To go to the page on Puntarenas, Costa Rica, click here
To go to the page on Fuerte Amador, (Panama City) part 1, click here
To go to the page on Fuerte Amador, (Panama City) part 2, click here
To go to the page on the Panama Canal part 1, click here
To go to the page on the Panama Canal part 2, click here
To go to the page on Cartagena, Colombia, click here
To go to the page on Aruba, click here
To go to the page on Ship Activities, click here
We just returned home from a wonderful 14 day cruise through the Panama Canal. I will attempt to describe our experiences, mostly with photos so hopefully you can share a portion of our enjoyment.
On November 21, 2011 Rosemarie McBride and I departed, via shuttle to Phoenix, where we stayed the night at a Hampton Inn, just about a mile from the airport. After a wonderful complimentry breakfast, the hotel shuttle took us to the airport for our flight to Los Angeles. Princess Cruises met us at LAX and took us to our ship, the Coral Princess. This is the same ship on which we sailed up the Alaskan Inland Passage in 2009.
Of course, the first thing we did on board, after finding our cabin, was to go to the Horizon Court 24 hour buffet and have lunch.
Our itenerary was:
11/22 Depart Los Angeles
11/23 5 days at sea
11/28 Puntarenas, Costa Rica
11/29 At sea
11/30 Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama
12/1 Panama Canal transit
12/2 Cartagena, Colombia
12/4 2 days at sea
12/6 Arrive at Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
We flew back to Phoenix from there, changing planes in Dallas/Ft. Worth. The shuttle then brought us back to my house, where there was a 5 or 6 inch layer of snow on my driveway.
Some of the specifications of the Coral Princess are:
Built by Chantiers de L'Atlantique Shipyard of St. Naizare, France December 2002
Port of Registry Hamilton, Bermuda
Class Notation A1 Passenger ship
Gross Registered Tonnage 91,627 tons
Net Registered Tonnage 53,394 tons
Overall Length 964.3 feet
Total Width less wings 105.6 feet
Total Width over wings 126.0 feet
Total Height above keel 203.4 feet
Maximum Passengers 2368
Normal crew 930
Propulsion Type 2 Synchronous Electric Motors
Diesel Engines 2 Diesel electric Wartsils 16V46C
Gas Turbine General Electric LM2500, 25 MW
Output of Main Engines 40,000 kW (52,000 HP)
Thrusters 3 bow thrusters, 3 stern thrusters Rolls Royce
Propellers 2 Fixed Pitch Propellers, Five Blades
Rudders 2 semi-Balanced Splade Rudders
Stabilisers 2 ACH Engineering
Fuel Capacity 1938 tons Heavy Fuel Oil (for the Diesels)
1786 tons Marine Gas Oil (for the turbine)
Fresh Water Capacity 2199 tons
Cruising speed 21.5 Knots (24.7 Mph)
Maximum Speed 23.4 Knots (26.9 Mph)
The ship was refurbished in 2009 after our Alaska Cruise. The most obvious changes were a very large screen TV on the Lido Deck, and flat screen TVs in the cabins. I am sure there are many other improvements, but these were the ones I saw.
Prior to our 5:00 PM sailing, we received our required emergency instructions at general muster on deck 7. Here we learned the emergency procedures to be followed if needed and how to wear our lifevests. Shortly after, we set sail.
After the excitement of leaving San Pedro and the Los Angeles Harbor, we settled down to a relaxing 5 days at sea. During this time we relaxed, ate, attended lectures, attended shows, relaxed, ate, and did I mention - relaxed! During our 14 days on the ship I managed to read 9 books on my Nook ebook reader.
We sailed south along the coast of Baja California, but never stopped in Mexico. As we passed the tip of Baja we were able to see land for the first time since leaving. It was Cabo San Lucas.
On our 2nd or 3rd day at sea we had a very pleasant surprise. A steward delivered a plate of beautiful chocolate dipped strawberries to our stateroom with a note that it was from our AAA travel agent, Jan. Thanks Jan, they were delicious!
To continue to Puntarenas, Costa Rica, click here.
Dick Mason, Prescott, AZ 12/16/11