Panama Canal Cruise
December 23, 2006-January 9, 2007
A cruise with friends on Celebrity Mercury over Christmas and New Years--
what could be more delightful?
Join us on board for the highlights.

Part I--From Miami to Costa Rica

December 29: The Gaton Locks open to let us through to Gatun Lake
Here's a link to a description of the Panama Canal

Dor McMahon of Naples:: "See what you're missing by living in Chicago?" A well-traveled table group:: Virginia Parr, Fr. Chris , John and Pat Harrison, Fr.John and I, meet on December 23 for dinner. First stop, onto the sands and into the Caribbean waters at Divi Beach, Aruba

"My number one recommendation is the chocolate creme." How long do you think we can get away with using Divi Resort's beach chairs? Glad to see that you're up early too.
The pastry chef is wicked! What would the audience like me to steal from these gentlemen next? Underwear? Willemstad, Curacao--the bridge is open, so we're going to cross to the Punda on the ferry!
First stop: the Floating Market. No wonder they call this "the Amsterdam of the Caribbean." I bought a watch at Baba's Jewelers along Breedestraat, across from this chime clock.
Cruise experts John and Pat advised us to see-- A very fancy hotel on the Plaza, across from Fort Amsterdam. The Silver Shadow glides by while we're at dinner; we gawk at them all standing on their individual balconies.
I deserve this, don't I?. How did I get so lucky? Four young ladies enjoy a day at sea
December 29--into the locks-- looks pretty tight. How will we fit through there that narrow channel? Here we are in Gatun Lake, 15 miles long, in the middle of our 9 hour transit.
The Mira Flores locks lower us to the Pacific. Looking back-- the Bridge of the Americas. Is that Panama City?? It's huge!
We made it in time to see the sunset on the Pacific! A day at sea before we get to Costa Rica, I head for my favorite hangout. Or maybe I'll go bother Chris trying to read his book.
December 31: Costa Rica: somewhere back there, is our ship. Can you see it? I've always wanted to go to Costa Rica, to the mountains and rain forests. I take the all day trip to "The Jewels of Monte Verde." The Monte Verde Cloud Forest is another world--cool, wet, luxuriant, full of life and howler monkeys.
A butterfly masquerading as an owl in the butterfly garden. I have never seen so many hummingbirds--17 species of hummingbirds show up at feeders in Monte Verde's hummingbird garden. How old must this tree in Monteverde be?
Now I know where all the water comes from. Happy New Year! May we all enjoy more cruises like this in 2007. I crash early and miss the champagne and late buffet. Another lazy day at sea, heading 300 degrees.

To continue the cruise through the Pacific, click here: Panama Canal Cruise--II.