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Old February 6th, 2004, 04:04 PM
Carol S
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Default Panama Canal cruise

Any info on the Panama Canal cruise? Tours to take, clothes to bring, things to do or NOT do, things to take or NOT take. We are considering the 5/5/04 cruise from Florida to Los Angeles. thanks...
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Old February 13th, 2004, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Panama Canal cruise

It will be HOT HOT HOT wherever you go. And humid. Take several changes of clothing.
There are free laundromats onboard, or you can send them out to be done.

In Grand Cayman, we hired a cab and had lunch at the Cracked Conch. Cabbie came back at the appointed time, took us to Hell, waited while we shopped and took photos.

Three of us got off the ship in San Andres, I stayed behind and did needlepoint. Very third-world. The car broked down three times between the ship and town. Had to get another car. No airconditioning. It belongs to Colombia, but is off the coast of Nicaragua. Lots of Canadian divers.

The best thing was the stop at the Gatun Yacht Club. The three of them went on a helicopter tour of the Canal. Mind you, one of the three was 90, and had the time of her life.

They brought in a troupe of Panamanian child dancers, which were excellent. Many vendors at tables at the Yacht club building, I didn't spend too much time there. Went around the corner where the San Blas Indians were selling their fabrics, and another tribe were selling baskets, woven "platters", and woven masks. Came home with seven baskets, a mat, and a mask. Wish I had gotten their earlier and bought more baskets.

The travel agency we booked thru had a special on the ship, with a private tour and luncheon at a plantation in Costa Rica. We also went into a different port due to the tides. Only 30 mins difference between the two.

We did the cruise of the 7 bays in Huatulco. The company originally scheduled for the cruise backed out, sold the day to the Sun Princess. We were put on another, not fancy, boat. The people did a good job, and we got a letter of apology and 30% refund. It wasn't bad.

The best thing, though, were the lecturers. Guest lecturer on our cruise was Dick Holt,
age about 75. His grandfather helped to design the canal, his dad helped build it,
his mother's family settled in Panama from Spain in the 1500s. Turns out he had dated on of the customers from our store, when they were in high school. He travels/lectures about 300 days a year.

Plus, RSSC has a resident lecturer/anthropologist, Terry Breen. I think she is the only resident lecturer employed by any cruise company. Her area of expertise is South and Central America.She was on our cruise, gave lectures on South American history and culture. Absolutely fantastic!

I would book the cruise again just to hear her again, and to go back and get more baskets.

Go, enjoy, and think of me, waiting for my next cruise on the Navigator on May 26.
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