January 2019 - Cruise to Panama
We booked a cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Panama for January 2019. Instead of flying to Florida, we decided to make another Road Trip out of it. We rented a car, loaded up and left allowing 4 days to get down there. We planned to do some sight-seeing on the way, like Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.
We intended to take a leisurely route on surface roads into Indiana and then head south.
But light snow started as we left home, so we headed for the expressways.
It became a Snow Storm by the time we were in Indiana. Dozens of cars off the road and several semi-truck accidents.
Our first night, we stayed near the Louisville, KY, airport.
intended to visit Mammoth Cave National Park on our way to
Tennessee. But the government shutdown was in effect and national
parks were closed!
Thru Kentucky and Tennessee, the weather was mostly rain and fog. So no photos.
Our second night, we stayed in McDonough near Atlanta, GA. Dinner at a Japanese restaurant.
In Georgia, chunks of fiberglass and styrofoam, from a trailer ahead of us, bounced off our fenders, hood and roof. Luckily, cosmetic damage only.
Our third day, we drove on to Daytona Beach, FL.
Dinner at the European Cafe and Schnitzel House.
The weather was still gray and chilly.
On Daytona Beach I wear sandals even at 60 degrees.
Our fourth day we drove US1 and A1A along the coast, so we could see the Palm Beach area of Lawrence Sanders' Archy McNally stories.
We stayed at the Grand Hotel in Oakland (Ft. Lauderdale). It was OK but not grand. We left our car parked there for the cruise.
Start of Cruise out of Fort Lauderdale. Finally weather in the 70's.
Leaving the dock at Ft. Lauderdale, same scene as other cruises we've taken.The building on the right is new since our earlier cruises.
Half Moon Cay - Holland America's private island
Our Zuiderdam and sister ship Vollendam
Cafe and waiting area for Half Moon Cay tours
Glass Bottom Boat
Cabin Steward "Critter Art" (more on other days)
A day at sea, to walk the deck, lay around, read, eat, watch movies.
Aruba - from our cabin's veranda
Tour boat taking us to the semi-sub tour boat from De Palm Pier in Oranjestad.
Aruba is only 18 miles from Venezuela.
Semi-sub Tour Boat - to the Antilla shipwreck
The bus tour continued around the island.
This is Arashi beach.
California Lighthouse, named after the steamship California, wrecked in 1891.
The baby natural bridge. The larger natural bridge collapsed years ago.
How Cashews grow. The nut is the top; its shell is poison.
Houses outside the city
To open the passage, it moves toward the right side of the bay, as the colors change.
Our walking tour of the old walled city was interesting but there were too many pushy street vendors.
Monastery of St. Peter Claver
Docked next to another Holland America ship.
Cartegena skyline as we're leaving in late afternoon.
Approaching the lock early in the morning
That's a Japanese car carrier going thru the lock to the left.
Looking down on the strip between the two locks, you can see the tracks for the mules (engines) that pull the ship thru the lock.
The gates of the first chamber closing behind the ship.
Spending time on our veranda.
The walkway from the ship to the gift shops - as far as we went in Costa Rica.