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-   -   Island Princess, April 6, 2008, Exotic Panama Canal (http://www.cruisereviews.com/forum/roll-calls/10091-island-princess-april-6-2008-exotic-panama-canal.html)

f-mattox 11-10-2007 06:44 PM

I know it's a ways off, but I'd love to chat with anyone going on this Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles adventure.

Love to Cruize 11-20-2007 10:13 AM

We're sailing on the Island Princess on March 7.

Policies can change from one sailing to another but we'll be back before you leave so may be able to answer some last minute questions.

f-mattox 11-20-2007 12:22 PM

Thank you so much for posting. I will very much look forward to any suggestions or comments you have on the shore excursions--I have been to Colombia and Costa Rica, but none of the other ports.

I have been on Island Princess before so if I can reciprocate with any advice on the ship, please don't hesitate to ask.

Have a wonderful cruise.

Rick

jocruiser 02-23-2008 08:55 PM

Please take time and go to the Wheelhouse Bar. They have a fantstic band there every night. Phoenix Rising will not disappoint you. If you like to dance or just hear good music that's the place to be. Please tell Joey and the guys Gene and JoAnn said Hi and request "Soulman" Thanks

GrannyC 03-09-2008 08:14 AM

We were on the Island Princess in December. It was a great trip! Do you have questions about specific ports?

f-mattox 03-09-2008 05:53 PM

Yes, thank you GrannyC;

San Juan del Sur, Puerto Quetzal and Huatulco are all new ports for us; are there any excursions you would recommend or advise to stay away from? We picked some based on our own research, but it's not the same as hearing from someone who has actually been there.

jocruiser, we will definitely check out the Wheelhouse Bar; and say "hi" to the guys.

Love to Cruize, I see you are on your way. Have a great cruise, and I look forward to your input when you return.

Rick

GrannyC 03-09-2008 07:33 PM

You will be seeing so many new things on this trip! We did everything from a submarine dive, to cliff divers, to volcanoes, to a cactus farm, coffee plantations, wildlife preserve and on to some of the most primitive conditions weve seen anywhere. The cruise is truly a unique set of experiences. We loved it!

We got tour recommendations from AJ at the shore excursion desk. He's great! One of his recommendations was to take the Rural Communities and Traditions tour in Huatulco. Thanks to AJ, we saw a whole different way of life. The tour group was split among different vans, all rotating sights so there was no over crowding at any one place. The tour took us out into the Sierra Madre mountains to the homes of real people. We had tamales, cactus salad and cactus tacos, fresh juices, saw how adobe bricks were made, saw real kitchens (not like at home!) and visited a most 'unique' rest room. This tour may not be for everyone, but it was perfect for us. BTW, look for sea turtles as you sail into Huatulco.

Nicaragua was the one port I will remember most of all the places on our cruise. I knew life was different when I saw oxen pulling carts loaded with branches (fencing?). The roads were very poor - worse than in Costa Rica. We passed sugar cane fields, coffee plantations and very thin cattle. The ranchers were out riding horses all along the roads and pastures. The city of Granada was beautiful. The lunch provided on this tour was the best meal of our cruise - absolutely the most delicious food - even better than on the ship. The beer was pretty good too. Now, about the boat ride, we enjoy seeing homes along the water and views of the city across the water. The highlight of the boat trip was the monkey island where monkeys played in the trees above our heads. That was the Colonial Granada and Islets Boat Ride with Lunch. DH did not enjoy this port as much as I did.

Guatemala. Wow! Make that a double WOW! Our guide told us the volcanoes in the area were active. They were! We saw two eruptions on our Colonial Antigua with Lunch tour. What a sight! Things we enjoyed most were the loving attitude people showed toward each other and especially the children, the market with its bright colors, the beautiful sunset over sugar cane fields and the beer we bought from a street vendor. The hotel where we had lunch was also beautiful.

Each of our guides did an outstanding job. They each showed so much love for their countries. They all were unique and very enjoyable. Kudos to whom ever arranged the excursions for Princess.

Note: Please bring bug spray and use it going through the Canal. There were black flies that had a nasty bite. Acapulco was the only other place we found biting insects.

GrannyC 03-09-2008 07:36 PM

We agree with jocruiser. Plan on spending some time at the Wheelhouse Bar.

f-mattox 03-09-2008 08:26 PM

GrannyC, thank you so much for the quick reply and the great information. We must be on the right track because we have already pre-reserved two of the tours you describe. Huatulco was our question mark, and after your description, I think we'll go for that one too.

Thank you again.

Rick


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