Panama Canal (Day 1)

December 15

Miami

So this is why there was no Christmas missive this year (well, the mea culpa one).  The Super was strongly of the opinion we needed a third cruise within the calendar year, making it the overall 8th, as I recall . . . 

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[The itinerary . . . this is our 22-day leg, 2/3’s of the 900-ish passengers were staying on for world tour, 142 days ending in London (visting 44 countries with 60+ stops). ]

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[This cruise was Rita’s idea.  It was going to be a sister-sister birthday celebration.  Rita would be turning 75 on New Year’s Eve and the Super would be 73 on New Year’s Day.  But because this was an over-the-holidays cruise, Rita wasn’t able to find a roommate.  We missed her, of course.]

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[We had an early morning flight to Miami, so we spent the night at a hotel near the airport.  We dined at the adjacent Culver’s with Gopher women’s basketball coach Marlene Stollings . . . well, OK, she was a couple booths away.  Then a wake up and on to the airport . . . ]

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[And before we knew it, we were over Miami . . . ]

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[Is that Mar-a-Lago?]

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[It’s pretty, but they know about hurricanes here, don’t they?]

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[Cruise ship row . . . ]

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[And here we are – we would be on the first Viking ship to cruise through the Panama Canal.]

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[Our boat’s, the Viking Sun, maiden voyage.]

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[Checking in . . . ]

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[Crossing the skyway to the ship . . . ]

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[OK, we’re ship board – so here’s the plan.  Your room key is your passport on and off the ship (and how the ship knows whether you’re on or off), and the Viking Daily is four pages of the events of the day.]

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[All aboard!!]

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[Our room, number 4081 (deck 4) in your program but #1 in our hearts.]

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[A view of downtown Miami from our balcony.]

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[A view of our room from downtown Miami.]

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[Welcome aboard, Super!]

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[Where the magic happens . . . ]

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[Once settled, go for a stroll and see what everything’s about.  Here we’re at Mamsen’s, with its seating and viewing area, on deck 7, starboard bow.  That’s the Explorer’s Lounge dead ahead with the view out the front.]

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[Explorer’s Lounge bar – appears the regular crowd has already shuffled in . . . ]

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[Wintergarden, adjacent to the Main Pool on deck 7.  A bar area where they also celebrated high afternoon tea, often with live music . . . ]

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[The Main Pool (sat around it, ate around it, never went in it) . . . ]

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[I’m so happy I could just – well, we won’t go there . . . ]

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[First evening around the pool, entertainment by the Viking Band . . . ]

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[Guess who’s from Minnesota?  My luggage was among the last to be delivered.  They “confiscate” all the bags at the dock and then deliver them to each room – better than having all the old people trying the schlep all their bags all over the ship!]

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[From Wintergarden looking out into the Main Pool, the partying has begun . . . ]

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[The Wintergarden bar . . . ]

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[Rockin’ the night away . . . ]

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[They played all the old classics, as our generation would call them . . . ]

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[Ahhh, a lovely sunset over the city . . . ]

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[The sunset crowd . . . ]

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[From deck 8 looking down onto the pool . . . ]

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[The world’s happiest cruiser!!]

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[An older person always photographs best when backlit . . . ]

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[Starboard aft, looking down on the Infinity Pool area behind the World Cafe, the generic dining place via buffets, on deck 7 . . . ]

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[Looking aft from our port site – the Super did use this pool . . . ]

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[As the lights go down on the city . . . ]

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[Peel me a grape . . . ]

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[Looking yachtside . . . ]

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[We’ll be leaving soon – in this direction . . . ]

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[The temp is becoming more comfortable . . . ]

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[And the band plays on . . . ]

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[Up on the wee bit of deck 9, looking back along the ship . . . ]

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[Still from deck 9, where the Super enjoyed her most sun time . . . ]

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[The Super tries to capture what’s left of the light . . . ]

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[It’s lighter than you think, depending on where you’re looking.  This is deck 9 at the front of the ship . . . ]

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[Come sail away, come sail away, sail away toward Cuba.  We’ll have a day at sea tomorrow.]

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There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.  ~  Robert Louis Stevenson

Up Next:  Day 2 (unless superseded by current events)

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “alexandriacardinals.wordpress.com,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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2 Responses to Panama Canal (Day 1)

  1. G. says:

    Looks wonderful!!! What a delight to get away from the cold Minnesota winter and bask in the sun and warm air. Photos are gorgeous too.

  2. Helen and John says:

    What a fantastic trip! You missed out on 2 weeks of below zero weather here. 😎

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