As of January 1, 2019, we have closed our forums. This is a decision we did not come to lightly, but it is necessary. The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk. The server software itself must be updated, and it cannot be without removing the forums.
So it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our long-running forums. They came online in 2000 and brought together so many wonderful Disney fans. We had friendships form, careers launch, couples marry, children born ... all because of this amazing community.
Thank you to each of you who were a part of this community. You made it possible.
And a very special thank you to our Guides (moderators), past and present, who kept our forums a happy place to be. You are the glue that held everything together, and we are forever grateful to you. Thank you aliceinwdw, Caldercup, MrsM, WillCAD, Fortissimo, GingerJ, HiddenMickey, CRCrazy, Eeyoresmom, disneyknut, disneydani, Cam22, chezp, WDWfan, Luvsun, KMB733, rescuesk, OhToodles!, Colexis Mom, lfredsbo, HiddenMickey, DrDolphin, DopeyGirl, duck addict, Disneybine, PixieMichele, Sandra Bostwick, Eeyore Tattoo, DyanKJ130, Suzy Q'Disney, LilMarcieMouse, AllisonG, Belle*, Chrissi, Brant, DawnDenise, Crystalloubear, Disneymom9092, FanOfMickey, Goofy4Goofy, GoofyMom, Home4us123, iamgrumpy, ilovedisney247, Jennifer2003, Jenny Pooh, KrisLuvsDisney, Ladyt, Laughaholic88, LauraBelle Hime, Lilianna, LizardCop, Loobyoxlip, lukeandbrooksmom, marisag, michnash, MickeyMAC, OffKilter_Lynn, PamelaK, Poor_Eeyore, ripkensnana, RobDVC, SHEANA1226, Shell of the South, snoozin, Statelady01, Tara O'Hara, tigger22, Tink and Co., Tinkerbelz, WDWJAMBA, wdwlovers, Wendyismyname, whoSEZ, WildforWD, and WvuGrrrl. You made the magic.
We want to personally thank Sara Varney, who coordinated our community for many years (among so many other things she did for us), and Cheryl Pendry, our Message Board Manager who helped train our Guides, and Ginger Jabour, who helped us with the PassPorter-specific forums and Live! Guides. Thank you for your time, energy, and enthusiasm. You made it all happen.
There are other changes as well.
Why? Well, the world has changed. And change with it, we must. The lyrics to "We Go On" for IllumiNations say it best:
We go on to the joy and through the tears
We go on to discover new frontiers
Moving on with the current of the years.
We go on
Moving forward now as one
Moving on with a spirit born to run
Ever on with each rising sun.
To a new day, we go on.
It's time to move on and move forward.
PassPorter is a small business, and for many years it supported our family. But the world changed, print books took a backseat to the Internet, and for a long time now it has been unable to make ends meet. We've had to find new ways to support our family, which means new careers and less and less time available to devote to our first baby, PassPorter.
But eventually, we must move on and move forward. It is the right thing to do.
So we are retiring this newsletter, as we simply cannot keep up with it. Many thanks to Mouse Fan Travel who supported it all these years, to All Ears and MousePlanet who helped us with news, to our many article contributors, and -- most importantly -- to Sara Varney who edited our newsletter so wonderfully for years and years.
And we are no longer charging for the Live Guides. If you have a subscription, it's yours to keep for the lifetime of the Live Guides at no additional cost. The Live Guides will stay online, barring server issues and technical problems, for all of 2019.
That said, PassPorter is not going away. Most of the resources will remain online for as long as we can support them, and after that we will find ways to make whatever we can available. PassPorter means a great deal to us, and to many of you, and we will do our best to keep it alive in whatever way we can. Our server costs are high, and they'll need to come out of our pockets, so in the future you can expect some changes so we can bring those costs down.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your amazing support over the years. Without you, there's no way us little guys could have made something like this happen and given the "big guys" a run for their money. PassPorter was consistently the #3 guidebook after the Unofficial and Official guides, which was really unheard of for such a small company to do. We ROCKED it thanks to you and your support and love!
If you miss us, you can still find some of us online. Sara started a new blog at DisneyParkPrincess.com -- I strongly urge you to visit and get on her mailing list. She IS the Disney park princess and knows Disney backward and forward. And I am blogging as well at JenniferMaker.com, which is a little craft blog I started a couple of years ago to make ends meet. You can see and hear me in my craft show at https://www.youtube.com/c/jennifermaker . Many PassPorter readers and fans are on Facebook, in groups they formed like the PassPorter Trip Reports and PassPorter Crafting Challenge (if you join, just let them know you read about it in the newsletter). And some of our most devoted community members started a forum of their own at Pixie Dust Lane and all are invited over.
So we encourage you to stay in touch with us and your fellow community members wherever works best for you!
Welcome! We're happy you've found the PassPorter Community -- the friendliest place to plan your vacation to Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, and the world in general! You are now viewing the PassPorter Message Board Community as a guest, which gives you limited access. As our guest, feel free to browse our messages by selecting the forum you want to visit from the list below.
To post messages and ask questions, join our FREE community today and you'll get access to tools and resources not available to guests, such as our vacation countown timers, "living" avatars, private messaging system, database searches, downloads, and a special PassPorter discount code. Registration is fast, simple, and completely free. Just click the Join Our Community link.
Registered Message Board Members Get Our Free Newsletter! When you register you'll have the option to sign up for our weekly PassPorter Newsletter. It's chock-full of feature articles; news; tips; contests; photos; and special offers in our online store.
Aruba Day 3
This will not be the most exciting day on the cruise. I had been to Aruba before, so I have done the sightseeing ‘tour’. On top of that we are in Aruba from 7am to noon on a Sunday. It is a fairly religious island, and even most of the restaurants don’t open until after noon :eeks: The basic choice, other than the ‘tour’ is go to one of the resort hotels and ‘rent’ a deck chair with meal.
The ship arrived as dawn was breaking
We were actually one of 3 ships there at that early hour on Sunday
Aruba is picturesque.
The terminal building. Nice, air conditioned, seat for those awaiting tours, and small souvenir stands.
This is the location of the luxury stores
To top things off, Carnivale was going on. The red/white barriers were left over from the night before, and would go up just before noon for the last celebration (just as we leave, of course.) With the hung over people from the night before and Sunday morning, the merchants chose to sleep in. Despite 3 ships full of people wanting to shop, most did not open until 9:30 or so.
So I went in to the closed town about 8:30 and nothing was open yet. I stopped in the terminal building (one of the nicer ones in the Caribbean cruise ports) and bought a t shirt, and a delft Christmas tree ornament for my sister in law (the said it was true delft –since as a Dutch territory they would be arrested if they sold a Chinese knock off )
Returning on board, I hit the sundeck for hot tub and body roasting.
Here is the tiny channel the ship leaves through, and photos of a NCL ship waiting for our space to be free.
HURRY UP AND MOVE.
Lunch was roast turkey, steamed vegetables and salad
Watched a port lecture on Cartagena then
Attended a seminar on Emeralds (as I was planning on buying one in Colombia). Then watched the afternoon MUTS-Mamma Mia. Had not seen it before and loved it!
Dinner was a lemon grass thai soup, Macaroni-cheese-bacon appetizer sized pasta, Rock Fish in spicy tomato sauce (day 4 of cruise and I have had more fish than on any prior cruise , with a hash of potatoes and carrots, a warm brownie sundae
Available TV movies were: Crazy, Stupid Love; Promtheus; I Don’t Know How She Does It; Sense and Sensibility; Big Miracle; Frankenweenie
Evenings’ entertainment choices were A mentalist in the theater,
MUTS TODAY (after Mama Mia) were Paul McCartney: Good Evening New York City; Take That Live at Wembley Stadium; Pink:Funhouse
Hope Springs was shown in the Universe Lounge, followed by Billy Joel:Live at Shea Stadium and Steve Wonder :Live at last.
I chose to ‘donate’ a few dollars to the casino’s one armed bandits—no desire for either the mentalist or deck party.
Cartagena Colombia Day 4
We started entering Cartagena about 0800
Small villages on the way in
The ‘new’ city from afar
The statute of the Virgin Mary in the harbor
I booked the Highlights of Cartagena, Fortress and Las Bovedas tour $50 in advance
We climbed the Castillo de San Felipe (most other tours viewed it from the base as it was a good climb to the top)
Start of climb
Front of fort
Colombian flag at top of fort
The guard tower on top
After climbing back down, bought a bottle of water $1 (the cruise ship wanted $2 for one ½ the size). In all ports the prebottled water was safe.
Got my photo taken with a local (tip given) before boarding the bus.
First headed to ‘new’ town where I bought an emerald necklace with sterling silver chain from Mr Emerald (Lee Miles). Had read a lot about him and is honorable business practices in advance of the cruise. 15 Carat rough emerald, mounted in silver and chain $153 (all cruise discounts plus an extra 5% off for cash.) Store is him, his wife, and son does the bookwork
Then to the Palacio de la Inquisicion (palace of the inquisition) where many devices of the inquisition and punishments were shown.
Neck ‘restraint’ notice the point under the throat
Then to the Cathedral of San Pedro Claver
Trip finished with Las Bovedas, as series of shopping stalls in what used to be the dungeons of a prison.
All aboard was 2:30 and we sailed promptly before 3:00 on our way to the Panama Canal.
Went to a Panama Canal Preview lecture.
Dinner tonight was Albondigas soup, Salad, Veal prepared like Wienerschnitzel, and Banana Pie.
The afternoon MUTS were Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Billy Joel Live at Shea Stadium; James Brown-Live in Berlin; Barry Manilow-Music and Passion’
The evening MUTS was Robot and Frank. Instead I attended the second concert of Sonia Selbie in the Universe Lounge.
TV Movies today were The Artist, The Expendibles, Leap Year, The Bridges of Madison County; Ice Age-Continental Drift and the Pirates!Band of Misfits.
Most people retired early as were scheduled to approach the Panama Canal at 05:30
Panama Canal Transit
I will primarily show pictures as we entered from the Atlantic (North to South) as I was on deck for them. For the Pacific locks I was lazy and watched from inside the buffet at the front of the ship, but was shooting the pictures through the windows (hence a blue haze)
We began our approach as the sunrise was approaching.
Approaching the locks
Our greeting committee- Salt Water crocodile
Most photos will be of the ship ‘next’ to us (always one step ahead of us) as the fit in the canal is so tight, it is hard to get photos of your ship.
Through the Gatun Locks
Gatun Lake ahead
Gatun lake dam..holds in all the water the canal uses
Transiting Gatun Lake
Current ‘residence’ of Manuel Noriega—Panama’s prison Tin roofs are hot in the sun
Bridge over canal.
Added as only other bridges over canal are
1) Causeway bridges over Gatun locks
2) Bridge of Americas (Pacific end-connecting North and South America , which got too much traffic as Panama Grew)
Pedro Miguel Locks
Bridge of the Americas
Weird looking future museum—no one is sure but may be for art.
Very few activities for the morning and afternoon as the transit was scheduled for 0530 to 1630. (Though we did finish an hour early)
Theater show was a Classical concert featuring the Ab Libiotum trio.
The Universe Lounge held 70’s Trivia and “That 70’s Night”
Moonrise Kingdom was on MUTS
TV onboard movies today were Gone, The Odd Live of Timothy Green, An Affair to Remember, Just Go with It, Alvin and the Chipmunks-Chipwrecked, Wreck-it Ralph.
Dinner was a salad of pears, pineapple and chili; a regular salad, Chicken breasts with French fries and green beans, and ‘burned’ rhubarb and apple tart.