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NWACruiser

Our "Legend"ary Panama Canal Cruise October 2019

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Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

We awoke to a bright sunny morning.  We had to relax a few minutes while watching the three volcanoes smoke as we approached the port.

 

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Approaching the port!

 

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We had planned to go to Antigua today, but cancelled the day before.  It was going to be a long excursion (about 8 hours) and 3 of which would be on a bus.  Today would be a port day.  We took the time to watch the Legend come into the port.

 

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It was amazing the sharp difference in the water in a matter of a foot.

 

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Pelicans are waiting for a handout!

 

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Black sand beaches.

 

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Not sure what this is.

 

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Three volcanos in the backdrop.

 

We had breakfast at the Lido this morning, before we headed down to the port. It was a warm day in Guatemala.  We wandered around the port picking up a few trinkets. 

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After a while we needed to take a break and get something refreshing.

 

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We tried fresh coconut milk for the first time.   It was OK.  It just did not satisfy us.

 

We found the Havana Bar and found a spot in the shade.  We were still full from breakfast, so a cold soda was a good idea.

 

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I should have kept the can.

 

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Nohemi was our server at The Havana Bar

 

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C relaxing by the sea.

 

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It takes many weeks to weave a sweater.

 

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Entertaining people coming into Puerto Quetzal

 

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The port.  It was a nice port for the traffic it sees.

 

After we got back on the ship, we went to the cabin to drop off our stuff.

 

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Another visitor to the cabin.

 

 

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Today turned into a good day to relax on the ship.  The ship was not scheduled to leave until early evening.  Most excursions were 5 hours or longer.  Its enjoyable to have a ship with a small number of passengers on it.

 

For lunch, we had a Guy's burger. 

 

Dinner in the MDR, as usual.  After dinner, there was a rum tasting party in the Fun Shops.  Some of the rums were OK, some were not very good, and one was decent.  We did not buy any.  The show tonight was a Hypnotist.  We were not too interested in it. C was tired and resigned to the cabin.  I headed up to the Mega Deck Party on the Lido. 

 

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Erick working off the buffet!

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Happy Birthday Nicky.  #30

 

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Nicky kicking high!

 

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Jen and the Fun Squad leading the party.

 

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Beautiful night for a party on the Lido deck

 

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HOO!

 

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HAH!

 

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During the party, they had a Hula Hoop contest.  It was a little different.  We all joined hands and had to pass a hula hoop from one person to another  without letting go of the people next to us.  I joined in the contest.  It was a bit of a challenge, but I was surviving round after round.  It came down to three of us.  The quarter final ended with me still alive.  It was just two of us.  We faced off the final round and…  I WON!  I received a Ship-on-a-Stick, a medal, and a bottle of champagne!  C was surprised when I returned with my loot!  (We had it at dinner the next night.)

 

I found out that evening there were some issues with the excursions.  Apparently, there were bridges out, and the one and a half hour drive to Antigua took three hours each way.  The time in Antigua was short and rushed. 

 

I also found out one of the tour buses broke down and they had to bring another bus to get the passengers back to the ship.  It may have been critical to wait for this bus, since Jen the CD was on it!

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Edited by NWACruiser

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Uhhhhhh......are all those numbers supposed to be pictures? If not, I'm totally confused. :classic_unsure:

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12 minutes ago, Joe817 said:

Uhhhhhh......are all those numbers supposed to be pictures? If not, I'm totally confused. :classic_unsure:

They are

 

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I do wish they would allow us to edit the HTML on the page like we used to be able to do.  Its so much easier to make a good page, if you have any skill.

 

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Sea Day #4

Today was another beautiful day at sea.  The sky was clear and the seas were calm.  We were on the way to Costa Rica and it was going to be a smooth trip before we arrive tomorrow morning. 

 

We were a little late rising up this morning.  We headed to the Lido for breakfast.  Jenniffer was there to prepare our usual eggs.  After the morning fare, we did a few things we normally don't do when cruising.

 

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We ad another visitor in the cabin.

 

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I did the Classic Rock trivia contest.  I did OK.  What they call Classic Rock is not quite what I call it.  My idea is the music of the 60's and 70's.  This was mostly 80's "Hair Bands".  Metallica, Guns'n'Roses, Def Leppard, etc.  They had some from the 70's. 

 

We went to Karaoke today.  We have never done it before.  By this, I mean we have never planned to spend time listening to other people try to sing.  But we were game.  There were some very good singers, and some… well.. I give them an A for trying. 

 

I tried Karaoke on a ship once. Right after I started, everyone hot their Muster Stations thinking there was an emergency.  I promised the Captain I would never sing on a ship again.  (Not a true story.  I am terrible at singing though.)

 

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This guy had one of the best voices.

 

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They gave it their best shot!

 

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It was dance time in the dining room tonight.

 

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After dinner, we hit the comedy club.  We avoided the front row seats.  Its more fun to see other people being heckled than us.

 

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The first comedian was R. T. Steckel.  He was funny. 

 

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After the first comedian, we headed to the Special Production Show.  This show was designed by the cast.  They had just finished another Journeys cruise.  The long cruise meant a lot of days where they were not performing.  They came up with the idea that our cruise would have one extra show.  They did the choreography and rehearsals to give us the show.  They gave us the best show of the cruise tonight.

 

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Andrea, with her 60's glasses, chatting with the passengers before the show.

 

Each member of the cast picked out their favorite part of one of the shows, and they put this together.

 

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Jen and Reiss (hidden)

 

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Jen and Reiss

 

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Kayla

 

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Reiss and Andrea

 

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Kimberley and Jordan

 

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Jackie and Jen

 

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Jacob

 

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Kayla looking for a passenger.

 

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She has a victim

 

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Surprise dip.

 

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Reiss

 

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Jacob the mime.

 

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Each cast member took a spot somewhere in the theater for this part of the show.

 

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Then they came up onto the stage to finish.

 

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After the show, we headed back to the comedy club to see Quinn Dahle.  We retired to the after the comedy club show. 

 

Edited by NWACruiser

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Puntarenas, Costa Rica

We awoke to another sunny morning.  We were nearing Costa Rica.  J and I were going on the Crocodile and Train tour.  We were on a later tour which gave us time to ease into the day.  C and I watched the arrival to the port before we went to the Lido for breakfast.

 

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It was a long pier.  C and I walked to the port to pick up our trinkets.

 

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Then it was a long walk back to the ship.  

 

The pier was built to allow buses to come out to the ship to pick up passengers for excursions.  J and I did not have to make the long walk to the port to meet our tour bus.  The bus took us quite a way south from Puntarenas to the Tarcoles River.  The drive was beautiful to say the least.  Jonathan talked about the area as we went to the river.

 

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We passed over the river, and turned toward the coast to get to the tour.  Jose's Crocodile Tour did a good job of showing us crocodiles. 

 

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We were loaded into river boats and then went up river.  Jonathan pointed out the animals and named the birds we saw.

 

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Jonathan was our guide for the day.

 

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The Tarcoles River

 

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Little Blue Heron

 

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Great Egret

 

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Little Blue Heron

 

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An iguana relaxing on the shore.

 

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Would you like to meet him in a river?

 

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Damn, another river tour and they never feed us.

 

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Bear Throated Tiger Heron

 

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Flying heron.

 

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Brahma Cattle

 

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Snowy Egret

 

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Oh please, let the boat sink so I can have lunch…

 

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Black Necked Stilt

 

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I am a nice crocodile.  Come and play with me.

 

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Costa Rica countryside.

 

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I don't know why they call me Osama

 

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I don't think I would be doing this…

 

After the river tour, we had 30 minutes to relax at the tour before we were to go to the next part of the excursion.  They served guava juice, fresh bananas, and pineapples.  I have to say this.  I HAVE NEVER EATEN A BANANA OR PINEAPPLE THAT WAS SO DELICIOUS BEFORE.  The bananas were firm and sweet.  The pineapple was unbelievably good.  After getting back home, bananas are just not the same.

 

We loaded back on the bus for a 40 minute drive to the train tour of the old plantations.  This part of the tour was disappointing to say the least.

 

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The train was old and beautiful. 

 

The plantations were nothing but squatters living in shacks.  The government owns the land, but cannot remove squatters from it.  Therefore, it gave us a view of the have-not world.  I think this part of the tour could have been cut out, and  leet us spend more time on the river.  I would have liked to have gone to the coast.

 

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The people seemed to be happy.  Everyone waved at us as we went by.  They all seem like they were fine. 

 

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Remnants of the plantations still exist.

 

Once we were done with the trip, we had a forty minute ride back to the pier. 

 

Costa Rica has a pretty good highway system.  Most of the roads we went on were toll roads though.  After we arrived at the pier, the bus took us part of the way up the pier.  We still had a bit to walk to get to the ship.

 

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The HAL Amsterdam was also in port.

 

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C enjoying the view from our balcony.

 

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Our nightly visitor.

 

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It was getting close to sunset.

 

We had dinner in the MDR again.  After dinner, we went to the comedy club to see RT and Daran again.  They were very funny.  The club was standing room only.  We found a couple chairs and set them in the back.  After the shows, C called it a night I headed to the Red Frog Pub to watch Hot Shots! Play.

Edited by NWACruiser

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Sea Day #5

During the night we lost an hour due to ship time changing from Pacific time to Rocky Mountain time. 

 

It was another wonderful day at sea. We headed to the MDR for breakfast this morning.

 

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Another visitor to the cabin.

 

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The seas were a little rough this morning.

 

Today was another relaxing sea day.  It was going to be an adventurous evening though. 

 

When I was young, we used to play the game Clue.  I saw the Fun Squad was going to do the clue game, I had to play. 

 

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Jen was the Captain.  A murder has occurred on the ship.  We had to find the clues to solve the crime.  The game will go on over several days.

 

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Mrs. Scarlet and the rope?

 

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Mr. Green had the candlestick

 

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Professor Plum had the wrench

 

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Colonel Mustard with the revolver.

 

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Mrs. White with the lead pipe.

 

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Miss Scarlet with the dagger.

 

What I failed to do was write down all of the rooms on the ship and where each suspect was at the time of the murder.  This was a mistake I will not make the next time. 

 

While we were looking at the photos taken on the ship, I watched the Disco Lessons going on in the Atrium.  They were practicing The Hustle.  I was practicing the dance steps for a reason.  I will explain later.

 

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Tonight was a formal night in the MDR.  J and J were ready for dinner.

 

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Rocky serving bread to J.

 

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Pracha was serving water.

 

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Sandy serving shots.

 

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Emma photographed someone taking her photo.

 

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Maria is another photographer.

 

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Dancing time!

 

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She sat at the table next to us.

 

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Minguel after the dance was over.

 

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What a group!

 

After dinner, we changed into a little more comfortable clothes before heading to the comedy club to see Daran.  He was funny as always.  The comedy club was so packed, we were lucky to get a seat. 

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After the show, we headed to the Follies Theater for the VIP! Show. 

 

When we were on the Legend In Alaska, I was late getting to the theater and got into a line to get in.  It was not moving.  I asked what the line was for.  It was for volunteers to be a part of the show.  I (in a little of an inebriated state) volunteered to be in the show.  I was part of the show that did The Hustle.  After that night, its been a common thing to do that part.  Tonight was the night!

 

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C and I waiting for the show to begin.

 

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My future partner.  Little did she know.  (I asked to have Andrea as my partner when I signed up.)

 

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Disco was the night!

 

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It would be Kayla's last show on this cruise.

 

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Do The Hustle.

 

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Andrea calling me to the center of the stage!

 

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Andrea was not expecting the steps I lead her on, but she followed well.

 

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She was a trooper to keep this old man with two left feet in step.

 

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The guys took the stage.

 

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Magic Mike time

 

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The police arrive

 

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Trying to escape

 

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Its time for YMCA!

 

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After the show, we were a little energized.  We went to the Red Frog Pub to listen to the band play.  It was packed.  We headed up to the Lido deck for a snack.  The Seafood Shack was open.  I had the shrimp, and C had the clams.  We were not hungry enough to eat the entire meal, so we ate part and took the rest to J and J.  The shrimp was delicious.  The clams were also good.  I am not a clam person, but they were fine.  C loved them.

 

Tomorrow was the main reason for the cruise.  It was Panama Canal crossing day.  We were going to have to get up early.

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4 hours ago, NCTribeFan said:

Would love to see Guatemala!

I would like to go back there and see Antigua. My Guatemalan friend says it is a wonderful place to see.  He grew up not too far from Guatemala City.  He still goes back there on occasion.

 

There are issues with cartels in Guatemala.  The cities are safe as any city.  Travelling between can be a bit of a risk.  

 

Also, be careful of the water.  My friend even has a little trouble when he goes back.  

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Panama Canal Transit

Today is the day!  We set the alarm to be up before sunrise. 

 

During the night, we cruised the furthest south we have ever been as we passed the south end of Panama.  We were approximately 7° North of the equator.  We then went nearly due north to the canal.  This gave us an unusual event in the Americas:

 

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Sunrise over the Pacific Ocean.

 

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Many ships waiting to enter the canal.

 

I was not sure where the best place to photograph  the transit would be.  My first guess would be the deck above the bridge.  It does not have a wind break to look through.  After showering and getting ready, I headed there to get a seat.  My mistake.  People had camped there since as early as 3:00 AM.

 

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Looking at the mouth of the Chagres River.

 

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Panama City skyline.  The building with the arched roof was the former Trump Towers.

 

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Flamenco Island

 

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Isla Naos

 

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F&F Tower is the spiral shaped tower.

 

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Bridge of the Americas.  The Pan-American highway crosses the canal here.

 

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The Biomuseo.  It was designed by Frank Gehry. 

 

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Getting ready to pass under the Bridge of the Americas.

 

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Under the bridge.

 

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Super Panamax ship entering the new locks.

 

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Entering the Miraflores locks.

 

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The canal does not use any pumps to raise and lower the water.  Lake Gatun supplies all the water and hydraulics.  As a ship enters the lock, the mules control the ship throughout the lock.  If the ship is to be raised up, then water from the next lock up is drained into the lower lock until they are level.  If the ship is to be lowered, then the water is drained into the next lock until they are level.  The process is repeated for each lock, until the ship reaches lake level or sea level.

 

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Cecelia and Rocío, two members of the Emerald Trio, enjoying the transit.

 

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A mule pulling the tanker through the lock.

 

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Puente Centenario bridge

 

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Had to get today's clue

 

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CMA Com Tanya has passed through the new locks.

 

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Free of the first two of three locks.

 

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Entering the Pedro Miguel locks.  The lock will raise us to lake level.

 

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C waving from our cabin's balcony

 

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T taking pictures as we entered the lock.

 

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It is a tight fit to pass through a lock.

 

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So close you can touch the canal wall.  Unfortunately, due to someone climbing up onto the rail to touch the canal, the decks were cleared of passengers.

 

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IMG_6015.thumb.jpg.c2ea53953fba184e6c7d5f8896377408.jpg

 

After closing the canal level deck, I headed up to the Lido deck to get pictures.

 

IMG_6016.thumb.jpg.bed12e0398d3c5afb5c6f67e0452a5fc.jpg

While passing through the Lido Buffet, I ran into Pracha and her buddy, Sarintorn.

 

IMG_6017.thumb.jpg.daadf8263566be697bfe3bca4cadb96a.jpg

 

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In the lock

 

IMG_6019.thumb.jpg.82647fa476a269ea82ca4281c918bfc2.jpg

 

IMG_6020.thumb.jpg.f15721feb245911ddbd100480a2a6de0.jpg

Diamond Party

 

IMG_6021.thumb.jpg.8e75b9e68bb86cbbaec20c0efc0ffcd8.jpg

 

IMG_6018.thumb.jpg.99bb891092f958f9dbe58184b1fea73e.jpg

 

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After leaving the third lock, we were now at the level of Lake Gatun.  It was a good time to take a lunch break.  We headed down to the MDR.  Right after we were seated and our drinks were ordered, we were going to pass under the second bridge.  I stepped out on the deck to take a photo of the bridge.

 

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A couple of the ship's officers were enjoying the transit.

 

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Passing under the Puente Centenario bridge

 

Edited by NWACruiser

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IMG_6029.thumb.jpg.472c0b71bbab9915ae3902ef81729dde.jpg

Sailing the Chagres River NW toward Lake Gatun.

 

IMG_6030.thumb.jpg.8c5935b59eaedda27e7ec3b9581f20dc.jpg

Holland America's Zaandam approaching us in the river.

 

IMG_6031.thumb.jpg.6f935c23bf1add21054fc4f5c95545df.jpg

 

IMG_6033.thumb.jpg.8703ba870e323cfd7749b777949abe4a.jpg

 

IMG_6034.thumb.jpg.df5a6e8215d989ef18f5dba90bb89451.jpg

 

IMG_6036.thumb.jpg.fbca18376d70201ba0fbd0cca5ef4078.jpg

 

IMG_6037.thumb.jpg.a88c7a1d9d4fd7e4ea2a45ef0951cd64.jpg

 

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IMG_6039.thumb.jpg.09bda66052d2e6aebe154649344b49a4.jpg

BW Messina tanker passing us.

 

IMG_6040.thumb.jpg.0f92ed238fc1b9a89063d53f82d79e13.jpg

 

IMG_6041.thumb.jpg.20ff743f9aa700107a24f40aaf88eefa.jpg

 

IMG_6043.thumb.jpg.cb343f08969e27685934c4ff199d98dc.jpg

Looking back as we enter the lake.

 

IMG_6044.thumb.jpg.fdc3c4381f5ddd4f285ffb4ebe073251.jpg

 

IMG_6045.thumb.jpg.be36e08f992a13c5d7db0430773c9b35.jpg

C relaxing in a clamshell.

 

IMG_6048.thumb.jpg.99fbf7148482d55dbb5d49824e197b54.jpg

Lake Gatun, and its tributaries, are the sole supply of water for the canal.  Fortunately, the area is a rain forest.  The annual rain more than adequately supplies enough water for the canal to operate. 

 

It takes about eight to ten hours to pass through the canal. To make the transit around South America, you would sail approximately 24 days.  The canal was a great time saver.  The cost of shipping through the canal is expensive.  If you consider the cost of shipping 24 more days, its really cheap. 

 

The cost for the Legend is based upon the number of berths at $138/berth if the ratio of gross tonnage/berth is less than 33.  The Legend carries 2124 passengers and 961 crew members.  The ship's volume is 88,000 tons.  The ratio is 28.5 ton/passenger.  The fare was $425,730 to pass through. 

 

The canal travels Southeast from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean.  Lake Gatun is 85 feet above sea level.  The canal is 51 miles long.  The locks are 110 foot wide. 

 

IMG_6049.thumb.jpg.8bf7e7b8f31c4fcc141c55b356762a37.jpg

 

IMG_6050.thumb.jpg.6d2d510865160b1670bb91f8cbc11cf7.jpg

 

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Approaching Gatun Locks.  These three locks will drop us to the level of the Caribbean Sea.

 

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Puente Atlántico bridge in the background.

 

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Our buddy ship approaching the locks.

 

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Many of the passengers kept their spots the entire day.

 

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IMG_6081.thumb.jpg.fc283835329b786a77d02f2aea8a90cb.jpg

The lock is almost closed.

 

IMG_6086.thumb.jpg.88c5a16de9305afde1888509bfd47fd5.jpg

Dropping down to the sea.

 

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Heading out of the Panama Canal

 

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Just hanging around

 

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Welcome to the Caribbean Sea!

 

It was time for dinner and we headed to the MDR.  After dinner, there was a hypnotist show in the theater.  We declined.  I headed to the Red Frog Pub to listen to music for a while before retiring.  Tomorrow was going to be an early morning as we were going to arrive in Cartagena, Colombia.

Edited by NWACruiser

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We did a partial transit of the canal two years ago, it is truly a marvel to see! Out of 28 cruises, definitely my favorite! We were on Miracle, had a balcony room on Deck 4, great view! Enjoyed seeing all the crew on deck 3 enjoying it and taking pictures same as us.

 

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18 hours ago, NWACruiser said:

IMG_6029.thumb.jpg.472c0b71bbab9915ae3902ef81729dde.jpg

Sailing the Chagres River NW toward Lake Gatun.

 

IMG_6030.thumb.jpg.8c5935b59eaedda27e7ec3b9581f20dc.jpg

Holland America's Zaandam approaching us in the river.

 

IMG_6031.thumb.jpg.6f935c23bf1add21054fc4f5c95545df.jpg

 

IMG_6033.thumb.jpg.8703ba870e323cfd7749b777949abe4a.jpg

 

IMG_6034.thumb.jpg.df5a6e8215d989ef18f5dba90bb89451.jpg

 

IMG_6036.thumb.jpg.fbca18376d70201ba0fbd0cca5ef4078.jpg

 

IMG_6037.thumb.jpg.a88c7a1d9d4fd7e4ea2a45ef0951cd64.jpg

 

IMG_6038.thumb.jpg.bff98e85071c9a2fbb798a5caba9c18c.jpg

 

IMG_6039.thumb.jpg.09bda66052d2e6aebe154649344b49a4.jpg

BW Messina tanker passing us.

 

IMG_6040.thumb.jpg.0f92ed238fc1b9a89063d53f82d79e13.jpg

 

IMG_6041.thumb.jpg.20ff743f9aa700107a24f40aaf88eefa.jpg

 

IMG_6043.thumb.jpg.cb343f08969e27685934c4ff199d98dc.jpg

Looking back as we enter the lake.

 

IMG_6044.thumb.jpg.fdc3c4381f5ddd4f285ffb4ebe073251.jpg

 

IMG_6045.thumb.jpg.be36e08f992a13c5d7db0430773c9b35.jpg

C relaxing in a clamshell.

 

IMG_6048.thumb.jpg.99fbf7148482d55dbb5d49824e197b54.jpg

Lake Gatun, and its tributaries, are the sole supply of water for the canal.  Fortunately, the area is a rain forest.  The annual rain more than adequately supplies enough water for the canal to operate. 

 

It takes about eight to ten hours to pass through the canal. To make the transit around South America, you would sail approximately 24 days.  The canal was a great time saver.  The cost of shipping through the canal is expensive.  If you consider the cost of shipping 24 more days, its really cheap. 

 

The cost for the Legend is based upon the number of berths at $138/berth if the ratio of gross tonnage/berth is less than 33.  The Legend carries 2124 passengers and 961 crew members.  The ship's volume is 88,000 tons.  The ratio is 28.5 ton/passenger.  The fare was $425,730 to pass through. 

 

The canal travels Southeast from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean.  Lake Gatun is 85 feet above sea level.  The canal is 51 miles long.  The locks are 110 foot wide. 

 

IMG_6049.thumb.jpg.8bf7e7b8f31c4fcc141c55b356762a37.jpg

 

IMG_6050.thumb.jpg.6d2d510865160b1670bb91f8cbc11cf7.jpg

 

IMG_6051.thumb.jpg.cc22a38eb0cf2755d5bebd286b814ff4.jpg

 

IMG_6052.thumb.jpg.435be7e74ff8cf33114f18b3a7616eea.jpg

 

IMG_6053.thumb.jpg.35fd4f84b3b3e1e0f92ba0e3e986147f.jpg

 

IMG_6054.thumb.jpg.7762d60239477afadff8f6d16333195d.jpg

 

IMG_6055.thumb.jpg.10afa031dba8a30bd539dff5ed8dc7aa.jpg

Approaching Gatun Locks.  These three locks will drop us to the level of the Caribbean Sea.

 

IMG_6056.thumb.jpg.8cadf407d72d5075a82782cd13b798e9.jpg

Puente Atlántico bridge in the background.

 

IMG_6058.thumb.jpg.8652c165127d65cac5a03b982b1e66b8.jpg

Our buddy ship approaching the locks.

 

IMG_6060.thumb.jpg.d7a3e6b462f97f04543d122a3d5ce527.jpg

 

IMG_6061.thumb.jpg.739023cdee74438d4580578c244fc848.jpg

 

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IMG_6063.thumb.jpg.f2a2cea0beb60496b278357acf13c28e.jpg

 

IMG_6064.thumb.jpg.ae35752390e565755db4aa4e79b7168a.jpg

 

IMG_6068.thumb.jpg.884ff3957d2d9c2a4849f547175f5493.jpg

 

IMG_6069.thumb.jpg.9faacfcf5fa642b57e3e2c69aa6cc1ac.jpg

 

IMG_6070.thumb.jpg.935f04bacf33507c297028fbe9959435.jpg

 

IMG_6071.thumb.jpg.9d5e620daef9b657b00f354627b4236d.jpg

 

IMG_6072.thumb.jpg.5cfd63213396aac26a14e6e65cb81066.jpg

Many of the passengers kept their spots the entire day.

 

IMG_6073.thumb.jpg.03ee852f15043620852a31f8cd8d8bd7.jpg

 

IMG_6078.thumb.jpg.e3664cf0aa43bf4e7b87715121db032c.jpg

 

IMG_6079.thumb.jpg.0dedbf7957cb4687a32712dbb4dd0128.jpg

 

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IMG_6081.thumb.jpg.fc283835329b786a77d02f2aea8a90cb.jpg

The lock is almost closed.

 

IMG_6086.thumb.jpg.88c5a16de9305afde1888509bfd47fd5.jpg

Dropping down to the sea.

 

IMG_6088.thumb.jpg.19250d6a110fb7a2ffa137224f4242c4.jpg

 

IMG_6092.thumb.jpg.608aacb41004417727b8471fb2594367.jpg

Heading out of the Panama Canal

 

IMG_6093.thumb.jpg.3bbbf80681b58f624309df5f56650eab.jpg

Just hanging around

 

IMG_6331.thumb.jpg.79a01f18c06c0e60309a11885c47200e.jpg

Welcome to the Caribbean Sea!

 

It was time for dinner and we headed to the MDR.  After dinner, there was a hypnotist show in the theater.  We declined.  I headed to the Red Frog Pub to listen to music for a while before retiring.  Tomorrow was going to be an early morning as we were going to arrive in Cartagena, Colombia.

 

We were on the same cruise as you but did not take as many detailed photos as you did!!  We don't typically do all of the activities that you and your wife do, so it is really neat to see what other passengers do on the ship😍 Really enjoying your review about each ports/each activities and each day!! Thanks so much for sharing!👍

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Cartagena, Colombia

Today is the first day of our Caribbean cruise!  The first thing I noticed about being in the Caribbean is the increase in HUMIDITY.  It really was not any hotter, but it was definitely more humid.  We were able to sleep in a little longer than yesterday.  I wanted to get up to watch the entrance into Cartagena. 

 

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We entered the city coming around the south end of Tierra Bomba Island turning north toward Cartagena. 

 

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Castillogrande

 

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Entering Cartagena

 

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This was interesting.

 

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Low flying pelicans

 

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The Silver Explorer was in port with us.

 

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Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa

 

We did not have any real plans for Cartagena.  I wanted to see the city, but we never saw a tour that fit our needs.  We were going to ad-lib the day.

 

After docking, we grabbed a light breakfast, before heading ashore.  We were going to purchase a few trinkets in port and then see about getting a cab to take us to the Walled City.  We were in for a surprise today.

 

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Dancers were outside the shops.

 

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We came across flamingos…

 

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peacocks…

 

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ducks…

 

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Iguanas…

 

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And many more birds…

 

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An anteater…

 

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IMG_6172.thumb.jpg.b9081408a9b2389de898b84c50ee7e30.jpg

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IMG_6174.thumb.jpg.0b6da7100ae8d95214e90c60471447db.jpg

We found the taxi stand and headed toward it.  There were tour guides waiting there to hawk passengers that wanted a tour. 

 

IMG_6173.thumb.jpg.162c61492f4e78f3b2b7108ce861693e.jpg

C went up to one.  It was $20 per person for the tour of the city.  They would put ten to twelve people in the cab.  We talked to her and negotiated a private tour for the four of us for $200.  She agreed to the price.  We were in for a treat!

 

After I headed back to the ship to pick up the fare, we headed out on the tour.

 

Karmen was our guide and David drove the bus.  The tour took us through the city on the way to the convent on the top of the hill.  During the ride, Karmen told us all about her city and answered questions we had.

 

We made it to the top of the hill and the convent.  There were hawkers out trying to sell their wares.  All we had to do was say "No". 

 

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This guy let us take his photo.  Before I knew it, it was 5000 pesos.  I was fine with that.  That was about $3.00

 

IMG_6177.thumb.jpg.65238258f5ef3c8234b743c690cf6f9d.jpg

He took our photo, too.

 

We went into the convent.    It was well worth it.

 

IMG_6184.thumb.jpg.eb56601f7c65588632148b80ad07ceb1.jpg

View of the harbor from the convent.

 

IMG_6185.thumb.jpg.599b795673b94d3d0112cc68f2e98a61.jpg

 

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Karmen and C with Castillogrande in the background.

 

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Inside the convent.

 

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The chapel

 

IMG_6192.thumb.jpg.1a2b7895a035a1c05931d6c406c419ca.jpg

 

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Ciénaga de Tesca

 

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View of Institución Educativa Loma del Peyé - Fundación Pies Descalzos de Shakira from the convent.

 

IMG_6197.thumb.jpg.25456e4a49eedc96c822da22638a5a2e.jpg

 

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Next stop on the tour was Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas.  Karmen and I walked around the fort while the others waited in the bus. 

 

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The statue of Blas de Lezo, hero of the defense of Cartagena in 1741.  He has one eye, hand and leg.

 

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Karmen having fun.  She was a great tour guide.

 

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The colors of the Colombian flag.  Yellow symbolizes sovereignty and justice, blue as loyalty and vigilance, and red represents the valor shown and the victory achieved during the battles for independence from Spain.

 

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Last view of the fort.

 

The next stop on the tour was the Emerald Museum.  It was located inside the Caribe Jewelry store.

 

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Jessica was a good guide through the museum.  She took her time to explain stuff and answer questions

 

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Miner looking for emeralds.

 

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After the emerald museum, we went to a marketplace to shop for a few minutes.

 

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Onward to the Walled City. 

 

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Our tour bus.

 

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Karmen posing at Simon Bolivar's home

 

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Cartagena Cathedral.

 

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Sir Francis Drake's house.

 

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Santa Catalina Cathedral (White building on the left)

 

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Sun Dial

 

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Plaza De La Proclamación

 

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Símon Bolivar Plaza

 

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Símon Bolivar

A horse with one leg up means the rider died of wounds from a battle

A horse with two legs up means the rider died during battle.

 

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Miss Colombia tribute

 

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Plaza De La Aduana

 

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La Heroica De Cartagena Christopher Columbus

 

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On top of the wall around the city.

 

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On top of the wall.

 

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And the tour is now over. 

 

David drove us back to the port. During the ride back, Karmen answered any questions we had about the tour.  We gave her a bonus for such a personalized tour.  After saying our goodbyes and getting her contact information, we headed back to the shop to look around.

 

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The Carnival Legend

 

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A visitor awaits.

 

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A tour bus returns

 

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An interesting note about the defense of Cartagena.  The Carnival Legend headed out of the port we headed South to go around Tierra Bomba Island.  After going around the island, we headed northeast toward Santa Marta.  The ship cannot negotiate the water between Castillogrande and Tierra Bomba Island.  The seas were filled in with rocks to a level just below the surface.  This prevented enemy ships from passing between the island and the mainland.

 

We had a great time on the tour.  It exceeded our expectations.  I don't think we could have received the personalized tour we received from Karmen, if we were on a bus with six to eight other passengers. 

 

After another fine meal in the MDR, we went to the comedy club to see Arvin Mitchell.  The club was standing room only when we got there.  After a few minutes, we decided to leave the club.  The variety show was The Edge.  He is a juggler.  We saw him when we were on the Sunshine.  We passed on the show.

 

I listened to Musical Nomads in the Red Frog Pub for a while.  It had been a long day, and we had another port tomorrow, so I retired for the evening.

 

 

 

Edited by NWACruiser

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Santa Marta, Colombia

Today is our second day in a row visiting Colombia, a country we have never been to.  Yesterday's city tour was neat and everything, but today was going to be a busy day. The evening had two major activities to take in.  A relaxing day at the beach sounds like a plan.

 

We had a fairly early meeting time for the tour.  We got up and watched the Legend enter the port.  The port was definitely an industrial port and not configured for tourism.  We grabbed a snack on the Lido before meeting for the beach tour.

 

The tour took us from the north end of Santa Marta to the south side of the city.  We went to Zuana Beach Resort  for the day.  C was tired and I was not exactly energetic.  Eduardo was our guide and he gave us a quick tour of the city as we headed to the resort.  He was also going to be our interpreter for the day.

 

We arrived at the resort and found a place to sit in the shade.  We were only eleven degrees north of the equator.  The sun was quite high in the sky.

 

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Sitting in a lounge chair taking in the sights.  Part of the time, I watched the back of my eyelids.

 

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Time for a dip!

 

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Very mountainous terrain.

 

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The resort in the background.

 

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The water was nice.

 

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One of several bars available for your pleasure.

 

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Our shade tree

 

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Eduardo

 

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It was time for lunch.  We headed over to the buffet set up for the day cruisers.

 

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They had an auditorium available to sit in while we ate.  After lunch, we decided to check out the pool.

 

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They had a nice pool area.

 

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There was a short slide into the pool.

 

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New trainees, I presume.

 

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C took a dip.

 

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Yeah, that is me entering the water.

 

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After a few hours in the pool, we had to gather up our stuff to get ready to head back to the Liberty.

 

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Tanker working its way into the port.

 

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Santa Marta is very beautiful.

 

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Very high mountains nearby.

 

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Passengers returning to the ship.

 

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Tour buses getting ready to leave

 

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The area is normally very arid. We caught Santa Marta at a great time.  Everything was green from recent rains.

 

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Taking a dip in the pool.

 

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Very dry island.

 

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Rain coming.

 

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Santa Marta

 

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The beach is a little lacking here.

 

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Looking south.

 

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Isla del Morro

 

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Rain was coming in.

 

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There was an issue with the Green Monster slide.

 

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The lighting was perfect

 

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Serenity deck on the Legend

 

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Waiting for sunset.

 

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Old motel.  It has seen its best days

 

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Leaving Colombia

 

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Pilot leaving the ship.

 

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Pilot waving goodbye to the captain.

 

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Almost back in the sea.

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Tonight is the Playlist show 'The Brits'.  The show is a good one.  We headed back to the MDR for dinner and dancing.  After dinner, C and I relaxed a bit in the cabin before C retired for the night.    I headed down to the show.

 

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Chelsea, Steph, and Jen

 

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Jen introducing the show.

 

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Let the show begin.

 

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Jen stepped into the lead role when Kayla had to leave the ship for a wedding.  (It was not hers)

 

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Reiss was the lead male.

 

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After the show was over, the Lido party of the trip was about to begin.  It was the 80's Rock'n'Glow Party.  Cruises in October also celebrated Halloween.  People were going to be dressed up tonight.  I went to check on C.  She was out like a light. 

 

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Erick is ready to party!

 

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Oscar getting pumped up!

 

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Cristine as Mario

 

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Oscar  and son

 

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Gerry

 

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Smile Chelsea

 

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Nice shoes

 

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The Hot Shots! Closed the Lido tonight.

 

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There was a lot of dancing, and celebrating tonight.  I was having a very good time tonight.  When I got back to the cabin, C was still out.  She did wake up long enough to ask about the party.  It was time to call it a night.  Tomorrow was another sea day.

 

Edited by NWACruiser

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Loving your review and pictures.  This cruise is definitely on my bucket list!

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Sea Day #6

We awoke to another beautiful day in the Caribbean.  It was a little cloudy.  My voice this morning was not good.  It was going out.  

 

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The seas were smooth and it was another relaxing day. 

 

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We headed to the Lido for breakfast.  Jenniffer fixed our eggs very well as usual. 

 

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We ran into one of our MDR crew.

 

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We had another visitor waiting for us after breakfast.

 

I missed a major part of the Clue game this morning.  I had figured out, who did it, and with what.  I missed the where.  Today was the day to talk to the suspects and get the final clues.  

 

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Guy's burgers

 

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Blue Iguana

 

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Groove for St. Jude sales were started.  All proceeds went to St. Jude.

 

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Steph selling shirts.

 

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Jen pushing the build-a-bear.

 

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Build-a-Bears

 

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Grooving for St. Jude.

 

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By this point in the day, my voice was completely gone.  I could hardly speak when I placed my donation to the cause.  I headed back to the cabin.  There were two things happening at the same time.  Win-a-cruise Bingo was going on.  C had to go to it.  I had a special event for those that participate in the VIP Studio show.  We would meet the cast and have a chance to ask questions.

 

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Jacob, Kimberley, Jordan, Jackie-Ross, Jennifer, Reiss

 

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Kimberley getting animated

 

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Andrea was a late arrival.  She was working with a passenger for the show on Saturday.

 

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Tonight was the Platinum/Diamond party.  We met in the Follies Theater for hors d'oeuvres and drinks before dinner.  We arrived a little late and had to sit toward the rear of the theater.

 

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The ship's executive officers were introduced.

 

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The passenger with the most days on a ship was introduced.

 

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Youngest Diamond passenger

 

We were planning on dressing up for Halloween.  I was going to be Groucho Marx as a doctor.  C was going to be a waitress.  We had a plate set up for her to serve at dinner.  Unfortunately, we were not able to dress up.  C really needed the rest, despite wanting to do it.

 

Instead, we decided to surprise our MDR staff with the meal.  It turned out to be a hit.

 

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Another fantastic meal in the MDR

 

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Rocky sees the new dish.

 

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Ciprian got a laugh out of it.  He kept coming back to look at it.

 

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Sandy was going to serve shots and rubber chicken

 

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The chicken was a little difficult to cut.

 

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Minguel sees it.

 

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Ciprian just could not get enough of it!

 

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Pracha finally sees it.

 

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She had to get a sample!

 

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Showtime!

 

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Our cabin steward loved it.

 

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After dinner, we were trying to decide what to do.  Consuela Ivy was the entertainment tonight.  We were not feeling like doing a lot.  I wound up at the Red Frog Pub listening to Hot Shots!

 

Edited by NWACruiser

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Grand Cayman

Our cruise was closing in on the end.  Today will be the last port of the trip. My voice was completely gone.  C loved it!

 

We were pulling into Grand Cayman. It looked like another beautiful day.  Knock on wood, but, it seemed like nearly every day had decent weather.  We did not see that much rain, except in the night time. 

 

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The Island Princess was already anchored when we arrived.

 

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We had absolutely nothing planned for the day.  J and J have not been to Grand Cayman.  We have been several times now.  Priority tenders were already going, therefore, we went to the Lido for breakfast. 

 

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We met up with J and J to head to the port.  Tenders were now first-come-first-served.  We caught a tender and headed to Grand Cayman.

 

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The Carnival Legend

 

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The photographers at work.

 

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The Carnival Legend and Island Princess

 

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Police controlled the streets.  He kept everyone in line.

 

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We did not stay too long before heading back to the ship.

 

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Snorkelers

 

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We had a visitor waiting for us.

 

Since we were back on ship early, we decided it would be a good day to start packing.  If we pack up most everything we will not need for the rest of the trip, we could enjoy the activities during the sea day tomorrow.

 

I did the Green Monster slide. You load into the chute.  The operator pushes the button.  At some point, the bottom drops out…. 

 

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The last face I might ever see!!!

 

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Five seconds of an exciting slide later and you appear at the end…

 

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I will live to  see another day!

 

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The view from the top of the Green Monster.

 

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It took several minutes to raise the anchor.

 

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The Island Princess is about to leave.

 

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Oliver entertaining us in the Atrium.

 

We headed to the MDR for dinner as usual.  It was not as entertaining as the night before.  We did not have rubber chickens for dinner.

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