Another Adventure Tours bargain we found on the Internet. This time a seven-night Panama Canal cruise on Premier Cruise Line's Oceanbreeze.
Oceanbreeze anchored in Gatun Lake
We flew out of Houston to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Boarding a bus
at the airport there, we had a few glimpses of the city and some of the
resorts as we were driven to our embarkation port. Once on board, there
was plenty of time to get unpacked and settled in before dinner.
Our first day was spent at sea and we explored the ship and decided
what activities and entertainment we were most interested in. For me, naturally,
the library was the first place I wanted to locate.
The first port of call was Cartegena, Colombia. We did the usual
tourist shopping and gawking during our six hours there and even searched for Juan Valdez. Unsuccsessful at finding Juan, we settled for a picture with another local resident, even though she didn't appear too interested in becoming world famous by having her picture posted on the WWW.
Our next stop was the San Blas Islands, home to the Cuna Indians.
This is a whole different world and way of life. The major cash industry
seems to be the sale of handmade souvenir items to the tourists. For their
daily needs, they take their canoes over to the nearby mainland and hunt
Leaving the islands, we cruised through the Atlantic
side locks of the Panama Canal and anchored for the day in Gatun Lake. Going ashore, we were treated to a tasty bab-b-que lunch and entertained by Panamanian dancers and musicians. We cooled off with a dip in the lake so we could buy those T-shirts that say, "I went swimming in the Panama Canal" and not be telling a fib when we wear them.
Back through the locks and into the Atlantic again, we sailed for
Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. The Atlantic side of Costa Rica was quite different
from the Pacific side. It rained the whole 7 hours we were there. Being
an inveterate souvenier shopper, I didn't let that stop me...I just donned
my bathing suit and shower cap and shopped 'til I dropped.
After another full day at sea, we arrived back in Montego Bay
where we disembarked and were transported back to the airport. We had time
enough at the airport to shop a bit and we took advantage of the duty free
liquor store. After being directed to the wrong gate and having to scurry
back and forth the length of the airport a couple of times, we boarded
the plane and returned to Houston, tired but elated by our adventures and
bursting to get the pictures developed and bore our acquaintances with
tales of our travels.
Mayaribbean Cruise 2002
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