Thursday, February 4, 2016
The Trip of a Lifetime
Hello everyone! As I type this, Lana and I are winging our way home from an 11-day cruise that included what was called a “partial passage” of the Panama Canal. It was our eighth and best cruise so far. This was a cruise I had personally always wanted to go on.
The ports of call were the small exotic island of Aruba, just off the coast of Venezuela, then on to Cartagena, Colombia, then on to the Panama Canal. The final two ports were at Limon, Costa Rica and Georgetown, Grand Caymans.
If you ever have a chance to make this trip, I highly recommend it. It really is the trip of a lifetime. For the money, we believe cruising is the most economical way to vacation out there. It is also the most relaxing. For this trip, we went on the Princess Cruise Line. This was not our first time with them and they are first class in service. The ship was the Island Princess, a relatively small cruise ship, holding 2,200 passengers, the smallest we have been on to date. The reason why it was of the smaller variety is because of the Panama Canal. The larger cruise ships currently can’t go through the locks. Newer locks are being constructed and are supposed to open this April and will accommodate much larger ships in the future.
While at the Canal, we took a shore excursion which lasted 5 hours. It was a combination bus and boat tour around the Canal area. We had a fantastic time and were able to tour Gatun Lake, which separates the north locks from the south locks, and visited a native Indian village. We then got an up close tour of the old and new lock system.
Overall, we had a great time, ate ourselves silly, got a lot of rest, and saw some wonderful places. I will say that because of the time of the year and the length of the cruise, the average age of the passengers on board really was different from the other cruises we have been on. Out of the 2,200 passengers on board, I’d say about 25 were younger than me. In the past there have been tons of kids on board but this time maybe three. There was absolutely no running in hallways at midnight on this cruise. The reason is because no one could run. Oh yeah, it was never a good idea to wander by the pools to see who was there. Yuck!!! Avert your eyes!!! With our bodies, we don’t ever get in the pools on board, but we could have on this cruise. We don’t even like getting in our own pool.
As I finish up, we are back in our own house, in our own bed, with The Rat with Fur. For any newcomers, The Rat with Fur is our little dog, a Yorkie, still a puppy. She stayed with our daughter and son-in-law and their two kids. All went well there, but The Rat bounced off the walls for a couple hours after we got home.
We met a lot of great people on this cruise from all over the world that came for the same reason; to see The Panama Canal and to go through it. We put a few more notches in our belt of foreign countries as well. I leave you with this. I know we have readers from all over the world. What I am about to say I am saying for the United States, but can be said for any country. If you watch the news each evening, there is a lot negative said about our country. Some of it is true. There is a lot that needs to be fixed. No one seems to know how. No one seems to have a plan. All they seem to do is argue about how to do it. What I will tell you is this. EVERY SINGLE PERSON in this country needs to leave it at least once and visit at least one other country. Everyone needs to see how other people live in Asia, or South America, or Africa at least once. Once they do they will find out how great their own country is. They will come home and still realize we have problems that need fixing, but they will realize they are blessed by God to be living in a GREAT country.