My Husband and I were looking for a winter getaway from the cold of the Midwest and choose the Panama Canal Cruise because of the January departure from Los Angeles, Ca. This was one of those bucket list trips for us.
There were lines to enter the cruise terminal but after check in there were seats for sitting while waiting. Entering the ship went pretty smooth and we were pleased how our bags and pre-ordered water were in the room. Our cabin was small but nice. On a couple of cleanings our cabin steward forgot to bring us any towels but that was okay as they came within a moment after calling them. The entertainment was top notch with Footloose, Elements, and a variety of entertainers. The main dining room was poor (The Manhattan). The service had no teamwork and we were without water refills and assistance with menu questions, wrong beverage coffee. It took way too long 2 hours for the little that we ordered. The food had tough meat and a menu that rarely changed. We did enjoy The Local which prepared food delivered to table and also The Savor and The Taste. The menus there repeated often as well but the food was okay and the dessert options better.
The buffet at the Garden Cafe was usually not hot and sometimes the cold items not cold. After the 9th day they started removing salt, pepper, sugar, and silverware from tables Then a couple of days later no was was to serve their own food and ropes partitioned people from food items with staff handing out all silverware, plates napkins, stir sticks, and food. We were no longer asked to use the hand sanitizer or met at the door with washy, washy staff but rather stood in long lines to use a sink, soap and water. We all knew there was a problem of unknown illnesses and people quit eating there causing long lines at the other restaurants. We ended up eating some protein bars from home rather than risk the outbreak. Meals were now being delivered to rooms and we were told that stewards had less rooms to clean than when the cruise began. People everywhere were coughing and one day visitors were seen onboard wearing guest passes in Guatemala. That made us think CDC under the circumstances amid hearing on the news about the Corona virus. We were never told what illnesses were happening but elevators and stairs were no longer busy. People were out on deck in the air or at the observation deck and at the evening show only. Although the staff were cleaning constantly it did not seem to help.
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