I have looked forward to doing a full transit in the OLD locks - and finally did it! But that takes time (15 days) and a smaller ship (Island or Coral on Princess). There were some stumbles on board because she spent over 700 days out of service - and had only been in service for 15 days when we boarded. Some A/C issues were still being addressed. The crew worked feverishly to make everything "right", through any challenges. Dining gets 4 stars for a total breakdown of the reservation system in LA creating a nightmare the first several nights. Food - delicious! Service - Wonderful! We had an unexpected stop for a critical medical evacuation - very smoothly handled. And the actual Canal passage was delayed because of issues with the Canal's equipment. But what a trip! Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Cartagena, and a full Panama Canal passage. Even got a certificate of passage delivered to my room - a nice treat!
The excursions - amazing! Monkeys, sloths, toucans, botanical gardens, old/new/ruins city tours, local families doing traditional weaving and so much more. Very pleased with all the offerings and the excursions I chose. A great trip on a small ship (that I first met in Alaska), and a cabin on Prominade deck (Deck 7) so I could be out on deck in under 30 seconds if I wished. Food was excellent, and our weather - we were SOOO fortunate. Rain was forecasted for almost every day, but only about 10 mins of rain occurred during excursions. Perfect timing.
The Island was showing some wear getting reactivated, but if you want a smaller ship with bigger ship amenities -including a real 24 hour fitness center, yet old style feel - she's your gal!
I chose an inside cabin on the Prominade deck - the same cabin I had in Alaska. You can be down the hallway and out on deck in under 30 seconds (It's literally 60 steps), yet sail for a really good price! A nice roomy space, with mini-fridge, hair dryer, desk, chair, queen bed, nightstands, tons of drawers, HUGE closet, big TV, and great bathroom. The only issue was the A/C was stumbling part way through the trip in my part of the ship. Staff immediately offered to move me - and to an upgraded room. They also worked on the A/C overnight and things got reasonably better - no moving needed (because no one wants to pack and move in the middle of a 15 day trip if they don't have to). Loved my room. Intentionally chose it and would choose it again!