“Panama Canal Cruise”
Cruise review of Holland America Westerdam

bkmcech Westerdam 4 Panama Canal Cruise
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We embarked in Ft. Lauderdale. The embarkation process was the only down side to the cruise. Since we are in a Deluxe Verandah Suite we are supposed to get priority boarding, etc. The people acted like they had never heard of it, even though there was a special line. When we finally got to the front of the line, people were crowding in front of us. It was 6 hours before sailing, but everyone was going crazy like they were going to miss the boat. Once on board, our suite was ready and as usual, flowers and champagne were waiting. The first two days were sea days, it was grey and raining so most of the days were spent relaxing in our suite. The first port was Cartagena, Columbia. The next morning we arose at 5:00 to go out on the bow to watch our entry into the Canal. It took about an hour to get into the first lock and was quite fascinating. We left once we were through the first lock so others could see it from the bow. We were in the Canal and lake the entire day. We were then at sea again, sailing to Costa Rica. The next day we were in Nicaragua. We did a shore excursion to the colonial capital of Leon. Very interesting. The country is beautiful, the people very friendly (but very poor), and the food was good. The country is trying to develop tourism and I do hope they succeed. Then we were in Puerto Vallarta, my favorite city on mainland Mexico. The last port was Cabo San Lucas, my Mexican home away from home. The last day at sea to San Diego was very chilly so a quiet day. We ate in the Pinnacle 7 times (2 of the nights were the La Cirque menu) and it was great as usual. All in all, this was a great cruise. There were many days at sea which I wasn't sure about at first but I enjoyed them all. Our room stewards were great. The staff in the Neptune were extremly helpful and always greeted us with a smile. We disembarked in San Diego. The ship went on to Seattle.
Westerdam Cruises to the Panama Canal & Central America
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Cabin review: Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite

Port and Shore Excursions

We took a taxi to the shopping area. Once away from the port, it is a very old city with cobble stone streets. The shopping area was busy with vendors selling everything. We did have a very nice taxi driver who waited while we did shopping.
Tequila Factory Walking Tour
We were bussed to a hacienda that had been converted to a tequila factory. Tasted about 8 different tequilas and then purchased a few. It was really a fun excursion and I would recommend it.
Published 05/15/12
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Westerdam Cruises to the Panama Canal & Central America
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