Full Daylight Transit
We have been wanting to take a full transit Panama Canal Cruise for a long time. Finally, this fall, the price and timing were just right for us to take the Norwegian Star from Miami to Los Angeles.
"Full Transit" means going all the way through, from one ocean to the other. Many Caribbean cruises include a "Partial transit", which means that they enter the canal, go through one set of locks as far as Gatun lake, then turn around and go back out. This allows them to return to Miami for the next cruise.
But that was not for us. If we were going to see the canal, we wanted the full experience; in this case going from the Atlantic ocean to the Pacific. Our ship was the Norwegian Star of the Norwegian Caribbean Line. Like many cruise ships today her hull size is "Panamax", that is, the maximum size that will fit in the current Panama Canal locks. We had two and a half feet (less than a meter) of clearance on either side as we went through the locks.
This was the first cruise where we had taken advantage of the Cruise Critic web site to meet our fellow passengers before sailing. We formed a community of friends who were able to get together right from the start. Using information found on the web site we were able to arrange private tours at each port of call. We had parties of our own during days at sea, got together for dinner (happily subverting NCL's "Freestyle Cruising") and established a web site just for our group. This is definitely a resource that we will be using on future cruises!
- Nov. 4 - Sail from Miami
- Nov. 5 - At sea
- Nov. 6 - Roatan Island, Honduras
- Nov. 7 - At sea
- Nov. 8 - Cartagena, Columbia
- Nov. 9 - Panama Canal transit
- Nov. 10 - At sea
- Nov. 11 - Puntarenas, Cost Rica
- Nov. 12 - At sea
- Nov. 13 - Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
- Nov. 14 - Huatulco, Mexico
- Nov. 15 - Acapulco, Mexico
- Nov. 16 - At sea
- Nov. 17 - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
- Nov. 18 - At sea
- Nov. 19 - Disembark in Los Angeles