Search This Blog

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Panama Canal Cruise — October 6, 2010 – Day Thirteen

Day thirteen is an at sea day as we make our way at 20 knots per hour towards the Grand Cayman Islands and Georgetown. The weather is perfect today: blue skies with puffy clouds and a temperature of 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit) with a nice breeze blowing across the ship. We are sailing over 6,700 feet of water. I hope this stays through to the Caymans as we have a long shore excursion and the shopping in the Caymans is supposed to be terrific. We shall see.

Right now our ranking in the progressive trivia is fourth so we will have to put our thinking caps on today so we can move up on the leader board. We have some pretty stiff completion from the Cabin Boys team.

I began getting some of my packing done so I would not have so much to worry about on Friday. I really hate packing to go home, it’s a real pain. The major problem we have is the goods we purchased along the way. Kathy bought several items in Cartagena that she wanted for Christmas gifts. These along with the polo shirts and other items are going to present a problem. We might have to buy a bag for our souvenirs and carry on board the plane. This will give us two carry-on bags each and two check in bags apiece. I wish we had started in Tampa and finished in San Diego, it would have been so much easier.

Last night we attended the loyalty reception where we met the captain and some of his senior staff. This reception was by invitation only and for platinum and diamond members. One of the things they did was to announce the milestone passengers, those with 20 or more cruises on RCCL. There were quite a few with 20 cruises and few with 30 and 40 cruises, but the one that got me was the couple with 120 cruises on RCCL. These folks were in their 60s so it they began cruising when they were 20 that would mean three cruises every year. That’s a lot of cruising.

They mentioned that the Radiance received last year’s award for the environmental ship of they year. They were 16% better than their nearest competitor.

Here are a few things that bug me on the ship. The first is the Windjammer breakfast or lunch buffet. The food and presentation is great. It is clean and there are many choices available. What bugs me is the people (old and young) who go through the line and stop at each selection to inspect it and then take all day to pick one piece of lettuce or one strip of bacon. This morning there were a husband and wife blocking the cereal selection case while they opened their little boxes of corn flakes right at the counter and poured them into their bowls and then discarded the empty box right on the counter. I had to mention to them that they should take the box to their table and open it and prepare their breakfast cereal there. They looked at me with a scowl and walked away. They are as bad as the people who don’t return shopping carts.

Did you ever notice people at a salad bar? They inspect every piece of lettuce looking for a special piece. They do the same with tomatoes, peppers, celery and about every other item available. When they come to the dressing they can’t make up their minds and have a debate with themselves as to which dressing to use. When they finally choose they slowly spoon it on to their salad. They seem to think they are the only people in the line. These people go to that special place in hell where the shopping cart offenders go.

There are plenty of elevators on the ship. It seems as though every time you want an elevator it is 11 decks away. This isn’t too bad. It’s the people that slow the progress of the elevator down by holding the door open waiting for a friend to waddle over. These people seem to think that this is their personal private elevator. They will join the shopping cart people.

The vast majority of the passengers are friendly and courteous but it’s those few (mainly elderly women) that can get on your nerves. The only way to deal with them is to ignore them and make jokes about them to your friends.

Another interesting fact about the cruise has to do with the photos. As on all cruise ships there are professional photographers onboard taking pictures at each port, candid photos and formal portraits. I found out that on an average cruise they take 30,000 photos and they develop them with a chemical processor onboard the ship. The waste, or photos they don’t sell, is tremendous. They estimate about two thirds, that’s why the price is a bit high for then prints.

We didn’t do too well at trivia today as we missed a few questions I should have known the answers. What was patented first; the cash register, the dishwasher, chewing gum or the rubber band? What was the most expensive movie prior to 2000? What Chester Gould comic strip first appeared in the Detroit Free Press in 1931? What is the only mobile national monument in the United States?

Click here to view an updated version of my Panama Canal Gallery.

No comments:

Post a Comment