Posted July 10th, 2005, 02:01 PM
Thought I would jump on board here - we just got home Friday to LA off the POA - I 'flew' with Mary, Nancy and Kristy on the PO America thru the canal....it was such a great experience 'talking' to all the CC'ers for months before the cruise and then actually meeting them on board. WE had a great group - all very compatible - and spent lots of time together as a CC family.
Nancy had signs made for all our cabin doors and a few of us decorated our doors for July 4th also. We were invitied to several VIP events due to our CC affiliation; Al the Concierge treated us like royalty (VIP tender tickets, invitations to parties, VIP disembarktion, etc) had a CC cocktail party with the upper staff members and Scott Hanby was great...very funny, personable super guy. Rich was an awesome cruise director. Full of energy, funny, looked alot like Pee Wee Herman and Gilbert Godfrey combined...couldn't have asked for a better CD.
The CC'ers met several times for cocktails, shore excursions, drinks, trivia games, bingo, sail away parties, etc and Nancy presented us all (approx 30 of us total) with Ty Beanie Babies of an American Eagle on the last night, since we were called 'Cruisin' Eagles'. THANKS AGAIN NANCY FOR EVERYTHING!! We also took a group photo to commemerate our voyage. Being a part of these boards gave us lots of info and immediate friends on board - I would highly recommend joining in on the chats.
The Panama Canal trip was super - with a balcony cabin you felt like you were part of the event and got a close up look of the action. We did a private tour in Puerto Limon with Oscar Brown tours and would recommend him He was on the pier waiting for us, sign in hand, had a near new van with great AC. (canopy, canal boat ride, banana plantation and a stop for coffee purchases for only $115 each).
We were on deck 10 midship with a balcony - it was supposed to be 233 sq feet with a 95 sq foot balcony, but it wasn't. - it was the smallest cabin we have ever had in over 20 cruises. There were 3 of us in our cabin and only one person could move at a time, others had to sit or stand out of the way to move across the room or go onto the balcony, and your arms hit the shower wall when trying to wash your hair....nothing that can be done about this now, just be aware - book the biggest cabin you can afford!! One great thing is you could sit on the toilet and brush your teeth at the same time.....great time saver!!!
Being a new ship offered some challenges - some things like the ice cream machine broke down daily; crew was new and as lost as us for the first few days; dining service was pretty slow, but as Mary said we weren't in a rush; speciality restaurants were all excellent; our room steward was the worst (had to find our own toilet paper, towels, room not made up on several days, etc) but others were excellent and even made towel animals; Aloha Cafe is open 24/7 but watch out for the slick floor (I looked like a beached whale when I slipped in syrup and coffee that had been spilled and fell! - Luckily didn't get hurt); medical staff was very professional and accomodating (husband had to get stitches after the canopy/zipline tour); entertainment was very good - lots of comedians, jugglers, piano players, only 2 production shows but very well done; Marsh the artist was on board for caricatures; photo staff was excellent and very fun;
Hope that covers some of the questions - feel free to ask anything I didn't cover.