Puntarenas, Costa Rica

we had a very slow sail from Panama to here. El Capatain says we are delayed due to tides coming into Puntarenas, but I’m not so sure.  Anyway, we arrived almost two hours later than scheduled.  Mike and I had no real plans but Sandy from our roll call and who lives in Costa Rica had a large group going zip lining up in the mountains above our port.  We ended up joining the group for the day but not zip lining..,,it seems I’m either not of sufficient weight or not tall enough, I’m not sure which!    We had a beautiful drive up to a hotel where we enjoyed the pool and hammock while the rest went zip lining.  I did tag along on their drive which was in four wheel drive mode, most of the way. 

The day pass included a delicious lunch which was quite tasty.  Unfortunately I failed to take a picture.  







 And after lunch, a rocking chair, beer and incredible view. 


The Canal.

I’m just going to let the pictures do most of the talking. My big takeaway from today was how in the world did they build it a hundred years ago?…..especially in the heat and jungle conditions. 

We entered the first locks around seven am and went out the last around 6.   We were running a little late because a cruise ship headed the other direction had a medical emergency which slowed things down in both directions.   We spent almost all day on the balcony.  We invited the cruise critic group to stop by  and a number of them did at various times throughout the day.  The ship arranged for iced tea and cookies in our room for everyone.   

All in all a pretty incredible day and even though we didn’t do anything but look, we were really tired at the end of the day and were in bed shortly after supper.  










 And we pass under the Bridge of the   Americas officially entering the Pacific. 

It was a pretty amazing 68 miles!




3rd Sea Day-more of the same!

another day relaxing …. Pool, gym(no really!) and food.   We did the Chef’s Table at dinner.  Eight courses.  LOTZ of wine.  Enjoyable but not nearly as much fun as on Gem with the crazy group that include Christina, Alabama, Barb and the three sisters.  This was much more sedate.  

Tomorrow the whole reason for this trip.  

The Canal!

2nd Sea Day – a little of everything.

Another wonderful relaxing day without a whole lot to do.  We visited the gym before breakfast. Afterwards we joined the Cruise Critic group met to have a “Slot Pull”.   Thirty nine of us ponied up $15 each, loaded a machine with all of it and then each took turns at the one arm bandit. An hour or so later, we had each lost $6 but had a great deal of fun….especially the three times the wheel of fortune almost landed on a thousand bucks.  

After the pull, we attended the Lattitudes (Norwegian’s loyalty program) party where as usual we didn’t win anything but did partake of the free drinks!

After a relaxing lunch we retired to our room, I enjoyed reading in the sun on the balcony while Mike did the same (along with a nap) inside.  

Around four we headed to the Margarita Tasting which while tasty wasn’t as fun as usual.  The bartender leading it wasn’t overly personable, her command of English not the best and she seemed more interested in trying to teach us about agave than about margaritas.  Oh well, it was still an enjoyable and tasty hour or so.  

Norwegian advertises a daily gather for the gay folk on board and Mike and I usually attend.  This trip has a large group aboard, 20 or so who typically come each evening.  Interestingly, all but three or four are married couples.  At the gathering today, someone pointed out that it was 70s night at the disco so we all agreed to meet there after dinner and the show. 

We had dinner with Glenn and Will with whom we will be sharing a rental car to Butchart Gardens in Victoria and then went to the show.   Tonight was a jersey boys-esque group doing a tribute to Frankie Vali and the 4 Seasons.   They were ok, some found them great….me, not so much. 

Then it was off to he disco.   Danced til about 11 when I decided the best way to cool off was in the pool, unfortunately it was closed, but the hot tubs weren’t and one of them wasn’t heated so I enjoyed cooling down and getting a foot and back massage!  

Got in bed after midnight!!!   That’s a first in quite a while.  

1st Sea Day

wow, a good night’s sleep makes a difference..in such a good way!

After breakfast in the private restaurant, we attended the “Meet & Greet” I had arranged.   The ships executives attended and after they introduced themselves and answered a few questions, it was mainly a time for us to put faces with names of folks with whom we had been communicating online…in some cases for over a year.   We also discussed the other activities planned during the cruise and the private excursions various folks have arranged.  I ended up getting four more for the cooking class I arranged in Huatlaco (sp) Mexico. One of the other roll call regulars, Sandy lives in Costa Rico and brought four pounds of coffee and my Cruise Critic friend, Donna mailed me two tokens for bottles of bubbly she had won and hadn’t used on her Easter cruise so we had a raffle to give them away.   

Afterwards, Mike and I attempted to make a salad at the buffet but it was packed so ended up at the sandwich bar and make a salad of their lettuce and some chicken salad….I suspect we will take more advantage of the quiet solitude of “our” restaurant in the future.  

After lunch we retired to our room where reading and napping were the main activities for the rest of the day.  I love vacation!

As VIPs we were invited to a get together of everyone in suites, nice but very staid though the four guys who make up a “Jersey Boys” type group were there ….since Mike had watched the replay of the first night’s show in the TV he didn’t know who they were and since one was Significantly older, he at first thought it was a gay Sugar Daddy and his entourage.  

After the party we had dinner in La Cucina- Cesar salad (made for Sue with a while anchovy ) osso bucco ( different preparation than previously but still tasty) and rhubarb panna cotta for dessert.  After a quick walkabout to make sure we weren’t missing any fun, it was off to bed.   

Sorry, no pictures with this post.  I forgot to take any, I’ll try to do better in the future.  

“Our” room

well Peggy & Lowell and Doug and George call it “theirs” too but for the next 19 days it’s ours!



While it is priced as a regular balcony cabin, it is anything but. It is the same size and is furnished like one of the suites with the only difference being it doesn’t have a fancy bathroom. So with this room and the VIP status we are almost living the suite life.   

Late departure.  

No one has told us why but rather than leaving at 4, we didn’t until 6. Since we have three days to get to Cartegena it’s no big deal.  We had invited the roll call from Cruise Critic to join us for sail away on our big balcony and about 25 folks did…so the late departure  meant the party carried on a little longer than expected.  




 A couple of hours later, Mike and I enjoyed the first great viewing opportunity of our great balcony as we sailed up to and under the Sunshine Skyway bridge. 

We had a quick dinner in The Great Outdoors on the opposite end of the ship where we watched the bridge disappear and then went to bed early.   After all the traveling and very late nights we needed it.   






thanks to everyone who has been commenting but for some reason WordPress won’t let me lower security to allow for unlimited commenting so I have to individually approve each comment.   Once we leave port I won’t be able to do so, so while I appreciate it, please don’t be surprised if your comments don’t show up for long periods of time.