Author Topic: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017  (Read 2996 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Carolyn Jane

  • Vice Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2885
  • Karma: +12/-2
Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« on: February 19, 2017, 10:27:11 PM »
Pride of Place
Carnival Pride to the Canal
19 Feb. - 12 March 2017

18 Feb 2017.  Saturday, Amtrak to Tampa.  A short night and we were up early to catch the train.  We were leaving on the Silver Meteor from Jesup, GA and the train was due in at 0735.  She was on time, for  achange.  Jesup is an unmanned station and we were the only peopleboarding, noone got off.
I had booked us a roomette, in the sleeper section.  Much more comfortable than riding in coach.  As soon as we boarded we went to the dining car for breakfast.  It was a slow process.  There appeared to be only one attendant seating people and taking orders.  Several others came in and did a few things, but it only helped a little.  It was 40 minutes before we had our food.
Back in our seats I spent the time watching the scenery.  The rails are a bit bumpy so my crocheting didn't get very far.  I just love seeing the differences in the neighborhoods, fields, crops.  We were early into Jacksonville, but crawled when we left, and therefore late into Palatka.  But picked up time and were on time into Winter Park and Orlando. 
In Orlando we had to wat a few minutes for our Ambus (Amtrak Thruway Bus) to arrive, and then for the driver to empty out the luggage and then let the passengers off.  Finally, we were allowed to board.  He checked ID and tickets.  There were only 15 people on the big bus.  One got off in Lakeland, after a bit of  a shower.  Another 45 minutes and we were in Tampa.  Guess what.  No taxis.  I asked about calling one, and was given a number, but wasn't really sure about the contact.  So I called the Hilton and they connected me with the (not free) shuttle service they used.  He was there is less than five minutes.  $8+ tip to the Hilton.
I had already checked in online and we got our room keys and headed up the elevators.  There is a large number of young girls here, older teens.  Apparently there is a high school vlleybal tournament in town. 
We went down looking for dinner, and waited in the lounge for the restaurant to open  I had an excellent salad, and Mary had soup, flatbread, and key lime pie. 
we have both bathed and I am falling asleep.

Feb. 19, Sunday, Tampa.  Mary was up earlier than usual, probably because we went to bed earlier than usual...So we went down to breakfast.  I had opted for the buffet for us, and it was a really nice spread.  We went back to the room and finished packing, and napped for a time.  We did not need to be out of the room until noone, but went down about 11:15 and asked about the shuttle.  It actually was waiting by the entrance so we loaded up and she checked for other passengers.  The only other ones were going to the NCL Jade.
   It was a short ride to the terminal, and we unloaded and got in line.  It was not a good scene.  Apparently check in time and priority mean little there.  Everyone was in the same line to get up to the entrance.  There, they separated into priority and regular check in lines.  When the line on the ground got really long, the began only letting priority up the escalator.  The problem was there were only two security screeners.  After that, it was straight to checkin and onto the ship.  So essentially, it took us an hour to get onto the ship. 
   We went straight to the cabin and unpacked enough to be able to change into shorts.  I did a little more unpacking, then we headed out to find a cold drink.  We ended up at the lobby bar, where I had a diet coke on the rocks with a twist of lemon, and Mary had a Coke on the rocks.  Then we went around exploring.  We went all through the buffet area, and had a small cone each of frozen yogurt.  Took some pictures of food porn to send back to Erin. 
   Back in the cabin, we finished unpacking, and organized ourselves until time for muster drill.  We met our cabin steward, Ketut, and pointed out our egg crates and said he should put them on the beds when he made them up for evening, and that we would like twice a day service.  Also bathrobes.  And ice. 
   Muster drill went well.  We went to our muster stations.  They  didn't take roll, they went through the instructions, showed us how to don our lifejackets - which we didn't have to take - and we were out of there.  We were among the first groups released, and back up in the cabin,  we found we were already away from the dock and moving.  We cruised past the American Victory which looked like a really old navy ship.  Jade was still docked, and had a really loud deck party going on.  We dozed off and on, and then it was time for a last look at the Sunshine Skyway bridge in the distance.  We would sail under it while at dinner, and after dark. 
   On our earlier explorations we had visited the upper level of the MDR and located our table.  Right in the center of the lower level.  There were people having lunch there then, a group, I think, as they were all wearing name tags.  But we were escorted to our table anyway, to find a group of three ladies from Michigan, friends, and two men from Pittsburgh, also friends, I guess.  One was older than the other, and married but wife was not along.  They are also going to be on the next cruise with us. 
   We both had creamy tomato soup, I had a fruit salad, Mary a mixed salad.  I had glazed pork loin, she had sweet & sour shrimp.  Everyone had apple pie for dessert.  We left the dining room and went exploring some more.  Specifically, the shops.  We were disappointed.  The logo shop didn't really have much of interest, and the jewelry just seemed more mass market than what we are accustomed to see on the ships.  Don't think we will be spending much time in the shops here.   Further exploration found us the chapel and the ard room, and a rather nice library, but not many books.  There was one young boy sitting at one of the desks reading a book. 
   Back in the cabin, we foud the steward had been in for turn down service - but he had not put the egg crates on the beds.  So, we stripped the beds and did it ourselves.    I think it has been a while since the Pride was refurbished.  Our balcony could use some paint...But the mattreses appear to have been comfy pillow tops, but age has compacted them down except around the edges.  The cabins also have the old style tube TVs.  I think it is going to be an early night for us. 

Carolyn Jane

  • Vice Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2885
  • Karma: +12/-2
Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2017, 10:30:17 PM »
Feb. 20 2017.  Monday, at sea.   Not up particularly early this morning.  I was out before Mary and up for breakfast.  Wandered around some and found some interesting areas on the ship.  There is a Sunset Garden Interior promenade on deck three around the sides of the theater, remniscent of QM2, with tables and chairs.  Tiny  tables though, no puzzles or games.  They were preparing the chapel for a wedding, or maybe vow renewal.   I searched out the Butterflies Lounge on deck 1 forward, and discovered the Park West people had it all set up for auction, or at least, viewing of 'art'.  There was a lecture going on, Art 101: 30,000 years of art.  So I sat in.  I had missed probably half of it, but enjoyed it.  Reminded me of my Art History class in college.  I was able to answer a few of his questions of who painted this...  Surely I couldn't have been the most knowledgable of the few there...  Must remember to go back next wee to hear the talk in its entirety.
   I went to Guy's burgers and had my burger for the cruise.  And fries.   They were having the drink mixing contest.  Don't know who won.  The man with the little chihuahua was one of those judging.   I guess it is a therapy dog.  He looks like a lot of former service people I see with PTSD. 
   Back to the cabin for a nap and then to the Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle at 3:45.  They put on a spread of coffee, tea, iced tea, punch, and cookies.  Not a large crowd, but this roll call was not large.    The next roll call has over 300 on it! 
   Elegant night tonight, time for our Little Black Dresses.  Prime rib, lobster tail... First time this cruise for the singing and dancing.  the maitre d', Ken Byrne stands right by our table to sing.  He's an Irishman, but has Frank Sinatra to a t.  After dinner was the Playlist Production of Heart of Soul.  Okay, but the shows on MSC are much better.  We won't have to see this one again.  Back to the cabin to chill out and get ready for Cozumel tomorrow, first of four port days. 
   I'm not having great luck with the internet.  I can surf the web, but my email won't sync, nor will my fitbit.  It worked fine last cruise on the Glory.   I have managed to pick up email on my phone, but can't sync the fitbit without bluetooth.    And I think the fitbit is dying.  It is supposed to go a week on a charge, but I have been getting better than two weeks.  but I charged it late last week, and yesterday it was nearly dead.  I charged it,  and by midday today it was nearly dead again. 

Seacruise Forums

Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2017, 10:30:17 PM »

Carolyn Jane

  • Vice Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2885
  • Karma: +12/-2
Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2017, 10:56:05 PM »
21 Feb. 2017.  Tuesday, Cozumel.  Up early for Mary.  We were docking in Cozumel.  Last ship out, no view to starboard.   We went up to breakfast and could see that Allure  was already here.  Later we could see another Carnival ship coming, which turned out to be Paradise.    WE can see NCL Jade downtown at Punta Langosta.  We walked  the long dock into the reception area.  Couldn't bypass the long duty free building.  Made our circuit of the shops.  Found a couple of photo spots for the girls.  In the first shop we stopped into, we bought a pair of silver earrings of the Mayan Calendar, and split them into pendants for the girls.  WE got our freebies and bottles of water in EFFY, and in another silver shop, Mary bought a bracelet and I bought a pendant.  We wandered a few more shops, then went back to the ship.
   There are red pedicabs going back and forth on the pier, and before I boarded the ship I asked one what the fare was.  He said 'just a nice tip'.  We came back to the cabin and collapsed for a nap. 
   Supper tonight was one of our favorites - gazpacho and Greek salad.  And an entree, of course.  I was a bit uneasy because I had snacked late on some of Guy Fieri's fries, and my system decided they were not welcome and proceeded to dump them...twice before dinner, and once after.  Dinner was quick - a lot of people missing and service was fast.  Our three lady partners were absent, just Anthony and Greg.  We had plenty of time after dinner, so we went up to the Lido for Mary to fill her bottle with iced tea, then out to the Serenity (adults only) area where there were lots of loungers.  It is packed during the day.  Then we headed back to the cabin to get Mary's Kindle, which had been charging, and then to the theater for the show.  80's to the Max.  Enjoyable, but still some not very familiar songs. 
   After the show, we stopped by the Ivory Piano Lounge where the evening's first set was starting.  WE had not been in before and this was not the man on the program.  He had to go home unexpectedly.  We were amused because one of the songs he sang was Your Song, by Elton John.  That song is in our upcoming concert (April) as well as the last song in the show, Man in the Mirror.  This performer totally wants requests, and has a second mike so one can sing along, or instead.  I have seen others complain that piano bar performers really don't want them to sing along.  I had my usual drink, Diet Coke on the rocks with a twist of lime.  Mary had Coke on the rocks.  Maybe tomorrow night I will have a Bloody Mary.   Just about time for bed.  Belize tomorrow.  More shopping. 

Carolyn Jane

  • Vice Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2885
  • Karma: +12/-2
Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2017, 10:37:40 PM »
Feb. 22 2017.  Wednesday, Belize.   I was up early today.  No matter how tired, the arthritis in my shoulder only allows so much sleep.  I think if I could move to a recliner, I could sleep more.  We were already at anchor at Beize, and tenders were hovering around.  Mary was not yet ready to get up, so I went on up to breakfast.  Out the windows to port I could see another Carnival ship - the Magic, and a much smaller blue ship with medium blue funnel.  I knew she looked familiar, and my brain finally came up with Saga Sapphire, from many captures on the canal cams.  Aft of us was Caribbean Princess. 
   Apparently there was no big rush to get off, as by 9am they were saying they had more tenders waiting than there were people waiting for them.  It was after 1000 when we made our way down.  We were about 5th in line waiting, as there was a tender docking but it had to empty before we could board.  One annoying man had a woman in a wheelchair and couldn't understand why they couldn't go right to the front of the line because they had priority - they had bought Faster to the Fun.  Theydidn't understand that that meant nothing when you no longer needed tender tickets.  They never did go to the read of the line that kept getting longer...
   The ride into Belize seemed very long, because we were in an enclosed boat...the windows were to high you would have to stand to see anything.  We gotoff, and started surfing the shops.  WE made it to the Wet Lizard, where we again bought tshirts.  WE wanted a drink, but there were no seats, so we went next door where we sat on too high stools and had our usual cokes.  They came in bottles, and I noticed that the bottle of Diet Coke was 100ml kess than the regular Coke.  Not fair!  After our drinks, we went through the largest of the shopping centers, by the bus station.  We looked at a lot of stuff, and I bought a pair of silver earrings.  tTen we walked back toward the terminal and found another little lane we had missed before.  There, we found two water bottle holders, like ones we purchased four years ago in Guatemala.  In another shop I purchased a mahogany carving of the Mayan calendar in bright colors.  Should look nice on our living room wall. 
   The trip back to the ship seemed shorter because we were in the bow of the boat, uncovered.  A few sprinkles of sea water and a bit of sun.  BAck in the cabin, we relaxed.  It was very nice on the balcony, on the shady side with a breeze.  I then went downstairs to preview the menu for the night, get another $20 bill broken into smaller denominations, and then up to the buffet to fill up my bottle with iced tea, and have  a light snack.  This time I chose two pork spring rolls.  Back in the cabin again I took a nap of about an hour, and by that time we were leaving.  Mary said at the last minute there was one really full tender, and another with just a few people in it.  I didn't hear any pages for missing people. 
   Supper was good, one of the chicken dishes I enjoyed last time, and Mary had roasted pumpkin soup.  And a double portion of a shrimp appetizer as her main.  There was singing and dancing again tonight.  Our ladies did not show again. 
   There was no show tonight, so we wandered through the shops and then sat downstairs below the piano bar waiting for it to open.  But Mary didn't last that long, and headed for the cabin.  I went up with a bunch just before 9pm, and the word has got around that the new guy is okay, so itfilled up fast.  I stayed an hour and had a Bloody Mary.  The laundry that we sent out yesterday morning came back before dinner 

Carolyn Jane

  • Vice Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2885
  • Karma: +12/-2
Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 11:35:04 PM »
Feb 23, 2017.  Thursday, Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras.  We were docked before time, and cleared early.  Another lovely day.  I was up earlier than Mary, so I went to breakfast.  When I came back she was still sleeping.  She finally got up a bit after 9am and went we went up for her breakfast.  We had to close our drapes as they were going to be washing balconies today between 9 and noon.
   After breakfast, we took the elevator down to deck A and exited the ship.  Much to my surprise, there was another ship there, docked behind us.  Costa Deliziosa.  And here I thought there was only space for one ship.  WE made the walk into the shopping area and did the circuit.  Last time we were here, I saw some wod carvings that I wanted, but thought they would be too large to fit in my suitcase.  This time I brought a tapemeasure and had measured my suitcase.  Indeed, by measurement it was too big.  We looked at everything else and pinpointed some options.  Then we  finished the circuit, me buying a pearl and dark jade necklace and a pair of earrings in Jade Maya, while Mary bought earrings in another shop.  We went back to the shop with carvings, and I bought a cat puzzle for Erin, and we looked at the carvings again  Mary decided she would go back to the ship and get the fold up tote and see if it would fit, and measure her suitcase.  She came back with the tote, and it fit, so we bought it and another smaller one.  Mission accomplished.  More things to hang on the family room walls, to flank the gecko that climbs up between the windows. 
   Back on the ship, I went up to lido for a snack and Mary went out to sit on the balcony.  Then it was nap time.  We were off on time, and I got up to go to a talk on acupuncture for arthritis pain.  Well, that was a bust.  The buff young man from Poland mentioned acupuncture at the beginning of the talk, but proceeded to talk about your pain, etc. can be caused by toxins and they can make an appt. for you to talk about being detoxed, and how your feet can be causing your problems.  40 minutes and nothing about acupuncture.  One couple said they had to be someplace at 5, and I was ready to go, too.  There were only 5 of us there.  I'm so tempted to go back next cruise and stan up and say we didn't come to hear about toxins and feet.  If you aren't going to talk about the advertised topic, we will leave. 

   Back in the cabin, it was time to get ready for dinner.  Again, our three lady tablemates didn't show.  Ken is making up the seating for the next cruise, and asked if we would like to sit together again, although at a different table.  It seems corporate allocates tables to groups over his head.  We said okay.  No show or piano bar tonight, so we sat in the atrium for awhile listening to the guitar/singer.  The first part of the cruise it was a woman.  Last night,, she was in the Red Frog Pub.  Didn't see her tonight.  Wonder if she left the ship in Roatan, although that seems an odd place to do it...  I went to High Seas Karaoke way forward and down in butterflies lounge.  It was to start at 9:45 but was already going when I got there.  Some pretty good singers, but only a few who sang multiple times.  It closed at 10:30 so I came back to the cabin.  We are not in Grand Cayman tomorrow until 1000.  Should have the company of Coral Princess only.

Carolyn Jane

  • Vice Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2885
  • Karma: +12/-2
Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2017, 10:42:06 AM »
Feb. 24 2017, Friday, Grand Cayman - Spots Bay, not Georgetown.  Interesting development today.  Apparently it is too windy and choppy at Georgetown, so instead of scrapping the call, they came around to the other side of the island to Spot's Bay.  However, there is absolutely nothing here, except maybe beach.  Excursions are going as usual, and if we want to go shopping, there is a shuttle to Geirgetown for $5pp each way.  We are as yet undecided.  Coral Princess is here to starboard.  Nice view of her from our balcony

« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 10:55:30 AM by Carolyn Jane »

Carolyn Jane

  • Vice Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2885
  • Karma: +12/-2
Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2017, 11:58:29 PM »
Later.  We did decide to go ashore and do a little shopping.  The $5 transport was vans and took about 15 minutes to get into downtown Georgetown.  Caymanians as obsessed with traffic circles (roundabouts).  We pretty much did the tow.  Mary bought a pair of eaarrings and I bought two beads/charms for the free Pandora bracelet I was given with purhase a year or so ago and neer took out of the box.  W also bought tshirts and bottle covers, this time for larger bottles.  It was about 3:45 when we got on the tender, and Coral Princess last tender was leaving.  Both crews had set up small covers pavilions by the dock.  Carnival has taken to having cold lemon water there, and chairs under the canopy like Celebrity has.  Nice touch.
   Apparently the locals had enough notice of the port change that they were able to get their tables of crafts out by the dock.  We bought the bottle covers there.  Apparently the captain knew yesterday that conditions here were rough and that ships missed porting here yesterday.  As we walked along the shore after leaving the taxi/van we could see a tug at anchor rocking badly.  All the tenders had to sail around from Georgetown, and the last three paced us as we left. 
   Second elegant night tonight.  Our three ladies were still missing.  Meal was good, Ken sang and the wait staff danced.  We left there and went to the show, Getaway Island, which I had seen before.  Ther is another tomorrow, 88 Keys.  After the show we hit the piano bar and stayed nearly two hours.  Then it was time to hit the sack.  Sea day tomorrow.

Carolyn Jane

  • Vice Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2885
  • Karma: +12/-2
Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2017, 11:47:36 PM »
Feb. 25 2017, Saturday, at sea.   A lazy day.  e slept late and went down to Sea Day Brunch about 1030.  We asked to share a table, and lo and behold, our tablemate was one of our regular tablemates.  We ate and talked for an hour or more.  They were not busy.    We went and sat in the atrium for awhile, and I did some crocheting.  Then Mary went to cruise the shops and I stayed put - near the bathroom.  I left about 1:40 and went to the Military Recognition program.  There were a lot there, many more women (other than spouses) than I usually see.  But the, there were only two WWII vets, and a few Korean War.  Many Vietnam and more recent.  They had each service group stand, while they played the branch song.  But when they played the navy song, it was not Anchors Aweigh, but the navy (football) fight song, to the same tune.  Wonder if the Canadian CD knows...
   After that ended, I came back to the cabin to find Mary napping.  She napped a long time, was still napping when I got up from about an hour nap and went to the Diamond/Platinum reception.  Free drinks - I settled for lemonade - and hors d'oeuvres.  A shrimp thingy, one sushi, a small purk roll, and a bean roll that had a Mexican flavor.    They were haveing a second session following ours, probably for late seating people.  the award for the most days on Carnival went to a couple with 743 days each. 
   Back at the cabin, Mary was on the balcony reading, and I sat out for awhile and crocheted.  Then it was time to get dressed for dinner.  Our boys were the last to arrive, though they are usually first.  And our other three ladies showed up!   They said they had done an excursion every day, and by the time they got back to the ship, they were very hungry, and just wanted to go to bed.    Ken sang again, as he does every night except the first, and the waiters sang 'leaving our Fun ship'  and then danced to Gangnam Style... 
   By the time we left the dining room, it was time to get a seat in the Taj Mahal showroom for 88 Keys, the last Playlist show.  The warmup to the show was Adam from the Piano Bar.  I had wondered why he ws not doing a 9p-11:30 set, but cn't do thaat when you have to introduce the second show, too, at 9:45p.    It was a good show, so now there are four shows we won't need to see over the next two weeks.  We left the showroom and went to the lobby, where Mary used her free coupon for a Bloody Mary, and bought me a diet Coke with remaining non-refundable OBC.  We sat there and listened to the female guitar player/singer for about 1.5 hours, and then have retired to our cabin. 
   Shortly after we got to the cabin, there was a page of Medical Alert Team to cabin 4167...We are just dow the corridor in 4187.  So I peaked out and saw three white uniformed people plus other individuals in other uniforms.  there is still luggage in the hallway, and we have had two Pride wheelchairs in this corridor.  It has been at least 45 min and there are still people there, even more.  So curious to know what is happening, but will never know. 

Carolyn Jane

  • Vice Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2885
  • Karma: +12/-2
Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2017, 02:55:59 PM »
Feb. 26, 2017  Sunday, Tampa.  Mary was up early to the bathroom and saw us pass under the Skyway Bridge.  I was up a bit later and saw we were well into the bay.  I went out on the balcony and shivered in the heavy Carnival robe as we turned and docked.  It was 59 F.  I wanted to see if there was an ambulance or hearse waiting for us, but didn't see any.   Our steward didn't know anything.  I ran around taking cabin photos and as I came back down our corridor an officer was at that room talking with someone on a phone, about some things left in the room. 
   We went to breakfast just before 9 as the buffet was to close at 9.  Came back to the cabin for awhile, then went down to the Dining room annex to wait with other B2B people. They came around checking off names, and I guess we were all there.  A CBP officer came in and collected our customs forms and checked our passports.  Then we collected our new room keys, and as we left they dinged us out with the old card.  We gathered in the lobby and they took a group picture.  By this time, it was almost noon.
   We came back to the cabin and had a short nap, then left aobut 1pm to walk over to the American Victory WWII Victory ship.   As we left the ship, they took the pictures for our new cards, and collected a piece of photo ID, I guess as insurance we were coming back.   The walk to the ship was not long, and we boarded and paid our fees.  $5 for me as a veteran, and $8 for Mary as a senior.  It was a self guided tour, lots of steps, steep and narrow.  We saw everything but the engine room.  We decided by that point we had had enough. 
   Getting back on with transit pass was easy, no lines at all, check in hall was empty.  There were a few people still boarding, as a bus had just pulled up.  Now, we have to wait for muster drill.  I checked the menu earlier and it is the same as first day last week. 

Carolyn Jane

  • Vice Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2885
  • Karma: +12/-2
Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2017, 11:34:36 PM »
Later:  Muster drill was fairly easy again.  Not too warm.  I stll don't know how they know who is not there.  And who is.  We came back to the room and snoozed a bit, then went down to dinner.  We have Anthony and Greg again, plus his friend Rita (from Mich., a widow and probably the oldest at the table), and another couple he has known for over 40 years.  At this point, I can't remember their names.  We have a new waitstaff, too.  After dinner we sat in the lobby for awhile and listened to the guitar/vocalists.  Same ones as last week.  When 9pm came, we made our way up to the Ivory Piano Bar and stayed until 1030p.  Some came and stayed, others looked in and passed by.  Too much to explore the first night.  On our way back to the cabin we passed by the shops and checked out the 'new' merchandise.  Nothing really new, just restocking what they had before. 
   We didn't sail until 7:30p instead of 1600, due to lots of supplies to load.  Sea day tomorrow

Carolyn Jane

  • Vice Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2885
  • Karma: +12/-2
Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2017, 12:39:51 AM »
Feb 27 2017.  Monday, at sea.   Not too lazy a day.  I was up beforeMary and went to breakfast.  I went up to the shops to see what they had in the $10 sale, but didn't like what I thought I would, so no sale for me.  Went back downstairs and booked a tour in Limon, a port where you need a tour to go very far from the dock.  This one involves a train, sounds very much like the tour we took in Puntarenus in 2013, just on the other side of the country!
   Stayed down and sat in the lobby until time for the Art 101: 30,000 years of art lecture.  I wanted to hear/see the beginning that I missed last week.  It was okay.  There were a lot more people there today than last week.  I then went up to the buffet to have a bite of lunch.  Small portions of a few things.    After that it was time for the Cruise Critic Meet & Greet.  I got there just about when it was starting, and all of the goodies were already gone!  Like a swarm of locusts had passed through.  I left shortly after the CD spoke and left.  I understand they did bring more food...
   My nap had been calling me all morning, so I came back to the cabin for that.  Waters were a little choppy most of the day, with some whitecaps.  Must have confused my fitbit, because I know I certainly didn't do 43 flights of stairs...
   First Elegant Night tonight, time for the Little Black Dress, this time with the black jade and pearl necklace I bought in Belize.  The menus continue to be the same as last week.   The show tonight was half an hour earlier than usual, so we missed the first one.  WE really didn't intend to go, but it was 88 Keys again, and we dropped into the intro to the second show, just to hear the piano bar man do the warmup.  Then we left.  We sat in the lobby for a time, listening to the guitar player,  then Mary went up to the cabin while I went to the piano bar.  While I was there, the Playlist cast came in and sang some and socialized.  They were dressin cocktail attire - the girls, anyway.  Now I am writing this, waiting for my diet Coke to filter it's way through...
   Our B2B goodies arrived tonight:  fruit basket and bottle of sparkling wine.  Plus my chocolate covered strawberries, an another nightlight.  We can always find a spot for another nightlight...  Cozumel tomorrow.  More shopping...

Carolyn Jane

  • Vice Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2885
  • Karma: +12/-2
Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2017, 11:48:20 PM »
Feb. 28, 2017.  Tuesday, Cozumel.  We were docked on time, whenever that was...We did not choose to get off early...  We left the ship abut 10:30.  Fantasy was next to us at Puerta Maya, and next to her was Jade.  Brilliance and Liberty otS were at International pier, and downtown were Marina and Dawn.  We walked through the shopping area, out to the street and up to the shopping area for International pier.  It seems much larger than Puerta Maya, even though there are only two slots at the pier  But it's where Allure docks...It has expanded a lot since last time I was here but I don't think it is as tasteful as Puerto Maya. 
   Shopping was the objective, and we did.  I bought a silver bracelet of plaques of the Aztec calendar.  I had bought a pendant last August.  And earrings last week...  Then a pendant of the Maya calendar, and another pendant of a rose carved from mother of pearl.  Mary bought a bracelet and pendant.  An hour and a half of trying not to miss any silver store, and we were ready to go back to the ship.  So, we were back onboard close to noon.  Time for a couple of chocolate covered strawberries and a nap. 
   Casual night tonight, we left the MDR and wandered down to the Piazza Cafe on deck 2 forward, and discovered a large table had appeared outside the card room, and a huge jigsaw puzzle had been started.  2000 pieces.  Mary worked at it a bit, but felt the light glared a bit.  I sat and crocheted and listened to music from the Red Frog pub.  It was live, but we don't go in there because there is no comfortable seating. Shortly before 9pm we went up to the Piano Bar to listen to Adam, and at 9:45 left there and went down to deck 1, Butterflies Lounge for the comedy show.  Diane Ford is very good.  This was the family show.  Tomorrow night she will rerise the adult show she did last night, and then a new adult show at 10pm.   She will be getting off in Costa Rica.  By then it was 10:30 and time to head for the cabin and two more strawberries and a truffle.  Sea day tomorrow. 

Carolyn Jane

  • Vice Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2885
  • Karma: +12/-2
Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2017, 11:22:30 PM »
1 March 2017.  At Sea, Wednesday.  Nothing urgent today.  I was up long before Mary and went to breakfast, walked the deck on one side but was stopped by cleaning crews on the other side.  Seas were a little rocke.  Not a lot of white horses, but some roll.  It again is driving my fitbit crazy, 28 floors today...  I do quite a few stairs, but not that many...
   I went to the military gathering again and this time they got us all up on stage nd took  picture.  Not the greatest but I am in the front row.  I left there, came back to the cabin for a short nap, then went out again to wander around.  Stopped by the puzzle and offered advice...  by tonight, they have made progress. 
   Another nap before supper.  Not one of my favorite menu days.  I consoled myself with chocolate ice cream for dessert.  There was a show tonight, but we had already seen it.  We sat in the Piazza Cafe and listened to the music from the Red Frog pub.  It is live, and augmented electronically, but the girl singer has some numbers where she lingers on the underside of a note far too long.  When it was time, we went up to the piano bar and stayed until time for the last comedy show.  It was very crowded, so we had a choice of standing along the side...or sitting on the floor.  I stood for a while, then sat.  The trick is always getting back up.  Back in the cabin, it is time to go online and pay the mortgage...  Limon tomorrow.

Carolyn Jane

  • Vice Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2885
  • Karma: +12/-2
Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2017, 10:51:29 PM »
2 March 2017.  Thursday, Limon, Costa Rica.  A busy day.  I was up early, as per usual.  Went up to breakfast.  Before I went up, I looked out the balcony and the weather looked heavy, but not too bad.  Up on Lido in the buffet I walked all the way forward to the midship pool to get salsa for my eggs, and it looked like we were sailing into fog.  Outside on the deck, but still under cover, it was raining hard!  When we packed for our tour, we planned for rain, but fortunately the weather was beautiful, and not too hot.  WE didn't dock until 11am ship time.  Costa Rica is an hour behind.   We were to meet in the show lounge at 11am for our 11:30 tour.  They started letting groups out as soon as they got word the officials were onboard and we were cleared, but they would only let us use one gangway, and so the corridors and stairs were packed.  We were nearly half an hour late getting to the tour buses. 
   Very nice buses they were.  I chose the green one so we would know where we belonged.  First we had a 'tour' of part of Limon.  Not a very impressive place.   Looked like a epressed area.  Roads need a ot of work.  Not many paved, and even those not smooth.  We went to where the boats were first, a bit nicer than the ones on the other side of the country.  We cruised up one of the Tortuguero canals and back looking for wildlife.  We saw an iguana in a tree, several sloths, several species of birds.  People live along the canals, and use them as their roads, but there were also a lot of abandoned properties.  Our guide, Natasha, said it is because the country is trying to restore natural habitat, and will allow you to do basic repairs, but cannot improve yu property or build new.  You cannot sell it except to the gov't. 
   WE had a fruit snack and an opportunity to shop local crafts, and then got back on the buses to drive to where we were to board the train.  We had passed under the railroad bridge while on the canal and were there when the train passed over and paused to see us.  We had an engine and three cars.  We were in the last car.  Exactly like the train we rode in Puntarenas in 2013.  WE rode through a lot of rainforest and Natasha pointed out different plants, and we saw some monkeys traveing around in the trees.  We didn't go past as many populated areas as on the Pacific side. 
   BAck on the buses, we drove through more agricultural countryside before reaching the port.  By then, it was 4:30 and we were to be back onboard by 5:30.  Mary chose to check out the souvenir shops, but I went straight back to the ship.  I was on the balcony at 5:40 watching a busload of people come walking down the pier, then a bus drove all the way down the pier to the gangway.  All tours were running a bit late, and the CD announced that another tour had been delayed so we would not be leaving until 7pm (instead of 6P). 
   WE didn't even bother changing for dinner.  t was the first night for a different menu...thus far, the menus had been repeats of last week.  It was okay.  We left the MDR and sat in the lobby for awhile, and they were setting up a display for Dr. Seuss birthday party.  She decided to go up and have a shower.  I went to the Red Frog Pub for a diet Coke (on the rocks with a twist of lime) and then to the repeat of the Panama Canal lecture.  They had had it this morning in the butterflies Lounge, but it was so crowded they decided to repeat it tonight between the shows.  And it was packed again, at least on the lower lever of the main theater.  Interesting, but nothing I didn't already know.

   They estimate we will enter the Gatun Locks about 9:15am, exit about 11:40am, and start back out about 2:10p.  On the January transit they were later than the projected times.  WE shall see. 
   I made my way back to the cabin via deck 3, so as to avoid the smoke filled casino.  There was a string duo playing, and I stopped for a few minutes to listen, and realized that the violinist was playing left handed.  So when they were finished, I went up and aasked if he had to have a special violin, or just string it backward.  He said it had to be specially made.  We chatted for a few minutes about music, and themn I came back to the cabin.  About 10:15 and Mary is already asleep. 

Carolyn Jane

  • Vice Admiral
  • ******
  • Posts: 2885
  • Karma: +12/-2
Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2017, 11:17:05 PM »
3 March 2017.  Friday, Panama Canal.  Up early as we sit outside the breakwater.  Could see Coral P in the first lock and got one shot before my internet got too clogged.  That cam has shifted so not a great view, hidden by the time stamp.   I can't pull up her cam either.  All I get is unavailable or it timed out. 
   Just picked up the pilot at 0830 just inside the breakwater.  So far the weather is good. 
Later.  Another successful day.  A few minor drops of rain and one shower that I could see on the bridge cam.  I strted out up forward on deck 9, trying to see the stairstep effect of the three locks.  I was mildly successful, peering through the crowd of people, getting shots with tps of heds, etc.  That accomplished, I moved down to deck 3 port side for the rest of the inbound transit.  When we were at the lowest, the side of the lock was level with the railing, and some people with long arms reached across and 'touched Panama'.  Nothing I needed to do, as I have been ashore in Panama twice.  We were in the west 'lane' with large cargo ships to our left in the east lane.  Somewhat obscured some of the view.  When we entered the third lock, I decided there was nothing more to be seen, and went up to the buffet to seek out a hotdog.  I finally discovered they could be obtained at the deli,  as apparently they are to plebian to be served at Guy's Burger place. 
   I finished my dog and went aft to find that we were out of the locks and had a good view of the dam that keeps water in Gatun Lake, and not flowing in the chagres Rier out into the Caribbean.  On the other side of the ship, Coral Princess was just beginning her approach to Gatun on her way out.  We had been able to see her above the trees as she tendered off her tours. 
   I came back to the cabin to find Mary on the balcony having her own hotdog.  She had started the transit topside but couldn't see over the crowd so came down and did it on our balcony.  Unfortunately it wasn't the greatest view, but then, her camera was dead and the extra battery too, so she took pics on her phone.  I had decided since we would go our the east lane, I would do the return from our balcony, and it was a good choice.  We were later than projected, I think because they allowed Star Breeze to go through first. 
   I think all of the ships photographers were ashore by the locks, taking pictures of people on balconies and along the railing on deck 3.  I loved seeing them run up the stairs as we advanced up in the locks.  Of course, they were there too when we returned.  I  don't know when/how they got off the ship and back on.  We were on the balcony when we took on the pilot, and anther boat came along shortly and unloaded someone/something, and we surmised that it was the 'Panamanian' stuff that they sold at outrageous prices by the pool.  When they were first putting it out, the crowd was about 10 deep, so I didn't stay.  I sort of wanted a tshirt, but by the time I went ack a couple of hours later, they were all gone. 
   We passed Cristobal just before we went to supper.  I wantd to stay on the balcony to see if Star Breeze stopped there, but didn't see her from a distance, so left.  Supper was okay, and afterward we sat in the lobby until the guitarist finished his set, then went to get seats in the piano bar and had our Cokes.  2215 and we are back in the cabin.  I did get a short nap in the afternoon as we lingers in Gatun Lake.    Sea day tomorrow heading for Aruba.

Seacruise Forums

Re: Carnival Pride to the Panama Canal Feb/Mar 2017
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2017, 11:17:05 PM »