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Friday, September 24, 2010

My Royal Caribbean Panama Canal Cruise Adventure

September 24, 2010 – Day One

We left our home in Menifee with my son Doug and his van loaded with too much luggage and headed for San Diego where we would board the RCCL Radiance of the Seas. After a pleasant drive south on I-15 we arrived safely at the Port of San Diego and the Radiance.  Then the fun began.

The luggage transfer was smooth and effortless, but ten we entered the port building where the line and security made TSA look efficient. After crawling along with all of the senior citizens with their various infirmities we made it to the X-ray machines. This is where the discovered and confiscated the little knife in my pocket, but did not see the big one in my camera bag. So now I can hijack the boat.

This was the worst check-in experience I have ever had with RCCL. It’s really not the fault of RCCL, but more of the Port of San Diego. Seward, Venice and Barcelona were pieces of cake compared to San Diego.

Gwen and Lisa in the Windjammer
Cafe. Click on Photo to see more

Enough carping for now and on to the good stuff. We had been on the Radiance before on our Alaska cruise and her sister ship Brilliance of Seas during our Canary Islands cruise so we had no problems getting about. Our cabin was ready so we dumped our carry on stuff and made our way the the Windjammer Café for some lunch.

As always the Windjammer had a sumptuous buffet lunch laid out with everything from burgers and sandwiches to pizza and spaghetti. I had a burger, sans bun, a great crispy fries along with a Caesar salad. Kathy has a chicken something or other and Lisa stuck with the salad. Gwen had spaghetti and chicken. All in all it was a great lunch.

By the time we got back to the cabin around 2:30 p.m. our luggage had arrived and was sitting outside the door. It took about an hour to unpack everything and put it away in the numerous drawers and cabinets in the cabins, which makes it very comfortable. As usual I always have too much stuff, but I got it all stowed away with no problems.

After a brief nap is was time for the assembly drill. The assembly drill is where you are supposed to put on your life jacket and proceed to your life boat station. Well we assembled in the Schooner Bar and we did not need our life jacket. Suffice it to say I do not have any photos of everyone sitting around wearing those bright orange life vests.

After the drill we left San Diego Harbor and made our way towards the pacific Ocean and headed south to the Mexican Coast. On the way out of San Diego we passed several aircraft carriers at anchor and an missile cruiser making its way into San Diego

The next problem was the dinning arrangements. We arrived at the dinning room at the appointed time and much to our chagrin we were seared at a table for 12 people. As we had requested and was confirmed for a table for four we were not happy. No way were we going to sit at such a large table and loose our privacy. Besides all I would need is to sit with some big mouth liberal or Obama supporter and I would have eaten at the Windjammer every night.

After a bout with the head waiter we got the table changed to a window table that seated four people, but for the latter 8:30 pm diner seating. As we had other things to do tonight like the girls playing Bingo this we ate once again at the Windjammer.

After dinner the girls went off to Bingo and I returned to write this Blog post and upload mt photos to my external hard drive. Tomorrow will be an at sea day and I plan to get everything organized and relax. I think we will have breakfast served in the room and get up late.

Wow, while writing this Blog Kathy came back with $500.00 in Bingo winnings. How about that for ending the day!

Click here to visit a gallery of photos from the cruise.

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