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Just back from Panama Canal cruise - any questions?
Just got back today from the glorious 14 day Panama Canal cruise on the Wonder (LA to Miami). Everything was great! If you've got any questions, ask away. I'll post more details in a day or so once all the un-packing and souvenir and picture sorting has been finished....
I've got over 1200 photos to wade through, and that's not counting the ones from my wife's camera. I'll tease you all with a couple of photos, with one being us entering the first set of locks on the Pacific coast side, and the second being a picture of the construction of the new locks, also on the Pacific side.
It was a great 14 days, with the usual outstanding DCL treatment and food. They ship was only about 2/3 full, about 1900 guests total, and only around 400+ kids. To put that in perspective, the first Wonder cruise out of Miami that left yesterday had 2600+ folks on board and over 1000 kids. They had all kinds of special events. They brought on board Capt. Ken Puckett, a retired canal pilot, who gives a series of talks on various topics about the canal, including history and it's operations. We had Jeanne Lehman (the original Mrs Potts on Broadway), do a talk, and Susan Egan (Belle on Broadway) did an hour long concert the last night, and both folks did autograph/picture taking sessions. The ports of calls were great, especially being the first DCL ship into Cartegena,
Even the weather cooperated. We had mostly smooth sailing, there was one night on the Pacific side and one day on the Caribbean side where the boat was rocking a bit, but nothing too terrible. I think we had a grand total of about 2 hours of rain one day on the cruise, but that was it.
They had the usual DCL merchandise, plus special Panama Canal shirts/hats, as well as a set of 6 LE P/C pins. I think we bought everything that had the words Panama Canal on it. The pins were interesting, they only had 750 sets on board, and each stateroom could buy a max of 2 sets, so they did a wrist band hand out the second day out at sea, but only gave out about 150 wrist bands. So once all the wrist band folks had purchased their sets, they opened up the pins for general sales, and they still had some left at the end of the cruise. Odd, since pins usually disappear faster then the desserts at the buffet.
One of the funnier parts of the trip was being in Costa Maya on 12-21-12, I even had one of the locals in the jade store ask me if I was ready, and then coming back through the Bermuda triangle on the 22nd, and it made for lots of jokes & good humor.
I did the Westbound 15-night Panama cruise on the Magic in 2008 and it was one of the best vacations I ever took. So glad you enjoyed it as well! Would love to read a report of the cruise with photos if you have the time.
Thanks for sharing - we're on the WBPC cruise this May and can't hardly wait! I would LOVE to have heard Ms. Egan perform & Ms. Lehman's talk - hopefully they will have equally interesting folks on our cruise!
What were some of the other activities on board - especially during the sea days?
In Cabo we just walked around the port area and shopped for a few hours. In Puerto Vallerta we did the whale watching expedition, which turned out to be a fantastic time, we had four whales cruise around our boat for about 45 minutes, got lots of good photos. In Cartegena, we did the old city walking tour. Was a nice tour, but lots of pushy salesmen along the way. It was also a bit warm & humid in Cartegena, wished I had brought some water on the hike.