Monday, February 25, 2013

Panama Canal Cruise

October 27, 2007
It was a great cruise! And the Canal was very interesting, especially going through the locks. Our ship had about two feet from the wall of the lock-no chance of error! There are small locomotives on both sides of the lock which have cables to the ship & keep it steady. We were at sea for two days after leaving Fort Lauderdale. I went to beauty shop on ship & had my hair cut & set. The cost wasn't to bad-$52, but a lot more than I pay here as I get Sr. discount: $15. I went to the library & took some books to our cabin but did not read much. Our cabin was at the opposite end of the ship from the dining room & buffet - which was probably a good thing as we had to walk a lot!! The food was fantastic! One night I had prime rib. the next night, lamb, then lobster & shrimp, and chicken Kiev & the desserts were to die for. The buffet was great also. We usually had lunch at the buffet & everyday at 3:30 there was a Tea which we went to a couple of times. Our dinner was at 8 pm. We had a real nice group at our table. One couple was from Las Vegas, one from Florida & one from Wales. The lady from Wales had her birthday so her husband treated all of us to champagne!

Our first stop was at Aruba — a small island off the coast of Columbia. We did some shopping there but it was so hot & humid that I could hardly wait to get back to the ship. Then we went to Cartagena—also in Columbia, & it was hot there, too, so I did not get off the ship. Then to the Canal where we went through the locks to Gatun Lake. Mary Beth got off the ship & took a tour through the rain forest & got back on the ship at Cristobal. I wanted to go through the locks again so I did not take the tour + the heat was too much for me. At Cristobal the temperature was 87* & the humidity was 97* !!! Then on to Limon, Costa Rica, where we took a tour of country side & banana plantation. That was great. We were at sea the next day till we came to Ocha Rios, Jamaica, where we took a tour on a glass bottom boat. I have never paid so much to be uncomfortable in my life!! The boat was small & the benches we had to sit on were only about 14 inches high so my knees were practically hitting my chin & you had to lean forward to see through the glass AND the glass was leaking!! The crew kept mopping up the water with a sponge!! AND the biggest fish we saw was about 6 inches long & not even colorful. I've seen better minnows in a minnow bucket! Boy, was I glad to get off that boat! Good thing it was only an hour & that was too long.

After Jamaica we were at sea heading for Florida. We were north of Cuba when a passenger spotted 3 people in the water. Our ship turned around & sent out two rescue boats & they searched for three hrs. but did not find anyone. I saw the small raft on the water but it was falling apart & pieces were floating all around. The Coast Guard was notified & we went on our way. We went to a stage show almost every night. One night we went to a movie-also went to the casino, but had no luck at all. Mary Beth did OK - she came out ahead $40. I was really tired when we got home Sun. eve. I went to bed at 7:30 pm & did not get up until 7 am. But it was all worth it & I am looking forward to next cruise to Alaska!
P. S. I forgot yesterday to tell you that I made use of my swimsuit!! I went to the hot tub almost every day & it was great!! There were lots of heavy weights on the ship so I fit right in! Lots of people with walkers & a couple of motorized chairs & wheelchairs. One guy had a broken leg & he was in a wheelchair. Not too many young people on this cruise & only a few very young children.

Wed. Mary Beth went with me to St. Peter for our old friends get together. I have been friends with Eleanor for 70 yrs & Maxine for 66 yrs. We have changed a lot in those years!!! We have been getting together once a year now for 20 yrs.

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