Panama Canal Cruise
My flight from San Antonio to Ft. Lauderdale thru Houston was uneventful except for the trek from the E gates to Gate C1. It’s a good thing I’m still in shape from all the walking I did in Europe because I certainly got my exercise in the Houston airport! I decided to go the day before the cruise departed because I never trust the airlines or the weather. I chose to stay at the Crowne Plaza in Ft. Lauderdale for its proximity to the airport and the port. It was the right choice. The hotel is dated on the exterior, but my room was new and spacious. The hotel staff went out of their way to take care of all my requests. An added bonus was the fact that AllStars runs a shuttle from the hotel to the ship for only $8…a lot less than the transfer with Princess. I was onboard and in my cabin by 12:30. Carol, on the other hand, had decided to fly in on the morning of the cruise. A call from our travel agent at 11pm saying her flight the next morning was cancelled caused a bit of concern. Nevertheless, she finally boarded the ship just as we were beginning the fire muster exercise. We took lots of photos from the upper deck of the other ships in port such as the Crown Princess, the Queen Elizabeth II, and the Harmony of the Seas. Our ship, the Coral Princess, sailed shortly after 4 pm. We unpacked and settled in before heading to dinner.
We chose the early seating traditional dining and were pleased that we were seated in the Provence Dining Room at a table for 8 with 3 very pleasant couples. They are all well-traveled which makes for interesting conversation during dinner. There are lots of choices for breakfast and lunch, the Horizon Court Buffet, open from 6am to 11pm; the Grill for hamburgers and hot dogs; the Pizzeria; and the Bordeaux Dining room, available for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea. Not to mention the Ice Cream Bar, and all the specialty restaurants. The challenge will be to resist temptation! A large number of our fellow passengers are significantly overweight and have mobility issues, which is a constant reminder to watch how much and what we’re eating.
Our first full day on board was a sea day. So, we had time to relax and sign up for our first shore excursions and spa treatments. I had a chance to use our balcony to work on my tan. Our balcony is on the top row at the front of the ship. We are the second cabin from the left on the row that extends toward the bow of the ship.
The internet on the ship isn’t reliable. So, I’ve had trouble trying to post this.