We sailed on the Holland-America Oosterdam’s 18-day Panama Canal cruise (January 15-February 5, 2020) from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale. My wife and I are in our 70’s, and we are four-star HAL Mariners.
We had temperatures that were mostly in the 70’s and 80’s and lots and lots of sunshine. (There was very little rain during these 18 days.) We packed sunscreen and some 30% Deet insect repellent (we did not experience much in the way of mosquitoes, but some of the tours advised using insect repellent).
We were in a Neptune Suite, and it was extremely comfortable and well cared-for by our stewards, Amin and Epul, who were great. Our concierges in the Neptune Lounge (Claire and Erzsebet) were truly outstanding. They were relentlessly friendly and able to address any need (reservations, billing questions, spa appointments, questions about ports of call, exchanging large currency bills for smaller ones, pinning a corsage onto a lapel, in-suite dining, including hot hors d’oeuvres if you want it, etc., etc.). The Neptune Lounge was well-stocked with food and snacks during the day, including an honor bar starting at mid-day. There is attention to detail that I admire. For example, they bring a digital luggage scale into the Lounge the day before we disembark so that people can weigh their suitcases if they think they might be over the airlines’ 50-pound limit. As we’ve discovered on previous HAL cruises, the comforts of the Neptune Suite as well as the Neptune Lounge and the services of the concierges are worth the extra cost, at least as far as we’re concerned.
Very good tour with lots of attention to the history and culture of indigenous peoples.