Panama Canal - December 2004

This was our itinerary for our Panama Canal trip, December 26, 2004 thru January 9, 2005 on Legend of the Seas

This was our check-in.  What a disaster.  See the clock on the wall that says 3:24?  We arrived in Ft Lauderdale at 12:00.  It took an hour and a half to get a bus at the airport to take us here to stand in line for another hour and a half.  Not a single Royal Caribbean representative in sight to guide or direct anything.  I was so frustrated that at one point, I ended up screaming at some old man who took cuts in front of me .

Rumor has it that this mess was because it took until 11:45 to get the first of the passengers OFF the ship from the cruise that was just finishing because only 2 immigration officials showed up to process the ship which had many, many non-US citizens aboard.

Royal Caribbean, should have at least had someone directing and managing the crowd!








Finally on board and outside our room.






Inside our room.  Luann wondering what that big Orange thing is on the couch (her bed).





The view looking back into the room from the balcony.






Our first towel creature.





Afternoon snack time.  Patty, with her ice cream in one hand and a cookie in the other.





The California lighthouse in Aruba.





Another view showing the restaurant as well.





The lighthouse was named after the ship "California" that went down in rough seas off Aruba.  It's located at the far western tip of Aruba in an area known as Hudishibana, an Aruban Indian name.





The view looking south from the lighthouse.





The very rocky terrain west and north of the lighthouse.





A 40x zoom looking south with our ship in the background (rightmost ship).





Not quite as zoomed.





Cactus everywhere around Aruba.  It has a desert type climate.





Examples of some family crypts at a cemetery.  The tour guide said the numerous colors are because families use leftover paint from when they paint their houses to paint the crypts.





Another view






The park area at the base of the Casibari rock formation.






A Pink rose at the base of a thorny cactus.





The Casibari Rock.  (No, I didn't climb up there)





I believe this is called Haystack Hill.





The view from a little shorter rock in the area.  This is looking back toward town.





Looking west.





Here we are at the natural rock bridge.





And a stop to the Ostrich farm. 





Sassing back a little.




The guide gave people a bowl of food to hold and then back up to the birds.  This is the result.  Engulfed by big birds.




Our next towel critter.  Luann saved this one all the rest of the trip as her surrogate Kulu.




Another hot, sticky day begins as we begin to enter the Panama Canal from the Atlantic side.





Perfectly aligned with the channel leading into the locks.  Notice the 3 green lights.  These are range lights that all line up when you're centered in the channel.









My favorite picture of the whole vacation.  (Except the ones with Patty in them of course!)

This is an anchorage area before you enter the canal on the Atlantic side.





The locks are in sight to the right.  You can see a couple of ships in them as we approach.





Our approach to the Gatun locks.  We're heading for the left side.






These small boats are still used to row, yes row, the pull lines so the cables can be pulled that connect the ship to the locomotives that keep you aligned in the lock.





Getting ready.





One of the locomotives that guide you through.  We had 2 on each side at the bow (front) and 1 on each side in the stern.





A container ship entering the lock next to us to join us through the canal.





There are 3 locks that raise you a total of 85 feet.





The dam off to one side that holds back Gatun lake that provides all the water for the locks.





All done locking, and we're proceeding through the canal.





The Centennial Bridge appears.




Some of the varied layers of the earth that had to be cut away.





Steps of rock that had to be cut away.





Another shot of the Centennial Bridge.  The bridge is complete, but they still need to finish all the roads leading to and from the bridge.




Here we are going through the upper Miraflores lock with another container ship to our left.  The locks are 110 feet wide.  "Panamax" dimensions for ships are: 105' wide x 955' long (depending on the ship) x 39' deep .

I'd say it's save to say this bad boy is at the max (at least for width).





A shot showing our clearance on each side.  I think we were pretty much maxed on width too.





The gates (doors) that form the lock.





Some locomotives waiting to serve.





The ship that followed us through the canal.

You can see how the locomotives play their part.  Note the 2 sets of cables from each one to the ship.

A panoramic shot of Panama City as we sat at anchor.  We didn't go into town because it was New Year's Eve and everything was going to be closed anyway.

Click HERE for a larger version of this photo





All set to go to celebrate the new year.





The Gingerbread houses done up for Christmas.





Another view.





The "balloon lady" was on board.





Looking up into the Centrum with all the Xmas decorations.






A couple of party animals getting ready for 2005!





Patty in the Viking Lounge overlooking the pool area.  There were multiple parties on board.  The Viking, the Pool area, and the Centrum. 





An ICE carving of 2005 unveiled poolside.  (Sorry for the blur and backwards)





Patty welcoming in 2005 with a slightly sunburned, slightly champagne induced red face.





I'll let the picture of Luann speak for itself here.





Someone (not us) figured that Mark Twain (outside our cabin) needed to join in on the celebration. 






The party's over.





Another towel critter






One of the bays of Huatulco, Mx






And another beautiful beach.  There 9 of them around Huatulco.






One of the hotels.





Huatulco is a planned area.  It's quite small and quite but they have big plans.  The roads are already in and looking very nice.






Our tour stop to get chocolate and tequila. 



A view of the harbor at Huatulco.

Click HERE for the full size panorama




The view from above.

Click HERE for the full size panorama





A church in La Crucecita where we stopped for an hour or so. It's about 2 miles from Huatulco.





A little restaurant we stopped at in La Crucecita for a Nosh.  Had some good guacamole and queso flameado.






The town square or "Zocolo".





Another view of the town square.





The Legend of the Seas in Huatulco.  Our room was mid-ship, deck 7 just to the right of the library.






Our room.





Another cove.






A pelican coming for a landing.





These guys were EVERYWHERE.






Posing for me.






Another place to stay.









Two happy shoppers returning to the ship.


Here we are in Acapulco.  Left to right off our bow.

Click HERE for the full size panorama


Continuing from right of the bow to the stern.

Click HERE for the full size panorama





I was not able to get the name but this was a little row boat docked in front of us.





Old town Acapulco.  To the right was the flea market.

Note the VW bug.  There are 5000 VW bug taxi's in Acapulco.  They were still made in Mexico City until July 31, 2003.





The flea market.






The top of the area where the cliff divers dive from.






The infamous Acapulco cliffs.












The restaurant overlooking the cliffs.





The road running along opposite of the diving cliffs.






Our towel bunny and Patty's newest doggie.




There was a crown and anchor society gathering and another for platinum and diamond members.  Patty got this at the second gathering. 





Carnival Pride as it sits in the bay in Cabo San Lucas.





Looking inward to the harbor at Cabo.






The beach area along the bay.





A design in the wall of a glass blowing factory we visited where they use nothing but recycled glass.





Just some flowers at a restaurant overlook we stopped at for pictures of Cabo.





A  better view of the bay.





Carnival Pride and the Legend.





Luann giving us a Kulu impression.






City hall in Los Cabos.  A bout 30 minutes or so from Cabo San Lucas.





Murals depicting the various municipalities represented by city hall in Los Cabos.








Church in Los Cabos.






Outside view of City hall.





Some rather unique looking cactus plants at Cacti Mundo.












Pretty little flowers.







Yes this is a cactus.






As is this.













The marina at Cabo





Another view





This Pelicans are everywhere in Mexico and sure make a mess of things.





Strike a pose.






Some more little boats.






This one had to have come through the Panama Canal too.  Note it's from Grand Cayman.






As near as I can tell, these are "Bat Rays" that were flying out of the water.






A better shot.





The beach and hotels on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas.





The dining room aboard Legend of the Seas.







Photo Credit: Ran F.




Our party animal table mates for dinner each night. Ran, Jona, Nick (hiding in the back middle), Ruth, Bob, Christine

(please forgive any misspellings)




Photo Credit: Ran F.





Nick, Ruth, and Jona







Photo Credit: Ran F.





New Year's Eve dinner with Ran and Jona.






Photo Credit: Ran F.