A cruise via the Panama Canal

Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by Richard Brown, May 15, 2013.

  1. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    My wife and I went on a cruise from Acapulco to Barbados via the Panama Canal.

    By doing this we achieved 2 must-do experiences. A holiday on a cruise ship, and a visit to the Panama Canal.

    We travelled BiPad (Before iPad). The camera I used was a Canon Powershot S2 bridge type digital with a 12X optical zoom. The sensor is 5Mp.

    This is a map of our amazing voyage.

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    My following posts will trace our holiday. It's an experience which we will remember fondly from the great service and food, the on board entertainment and of course some fascinating ports of call along the way. :)

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  2. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Day 1 - Acapulco

    Our ship, Arcadia awaits. We had a balcony cabin close to the stern and 3 decks down from the top deck.

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    The view towards Acapulco

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    The harbour police dispatched a couple of launches to keep the sightseers' boats and the jet skiers away while we left port.

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    Sent from my iPad using iPF
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
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  3. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Days 2-4 - At Sea

    Our cabin.

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    We spent the first 2 - 3 days sailing. It was perfect and peaceful.

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    Each morning I walked a couple of miles on theorem made deck

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    On the second. Owning shoals of dolphins accompanied us. By the time I had run to the cabin for the camera the best of the show was over!

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  4. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Day 4 - Nicaragua

    Our first port of call - Nicuragua.

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    We went by coach to the old city of Granada. The roads were absolutely terrible!

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    Last edited: May 16, 2013
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  5. skimonkey
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    skimonkey Administrator Staff Member

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    Those are wonderful pics of your trip, Richard! Love the dolphin and roadside pics! The fruit look amazing as do the view! :)
  6. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks Skimonkey. The trip is just warming up. :) The weather was great for the next 36 hours. Then we hit stormy weather which the captain advised was most unusual for January in the Pacific.

    Now, on to our next port of call - Puntarenas, Costa Rica. CR is Nicaragua's richer neighbour and helps out the latter in many ways. The coaches used for the excursions were from CR for the day.

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    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  7. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Day 5 - Costa Rica

    I got up early each morning to enjoy the view as we approached our next port of call.


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    Puntarenas

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    The harbour was deep enough for Arcadia to dock alongside the jetty. By the time she cast off for the next leg of the journey the tide was against us. It took an hour of maximum thrust with the rear engine pods and the bow thrusters to move us clear. At one stage a rather wheezy rusty tugboat gave us a helpful push at the bow.

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    Last edited: May 16, 2013
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  8. The OB
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    The OB Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Really great pictures, Richard and thankfully the weather appeared to be better than what you experienced in Portugal recently. Good photography!


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  9. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks mate. Putting this together is bringing back very happy memories for my wife and I. There's more to follow later today :)

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  10. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Day 5 - To Bilboa

    We sailed to Bilboa and moored up overnight, ready for the highlight of the cruise.

    We stayed on board as the seas were very rough which put us off from a shore visit by tender.

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    This is Costa del Sur.
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    Panama City seen as we set off early in the morning....

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    Last edited: May 16, 2013
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  11. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Day 6 - The Panama Canal. Onwards and upwards :)

    These photos are of the approach to, and the Southern set of locks - Miraflores.



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    Our approach to the locks. We followed this container ship all the way through the canal to the Carribean. The bridge is the original one of the Pan-American highway.
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    We weren't the only ones waiting!

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    Arcadia just fitted inside the lock chambers.

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    The start of the main top reach of canal and lakes. The suspension bridge in an earlier photograph carries the Pan American Highway.

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    Last edited: May 17, 2013
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  12. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The Pan American Highway road bridge.
    The Centennial Bridge.


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  13. scifan57
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    scifan57 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Great travelogue, Richard. Keep those photos coming.
  14. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks Scifan. I've corrected a couple of statements about the bridges which carry the Pan-American highway.

    More photos about to be posted...

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  15. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Day 6 - Panama Canal. Top level

    These were taken as we traversed the top level.

    To me this part of the voyage was amazing. Here we were on board an 83,000 gross tonnage sea-going vessel sailing slowly and gracefully 26M above sea level. Arcadia can carry up to 2,388 passengers and 976 crew.



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    Part of the original canal cut through the terrain.
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    Another set of locks is under construction, to allow larger tonnage ships to pass through the canal.

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  16. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The top level continued....


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    The crows nest lounge gave a superb vantage point for viewing. I was sitting near the commentator.

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  17. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Lake Gatun and locks to the Carribean Sea.....


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    Our pilot approaches to take us down through the Gatun Locks to the Carribean Sea.

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  18. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Gatun lake etc continued...

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    This is the earth retaining dam for Gatun Lake.



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    Friends of passengers on Arcadia were on the Pacific Princess!


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    I will continue tomorrow. I hope you are enjoying the trip so far. :)

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  19. scifan57
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    scifan57 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm certainly enjoying your cruise photos, Richard. I assume you have lots of Caribbean photos as well?
  20. J. A.
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    J. A. iPad Legend

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    Great pictures, as usual, Richard! I also enjoy reading your comments. :)

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