Scribblings from the hard shoulder of the Information Superhighway

2007 – Panama Canal Cruise

In September / October 2007, to celebrate our Silver Wedding anniversary (and they said it wouldnt last!) we took our first cruise, aboard the brand new and beautiful Norwegian Pearl from Los Angeles to Miami, through the Panama Canal.

On our first evening, in Los Angeles, we met up with Scott Foster, who lives in Washington State.
Scott and I have communicated by email  since 1995, but this was our first meeting, at the Proud Bird Cafe near LAX.

If we look somewhat blasted, we had been travelling for about 23 hours by this time and were about ready to crash out!

With Scott Foster at the Proud Birds Cafe, LAX

The evening marked a rare appearance of my moustache, which I grew to raise funds for Cancer Research during September 2007. It lasted about two days into the cruise.

We joined the Norwegian Pearl at San Pedro, Los Angeles and headed south towards Cabo San Lucas.

Norwegian Pearl

Our Cabin - 10164.

Our Cabin – sorry State Room – number 10164.
Another view of our state Room

Another view of our State Room.

In Cabo San Lucas we had booked an excursion on a catamaran, out past Los Arcos and along the coast.

Los Arcos, at Cabo San Lucas

Los Arcos, a famous rock formation at the tip of the Baja Peninsula.

Peilcan at Cabo St Lucas

A Pelican at Cabo St Lucas.

Hard Rock Cafe - Cabo St Lucas

The Hard Rock Cafe – Cabo San Lucas – my 29th Hard Rock Cafe.

From Cabo San Lucas we sailed south down the coast of Mexico to Puerto Vallarta.
We had visted Puerto Vallarta before, back in 2003 (and had visted the Hard Rock), so we booked another excursion, this was on the
Magrilante, allegedly a faithful recreation of a pirate ship.

Magrilante

Although the entertainment on board was perhaps somewhat less authentic, the margaritas flowed freely and a splendid afternoon was enjoyed by all.

There are dozens, if not hundreds of people in the Caribbean / Mexican areas that owe their livlihoods to Jerry Bruckheimer resurrecting the Pirates of the Caribbean culture.

From Puerto Vallarta we continued to sail south to Acapulco, where we saw the obligatory cliff divers.

But on discovering that that was the highlight of the excursion, we ducked out of the rest of the tour and took a cab to the Hard Rock Cafe.
My 30th.

HRC Acapulco

The Hard Rock Cafe in Acapulco, my thirtieth, was fun, although I had some difficulty explaining to the waiter that I am NOT American, and actually DID want the spicy stuffed Jalapenos.

Repeat after me “I am British, I am not American

From Acapulco we sailed south to the Panama Canal.
Our State Room was at the stern of the ship, so we could watch the lock gates close behind us, then pop into the cabin to watch the webcam from the bridge of the front of the ship.

Mirafiroes Locks

These are the MiraFlores Locks, at the Pacific end of the Canal.

Millennium Bridge

This is a view Millennium Bridge, from the Culebra Cut.
The Millennium Bridge carries the Pan American Highway from Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego.
(We know a song about Tierra Del Fuego.)

P1000189

And these are the Gatun Locks, at the Atlantic end of the Canal.

Once through the canal we were in the Caribbean.

Caribbean Blue

And it really is this blue.

We stopped briefly in Cartegena (Colombia) and Puerto Limon (Costa Rica) before heading up, around Cuba to Key West.
We had stayed in Key West back in 1996, but it was nice to go back.
HRC Key WestSince our earlier visit a Hard Rock Cafe had opened (my 31st).

We also enjoyed a classic Key West Sunset as we set sail.

Key West Sunset

From Key West we docked at Miami, and had a few hours to spare
before we flew home, so… guess what?

HRC Miami

My 32nd Hard Rock Cafe!

All in all a really relaxing trip, and as it was ostensibly to celebrate our
Silver Wedding, we had our portrait done while on the ship:

Bob & Val Massey