Our Panama Canal cruise has finally come to an end - a wonderful 17 day cruise on board Holland America Cruise ship "The Veendam". The ship carried 1200 guests mostly from Canada, Australia and the USA, and 500 crew mostly from the Philippines. The crew themselves are wonderful people and ever so friendly. All very polite and courteous and anything you need, they aim to please.
Our rooms were serviced twice daily with bathrooms especially being spotless after each service. there is a huge push to ensure the well-being and health of all guests on-board with hand cleanliness being a high priority and automated hand cleaners throughout the ship everywhere. The first couple of days on board, there was someone stationed to ensure you cleaned your hands before entering the dining areas. But all good in the long run and most people adhered to the hygiene standards expected.
Food was great but as any cruise passenger will tell you, the availability of whatever you want to eat, often whenever you want, is a killer! The ice-creams are delicious and I've never eaten so many desserts! Oh, and then there's the burgers - the best! And the taco bar - and the drinks service continually prowling the pool areas - more drinks???
The actual journey through the Panama Canal is only 1 day - from dawn till dusk basically but it was full on with commentaries and lots to learn and watch as we traversed the Canal. The Canal is an amazing feat of engineering and it's getting bigger! The money being poured into the project for the new locks is staggering as is the size of the new project!
Up then along the Central American and Mexican coastline with port stops in Costa Rica, Nicaragua (one of the poorest countries on the planet behind Haiti and almost makes you cry seeing their living conditions), Guatemala and 3 Mexican ports. 2 or 3 full days and nights at sea in amongst all that and finally into San Diego early this morning.
Another trip to tick off the bucket list but loved every minute of it!