Relaxing view of a Wonder of the World

Veendam Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 19

Overall rating:

5 out of 5

15 Night Panama Canal Westbound (Ft. Lauderdale To San Diego)

Sail date: March 22, 2017

Ship: Veendam

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: 324

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Great Itinerary.  Starting off at Half Moon Cay for a bit of Caribbean feeling. They now have grilled lobster on the beach which is very large (costs $20). I had never been to the other stops before. In Cartagena I just got a taxi to the old town and enjoyed walking around. The only really early day was getting up to see the passage through the Panama canal. We were well prepared with educational videos etc about the canal construction and there was a guide for the journey. There were many sea days here so time to relax and enjoy cruising.

On the pacific side, there was very little to do around the ports. Costa Rica was a great adventure with lots of excursions to do. Nicaragua had a nice local town but not much to do there outside of an excursion. Guatemala had a great market at port but the nearest thing to do was 1-1&1/2 hours away. Puerto Chiapas Mexico had very little to do besides excursions. So every day was a port for 4 days. Cabo San Lucas was a nice seaside town and you can see the arch from the ship because you have to tender in (only stop on this cruise with a Tender - the Tender at Half Moon Key is a large ferry so really not same category).

I would say that the average age on the ship was 70. There were 2-3 children on board but most were older, so if you are expecting a party all night atmosphere this is not for you.  Final departure was in San Diego which is right by the airport and a taxi ride is less than $10 or you can do a shuttle for $8.


You can be as active or non-active as you want on this cruise so it was a lot of fun

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5


5 out of 5

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

5 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
On Lanai so easy access to outside with my own deck chair. Not too loud and not disturbed by others walking by room.

Ship tip

Small ship. To get to main dining room you have to go on 6 or 8 and walk stairs to 7 dining. This has one pool and the back deck has whirlpools. There is not a blues club like on other ships. Walk on the 6th floor promenade deck (4 turns for a mile) on way to meals to get in the steps.

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

2 out of 5

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (Private Island)

3 out of 5

Cartagena, Colombia

3 out of 5

Enter Panama Canal At Cristobal

3 out of 5

Panama Canal Transit

3 out of 5

Exit Panama Canal At Balboa

3 out of 5

Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica

3 out of 5

Puerto Corinto, Nicaragua

2 out of 5

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

2 out of 5

Puerto Chiapas (Tapachula), Mexico

1 out of 5

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

2 out of 5

San Diego, California

2 out of 5
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