The Start Of Our Cruise

What an incredible ride 2016 was! It was dotted with many events and trips but ended with a fantastic cruise from Los Angeles to Santiago, Chile.

We flew to Los Angeles the end of November and spent several days there visiting friends and family.

We then spend several days with Mike’s sister, Patty at her wonderfully relaxing home in Bodfish before the three of us headed to San Pedro to spend the night before the cruise.

Mike found out that Princess offered something called the Bon Voyage Experience, where you can invite people, at a cost, to join you for several hours onboard before the cruise. We had Mike’s daughter, Patricia, son-in-law, Brent and three of our grandchildren, Diana, Betsey and Emma along with Mike’s sister join us for the experience. We all had a wonderful lunch in the main dining room then headed up to our cabin to check it out. We then went to the Lido deck where everyone went through the buffet line to see what that was all about and came out with a handful of cookies. And if we didn’t already have enough sweets, we all stood in line for an ice cream cone. The couple of hours past swiftly and soon we were saying our good-byes and doling out hugs and kisses as they all left the ship and we settled in for a relaxing 17 days to Santiago.

1CA12-4-16Group*Front row: Susan, Betsey and Emma  Back row: Patty, Mike, Diana, Brent and Patricia

We left San Pedro on December 4th but were delayed several hours so it was already dark as we sailed out of the harbor. I’m not sorry we were delayed as it was beautiful passing all the lights as we headed out.


MANZANILLO – We were at sea for the first three days. We love the sea-days and always try to pick cruises that have more of them than port days. Our first stop. December 7th, was Manzanillo, Mexico. We did get off the ship and wandered a bit around the part of town close to the port. It was extremely hot and we just didn’t feel like walking too much so ended up back on the ship wrapped in the coolness of the air conditioning. Here are some of the sites we saw while wandering around.


4Manzanillo12-7-16HarborThe harbor as we were coming in
5Manzanillo12-7-16SailfishStatueStylized sailfish at the harbor
6Manzanillo12-7-16MarketOne of the local markets
7Manzanillo12-7-16TomatoesA truckload of tomatoes
9Manzanillo12-7-16ShipOur ship 

Another couple of days at sea with beautiful sunsets


SAN JUAN DEL SUR, NICARAGUA – On December 10th we tendered in to San Juan Del Sur. We weren’t sure we were going to make it as the winds a couple days before were at 45 knots and we were told we wouldn’t be able to make it if the winds were above about 27. I think they had dropped to about 25 knots by the time we arrived so we were able to make it ashore.

It was a nice, sleepy fishing village filled with vibrant color on buildings, parks and everywhere you looked. I really liked the feel of this small town and would have loved to spend more time.

11oNicaragua12-10-16SanJuanDelSurComing into San Juan Del Sur
11Nicaragua12-10-16SanJuanDelSurMikeSusanHere we are with the harbor in the background
12Nicaragua12-10-16SanJuanDelSurThe beach with the mountains surrounding the city
14Nicaragua12-10-16SanJuanDelSurSusanThe colorful church in the plaza
13Nicaragua12-10-16SanJuanDelSur copyWhat do you think OSHA would say
15Nicaragua12-10-16SanJuanDelSurA very colorful town

PUNTARENAS, COSTA RICA – The next day we stopped in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. We went on a tour several years ago so decided to just wander along the beach there in the port. As with so many of the ports we have seen in past years, there are stalls selling everything imaginable. We even encountered three men sitting near the beach entertaining the people passing by.

20CostaRica12-11-16PuntarenasHeading into town
18CostaRica12-11-16PuntarenasNice beaches
16CostaRica12-11-16PuntarenasMikeMike with ship in the background
17CostaRica12-11-16PuntarenasKids playing soccer on the beach
19CostaRica12-11-16PuntarenasBandLove this string instrument he has but I don’t think he was happy with my taking his picture

CROSSING THE EQUATOR – On December 13th we crossed the equator and had a fun but very messy ceremony called the Pollywog Ceremony or Crossing the Line Ceremony. I seems to be quite the tradition for guests as the ship crosses the equator. Originally it was a hazing ritual for sailors, Pollywogs (newbies) and may still be but it has evolved into just a fun day on cruise ships. 

The ceremony of Crossing the Line is an initiation rite in the British Merchant Navy, Dutch merchant navy, Royal Navy, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, Royal Australian Navy, Russian Navy, and other navies that commemorate a sailor’s first crossing of the Equator. 

Whatever the reason for the ceremony, fun was had by all.

21Equator12-13-16PollywogIt was a beautiful day as everyone gathered on the Lido Deck
22Equator12-13-16PollywogThe crowd is whipped into a frenzy
23Equator12-13-16PollywogPrepared to administer the punishment
24Equator12-13-16PollywogLet the punishment begin. There was orange whipped cream, raw eggs…
25Equator12-13-16Pollywog…red and green jello, shaghetti…
27Equator12-13-16Pollywog…and hardly anyone escaped the fun and the mess!
26Equator12-13-16PollywogWe were on the upper deck so just watched the fun
28Equator12-13-16PollywogThen they all jumped into the pool to clean off as it turned a sickly brown color

Be sure to see the continuation of our cruise in our next post.

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