||We arrived in Miami at 6:30 AM.
What a confusing airport! As we approached the baggage area, we saw
a guy with a Princess sign and a baggage cart, so we went up to him.
He said, "Good morning Mr. and Mrs. Ross." We were floored! He
gave us the cart and showed us where to be at 11:00 for the bus. The
bad thing was that he was really negative and complained about Cubans and
Alaska Airline ad nauseum.
We had a leisurely
(2 hour) breakfast at the MIA hotel. We individually went into the
bathroom to change into shorts.
When we finally boarded our shuttle to the ship, we
could not help but notice that everyone else was very much older than us.
All the young people who had been milling around waiting for a Princess
shuttle had gone off on shuttles to the Caribbean Princess.
We boarded the ship around noon. It's an older
ship, small, but everything is easy to find. Our balcony is long and
We were pretty tired by late afternoon, so we had
pizza for dinner, went to the early show, and were asleep as soon as our
heads hit the pillows.
||Slept late till 9:00 AM and then went
to the Palm Court dining room for sit down breakfast. We worked out
for an hour (the elliptical trainer was pretty hard to use but Karen stuck
with it). We hung out by the pool in the shade for most of the day.
There was a lecture on early sea navigation; Lou enjoyed it and Karen
||Hung out by the pool all day, and even
though we were in the shade except for swimming, and even though we
slathered on the sunblock, Karen got a bit burned.
We ticked off our Brit dinner mates when we sat in
their seats at the table. But these are not assigned seats! We like
to move around to get a different view and talk to a different person
Did you get our message off your cell phone? Strong winds blew
the satellite dish off the ship 3 weeks ago, so still no internet
access on the ship.
We are in Aruba, in an Internet Cafe, drinking icy diet coke.
Very very hot here. We dropped out of the snorkelling
trip because Karen accidentally got a little sunburned
yesterday and could not face a day in the sun.
Instead we went on a bus tour around the island; it was
fun. Most people live in little cement houses
painted cheery colors.
We saw the natural bridge, some beautiful white sand beaches, lots
of hotels, huge oil refineries, ostrich farm, tanks where they
process hotel wastewater into golf-course lawn water,
desalinization plants, and
downtown Oranjestad. Whew!
Our handout from the cruise ship said that
they found oil on Venezuela in the 1920's so perhaps that is where
all the oil comes from for these refineries.
So this cruise attracts quite a "mature"
crowd. We were shocked. There are a
handful of people in their forties, and there is actually one
child aboard (3 years old) but everyone else turns when you shout,
We talked to the Future Cruise lady, who pointed out that the 15
day itinerary does tend to drive away people who still work.
Did we tell you anything about our flight? It was fine, dozed a
bit, and then spent a couple of hours in the Miami International
Airport Hotel restaurant eating breakfast and drinking cup after
cup of coffee. It worked out great, but that first night, we sort
of crashed in the late afternoon. We had pizza and went to the
early show and then straight to bed -- never went to our formal
dinner that night at all.
We have met our dinner table companions.
They are all retirees and fun to talk
We really are having a blast. Hope you are well and the doggies
Thanks for the update.
You know, Lou said there was no way you heard that voicemail but I
said, "Oh no, I showed them both how to access voicemail! She got
the message." Ha!
Last night, we went to Karaoke. These two guys, Barry
and George, were the only ones who wanted to sing, and they were
AWFUL. So we cheered our heads off! We screamed and clapped the
worse they got. It was a blast.
We had pictures taken on our first formal night, and they came out
OK, I have a massage appointment and have to hit the road.
||[No time to email; spent the whole day
observing our passage through the canal.]
The Panama Canal yesterday was awesome. It was pretty cool to see
all the US Military stuff (where some of the barracks were, parts
of Panama City, etc).
Karen did laundry today. Lou settled in
for the long haul in a comfy chair in the Atrium and
people-watched while Karen trotted back to the laundry room
occasionally to check progress. She chatted with a guy who
had been stationed at the Panama Canal a
million years ago. He said that his barracks were now used
as a school.
I am glad that you dragged us to the locks in Seattle because this
was basically the same thing only much much larger. There were
three separate sets of locks. The first
set we arrived at 6:00AM -- we had been woken up at 4:00 AM with
thunder and lighting. So we had
continental breakfast and wandered around. We arrived at a
"secret" door onto an overlook at the very front of the ship and
sat there for 45 minutes till they unlocked the door. They had to
wait till it was light outside or else the light from the
passageway could blind the pilot (the bridge was right above us).
So we got a great spot and Lou set up his tripod and took pics for
2 hours. I gave up my spot next to Lou after awhile to let other
people see and take pics. It was a lot of fun.
Puntarenas Costa Rica!
We got an hour back last night. We are now in MST. So
we were awake
long before the 7:00 AM wakeup call. We went to the breakfast buffet
for the first time. We could feel the ship thrusters moving us into
position at the dock while we ate.
Our table mates were on our tour, but we did not end up on the same bus.
We sat on the bus in single seats, Lou in front of Karen.
That was really great, so we were not squished together in the heat.
The air conditioning worked great.
Our tour guide was Empy, which was short for something really long and
We drove an hour and fifteen minutes to a private forest with a series
of suspension bridges up in the canopy of the trees. We saw birds and
iguanas and lizards and lots of vegetation. The guide was impressive in
her knowledge of the flora and fauna. (Lou
talked to her during lunch and found out that she had wanted to major in
Biology but that she had ended up in Tourism instead.)
We were really hot. It was muggy and hot and a lot of walking. A lot
of time we were in the shade.
When we finished the skywalk, Karen was pooped. They drove us to a
hotel and gave us fruit and fruity iced tea. And we got to shop a
little. Lou bought coffee.
There was a lady on our bus who fell down on the first day of this
cruise and sprained her ankle, so she was using a cane and had a big
plastic broken-leg type of boot on. She was a good sport about it.
We went to a lunch of salad, bread, rice, BLACKBEANS, chicken and fish.
Plus some cookies after. We were lucky enough to sit with Empy and Lou
asked her a bunch of questions. Later, on the bus ride home, she said,
"Someone asked me an interesting question about this, so let me explain
to you all..."
After lunch, we walked through a formal garden in the beating down
killer sun. We saw a nice waterfall and a beautiful view of the
We saw a parrot and a toucan at this Pura Vida Garden. Lou took a bunch
We stopped on a bridge on the drive home so we could get out and walk
and see some crocodiles in the water below. There were a bunch of
them. Huge one, lots of medium ones, and a couple small ones. They
were still for a long time and then they all sort of re-arranged
themselves. It was creepy.
We got back to the ship, jumped into our bathing suits, and then jumped
into the pool. We ate some sandwiches and are now headed for the
photographer to buy Panama Canal pics.
||Tonight when we went to dinner, it was
just Mick, Jennifer, and us. We had a great time! We laughed
Hope you had a great lunch at the British pantry!
Today we were in Hualtalco, Mexico. We
turned in our tickets for a boat tour of the various bays and
beaches, and instead we just walked into town and did a little
shopping. The people in the shops
were not aggressive, so that was nice.
It was incredibly hot though and we were dead after the long walk
into town. But we had skipped working out this morning because we
knew we could walk into town.
The port is pretty, with colorful buildings and clean blue water
and sandy beaches right there by the pier.
It looks like a lot of hotels and condos are being built, so it
will probably become more crowded. (It is supposed to be like
Cabo San Lucas used to be.)
There was a funny moment. There was this little boat with three
guys in t shirts driving along side of us as we pulled away from
the dock tonight. The boat did not look official
at all, so we could not believe they were so close. Then they got
really close and we realized that they were going to pick up the
local pilot. We have seen this many times before. The pilot's
boat pulls into an alcove sort of under the
ship, and the pilot gets on but you can't see any of it
happen. Well, this time, they just came really close to the ship
and the pilot climbed down the side of the ship and sort of hopped
onto this boat! It was so funny because it looked incredibly
dangerous, and the whole idea of the local pilot is to avoid
Karen and Lou
PS We hope the dogs are being good.
Acapulco Deluxe took us to the old part of Acapulco where we saw the
famous cliff divers. There are
40 divers, and they are all part of one extended
family. They earn about $55 per show.
The show has
been going on since the 1960s. No one has ever been killed.
A few of the guys had bandages on their wrists and other parts,
though. We watched six guys dive.
Along the way we saw Johnny Weismueller's
(Tarzan) house. Also John Wayne's place.
Did some shopping at Taxco
Plaza and got Omer a money clip (silver).
All was 30% off but we had to ask for it before it was given.
Karen had a gold money clip in her hand, but gave
it right back to the salesman when he said the prices was $600!
There was an open bar
to keep men happy while women spent $.
After that we saw beach where Acapulco residents go to
play. Saw rich homes on hillside AKA
Passed by Las Brisas hotel where
80% of the guests are honeymooners
so the rooms have no
TV or radio, just a bed and a pool and a Jeep
for each room.
Princess hotel where we almost stayed a few years ago but went to
Caribbean instead. Great buffet lunch at the
Mayan Palace (
which is all
the afternoon in a
long pool chatting with Linda and Tim.
Linda has been on 28 cruises - 15 on Princess, so
she is close to getting FREE laundry service
We liked our guide, Emilio.
Our plan for Cabo is to get our own snorkeling trip along with Bill
and Roberta. Then go shopping and Cabo Wabo for lunch.
Cabo San Lucas, Day 13.
It was excellent! We got up at 6:15 AM and went to breakfast buffet.
Then we got to the place where they hand out tender tickets -- and we
were the fourth and fifth person there! So we ended up on the first
tender, which is amazing.
Bill and Roberta came along with us. We walked a bit down the pier and
all these guys were yelling about fishing trips. We shook our heads and
kept walking. Then one of use said,
"Snorkeling," and one of the fishing
guys came over and said, "You want to snorkel? Come with me..." At
first he said $40 each for the trip, but then he
it to $25 with the equipment. We wanted to go to Chileno Bay,
which is where our original Tropicat trip would have brought us.
It turned out it would take 45 minutes by boat, but only 20 minutes by
regular taxi. So he got us Ramon our taxi driver.
On the way, I took out our water and we drank, and then Roberta asked
Ramon if there would be a place to buy drinks on the beach. He said,
"No." I asked if they forgot water, and she said yes, so then Ramon took
us to a little grocery store. We got water and cookies;
treated us, which was very nice. They also had a basket of fresh tamales which smelled
fabulous but we did not get any. We broke into the cookies as soon as we continued the drive.
The beach had a bathroom and showers -- but the bathroom was disgusting
and the showers had no water.
It did not matter though because we had a great snorkeling. The waves
were rough right at the shore, but once we got our fins on and into the
deeper water, it was fantastic. There were a lot of fish. Karen took a
lot of pictures with the underwater disposable camera. We saw a star
fish and some coral. We actually got all fogged up and had to go in to
re-de-fog! But then we were fine.
Roberta did not snorkel. She does not like to even go in their pool,
Bill said. But she was a good sport and hung around cheerfully on the
We snorkeled for an hour, took a cookie and water break, and then
snorkeled maybe 20 more minutes. Then Lou got out and Karen stayed in
the shallow water with mask and snorkel picking up sea glass.
Ramon was waiting for us at 11:00 AM as promised. We paid him the
remaining $50 plus a $10 tip. And then he drove us back into town and
dropped us at Cabo Wabo, where we were going to have lunch.
Lunch at Cabo Wabo was great! Bill and Lou had the drunken burrito
(chicken marinated in tequila). Karen had a burger and Roberta had popcorn
shrimp. Lou had two waboritas!!
Lou got a t shirt and bottle of tequila when we left. Then we wandered
around to shop.
We stopped at a bar on the pier to have a cool drink and were accosted
by salespeople. We got back on board, went swimming, and then at 7:00
went to Shirley and Paul's cabin to celebrate Roberta's 60th Birthday
with guacamole and veggies and wine and diet coke. It was really nice.
It was also low, on deck 5, so the water out the porthole
was RIGHT THERE!
Dinner was great, and Roberta got a tiny cake-mousse thing with a
candle, and waiters sang. Then we had another comedian, who also sang,
and was amazing. Blair Shannon.
Then off to bed. Slept the best ever -- woke up today at 9:15 and ran
to breakfast in the Palm Court dining room because
the doors close at 9:30 AM.
Time to clean up the house and get dressed! Yep, one more day
and we are coming home. The last 2 days have been at sea and
they have been quite chilly. Since we
left Cabo San Lucas, the temperature has dropped to mid 60s,
and today we had low 60s with strong
We are scheduled to go under the Golden Gate Bridge around 5
am. So Lou is going to get up at 4:45
to take pictures as we do so.
Friday and Saturday (day 14 and 15) have been very laid back.
Today is the final part of a 4 part lecture on Howard Hughes.
Very fascinating lecture. Last week
there was a 4 part lecture on navigation. Lou wishes we had
seen all 4 parts, but we missed 2 of them.
Roberta and Bill (our dinner mates) came to our cabin today to
check out mini-suite balcony. They loved it since they
currently have an inside cabin.
It was cold this morning to do a 2 mile walk. So Lou and Bill
only did one. Maybe if it warms up, they will do another mile
We are apprehensively awaiting our final bill tonight. Lou
thinks it will be around $1500 which is pretty low for us ;-)
Karen thinks it will be $3000 in which case she's walking home
;-) Lou hasn't bought anything on the ship. Hum, I wonder who
spent all that money ;-)
Don't reply since we won't check email again today. See you at