Tahiti to Florida Cruise – December to January 2009/2010

Last updated on March 9th, 2024

In 2009/2010, Lane and I spent Christmas and New Years cruising from Tahiti to Florida on the Pacific Princess.

This was our first “big ship” cruise, although at 900 passengers, most of our fellow cruisers considered it a small ship. And it was not exactly what we expected. We loved the places we visited, but discovered we really aren’t cruisers. Or at least not big ship cruisers.

The following itinerary includes notes and links to posts from some of that cruise.

Itinerary for sailing the South Pacific and beyond

This cruise was more than three weeks and included stops in French Polynesia, Pitcairn Island, Easter Island, Peru, Ecuador, Coasta Rica, and Panama before ending in Florida.


Friday, December 18, 2009 – Tahiti

We spent just a day exploring Tahiti before embarking on the cruise.

Lost in Paradise

I tried to be really smart, calculating how much it would cost to take taxis to and from our hotel and then added in the value of having a car to tour the island on our own (instead of booking a tour). Renting a car at the airport – which we could then use to get to the hotel, to go sightseeing, and to drop off our luggage at the cruise ship seemed like a no-brainer.

Of course, our late evening flight got in almost an hour late. And it took us quite awhile to get through immigration (four lines for island and EU residents, one for the rest of the world) and then get cash.

The woman working at the rental counter was very friendly – especially so given it was now well after midnight and she was probably waiting for us so she could close up and go home. We got our keys and did the paperwork. . . and then I made my real mistake: I asked her where the hotel was located.

Show more of our adventures lost in Paradise . . .

I know, I know. I should have looked it up on the web and come prepared with a map, but I’d been really busy before we left and the hotel is a well-known local night spot (its restaurant hosts live music on weekends) and Papeete isn’t a huge place (it’s similar in size to Fargo-Moorhead) so it never occurred to me that there might not be someone at the rental counter who could tell me where it was located. (Just like it never occurred to me that we might not get to the rental counter until one a.m. or that we would be in a culture that seeks to please and, thus, tends to give you the answer they think you want even if it isn’t actually the right answer.) Had I been thinking of these things I would have been suspicious when – after initially telling us she didn’t know where the hotel was located – she ponders awhile and then marks an x on our map, telling us to follow the main drag until we get to the hospital and then make a left.

Sounds easy enough.

The first thing I learn about the transportation system in French Polynesia is that there are a lot of roundabouts and not very many street signs. . . and, in the dark, signage appears to be non-existent. It is impossible to tell whether we were still on the main highway or not — until we find ourselves downtown by the harbor. (At least we now know where to find our ship tomorrow, as it is by far the largest thing around.) Apparently we missed the turn that would have kept us on the main drag, but that’s ok, we just need to follow one of the main streets back to it.


I’m supposed to be navigating, but it is dark, there is very little street lighting, the street layout bears little resemblance to that on the tourist map we are using, and there are no road signs to tell me where we are.

Even when there is a road sign (at two major round-a-bouts) it isn’t very useful, but now we are pretty sure we have found the street marked with the x on the map. Unfortunately, we can’t see anything resembling a hotel. (I give up on locating the hospital after asking Lane what the word for hospital is in French and getting a rather surly “I don’t remember. Just look for a hospital.”) Lane expects there will be a big, well-lit sign announcing the hotel. I’ve quickly come to the realization that the hotel will be set back from the road along the water, poorly lit, and poorly marked.

We are in a mostly residential neighborhood that backs up to an industrial area. . . the hotel can’t be here, but we keep ending up here, going over and over the same few streets. – so much so that, about the fifth (or maybe it was the 7th or the 9th or 11th) time we pass by, a group of guys having a party in their front yard actually cheer. (I’m sure someone won a bet on whether or not we would drive by again.) Despite my guess about the bet, I want to stop in the hope that one of them speaks English and can tell us where the hotel is. However, Lane has decided to go up the road to a Mobile station we saw earlier and ask there. Since he’s the French speaker, I acquiesce.

(Did I mention we couldn’t figure out how to get the car into reverse? Or that there are a lot of narrow dead-end streets in this part of Papeete? I’m not sure why I don’t just drive and let him navigate – when he isn’t pushing the car out of some odd corner we’ve stumbled into – but by this point we’ve endured an 8 hour flight in coach, an hour or more standing around the airport, and now an interminable amount of time and a great deal of frustration driving back and forth without any hope of finding our hotel. There probably isn’t a lot of clear thinking going on. I’m just glad there isn’t any other traffic to contend with.)

After about 40 minutes of this (I would have sworn it was a couple hours) we end up back at a Mobile station we had seen earlier. This appears to be way past where we need to go, but it is open and Lane thinks there might be a better map available here. Assuming they may speak only French, he goes in to seek guidance.

The hotel is a block from here – literally – the woman at the car rental office marked it wrong on the map. We head down the side street, Lane proclaiming that this still CAN’T be right because it is residential and there isn’t any light and you can’t see any hotels and there aren’t any signs. . . and what sort of hotel did I book anyway?

A small light down a narrow side street right behind the gas station seems to indicate the hotel is there. Lane continues straight until he comes to a dead end.

On the way back to the Mobile station he takes the turn I recommend and there is the hotel. It is neatly tucked into a quiet residential neighborhood, the large glass windows of the office glowing softly from the single incandescent lamp burning within.

Lane wonders how a hotel can stay in business without signage. I remind him the rest of the world isn’t the United States. (We will discover the next day that there is a sign just off the main road – a beautifully carved wooden sign with no lighting that is hard to see even in daylight.) At the same time I apologize for recommending we rent a car and drive to our hotel in the dark in a city that is a little notorious for being difficult to navigate.

It is not an auspicious beginning, but the hot and humid night air makes me think I will like it here. . . despite the lack of road signs.

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The Royal Tahitian

We got in late enough last night (well after 1:00 a.m.) that we have no idea what this hotel actually looks like until we get up for breakfast in the morning.

It turns out that, as usual, the reviews on Trip Adviser were mostly right – the hotel rooms are in need of updating, but the gardens are lovely.

photo of pink waterlilies in the garden at the Royal Tahitian Hotel in Papeete, Tahiti in French Polynesia © Cindy Carlsson at ExplorationVacation.net

Waterlilies in the garden.

Even this early the morning is hot and still, so we take time for a leisurely breakfast along the water where we watch a small group of racers practicing their technique.

Paddlers race while we eat breakfast.

This is the perfect tropical restaurant and I could sit here all day.

I stayed at the Royal Tahitian again in 2023. You can read my review of the hotel (and see more garden photos) here.

Link to story and photos on the Royal Tahitian Hotel in Papeete, Tahiti on ExplorationVacaiton.net
The common wisdom is to avoid the island of Tahiti and just head off to the rest of French Polynesia, but it looks to me like there is a bit of paradise right here. How could it get any better?

Driving Around Tahiti

With just one day to explore, I want to see as much of the island as I can. To do that, I’ve mapped out a circle tour of the island. So, after a quick lesson from the front desk manager on where to find the release that will allow us to shift into reverse (it’s the ring just under the knob at the top of the shift lever), we are off to explore!

(We enjoyed driving around and exploring Tahiti so much that we did it again in 2023.)

Want to plan your own road trip around Tahiti? Start here!

Link to story and photos on driving Tahiti's East Coast on ExplorationVacation.net

In 2009 we spent most of our time exploring the east side of Tahiti. (In 2023 we revisited the east side of the island, but spent more of our time exploring the west side.)

On Board the Pacific Princess

It is a bit of a scramble to figure out where/how to board the ship, but the ship’s crew is helpful in getting me sorted out, registered, and on board with all of our luggage while Lane returns the car.

Now I am in our cabin waiting for Lane, busily unpacking absolutely everything in a faileing attempt to keep from freaking out. . . A month! I’ll be here a month! What was I thinking?1?

Show our cruise schedule . . .

I must have been insane to sign up for this.

Destination Arrival Departure
  • Papeete (Tahiti) 12/18/09
  • Papeete 12/19/09 — 12/19/09 4:00 AM
  • Moorea 12/19/09 8:00 AM — 12/19/09 5:00 PM
  • Bora Bora 12/20/09 8:00 AM — 12/20/09 5:00 PM
  • At Sea 12/21/09
  • At Sea 12/22/09
  • At Sea 12/23/09
  • Pitcairn Island 12/24/09 7:00 AM — 12/24/09 11:00 PM
  • At Sea 12/25/09
  • At Sea 12/26/09
  • Easter Island 12/27/09 7:00 AM — 12/27/09 1:00 PM
  • At Sea 12/28/09
  • At Sea 12/29/09
  • At Sea 12/30/09
  • At Sea 12/31/09
  • San Martin (Peru) 01/01/10 8:00 AM — 01/01/10 6:00 PM
  • Lima/Callao 01/02/10 7:00 AM 01/02/10 —
  • Lima 01/03/10 — 01/03/10 1:00 PM
  • At Sea 01/04/10
  • Manta (Ecuador) 01/05/10 9:00 AM — 01/05/10 7:00 PM
  • At Sea 01/06/10 –
  • Panama Canal 01/07/10 7:00 AM — 01/07/10 3:30 PM
  • Cristobal/Colon 01/07/10 4:00 PM — 01/07/10 10:00 PM
  • San Blas Islands 01/08/10 8:00 AM — 01/08/10 2:00 PM
  • Limon (Costa Rica) 01/09/10 7:00 AM — 01/09/10 6:00 PM
  • At Sea 01/10/10
  • At Sea 01/11/10
  • At Sea 01/12/10
  • Ft. Lauderdale 01/13/10 7:00 AM

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A Few Last-Minute Errands in Papeete

We didn’t have much time to explore Papeete, so we take a quick walk to the market before our cruise departs.

And so it Begins

We had planned to dine on shore this evening, as we had read that the food stalls that usually assemble near the harbor are a particularly good value and serve very tasty bites.

However, there don’t seem to be any set up this evening (perhaps it is too early), so we dine on the ship.

The ship’s dinning room/restaurant is a large open space at the stern of the ship. Windows wrap around all three sides, providing a view of the city as the sun begins to set. We are greeted in a warmly efficient manner by the dining room staff and seated at a table with three other couples who seem to have been chatting with each other for awhile. They are slightly friendly and equally interesting.

Still visible just beyond the windows, Papeete seems very, very far away.

Saturday, December 19, 2009 – Moorea

Moorea at Daybreak

We wake up – with the first daylight – to a mirage. . . Moorea floating dark above the water beyond our window.

She is beautiful and enticing, becoming increasingly radiant as the sun continues to rise as we move into our anchorage in Opunohu Bay.

It is a place of breathtaking beauty.

A Catamaran Tour of the Lagoon

A Quick Driving Tour of Moorea

It’s a Small World: the Moorea Shopping Edition

Leaving Moorea

It’s so beautiful it’s hard to look away.

Sunday, December 20, 2009 – Bora Bora


I think the long days at work and then traveling here have caught up to me: I am so tired when morning arrives that it is hard to get out of bed – even with Bora Bora beckoning.

Of course I do get up.

Show more of our arrival in Bora Bora . . .

Out on deck, I watch as we pass through the break in the island’s fringing reef.

Bora Bora fringing reef

Bora Bora

Bora Bora

It is so beautiful – all spiky mountains and low, palm-covered islands within the fringing reef.

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In port in Vaitape

We are brought ashore at the little port town of Vaitape, which consists of a small dock, a visitor’s center, a craft sales area, a church, and a few small stores. On a Sunday, much of it is closed.

In and Out of the Lagoon

Afternoon on the Pacific Princess

I feel like we should be out doing something – anything – to make the most of our time on Bora Bora, but we can’t figure out what.

There isn’t time for another snorkel outing. We could have done a taxi up around the island, but that would be a lot more money again and I’m not sure we would have seen much in the short time we still have here.

photo of the notice for departing from Bora Bora in French Polynesia on the Pacific Princess in 2009 © Cindy Carlsson at ExplorationVacation.net

We can’t miss the departure for Pitcairn Island!

It is weird to sit here, by a window in the lounge looking out at the island. It feels so. . . disconnected from reality. It’s not much different from watching the world on TV – you see it, but you don’t feel it, taste it smell it, live it. It’s just an image in your head.

Show more of watching the world from our ship . . .

Lane’s right – a ship like this isn’t really our thing. I think it will be great for doing a Pacific crossing, but it isn’t how we want to experience the world. When we come back here (I will come back here. I can’t believe Lane has waited 22 years to come back!) we will either stay on this island or, preferably, do a yacht charter and visit a number of the islands. Either way, we’ll be part of things rather than just an observer.

Bora Bora reef

It’s so beautiful — we should be out there exploring!

A number of local men are trying to ride the wake behind the tenders that Princess uses to shuttle people between the ship and the port.

photo of men riding the wake behind a cruise ship tender on Bora Bora in French Polynesia © Cindy Carlsson at ExplorationVacation.net

Catching a wave behind the ship’s tender.

Some of them are really good at it, but most paddle as hard as they can and either can’t catch the wake or can’t stay with it. (They remind me of the little boys racing the buses down the mountain at Machu Picchu.) One just came by now, his form so perfect it looked as if he were on a tow line.

They certainly seem to be enjoying their day.

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Bye Bye, Bora Bora

cruise ship deck and island of Bora Bora

panorama of Bora Bora

Monday, December 21, 2009 – At Sea

We woke up to brilliant sunshine, ate breakfast under deep gray clouds, met some fellow passengers at a meet-and-greet while thick fog rolled in, and headed back down to our room as rain washed against the windows. I guess weather changes fast here in the South Pacific.

Show more of our day at sea . . .

Lane in the morning

The other passengers are quite a mix. I finally got to meet Mike (April, my other internet contact, already figured out who I was based on my camera, so we met earlier) and he’s as easy to talk to in person as on the phone, which is nice. Actually, most people seem pretty friendly, I’m just guessing that I don’t have much in common with many of them except a longish list of places visited.

I’m hoping to just relax and get some work done on my photos and blog and such, but I’m thinking I won’t be very productive. While I’m not really nauseous, I don’t feel great either. Maybe it’s from fighting the motion sickness, but I feel physically drained – I just want to curl up in bed and sleep until the ship stops moving!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009 – At Sea

Still at Sea

It is lovely and cool this morning, with bright skies, a lovely breeze, and temps that are more likely in the high 70s than the high 80s. Sooooo pleasant!

Show more of our day at sea . . .

Cindy at sea

While I’ve enjoyed the heat and humidity, it is a bit of a shock to get up at 7 in the morning to temperatures in the high 80s. I don’t know why, but I really didn’t believe it would be so warm out on the open ocean – or so still. There is barely a breeze and hardly a ripple on the water.

12-22 log

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Settling In

Whether it will remain still or not remains to be seen, but we’ll be “at sea” a lot on this cruise, so we are trying to figure out how we want to spend those sea days.

Of course, Princess provides a number of options.

Each evening we return from dinner to find a new issue of the “Princess Patter” (or “Princess Prattle” as Lane has tagged it) left on the bed. This provides crucial information for the coming day, such as the time of sunrise and sunset (5:51 a.m. and 8:02 p.m. today), the dress requirements for dinner (tonight is the usual “Smart Casual” – last night was formal because it was the Captain’s dinner), notes from the navigator (today’s explain latitude and longitude), a little write-up about the day’s destination (today’s is titled “About the Pacific Ocean), a note that clocks will need to be moved forward one hour tonight, the day’s weather forecast, opening hours for the medical center, ads and coupons for various ship board businesses (the spa, internet center, photo gallery, future cruise sales, and such), and then a long list of the activities that will be available today.

While Lane again checks out the bridge action (can you call playing bridge “action?”), I head down to the dinning room for a wine tasting. The wines are pretty standard, but lots of information is provided on wines in general – which is interesting, but everyone on my table gets impatient and finishes our wines long before Fritz finishes explaining what we should be looking for in each!

Despite the wine tasting, Lane joins me in a quick – very quick – jaunt to the fitness room. Ours might constitute the shortest workout in the history of athletics, but we’ll be back. Among other equipment, there is a full set of free weights at the back of the room and a line of treadmills with full ocean views (they face a floor-to-ceiling wall of glass). It’s probably the most enticing work-out room imaginable. Next time I’ll just be sure to workout BEFORE my first glass of wine!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 – At Sea

All is Calm

Another gorgeous day with really pleasant temperatures.

It’s a perfect morning for just sitting outdoors.

people sitting on deck watching the sea

Show more of our day at sea . . .

The water is almost like glass, with only a few ripples on the surface as far as I can see. It’s hard to believe that such a giant body of water can be so calm!

still sea

Lane notes that it would not be fun to be out there in a sail boat when the air is this calm. It’s a long way from anywhere to be dead in the water. However, we cruise along under full power, slicing through the water. It sounds like wind.

I like being surrounded by nothing but ocean. (I just wish I didn’t get sea sick!)

The Noon Report

At noon each day the ship’s whistle (horn?) blares, causing everyone to jump.

That is followed by the Captain or Officer of Watch announcing the time, latitude and longitude, weather and sea conditions, direction of travel and speed, current speed, and probably a few other things before wishing us a good day on the “fabulous” Pacific Princess.

Evening at Sea

The pool bar has closed, but we’ve found a comfy spot in the pool area where there is a lovely cool breeze – I think this might be what one version of heaven is like. There is no one out here except for us, two people in the hot tub, the two deck attendants quietly rearranging the chairs for the coming day, and the ocean all around.

We wonder where everyone goes when they are not at dinner, as the ship (fully booked) feels empty most of the time. (A good thing, but unexpected.) I am quite sure I run into more staff than passengers over the course of a day. My theory is that everyone who has a balcony (at least ¾ of the ship) spends all their time there. Why leave to sit some place else? I wouldn’t if I had a balcony.

We were a little more ambitious today – dance classes with our table mates Wendy and John, a lecture on Pitcairn Island (me), more bridge (Lane), and a workout in the fitness center. For the first time on this trip I haven’t felt so exhausted that all I want to do is sleep!

We saw a few more islands (in the far distance) today that mark the end of French Polynesia – well, not really the end, as Pitcairn is considered geographically part of Polynesia too, but it is sort of the end of the line.

Lane says I would hate being out here if I were I on a smaller boat, but it seems pretty idyllic at the moment.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Pitcairn Island comes to visit (At Sea)

Friday, December 25, 2009 – At Sea

Saturday, December 26, 2009 – At Sea

Sunday, December 27, 2009 – Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Dawn at Rapa Nui

Rapa Nui coast

Show more of our arrival at Rapa Nui . . .

Rapa Nui

Rapa Nui

Rapa Nui coast

I think we enter the harbor somewhere behind that big wave. . .

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At the harbor

Ahu Akivi
Rano Kau
Sailing Away

Monday, December 28, 2009 – At Sea

Looking Back at Where We’ve Been

pano of sea from the back of the ship

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 – At Sea


Apparently someone on the ship has been on line doing research and determined that there isn’t another ship within at least 300 miles of here. There are no shipping lanes in this part of the Pacific, no real reason for anyone to be here (the usual route between Easter Island and the mainland would run to the south of us, connecting to Santiago) . We really are in the middle of nowhere!


I’m not sure whether humans settle into routines because we crave the comfort of familiarity or simply because it is easy and requires little thought, for example: “I sat here yesterday and nothing bad happened, so I’ll sit there again today.”

The ship operates on a schedule that generally only varies in content from day to day – a range of activities is held every day, although the topic or time for the activity may change. Occasionally they will flip things around and cause a conflict, like scheduling dance lessons and bridge at the same time.

So around this we have come to develop a routine of our own. Lately we’ve been losing an hour each day (although now we should be done with that for quite some time), so we wake up late (by the new time); have breakfast on the fantail (sometimes alone, sometimes with friends); play with photos and/or read until ballroom dance lessons at 10:30 or 11:00 (the instructors are also our table mates and very nice); more photo editing and/or reading while listening to the trivia contest underway across the room; buffet lunch on the fantail (sometimes alone, sometimes with friends); photo editing and/or reading; maybe the afternoon lecture (me) while Lane is playing bridge; photo editing/reading/napping; a work-out in the fitness center; a late dinner in the main dining room with our assigned (but very nice) table mates; and then if we have any energy left we will do star gazing, I’ll use the net, or we’ll go dancing. Usually we just go to bed! (We haven’t gone to any of the shows for more than three minutes. It just isn’t our thing.)

While we are assigned to a specific table at the late seating for dinner, we could eat dinner elsewhere at any time that pleases us. We haven’t though, in large part because I’ve come to enjoy socializing with our table mates (six of us share a table, with Lazlo and Pelton as our waiters) and observing the buzz of the dining room. Lane and I keep moving into different spots at our table (I swear everyone else in the room sits in the exact same chair every night), which keeps our wait staff on their toes. (Our small attempt to break up the daily routine.) We have already reached the point where we take turns buying and sharing the wine at dinner and are usually among the last table to leave.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 – At Sea

Thursday, December 31, 2009 – At Sea

Worrying About My Nazca Tour

We are running behind.

Between the late departure from Easter Island and unexpectedly strong winds (the apparent wind on deck the other day was 45 mph) Captain Fabio (yes, really) has been unable to keep to our schedule. The announcement of the delay in reaching Pisco was funny – you could tell something was wrong long before they got to the WHAT was wrong part.

I’ve worried that it would screw up my Nazca overflight (Mike has been checking in regularly to ensure everything was still on track), but a quick call now yielded a confirmation from Lee Ann that we are still on, just at a later time. “Be the first off the ship and don’t dilly dally.” As long as we are starting off as early as we can, we should be in good shape. . . besides, this is Peru, it’s unlikely everything would have gone as scheduled even if we had arrived in port on time.

New Year’s Eve

Friday, January 1, 2010 – San Martin, Peru

In Port
Nazca Lines Tour

Saturday, January 2, 2010 – Lima, Peru

Callao (Lima)
Along the Coast in Lima
Shopping at the Craft Market
Too Many People!

Sunday, January 3, 2010 – Lima, Peru

San Francisco Church and Monastery
Plaza Mayor
The Cloisters at Santo Domingo
The Park of Love
Casa Garcia Alvarado
Rather Random Thoughts on Urban Form in Lima

Back Out to Sea

We glide out of the harbor, past the fishing boats large and (very) small, container ships, and – finally – the coast itself.

Show more of our departure from Lima . . .

I love all the color!

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At mid-afternoon the bridge announces that whales are visible off the port side, but all we see are (very large) spouts far in the distance.

Later there is another announcement: Dolphins!

Sure enough, there is a large pod along the starboard side. Some seem to be challenging the ship, racing through the water very near our bow with incredible speed, others leaping toward us farther out in the water. There are so many of them, leaping as if for the sheer joy of it.

photo of a leaping dolphin

Almost Sunset

Monday, January 4, 2010 – At Sea

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 – Manta, Ecuador


We are in another industrial port, but this is a fishing port and birds swirl around us.

We are particularly partial to the frigate birds, although I do wonder if the peregrine that hitched a ride with us from Lima will decide to depart here.

Panama (Ecuador) Hats!
The Nut Factory
At the Boat Yard
Around Manta (and at the Mall)
In a Tuna Port

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 – At Sea

Rougher (but not very rough) Seas

Report from the Bridge

Every day we get reports from the bridge telling us our latitude and longitude, wind speed, speed, barometer reading, weather, and course. These are not things that generally interest me, but it is cool to hear them announcing we are at zero-something degrees latitude.

Thursday, January, 7, 2010 – The Panama Canal

Daybreak outside the Panama Canal

Lane wakes up at dawn to find that we have entered the holding area for ships waiting to enter the Canal.

cargo ships

Soon the pilot boat joins us.

Besides officials, they send along a variety of boxes and jugs – most of which are simply tossed aboard the Pacific Princess, making for a brief bit of entertainment.

pilot boat from above

Show more of daybreak at the Panama Canal . . .

There is not much happening yet, so we eat breakfast on the fantail while the sun comes up.

cargo ship in orange sunrise

Once it does, the city shimmers in the distance.

Panama City from the water

And the frigate birds begin to soar overhead.

Frigate birds overhead

Frigate birds above a ship

And then we are on our way through the locks.

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Miraflores Lock

Pedro Miguel Lock

Friday, January 8, 2010 – Kuna Yala, Panama

Saturday, January 9, 2010 – Costa Rica

Costa Rica Through the Bus Window
A Sunny Day in the Rain Forest

Sunday, January 10, 2010 – At Sea


Until Lane mentioned it when we were still off the coast of Ecuador, it never occurred to me that the tiny-seeming Caribbean could be rougher than open Pacific.

But here we are, plowing through large swells that literally bang against the ship as we lurch forward through them.

Show more of rough seas . . .

I guess it all depends on the weather and the direction we are traveling versus the direction of the wind and swells. Of course, I knew that, but I really hadn’t thought about what it means.

Lane, of course, is enjoying watching the water splash past our window as we bounce through the water.

Sitting by the window

man looking at waves outside the window

Meanwhile, I’ve put on a new sea sickness patch and am hoping for the best.

The View from Deck 5

I can’t stop staring at the water.

deck with waves beyond

The swells have been building all afternoon and, according to the officer of the watch, they will likely continue to do so due to the storms pushing south from the US.

It’s obvious from almost anywhere on the ship when we plow directly into one the larger swells, as it makes a tremendous thud against the bow and the whole ship sort of shudders.

Down on Deck 4 where we are, now we can sometimes see the water rolling past our window, not just the spray. While it is mesmerizing to watch, it is too dark to photograph it right now. (Maybe tomorrow.)

This is so cool. I just hope my patches keep working!

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Monday, January 11, 2010 – At Sea

No Access to Deck 5

Although the seas have settled down a lot compared to last night, the wind is – apparently – ferocious and all the outside decks are closed. The pool area, sheltered behind windows, is open, but the pool has been drained.

This morning the spray from the bow was hitting the windows (hard) up in the lounge on Deck 10, which was pretty impressive.

There is a beautiful sunset tonight, but no clear windows from which to view it. . .

Ok. I’m more than ready for calm seas now. This is getting old.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Almost time to head home

At lunch today (a lovely risotto for me), it occurs to me that perhaps cruising like this is really some type of pleasant purgatory or limbo – it’s almost a suspended state of being. It feels disconnected from everything, including the sea.

I’m not saying it’s bad – it certainly is pleasant (and mindless) enough, but it seems rather unreal..

I guess I’m ready to go home and plunge back into a far less predictable (and more stressful) world. . . although it will be strange to dine at home, just the two of us, without Franz there to welcome us or Laszlo and the other waiters buzzing about in their well-rehearsed dance or our tablemates to share their take on the day.

It feels as if one could float along like this forever.


We did arrive in Florida – but (obviously) it was pretty anticlimactic!


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