A Travellerspoint blog

April 2012

PANAMA CANAL TRANSIT

At 6:15am the air was already muggy as we lined up for our turn thru the canal. The Celebrity Infinity was in the lane next to us and the Coral Princess was behind us. We went up to the bow, which they opened for us today as we went thru. The sun was out and it was already very hot. We were told 5 to 6 people a trip visit the infirmary with heat exhaustion. After we got into the first set of locks we headed to breakfast. We watched from our balcony until lunch and then went out back to see the final locks. At one time we had some clouds and wind and it was pretty comfortable. As we went thru the last set of locks, the skyline of Panama City came into view. It is a huge city with very tall skyscrapers. Our mission is accomplished and we are now in the Pacific Ocean!! Tomorrow Costa Rica!!
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The 'mules' that are attached to the ships to help them stay steady.

The 'mules' that are attached to the ships to help them stay steady.

Gates opening for our entry into the canal.

Gates opening for our entry into the canal.

In the locks.

In the locks.

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Leaving first locks entering Gatun Lake

Leaving first locks entering Gatun Lake

Centinial Bridge behind us and we are about to cross the Continental Divide.

Centinial Bridge behind us and we are about to cross the Continental Divide.

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Leaving the canal!

Leaving the canal!

They used this arrow long ago to tell the ships what lane to go thru.

They used this arrow long ago to tell the ships what lane to go thru.

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Panama City

Panama City

Bridge of the Americas

Bridge of the Americas

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Posted by tammyk 09:17 Comments (0)

CARTAGENA, COLUMBIA

Humid, steamy weather greeted us when we arrived in Cartagena this morning. Our ship was the third to arrive so we ended up docking late. Our tour today was Scenes of Cartagena with less shopping. The buses were the mid size variety so the group was not too large. Traffic was really congested, I am guessing because there were 3 ships in port, but there were a lot of regular cars and motorcycles which were more like minibikes to me! The drivers were daredevils! I would look down by the side of the bus and one of the bikes was right beside us. They were so close it was scary! And honking horns was heard the whole time driving!
The drive to the old city was scenic with great commentary from our guide, Kennedy. The narrow cobblestones streets were easy to walk on and fun to see the different buildings. Santo Domingo’s Church & Inquisition Palace were two of the stops we made. The historical museum was very interesting. We found out that they still hang people here! But they don’t use the guillotine anymore, thank goodness! HAHA! As per the name of the tour, we had less shopping. A 20 minute stop was made at Las Bovedas (The Dungeons). The street vendors were very pushy, putting hats on your head, drinks in your hand and sticking cigars out at you! Was a huge put off to most people. On our way back to the ship we made a photo stop at the San Felipe Fortress. The port itself is a working port. Containers stacked all around and nothing right where you disembarked. There was a small shopping area but it was a little bit of a walk and it was very hot and humid. With the passengers on this sailing being of an older age, it was a long hot walk for them. After lunch we left the dining room and saw a man down on the ground. They think he was dehydrated. Very scary. For this entire cruise water is a big must because of the weather.
Tomorrow is the transit of the Panama Canal. We should be arriving anytime after 5am. So looks like it might be an early night. Until tomorrow…..
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San Felipe Fortress

San Felipe Fortress

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La Catherdral Santa Catalina de Alejandria

La Catherdral Santa Catalina de Alejandria

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Santo Domingo';s Catherdral

Santo Domingo';s Catherdral

Santo Domingo's Cathedral

Santo Domingo's Cathedral

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Posted by tammyk 15:44 Comments (0)

EMBARKATION AND 1st DAY AT SEA

After a wild ride in a shuttle van with 10 people and 25 pieces of luggage we finally made it to the ship. Embarkation was very easy in Ft Lauderdale. Our rooms were ready when we boarded and after stowing the carryon bags we headed to the buffet. There were long lines at the restaurant which is not unusual for the first day but it seemed slowed down more but the fact that there is not serve yourself buffet for the first 48 hours. They try to curtail the spread of germs for the first 2 days. Our group has anytime dining so we ate on our own the first night. The show in the main lounge was a highlight of all the entertainment on board for the cruise. There are many good entertainers with varying styles of music and song.
The first day at sea was cloudy and very windy. So my plans to read out by the pool changed to reading in bed! Thunderstorms happened in the afternoon. I made reservation for 2 tables at 5:30p for our group. After a lovely dinner the group headed to the Vista Show Lounge to see a comedian. He was very good. Another day at sea tomorrow and then Cartagena on Saturday.
Seas were pretty rought this evening. People wobbling around the ship!!

Posted by tammyk 18:35 Comments (0)

The Pre Night!!

Made it to our hotel in Ft Lauderdale around 10pm. One couple was with us and the other 6 were already here. We head out in the morning to board the Holland America Westerdam!! Stay tuned!!

Posted by tammyk 21:31 Comments (0)

A new adventure coming up!!

Tues evening we fly out to Miami and stay in Ft Lauderdale to board the Holland America Westerdam for 13 night going thru the Panama Canal on our way to San Diego!!! Stay tuned!!!

Posted by tammyk 21:50 Comments (0)

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