Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Friday, December 28, 2012 – Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala – Sunny – 81F

Distance from Puntarenas to Puerto Quetzal: 468 Nautical Miles

A quiet, sunny, somewhat uninteresting day in Guatemala…

20121228_ships position (Small)

Puerto Quetzal is the largest Pacific port in Guatemala.  When we here last – a couple of years ago or so – there was only a Visitor’s Center and some bars and restaurants where you could drink a beer and get free WiFi.  Today, the port is pretty much the same – there may be a few more vendors but little expansion of the site. 

There are three ships here today – the HAL Statendam and the MV Explorer are docked a few miles away – the passengers are being shuttled to the Visitor’s Center.

20121228_HAL Statendam and MV Explorer (Small)

Statendam and Explorer at the other pier

After breakfast, we headed across the bridge to the Visitor’s Center.  The goal is WiFi.

20121228_Bridge to Visitors Center (Small) 

Ellen on the access bridge to Visitor’s Center

 20121228_Century Docked P Quetzal (Small)

Celebrity Century Docked

The temperature is about 81F but it does feel warmer than that – not much of a breeze.  The main building in the Center is really a tour booking facility and also an information center about Guatemala.  Just to make it authentic, there is a Stele in the center worth documenting.

20121228_Visitors Center Stela (Small)

You know those cutout picture things you find at almost all ports – you stick your head in the openings and voila you are a local of some type.  We finally decided to get our picture taken in one of those setups so now we are a Mayan Prince and Princess (I think).  All I can say is that Mayan prince below sure has a big head.

IMG_20121228_Maya Prince and Princess (Small)

Mayan Prince and Princess

In addition to the vendors, the area also has some recreational areas.  One of these provided hammocks that I guess are free for visitors to use (they were all occupied).  There were very few bugs in the area and lots of shade so the place was very comfortable. 

20121228_Picnic Area Visitors Center (Small) 

Hammock area

Our efforts to find WiFi proved frustrating.  Even though there was free WiFi (with purchase of cervesa) and passwords available, our phones and later our computer would not connect with these routers.  Other people with other devices seemed successful.  Eventually, we wound up paying $5 for 30 minutes of glacial WiFi.  We were able to, with some difficulty, check our emails and send off a few pictures. 

20121228_WiFi Nada (Small)

WiFi – SHMiFi

Once we had accomplished our goal, we headed back to the ship for lunch.  The ship was essentially empty with passengers all out on tour.  A tuna panini and some salad and my first fries of the cruise made up lunch – very good.  From the Islands Cafe, we got a good view of the area off the starboard side of the ship.  It looked like a recreational area with a pool, nice beach, and cabanas.  Yet, there were no people there. 

 20121228_rec area startboard side (Small)  

Recreational Area starboard side

We spent the whole afternoon on the port open deck.  It was in the shade and very pleasant.  Some reading, a tropical cat nap, and just general relaxation made up the entire afternoon. 

Dinner tonight was in the Islands Cafe – I had a great pasta dish – spaghetti, sundried tomatoes, onions, and pesto.  Delicious.  Best of all, we ate out on the back deck – warm, calm, with a wonderful moon.

20121228_Moon over the Bay (Small) 20121228_Back Deck Dinner and Moon (Small)

Dinner on the back deck

Showtime tonight featured “Gossamer Magic”- an entertaining show featuring a comedian-magician.  He was very funny and witty.  The illusions were all ones we have seen before but it was the humor that made the show different and fun.  One illusion worth capturing was the “Levitating Assistant”.

20121228_Gossamer Magic (Small)

Levitating Assistant

We spent post show time in the Rendezvous Lounge listening to the Celebration Band and then to Michael’s Club to spend some time with Eddie C.  Some more reading and then back to the room.

I noticed that the talk for tomorrow was incorrectly listed as “Columbus”.  It will be corrected during tomorrow’s 10 AM Announcement.

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