. I remember setting my alarm to get up there at 7:30 AM to lay out our stuff, and many others doing the same. It was really frustrating. On our cruise they also grossly mismanaged the collectible pins and we spent a crazy amount of our vacation hours literally sitting in long lines down the halls to get them. This was the worst memory from the cruise, and I hope DCL has learned as I hope to never have to go through that again, yet sadly I admit I would if i had to because I love my pin collection.

Anyways, besides the overcrowded/competitive adult areas issues and the pins, it really was the most amazing cruise. We did miss CC due to winds, but other than that, the weather was absolutely perfect for the entire 21 days of our trip pre, during and post cruise. The crossing was a huge bucket list item for me to do before the new canal opens and it lived up to everything I imagined. Our port adventures were amazing, we had the best tablemates- the list of positives goes on and on. I would do it again in a heartbeat, love the longer cruises and I can't wait til July when we are doing the 12 night Eastern Med with Greece/Turkey!
Thanks for all the info. I'm not too concerned about pins. We really don't collect them. The only ones I have are ones I received for free. I really wouldn't go out of my way to get them. But the pool issue will drive me crazy. We had the same issue on a September Med cruise we took a couple years ago. Now I am really nervous about the cruise. Pool time is one of our favorite things on the cruise. With this Panama cruise being in September, I fear the adult pool could be jam packed. There are so many sea days that this could be a major issue for us. Why doesn't DCL enforce their policy on holding chairs by the pool?
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:00 AM   #11
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We loved our Jan 2011 Panama Canal cruise. The adult pool was a bit crowded but I remember thinking if I wanted to lounge- I'd go to the kiddie or family pools. At 55 I felt like one of the young folks on the cruise. I've never seen such a collection of walkers, wheelchairs and scooters on a ship before. That being said I never had elevator problems either (of course walking the stairs 99% of the time is one of my fitness goals.) I never was board- there are games to play and lecture/classes most of the time you can do if you choose.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:21 AM   #12
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On the past cruises were there any special dinners? How many formal, semi-formal, etc nights were there? Could you get Palo a couple nights. We were able to go a few times on the Med cruise.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:37 AM   #13
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We loved our Jan 2011 Panama Canal cruise. The adult pool was a bit crowded but I remember thinking if I wanted to lounge- I'd go to the kiddie or family pools. At 55 I felt like one of the young folks on the cruise. I've never seen such a collection of walkers, wheelchairs and scooters on a ship before. That being said I never had elevator problems either (of course walking the stairs 99% of the time is one of my fitness goals.) I never was board- there are games to play and lecture/classes most of the time you can do if you choose.
Were there really so few kids that adults were able to swim and lounge at the other pools without kids running all over? Don't they have the better loungers at the adult pool? We want to swim as well as lounge around. Was the Goofy pool deserted enough to actually swim in it? I'm just trying to get an idea do what to expect. With 8 days at sea, I know we will spend a lot of time at the pool swimming and sunning.

On the Med cruise we had only 2 sea days and we stayed on in Rome. All three days the adult pool was so packed that we had to search for chairs on the upper deck. I finally started moving towels and a few belongings on the loungers by the pool if people weren't back in 30 or 45 minutes. The CM's I spoke with said to go ahead and move them if no one was in the chair after 30 minutes. I definitely moved things one day when we came up to the pool and all the loungers were "taken", but there wasn't one person in the pool area. The people came nearly two hours after we moved their things. They weren't happy, but the CM backed us up and explained to them the reserving policy.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:57 AM   #14
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I've been on 2 of the PC cruises (May and January) and there were not many kids on either. Most kids will be preschoolers, as it is difficult for school-age kids to take that much time away from school.

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Were there really so few kids that adults were able to swim and lounge at the other pools without kids running all over?
Yes. There were so few kids that adults were given their own time in the lab and kids club. One night they had an adult soapbox derby - we carved bars of soap into cars and raced them.

As far as the pools, if the weather holds up, yes you can swim in them. They really aren't big enough to do a lot of swimming though. I'm not big on swimming or sitting by the pool, I did hang at the Mickey pool once as my friend had a 3 year old, it was almost deserted.

If you walked up to Palo and asked, you could get it pretty much any night you wanted.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:30 AM   #15
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I've been on 2 of the PC cruises (May and January) and there were not many kids on either. Most kids will be preschoolers, as it is difficult for school-age kids to take that much time away from school.



Yes. There were so few kids that adults were given their own time in the lab and kids club. One night they had an adult soapbox derby - we carved bars of soap into cars and raced them.

As far as the pools, if the weather holds up, yes you can swim in them. They really aren't big enough to do a lot of swimming though. I'm not big on swimming or sitting by the pool, I did hang at the Mickey pool once as my friend had a 3 year old, it was almost deserted.

If you walked up to Palo and asked, you could get it pretty much any night you wanted.
Sounds good! Any info on formal or semi-formal nights? Just wonder how many. Thanks!
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