Port or Starboard cabin for Panama Canal cruise?


Star Cruisers

Just wondering if anyone has taken a cruise from Miami to the Panama Canal. Wondering if we should take a port or starboard cabin. We are considering NCL Sun for April 11, 2004 sailing. Thanks.


We sailed the Splendour April 7th. Everyone said " Port-side". I needed a cabin close to the elevators, and there were none left on the port-side, so I reserved a Starboard cabin. I met two couples on the internet who both had port cabins. When a port cabin became available (I was on stand-by), the 3 couples had decided to keep our cabins, and we could go to the side that had the most activity.

It is true you will be able to see the port of Colon on the port side, but you will MISS the French Cut which is on the starboard along with the light house and the Gatum lake dam. {Tha'st 3 reasons to one for the Starboard side}Then it becomes a luck of the draw as you enter the locks.

It all DEPENDS on which of the two parallel locks the ship is assigned as to which side shows more. On our sailing we used the left set of locks, and everything, was on our side. (STARBOARD). Had the Splendour been the 3rd or 5th ship in line that day (we were the 4th) we would have gone through the right set of locks, and the port side would have all the action. Our cabin was full that morning, and not because of the free Bloody Mary's, but because of the starboard location. We had between 6 and 12 people in the cabin, and it made for a really enjoyable experience, being able to share the experience with so many good friends.

IMHO...... find out which side the ship boards passengers on at the HOME port. That is the side where all the security equipment is set up, and that will be the side (usually) that will be used at all ports for "Dock-Side". Hence a better view in most cases.

NOW... If you are going Trans-Canal(through to California) Then the further advantages on the port side are: you will be on the side to see the Chagres River Bridge at the town of Gamboa, and the repair facilities and the Titan cranes on the port side. The Dam between The Miraflores Locks and Pedro Miguel locks forming the Miraflores Lake is also on the port side. The old US city of Balboa, now the Port of Balboa, then Ancon Hill, Panama City, Paitilla, the Amador Causeway, and the old US Fort of Amador, and the 3 Islands forming the Pacific barrier for the canal are also on the port side.

All this is for ships traveling FROM the Atlantic to the Pacific which you said you were departing Miami. If leaving from California, of course the opposite would be true.

Here are some pictures, all taken from the starboard side:

Post Edited (05-19-03 11:40)