2020-01-15 Cruise to Panama Canal

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I traveled with Seniors On the Go Tours group to the Panama Canal on the Holland America cruise ship Eurodam. It was for 11 days and we joined other groups from the Georgia area to have a total of 44 people. I had to get up at 2AM on the morning of the flight because the airplane from Atlanta left at 8:05AM. I drove from my house to a large church parking lot in Lawrenceville to meet with others from the "Cathy group". We had a scheduled ride to the airport and left our vehicles in the parking lot. Thanks to text messages, the driver of the shuttle service found us in the back of the parking lot and drove us to the lower-level of the boarding area of the airport. Our trip-leaders were at the baggage check-in area to help us check-in. Next, we followed each other through TSA security and then on the underground train to the concourse with our flight gate. We had to allow plenty-of-time for our flight and had a while to sit-and-wait for the flight. Both the flight to-and-from the cruise was smooth.

Once we arrived at Ft. Lauderdale, we got our luggage and boarded a bus to the cruise terminal. At the terminal, gate-agents took our picture and gave us information about our cabin. They printed a "cruise-credit-card" for us that was used for any purchases on the ship and for boarding. Also, each time we left the ship in a port, we had to have our card scanned. I had eaten the remainder of the food in my refrigerator in the early morning, anticipating a lot of travel and the desire to NOT buy any food at the airport. (It is expensive. One person in the group reported paying almost $10 for an egg muffin.) After finding and inspecting our cabin (which already contained our luggage), we explored the ship and went to the Lido-FoodMarket Deck. We enjoyed our first meal and planned our next adventure on the ship. The ship left the port about 5PM. The group had scheduled to be in the dining area at 5:30 each evening. Our trip leader had told us that we could meet-and-chat in the Ocean Bar lounge about 4PM. The dining room dress code required no jeans or shorts. There were 2 'gala' or more-formal-attire-requested nights. I had packed long pants in navy blue, black and dark beige. In addition, I packed several solid-color tunic tops that were interchangable with the pants for the dinner. Each evening around 4PM, I would return to the cabin for a change of clothes and meet the group in the bar. My roommate was much better than I was at remembering names of others in the group. She introduced me to the people that she knew, and I introduced her to the people that I knew. Before the voyage, we had decided that we would enjoy an inside cabin as we would only sleep, shower, and change clothes there. After the nightly dinner, my roommate would retire to the room and I would attend the main-stage show. (I missed the show the final night because it was scheduled later than normal and we had to pack our bags to depart the next day.) Our tour-director told us to reserve one nightly meal in the "Pinnacle Restaurant" which is a little more upscale than the main dining and was included in our trip. We ate with 3 others from the group one night. My roommate and I had further decided to forego excursions on the cruise - we would go into a port when we stopped and walk around. We enjoyed the great weather during our trip and the lush tropical forest and animals. Typical temperature there was very pleasant, around the low 70-degreesF. In Atlanta, of course, the night temperature is around freezing and the day is mid-50-degreesF.

  • 2020-01-16 8AM - Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (leave at 3PM)
  • 2020-01-17 Sea Day
  • 2020-01-18 1PM - Oranjestad, Aruba (leave at 11PM)
  • 2020-01-19 8AM - Willemstad, Curaco (leave at 11PM)
  • 2020-01-20 Sea Day
  • 2020-01-21 7AM - Cartegena, Colombia (leave at 1PM)
  • 2020-01-22 5AM - enter Panama Canal, Gatun Lake (3PM Colon, Panama) (leave at 8PM)
  • 2020-01-23 7:30AM - San Jose, Costa Rica (leave at 5PM)
  • 2020-01-24 Sea Day
  • 2020-01-25 Sea Day
  • 2020-01-26 7AM - Ft. Lauderdale, FL (disembark)
  • NOTE: All times quoted above are 'ship-time'. There were several time changes during the nights and we were told of the changes beforehand. On previous trips, I had purchased coffee cups, refrigerator magnets, clothes, souveniers, etc. My family has told me that they do not want any souveniers. I managed to return with some postcards, 2 refrigerator magnets, and a Panama Holland America t-shirt. ALSO, I returned with many pictures and wonderful memories of a great time (and great food). In this posting of pictures, I want to thank my roommate, Judy, for sharing her pictures with me. Gary in the group liked writing poems of his experience. At the travel-group private-function, he wrote a poem for a member of the group and read it. I was impressed by the champagne that we were served and the wonderful view from the bar/restaurant and the words "Ships and Champagne" stuck with me as having a sort of rhyme that suited the moment. I told Gary my thoughts and he composed another poem for the group and read it at the lounge-gathering before dinner one night. I took a picture of the poem and have included it.


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    ((As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. (Blog-Note 1: http://PuddinInVannaWhite.wordpress.com is the ‘original’ website of this blog. This blog has a domain name without the .wordpress. middle name. see website=PuddinInVannaWhite.wordpress.com for 'older' trips ---)))LEFT MOUSE CLICK HERE"(((--- Blog-Note 3: I have another website. It is about my 1971 MGB. The url address is : see website=PuddinInThe MGB.wordpress.com for 'older' trips ---)))LEFT MOUSE CLICK HERE"(((--- ) ) Blog-Note 2: Because the pictures take a long time to load, it is best to view these webpages using a desktop.)