Panama Canal Cruise travel blog

The 'zoo' of all the towel creatures

Flowers from my craft class

Traditional dancer

Dance troupe

A glimpse of blue sky in San Diego

The car when we returned to Seattle

A deer welcoming me home (before the big snow here)

Thursday, January 31

Another sea day to relax. We are coming to the end of the cruise soon, so it is time to see if there is anything we’ve missed! There are so many activities that you could keep busy all day. I found I slowed down more as the cruise went along…relaxation mode.

In the morning, I took a class on making the crepe paper flowers that are used for fiesta decorations. It was fun and easy, and I may make some Cinco de Mayo decorations. After lunch, I watched the Mexican folk dancing by the pool, and later went to the pool to paddle around and try the hot tub. The weather is still sunny, but cooling off (only 70!). While I dried off, I sat by the pool and read. I am trying to use up my beverage card, so I drank my third diet Coke of the day, and also took a can back to my room for later (in San Diego?!).

Tonight was the last gala night. Folks don’t dress up as much as in years past, but it was a nice atmosphere. Everyone at the table but me had the steak and lobster, but I had the sea bass. Dessert was a delicious warm chocolate cake with some berries on the side. (and we shared some tiramisu—no sugar added!). We got to the stage show in time to catch the 8:00 show, then it was back to the room to start organizing the packing for San Diego and the trip home, trying to fit in everything. The real test will come tomorrow night when we have to finalize the packing and have our bags outside the door by midnight.

We had our last time change, so we are on home time now.

Friday, February 1

We woke early to cloudy skies, and it is only 63. That would be a nice spring day at home, but is a real contrast to the rest of the trip. No swimming for me today!

I went to another craft class this morning. A Mexican group came on board in Puerto Vallarta, and they have been doing lectures on Mexican history, geography, etc., doing folk dance and music presentations, and teaching a couple of paper craft classes. Today we made the tissue paper banners used for decorations. It is similar to making paper snowflakes, only you use a paper pattern for the cutting.

I spent the other part of the morning catching up on the journal. In the afternoon I splurged on Bingo, but didn’t win either the jackpot ($1400) or the free cruise.

We enjoyed our ‘last supper’, and then faced the reality of doing the final packing to have our big bags out by midnight.

Saturday, February 2

We have arrived in San Diego to a cool 62, gray skies, and evidence of rain in the recent past. Janet called her friend and found plans had changed due to family circumstances and she couldn’t come to San Diego. Once we got through customs and immigration, we were able to log on and find a hotel on Hotwire. We took a taxi there and checked in, then Janet looked up the train schedule to go up to her friend’s town. She took a taxi to the station, and I kicked back to enjoy the big room with a big bed! I have developed a drippy nose, so some down time was nice.

Sunday, February 3

I got in touch with Amy, and she picked me up for lunch at a local market with several choices. We had a good visit, and the weather was somewhat improved. Janet got an evening train, but it was delayed a few hours due to an incident on the track (pedestrian involved).

Monday, February 4

We got a muffin/roll at Starbucks in the lobby (after coffee and tea in the room), then took the shuttle to the airport. Then began the endless day: our flight was first delayed by a half hour, then two hours, until it was eventually five and a half hours late (due to the snow in Seattle). We finally got going, but after landing in Seattle, it took almost 2 hours for the bags to be unloaded. We got to the parking lot (very cold waiting for the shuttle!). The guys at the lot helped clear the snow off the car, and we scraped windows enough to drive while the heater got to work. Janet had contacted her former neighbor in Kent, and we went through the dark icy streets to her house for a welcome bed (it was after 11:30 by then).

Tuesday, February 5

After a good night’s sleep, we visited a while, then headed out for breakfast at Shari’s, and the drive home. It was sunny, and the main roads/freeway were pretty dry.

Home again! It was a great trip (except for the weather complications at the end). It is good to know cruising is an option for me, with the right seasickness remedy. It is a relaxing mode of travel. With all the activities, you can be as busy or lazy as you want to be. We met people that were cruising two months at a stretch. I’m not sure I’d be up for that!

Statistics: Miles traveled: 4602

Officers and crew: 584

Nationalities: 38

Passengers: 1440

Fuel used: 240,000 gallons

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