S: PANAMA CANAL CRUISE 2011
FC: PANAMA CANAL CRUISE JANUARY 2011
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!
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.