Thursday, July 4, 2024

June 13, 2024 – Colon, Panama – Hot and Muggy – near 90F

Distance from Cartagena to Colon, Panama 271 Nautical Miles

It's a steamy, possibly "going to rain day" in Colon today.  I could see the threatening clouds as I walked to the room (with Ellen's breakfast) on the pool deck after breakfast.

We do not have any excursions today.  The plan is to walk into the shopping area – the ship is parked right in town – and see what was new in Colon.  I did get a nice couple of shots of the shopping area from the ship.

A tanker of some sort is parked very close to us.

We disembarked on the street level (we sometimes leave the ship, cross over a walking bridge, and then go down to street level).  Of course, the first thing to do was to get a picture of the City Sign. I had to convince a security guard that all I wanted to do was take the picture. This might be a new sign as it looked in pretty good shape.

Ellen checked out the Salon located in the main shopping mall for a possible haircut – the price was too high and who knows what the haircut would have looked like from a staff that didn’t speak English.  

We found a grocery store in the shopping quad so we went looking for coffee.  The store - I don't remember if it was here at our last visit - was very modern and clean – just like any market back in the states.  Ellen found the coffee and I bought two bags.  The Panamanian Balboa is tied to the US Dollar (the dollar is also an official currency of Panama) so the exchange rate was not an issue.  The problem was that the change might be in Balboas – that was only partly true since there were US quarters and nickels there, as well.  As it turned out, the coffee clocked in at $6.67 a pound (a bargain).  It's not whole bean but hopefully, it will still be good.

We were about to head back to the ship when we ran into a spa that was charging $45 for a 60 minute relaxing massage.  The staff communicated through Google Translate on their phones (you would think that a port that gets a lot of ships would have at least one person that spoke English).  The manager, who was very nice and friendly, said they only had one tech now and we would need to do back to back sessions  Ellen said she would go first and I spent the next hour in their warm waiting area watching a local getting a manicure.  A weird experience but not the first time that’s happened to me.  Ellen came out and said I would not like it as it was very different from the massages we are used to.  I took her advice, paid the manager for Ellen’s session, tipped using the Panamanian money from the marker, and headed back to the ship.  Good information for the next time we find ourselves in Colon.

Before tonight's show, I took a picture of the Crystal Harmony - an early part of the company before she was sold to the Japanese main company.  The model is located in the TV Lounge between the dining room and the theater.  I had never heard of this ship before.  

Tonight’s Headliner was Comedian Ritch Shydner.  We always look forward to a comic on board because it breaks up the music and dance sequence.  Unfortunately, Ritch had a very disappointing outing and could not get his jokes to land.  I’m chalking Ritch’s performance up to jet lag and fatigue. There were a few chuckles but his timing was off and he was fumbling his lines.  He has excellent credentials and if he gives a second show, that may not be the case.  In any event, not what we were expecting.

The Captain said we would be meeting the Panama Canal Pilot at 4 AM to start our transit.  Regrettably, I will not watch that event but will catch up when I go up for breakfast.

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