We chose Celebrity to sail the Panama Canal with 6 other couples. Leaving Fort Lauderdale and ending in San Diego. We stayed pre cruise at the Ramada and the reviews here and elsewhere about the Ramada in Fort Lauderdale were correct. Ended up taking a cab to the Ramada as they never answered the phone for airport pick-up. The transportation to the port the next day worked out though. All in all had a good cruise, I even won the blackjack tournament . We tried the specialty restaurant, SS United States. The service and presentation was excellent, but not the kind of food I like.
Embarkation: We arrived at the port about 12:30 where about 1500 people were lined up in the parking lot waiting to check in. Turns out The Infinity was getting a health and safety inspection which delayed boarding. It was about 1:30 before the boarding process even started. This resulted in the ship leaving the port about 2 hours late.
First stop was the Grand Caymans. Not only did they not make up the two hour late stop, but something happened to one of the ships engines the night before and we didn't arrive until almost 11:00 AM. We not able to tender at Georgetown but were able to get to the secondary tender spot. There were 3 Carnival ships there as well and the tender location had several thousand people getting off and on and trying to find tours and transportation in an area the size of a football field. We used the ships tour to see the stingrays and a stop at seven mile beach. Because of the late start both stops were cut short, but at least we got to go ashore.
Next stop was Cartagena, Colombia. Shortly after leaving the Caymans there was a medical emergency and we had to turn back to have a woman transported to a hospital. We arrived late to Cartagena and our tour had to be cut short by about an hour. We went with a cruise critic group using Dora as the tour guide. Cartagena is a lovely colonial type city and the tour was very nice, but hot and humid.
Next was the Canal itself and we were finally on time. Took lots of pictures from different spots on the ship. At the entrance to the locks going east on the Pacific side is a visitor center where the attraction seems to be watching the ships go through. There were 4 stories of balconies with patios filled with people cheering and taking pictures of us going through the locks. Next was Puntarenas, Costa Rico. All 14 of our group booked a full day tour here with Charlie Soto. Fed the monkeys, took a boat ride to see the crocs, lunch near the beach and some shopping. Had a great day.
Next was Huatulco, Mexico. My wife was a little sick at this stop, so I spent the day ashore with members of our group. Found a beach with a small restaurant a 10 minute walk from the ship where you could use their lounger and beach all day if you bought a $2.50 beer. Right in front of the ship it was $15 per couple plus a drink.
On to Acapulco. Did this stop on our own. Walked to Ft. San Diego across the street from the dock. Cost was $3.50 pp to go in. Wanted to also visit the mask museum but it was closed. Tried walking to see the cliff divers but got a little lost. Flagged down a taxi and got there just in time to see them jump.
Cabo was our last stop and we had to leave 2 hours early so they could get the ship into San Diego for parts for the malfunctioning engine. Had just enough time to go ashore but some souvenirs and have lunch.