Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Friday, February 12, 2016 – Panama Canal Transit – Hot, Humid – 90sF

Panama Canal Cruising: 272 Nautical Miles

Our transit is beginning a little later today.  This means that the back deck is not that crowded at breakfast.  That being the case, I am up there in my usual spot.  I have a great view of the Caribbean Sea and the entrance to the Canal.


Ships Queued Up for the Canal

Last night, in the dark, I thought the structure below was a sandbar but it is actually a scuttled ship.


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Today, I shook things up by getting an Egg Beater omelet (tomatoes and onions) and waffle with fruit.  Still a good option.

We actually watched our entrance into the Gatun Locks from the comfort of our stateroom.  The new huge TVs made it seem like we were right on the bridge during the whole process.


Buildings for the New Locks

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Gatun Locks Transit from our Room

We headed to the open deck to view the transit.  Surprisingly, there were plenty of deck chairs.  This would be our spot for the rest of the transit.



Exiting Gatun Locks


Our Viewing Spot


Gatun Lake

Today, while the ship was slowly making its way across Gatun Lake, we had lunch in the Window’s Cafe.  I ordered a Salmon Burger (no bun) and picked up a Cesar Salad in the buffet.  The burger was pretty good – grilled, not deep fried.  After lunch, it was back to Deck 5 and more Canal Viewing.  The Canal Authority had provided a local guide to comment on our transit but for some reason, we could not hear him on the port side of the ship.

This time out, we did the lazy man’s transit – essentially never getting out of our deck chairs.


Gatun Lake at Croc Level

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Gold Hill / Continental Divide


Centennial Bridge

The transit took about nine hours and we did not really have too many delays.  Panama City was visible when we entered the Pacific Ocean.


Panama City

Tonight is the much anticipated “White Party” and for this cruise, I actually brought along a bright white T-Shirt for the occasion.

The evening started off with a special Buffet on the Pool Deck.  I got in line as soon as it opened so I could get a made to order pasta cooked in a pan that was not used for meat or seafood.  I also had a Cesar Salad.  We tried to sit up on Deck 10 but it was so windy up there I could barely climb the stairs with plates in my hands.  When the breeze blew part of my salad off my plate, we switched seats.  We wound up sitting with two women, who had been to my talks.  The problem was that the music was so loud I could barely hear what I was saying let alone our tablemates.  For dessert, I opted for the very delicious, freshly prepared Crepes Suzette. Overall, the food was very good.

When it got dark, you could really see how nice the pool deck was set up for the party.


Simon, the guitarist/vocalist provided the dinner music.

Following that, the ship had arranged for a local troupe to put on a Folkloric Show.

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Local Folkloric Show

The folkloric show lasted a little over an hour (I think it was a little too long and repetitive).

The stage was reset and Eric and the Singers and Dancers took over and started the music and dance portion of the White Party.

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Becky (newest singer) and “Like a Woman”



Panama City at Night

We stayed at the party for over an hour – then it was back to the room.

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