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We Are On A Cruise!

At Sea: Remember when we received a last-minute super-inexpensive cruise offer, and sailed round-trip from Los Angeles along the coast of Mexico in February 2020? Well, we received another amazing offer to cruise through the Panama Canal. 15 nights. This destination has long been on our bucket list as Dave's maternal grandfather worked on the canal. Though his grandfather died long before Dave was born, it is still a bit of family lore. Happily, Dave's mom was able to experience the Panama Canal, and we wanted to see this engineering marvel as well. We are vaccinated and triple-boosted. We've had our flu shot. If any thing hits any fan, we have a room with a balcony and free room service. Done!

As predicted, we did have two grumpy children this morning. Some drama about Leo using Lucy’s toothbrush, trying to get them to eat something, pack their homework, snacks, and water bottles. Lenny herded them out the door and drove them to school in rain. It was chilly as well.

Lisa worked from home, and Lenny and Dave walked the dogs together before Lenny (really driving everyone everywhere today) drove us to the cruise terminal in San Pedro - not too far south of the Los Angeles Airport. Traffic on the 110 was fine, but as soon as we entered the port area, it was a jam of big rigs loaded down with containers for the busy shipping port… plus thousands of passengers boarding the Norwegian Bliss (our ship) and the Sapphire Princess.

We are only bringing carry-on luggage (for a 15 night cruise - please give me big points!), so just schlepped ourselves and our bags to our stateroom after checking in (10 minute process). We had to show our COVID vaccine cards to prove we had been vaccinated.

We have a mini-suite balcony room on the 14th deck. I think it is called a mini-suite because the bath is quite roomy for a cruise ship and has double sinks. Otherwise, it is just the same size as every other balcony cabin we have ever sailed on. There is a mini-fridge under the desk area, plenty of storage/hangers, and two chairs with a small table on the balcony.

After unpacking - hours before most passengers ever received their checked luggage - we went up to the top deck to explore around a bit. This ship has a go-cart race track and two water slides - one which hangs out over the edge of the ship. (Voting no on both of these, even though Lucile has “dared” me to go down the water slide. There aren’t enough martini’s on the world to get me on that thing!

Water slide

We checked - Leo is tall enough for both adventures; Lucile is not.

Pool area
Observation Lounge
Main Atrium
The Sapphire Princess docked near our ship

During our exploration this afternoon, we noticed so many non-American passengers. I heard a dozen languages! We are so impressed with the ship. Very elegant decor - sometimes a little glitzy (chandelier photo above!) and everything is very neat and clean. Hand sanitizer and hand-washing sinks everywhere. Crew were wearing masks; about 1/3 of passengers were wearing masks.

Due to needing to lade more goods than usual (this ship has been doing one-week trip along the Mexican Riviera), and the major-traffic-pile-up at the pier, we were a bit delayed leaving from port from our schedule 4p departure. We waited and waited, and then the Sapphire Princess backed out of her berth, swung around and sailed around us, heading out to sea.

We went up to the Observation Lounge at 6p for a perfect martini (Dave had a perfect Negroni). Finally, the Norwegian Bliss left the dock and sailed towards Cabo San Lucas. We went to dinner at the Savoy dining room (one of the three “free” dining rooms onboard). These restaurants have the same menu each night - changes daily. We ordered the same thing! Caesar Salad and Steak Frites. So boring, and we should have split the steak. Did not finish.

NOTE: Due to the fact we are floating out in the Pacific, I will not be able to post at-will. We have a Wi-Fi package, but internet service is spotty at-best on a cruise ship. Every photo may not post every day. It’s a struggle. Our international Wi-Fi hotspot can be used while in port, so maybe several days at a time will be posted? Who knows. I will do what I can, but really want to be enjoying myself and not always pecking away at my portable keyboard used with my iPad (did not even bring my laptop - good thing too, as it would not have fit inside the room safe!)

PS: Forgive any typos, missing photos, etc. I’m only one woman, without wifi.

Until my next update, from who knows where, I remain, your floating correspondent.

The Panama Canal
Norwegian Bliss
Real-time ship tracking

2 thoughts

  1. Bon Voyage!
    You and DT are our “canaries in the mine” as the Panama Canal has long been on our bucket list as well, but with the rising infection rates we just weren’t as brave as you are! But if anyone is taking EVERY precaution ~ it’s the two of you. We hope you have a fabulous time (and yes, enjoy it without being a slave to posting!).

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