January 26, 2020

Sat Jan 25, 2020 Cartagena, Columbia

Another beautiful day in the Southern Caribbean. Sunny, clear skies, temperatures in the low 80's, a pleasant breeze

A special treat for me, we share the pier with Monarch, the former Monarch of the Seas that I cruised on many times. She is disembarking and boarding many passengers. Unlike the US, passengers carry their luggage, no other option.

No tour for me, but an hour watching the flamingos, peacocks, parrots  tucans, monkeys, and the large ant eater. Parrots like to sit on ladies shoulders and attempt to remove ear rings. At least once they succeeded, much to the dismay of the lady. 

A wander thru the shops and seeing that chocolate is selling for between $75 and $100 per pound, I quickly loose my passion for dark chocolate, well at least for today.

Returning to the ship, it is mostly void of passengers. The pools are empty and the Windjammer has plenty of seating.

The harbor is busy with the arrival and unloading of container ships. A Columbian naval vessel armed with machine guns and larger artillary periodically plies the waters. There to protect the drug trade?

A few beverages in the Safari lounge and another good meal in the dining room. I would like to say my faith in Royal has been restored, but I am skeptical.

I did have the thought that hot fresh food may be because we are dining at 6. Long after the 5 and 5:30 seating.  Nearly no other passengers are being seated at 6:00. Maybe I have learned something.

The seas remain calm as we head to Aruba, our next port. Well, our next scheduled port would be more precise.

We turn our clocks ahead one hour for the next several days.

Friday Jan 24. 2020 Colon, Panama

After running around in the ocean going nowhere we returned to a berth in Colon, Panama early this morning.

If not taking a tour, there is very little, actually almost nothing to do here. Most tours to view the canal or the rainforest leave very early at 6:00 or as shortly thereafter as the buses can be loaded. Beyond the confines of the pier, the area is really not safe for tourists to wander.

One couple did, were stopped by police, and promptly directed to a bus to take them safely back to the ship.

I spend a quiet day on the ship.

For the first time since leaving Florida several days ago the sun is out. Passengers are happy, as many were beginning to get grumpy with the overcast skies.

The lounge is very hot tonight as the sun is beating in the glass windows that surroung the end of the lounge. When originally launched there were curtains thst could be closed, but at some point they have been removed.

Dinner again in the MDR, main dining room, is excellent. Now if we can just get the skills of the galley here cloned to other ships.

The seas remain calm. Tomorrow morning we will be in Cartagena, Columbia.