Panama Canal Cruise Experience
This cruise had a wonderful itinerary with two stops in Mexico, one stop each in Guatamala, Costa Rica, Panama, and Columbia.
The cruise line offered lectures to familiarize us with each country before we went there which was very helpful.
It took over eight hours to navigate the Panama Canal, so we had plenty of opportunity to see the canal in operation. This was a unique experience and since they will soon open the new locks, may be one of the last chances to see this historic landmark of engineering.
Royal Caribbean's staff was always attentive and the only drawback was the unfortunate necessity of mandatory hand sanitation due to disease brought onboard the vessel on the previous voyage. There were additional occurrences during our trip, but after 13 days on board, we were finally cleared with no new cases of gastro-intestinal virus.
We had a terrible check-in process due to both the delay for sanitation and apparently a brand new computer system on which the agents had not been fully trained. We waited in line for over 3 hours and then another hour before we could board the boat. That was a very difficult experience for both myself and my 83 year old aunt. There was no way to rest or get off your feet while waiting in that long, hot, winding line at the San Diego cruiseport.
After we got onboard. We were able to rest, but not eat in the dining room because most passengers were required to use "My Time Dining." The line to make reservations was just too much after all that wait at the port. We waited in that line only to find the earliest dining time available was after 7:30 PM. Since we did not get lunch (we had expected to check in and visit the Windjammer after getting on the ship) that was much too late.
These issues should have been anticipated and could have been eased a little by better management of the check-in process.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
The Park Cafe is great for a lighter mid-day meal or late night snack.