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1: Panama Canal Cruise January 2011

2: We received a briefing that gave us basic information about the areas we would be cruising through and what the locks would be like.

3: Getting ready to set sail. Our home-away-from home: our stateroom.

4: First chore: get to know the ship a bit. Things we learned: 1) Little ropes hold big boats, 2)We're not alone on the ocean, 3) Even the light fixtures are sea-like, 4) Boat Commander 3 will be our escape buddy, and most importantly: 5) Know where you go to eat!

5: Our Dining Companions: Brad & Cindy Sullivan Pauline & Jack Lamar & Evelyn Patrick

6: First Stop: Port Limon We took a Motorcoach Tour that stopped at a DelMonte Banana Plantation. Roberto was our tour guide.

7: Next: we took a train tour and along the way we saw howling monkeys, fruits used for dyes, ocean shore lines, other fruits, colorful homes, and more cruise ships along the coast.

8: COSTA RICA We loved the Canal Cruise. Humorously, we found the Cruise Line's photographer on the same cruise. Hiding in the tree branches: a blue heron

9: and sloths. When we got back to the dock we found two familiar ships - both that we had sailed on before.

10: Gatun Locks

12: Coming out of the Guatan Locks and into the Guatan Lake | National Guard clears the way | Mosque in Canal area | Dredging Ship working on the new locks | Bridge spanning the way to the other locks

13: Heading into the Pedro Miguel Locks

14: Pedro Miguel Locks

16: Miraflores Lock

18: City of Panama

19: Steel Drum Lesson | on board the ship.

20: Bird | Lobster | Bulldog | Elephant | Swan | Gorilla (on the last night) | TOWEL SCULPTURES found each night in the stateroom.

21: Mealtime was always fun. Gede was our waiter. On the last night the wait staff did a special dance with the salad bowls and the napkins!

22: Curacao was beautiful - full of color and incredible plants.

23: Dinah's Botanical Gardens Dinah's son was our guide. The little white flower had a very BIG scent. Another new fruit: bitter orange

24: House from cow dung.... | At left: Maracas being created from the seeds below.

25: Singing to the sick plants that are in the hammock. | Various housing: the yellow one was made of tin! | Cactus

26: From the ship: this is a huge hotel with a beautiful private beach. | Rif Fort

27: The shops were painted vibrant colors!

28: Bloemhof Plantation House: beautiful artwork, beautiful gardens.

29: ONTO ARUBA! Started off in the Aruba National Park. This is a natural bridge over the ocean.

30: For some strange reason tourists started stacking rocks on top of rocks.

31: Very rugged coastlines, but breathtakingly beautiful as well.

32: Aruba Countryside | At left: family cemetery plots are reused by pushing bones to the back of the coffins.

33: Mansion for sale - any takers?

34: Aruba Shops | Below: a Freewind Ship - passengers work for food and lodging.

35: Aruba's airport is RIGHT on the ocean.! | As we leave port - we were the photo opportunity this time. !

36: In between ports we really enjoyed our time on board. Sunshine in January - who could ask for more!

38: Haiti

39: On board entertainment was hosted by cruise director, Gene Young | Self-portrait silliness. | The Island Magic Steel Drum Band was amazing | Jerry got picked to participate with the magic show.

40: Last stop: Half Moon Cay Island. This was a private island for the cruise line. We were ferried from our ship to shore.

41: Look at the varied shades of blue on the ocean.

42: We were greeted with a blast of winter as we got home, complete with cars stranded because of the weather.

43: This trip was a wonderful beginning of celebrating 50 years of journeying through life together. What a blessing! | Our "estate" under a blanket of white.

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  • Title: Blank Canvas
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  • Started: over 7 years ago
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