DH and I booked this trip over 1 1/2 years earlier and were very much looking to check the Panama Canal off of our bucket list of places to visit. We were not disappointed at all. This truly was a trip of a lifetime. The ship was leaving out of San Francisco and we would end in Ft. Lauderdale. This was our longest cruise ever at 17 days, and I was a little worried it would be too long. Not so - the days went by very pleasantly, but as always too quickly.
We left New Jersey 2 days early and stayed 2 nights at the Harbor Court Hotel in San Francisco. I had booked this hotel because it "was" a Kimpton Hotel - not so any longer, and although the staff was very nice and helpful, the room we requested with a view was not what we expected. The window with the supposed view was a small little window about 6 feet up the outside wall - never saw any view, much less anything at all except sky. Enough about the hotel. While we were in San Francisco we did a lot of walking and looked at our ship the Infinity which was being used as a floating hotel during the DreamForce Convention.
Two days later we were able to board - a little bit of a delay as they were still trying to get the hotel guests off of the ship. Check-in was quick and after the little wait we were on board quickly with a glass of Champagne in hand.
Cabin was in excellant condition. We have stayed in Aqua Class before and thoroughly enjoyed it. Love the shower and the Ice Tea that was in the room every day. Our cabin attendants were wonderful.
Love San Francisco. Stayed for 2 nights prior to cruise. Enjoyed walking down the Embarcodaro. Walked everywhere.
DH and I rented a Surrey for two and road down the Bike/Walking path that follows the Bay. Enjoyed stopping for coffee/tea and then Cannery Row for lunch. Provided good exercise as well as being a relaxing way to enjoy Monterey.
Walked around on our own. This is definitely a party town - mostly just bars around the port. We did find a little bar where we had good Margarita's as well as a trio of fresh salsa's and chips.
Ended up to be mostly a "shopping tour". Did go to the Tequila Factory which was interesting and I always enjoy a good Tequila.
Knowledgeable tour guide - a little too much Politics. Also, advertised as a small tour, so we had a group of 9 and ended up to be with other groups on the same tour (not as advertised or discussed with tour guide) on a big bus. Was not as personal of a tour as I thought we booked and was pricey for what we ended up getting. Included coffee plantation tour which was very good.
Spent just the right amount of time at both the old and new locks. Guide was informative.
Booked a small group with an independent tour guide. Martin was excellent - visited two forts (got off the van and had nice informative walks of the forts) as well as the monastery. Include a guided walk of the old City which was really beautiful and included the Cathedral. Excellent tour.