Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

John and Diane's Lucky Number 7

Recommended Posts

I am all ready to read your adventure going from Ft Lauderdale to San Francisco.


Glad you got all your chores done in Ft Lauderdale.


Great pictures.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Friday, May 17, 2019

At Sea en route to Cartagena, Colombia


Yesterday was such a hectic, rushing day - for us as well as for the passengers disembarking as well as the new ones embarking on their new adventure.  Today, however, is fairly settled, and it’s easier to see the differences between the WC and the current one.


For one thing, I’ve been told that there is not one empty cabin.  Whereas there were almost 1200 passengers on the last leg of the WC, today there are 1350.  The average age has decreased by about 30 years, there’s an actual baby on board (but, thankfully, no dogs), and there are two young men who are Club HAL age.  Our friend Geoffrey is the Club HAL man (until Guatemala) and he does a wonderful job with kids of any age.


This morning at the Lido I noticed several changes.  The European section at the end of the Lido, which contained such treats as herring, pate, and olives, is gone, replaced by a really nice array of fruit plates.  As a serious non-fan of herring, that’s not too big a sacrifice to me.  Of course I do miss the fresh-squeezed orange juice, and thank heaven Mary, the omelette lady, is still here.  In fact John enjoyed one of her creations this morning.  


Similarly, the lunch Lido has undergone some changes.  I used to make good use of the sandwich bar, where I could have someone make me just the right kind of egg salad sandwich accompanied by pickles and occasionally some chips.  Now, that station serves pasta, and if we want a sandwich it comes in a bag.  The other change is the transformation of the sushi/sashimi/Asian soup bar into another salad bar.  That’s a change that doesn’t affect me, but John used to enjoy having them put “exactly five” tiny pieces of red pepper (the kind that burns your lips off) into his Asian soup.  Fortunately the dessert station and the ice cream bar are still in excellent shape.  Today we went “window shopping” around the entire Lido, finally deciding that it was a Dive-In day, time to split an absolutely wonderful bacon cheeseburger and an order of crunchy, crispy fries.  We don’t dare do that too often.  


We spent some time at the pool late this morning and I actually dunked myself in the water.  The temperature today is in the low 80’s, and it’s absolutely perfect weather for me.  Of course with a high passenger count and a much lower average age, the pool deck was packed.  The number of bikinis increased ten-fold, and the noise level increased along with it (in a good way).  I think we’ll try that back deck again tomorrow.


Dinner last night was a wonderful surprise.  We’ve moved to an upstairs table on the railing and found, as expected, Manny, our favorite former beverage server and now outstanding wine steward.  Next we had a visit from Joel (pronounced Jo - El), the newest cellar master.  He was our wine steward downstairs and has been promoted.  He looks absolutely amazing in his new tuxedo and bow tie.  The biggest surprise, however, was that our new waiter is actually our old waiter.  We didn’t know that Indy was moving upstairs and we were surprised and incredibly pleased to find him at our table.  He introduced us to Derry, his new assistant, and told us that Oka, our downstairs assistant waiter was still downstairs but with someone else.  


John ordered the swordfish, since he orders fish 90% of the time, and said it was as good as any he’d had on the WC.  I had a bite and I have to agree with him.  My risotto was great too.  One difference is the “anytime” menu, which has shrunk from six items to three.  We no longer have the strip steak, the jumbo shrimp cocktail, or the grilled chicken breast on it, but we do have Caesar salad, French onion soup, and salmon.  All in all, we don’t see much difference in the dining room between the WC and this one.  


They say that life is change, and I guess that applies to cruises, too.  I think we’re just happy to be enjoying the Amsterdam life for a little longer. 




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

John and Diane - First let me say how much I've enjoyed your blog.  Great writing and always entertaining.


In a previous entry regarding your move to an oceanview cabin you wrote "On Deck 2, we had the Promenade Deck above us with walking noise,  the cabins on Deck 3 are just too small, so here we are where we like to be (if we can’t have a verandah)."


Are these really so bad on deck 2?  We were planning on booking one soon.  I realize the promenade is right above but I thought that would be more daytime noise when we wouldn't be in the cabin much.  Am I wrong?  I'd appreciate any input.  I also thought deck 1 would have engine noise, is this wrong?  Thanks.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you are adjusting well to a different type of cruise.


I am surprised that the sandwiches are all in a bag.  Many of us complained when HAL did this for a couple of years.  So HAL had some premade sandwiches and a small area where sandwiches were made to order.


Great pictures.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn’t worry too much about Deck 2. John is an incredibly light sleeper, but you’re right about most of the noise being daytime. I’ve heard people complain about engine or anchor noise on 1, but we’ve not experienced that. Just enjoy your cruise!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

We made it home safely and enjoyed our first BBQ.  Missing you both, thanks for the great memories...


jane and bill

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Saturday, May 18, 2019

At Sea en route to Cartagena, Colombia


Boy, what a difference in weather.  We battled rain, thunderstorms, wind gusts up to 80 mph and high temperatures in the low 50’s as we crossed the Atlantic, but now it’s “Pool Party On” weather.  Today’s high is 83 degrees, and yesterday’s was about the same, except that we had some cooler, rainy weather in the afternoon.  I guess this just shows that we’re in the Caribbean.


Last night was our first Gala Evening, and we were curious as to how it would compare to those on the WC.  We realize that on shorter cruises, most people don’t bring an entire formal wardrobe, but we did expect people to be somewhat dressy.  For the most part, that was true, with most ladies in nice outfits, but we saw no more than a dozen men in tuxedos and probably barely more than half in coat and tie.  At 7:45, after first seating and just before second, there was a “Captain’s Toast,” for which everyone was handed a glass of sparkling wine and “met” the captain, who spoke of his wishes for the cruise and then we lifted our glasses to a wonderful voyage.  At this event, we saw people dressed in everything from beaded formalwear to shorts and tee shirts.  In his Facebook post, John mentioned this, and made a tongue-in-cheek comment that for some people, a clean and pressed white tee shirt consititutes formal wear.  A good friend from home replied that he didn’t see any problem with that, especially if said tee shirt was paired with clean, camouflage cargo shorts.  We did get a laugh out of that.


The show last night was the first appearance of The Runaround Kids on this voyage, and while we saw the same show on the WC, it was still great fun and great music.  They mix wonderful 50’s and 60’s music with humor and just general silliness.  When I spoke with a couple of them at lunch yesterday, they said that they’d have two shows on this cruise and then disembark in Guatemala.  We’re looking forward to the second one.


On today’s schedule, to John’s pleasure, there is a pickleball meeting on the Sports Deck at 10:30 this morning.  We had a walk up there after breakfast at about 8:30 and found that the wind was up, but there’s hope that it will leave off long enough for those interested to get in a game.  It’s too bad that most of the best players disembarked in Florida, but perhaps there are even better ones on board now.  John has enjoyed the exercise and hopes to get some in before San Francisco.


Tomorrow is Cartagena, a city we’ve been to and enjoyed a couple of times.  We’re looking forward to wandering through the old colonial city, perhaps having an early lunch (we sail at 1:00), and maybe even sampling a cold Colombian beer. 


P. S.  Jane and Bill - we miss you so much.  Last evening we walked into the "Captain's Welcome Toast" and looked around, hoping you had saved us seats.  Glad to hear that the barbecued chicken was as good as


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Cartagena, Colombia


It was a short but sweet visit to the northern tip of South America, docking at 7:00 AM and setting sail at 1:00 PM.  Sitting on the coast, Cartagena was a target for nearly every pirate and swashbuckler in the 16th Century, so the inhabitants built a wall entirely around their town.  It now is the longest city wall in South America. Parts of it were damaged over the years and had to be rebuilt, but nothing is newer than about 1750.  


In most ports, there’s a building with some small shops and possibly a cafe with the every popular internet, but in Cartagena it’s entirely different.  After about a quarter mile walk, one arrives at a tropical paradise, with flamingoes, black swans, small deer, and brightly colored birds of several breeds.  The cameras were going crazy and you’ll (hopefully) see some photos of the beauties of the place.  


We spent a bit of time there, but our real goal was the Old City inside the wall, and for that we needed either a lot more time for walking or a taxi.  Since there would be no more time, the taxi it was.  Our driver was Leo, and he had a wonderful personality, joking with us and telling us about his planned birthday celebration the next day.  When he dropped us off just outside the wall, we made an agreement to be picked up two hours later, and then we began our exploration.


The Old City contains a warren of small streets, barely big enough for a small car to drive one way, with beautiful colonial houses painted in bright colors and, of course, many, many shops.  The main attraction for a lot of the ship’s shoppers was Colombia’s reputation for emeralds, and it seemed that there was a jewelry store or two on every block.  There were also numerous coffee shops, as Colombian coffee is known all over the world.  There were even a few reminders of Colombia’s violent past, when it was known for drug gangs.  There were small stands selling everything from hats to fruit along the streets as well as ladies dressed in national costume with fruit in their hats.  I know this is going to date me, but it made me think of Carmen Miranda.  


If we’d had more time, we would have enjoyed a Colombian lunch and a cold Colombian beer, but that was not to be, so after our wander and browsing were done, we rejoined Leo and headed back to the port.  Instead of heading directly to the ship, however, we spent some time in the charming port area, buying, writing and sending Jessica’s postcard and then enjoying a long phone call with our daughter.  


Finally it was time to head back to the ship for lunch and, promptly at 1:00, we threw off the ropes and headed out to sea.  The reason for the early sailaway is tomorrow’s destination, the Panama Canal.  We learned from Captain Jonathan on the last canal transit that it’s important for a ship to be in line from an early hour to be ready to enter the canal.  


Although the visit wasn’t nearly long enough, we really enjoyed spending time in Cartagena and especially wandering through the Old City.  We can highly recommend this port. 












Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

We always make certain that we are up early as we make the approach to the canal.  It is interesting to see all the freighters all lit up -- some waiting their turn to go through the canal which can be several days and others waiting for repairs to go through the canal.  


Love those Panama Buns.


Great report.  That zoo at the pier has really grown over the years.


Great pictures.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Monday, May 20, 2019

Transit of the Panama Canal


As this is our eighth transit of the Panama Canal, you’d think it was a ho-hum situation, but it certainly isn’t.  The engineering marvel that this canal represents is truly amazing and we never cease to find it fascinating.  Also, the fact that we’re on Deck 1 now gives us an entirely new view of the whole process.  I was reading today’s New York Times Digest when suddenly the room became dark.  I thought John had closed the blackout curtains, but it turned out that we had entered a lock and were entirely enclosed by its stone walls.  After the lights went on in our cabin, I could clearly see the work that had been done over a hundred years ago in building the walls of each lock.


I think I’d been through the canal a few times before I realized why the locks were necessary.  Although all oceans are at the same level, Gatun Lake is 27 meters higher than sea level, so if it were not for locks, the lake would empty into both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.   So . . . in our direction, north to south rather than east to west as most people believe, we go through the Gatun Locks and into Gatun Lake.  There are two lanes, one in each direction, and sometimes it’s fun to be opposite a cruise ship and watch people come out on their balconies in bathrobes to wave to us.  


The tropical beauty of the lake is outstanding, with green islands everywhere and, hopefully, a quick view of a monkey or even a cayman (an alligator relative).  Cruising the lake is the longest part of the transit, but it’s the locks which take the most time.  A complete transit of the canal takes about ten hours.  Right now we’re in Gatun Lake, and later today we’ll go through the Culebra Cut, the narrowest part of the canal.  From there we enter the Pedro Miguel Locks and then the Miraflores Locks, leading us into the Pacific Ocean.


When Bruce, the Cruise Director, asked last evening before the show how many people were transiting the canal for the first time, more than half the hands went up.  We’ve listened to people talking about the canal being way near the top of their bucket list, and how many have planned this cruise for years.  We can certainly understand this being a goal; it really is a wonder of this modern world.  


Although you’re no doubt familiar with the history of the canal, a few highlights in case you’re not.  Although the French tried to build a canal in 1880, there were too many financial problems and tropical diseases, so the effort came to nothing.  After Panamanian independence in 1903, a second successful effort was made by the United States, culminating in the opening of the Panama Canal on August 15, 1914.  The agreement was that the United States would administer the canal until December 31, 1999, and it was then that Panama took over operations.  Operations continued smoothly through that transition and have worked beautifully ever since.  In 2016, the expanded second (almost parallel) canal opened, which has doubled the capacity of the canal and allows ships that were previously too large to fit.  Its locks are named Cocoli and Agua Clara, two sets instead of three.  


During a previous transit, we were told that our ship was charged about $250,000 to pass through the canal.  At first I thought that was outrageous, but when that information was followed with the approximate cost of sailing around South America (in the millions), it made much more sense.  Next year’s WC does just that, sailing down the east coast of South America, visiting Antarctica, and then up the west coast.  Just the cost of fuel alone is higher than the cost of transiting the canal, not to mention all the other costs of a cruise.


I guess this will be our last Panama Canal for quite some time, since next year we won’t transit at all.  All the more reason, then, to just relax and enjoy this one.  












Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/18/2019 at 12:12 PM, tennisbeforewine said:

Saturday, May 18, 2019

At Sea en route to Cartagena, Colombia


At this event, we saw people dressed in everything from beaded formalwear to shorts and tee shirts.  In his Facebook post, John mentioned this, and made a tongue-in-cheek comment that for some people, a clean and pressed white tee shirt constitutes formal wear.  A good friend from home replied that he didn’t see any problem with that, especially if said tee shirt was paired with clean, camouflage cargo shorts.  We did get a laugh out of that.



Other folks definition of "formal wear" is wearing the Jeans without the holes in the knees.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have enjoyed following your posts during the WC although I was way, way behind until finally catching up this evening.  Thank you very much for taking the time to let me "cruise"  along you as it was ( and continues to be) a welcome nightly distraction for me during a very stressful time.


The new additions of pictures this year was " the cherry on top" to your posts.  Thanks for persevering the occasional internet malfunction to faithfully add them.


I eagerly await to hear about your adventures on this second leg.  Safe travels!



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

At Sea en route to Corinto, Nicaragua


We’ve entered the Pacific, and it’s living up to the name that Balboa gave it, meaning “peaceful.”  The temperature is 78 degrees, the seas are calm, and we’re enjoying a great deal of sea life, incuding dolphins, flying fish, and a variety of sea birds.  What a difference between our eight wild days on the Atlantic!  We had some rain last night and early this morning, but now it’s partly cloudy, as the weather people say, and good weather for tanning.  


Since we were given a free dinner in The Pinnacle for booking back-to-back cruises, we decided to use it last evening, and we enjoyed a great meal.  We were welcomed by Peter, a chaming Hungarian who’s temporarily taking over Pinnacle management from Tina.  We talked about Budapest and our favorite things there, and he gave us some suggestions for dinner.


The last time we ate there with all our tablemates, we all decided that the starters were so good that it would be a smart idea to make a meal of them, so that’s what we did last evening.  We began with an amuse bouche of lobster flan (with nice chunks of lobster) in a demitasse cup.  Then John had a wedge salad which was served with crumbled bacon, blue cheese, chopped tomato, red onion, and toasted walnuts.  I don’t usually like iceberg lettuce, but that looked delicious.  My first starter was lobster bisque which was thick and rich and delicious.  Then we shared the (now famous on board) clothesline candied bacon.  It comes with three hanging pieces of thick bacon, of which I had one and John volunteered to eat the other two.  What a sacrifice!  It comes with half a semi-sour pickle, and I realized that if I ate a bit of the pickle with a bite of the bacon, the maple syrup sweetness was cut.  


For “main” courses, John had crab cakes and I had Caesar salad, both from the starter menu.  We also added two side dishes:  beets with blue cheese and French fries in a cone, hot out of the oil.  Yummm.  The quantitiy of food was just about perfect, because the starter portions aren’t too big and we never got to the steaks and seafood main courses.  We did give in to dessert, though.  I had watermelon sorbet and John had key lime pie.  Then, as though we hadn’t had enough food, our server brought us a tray of white and dark chocolates.  Such decadence.  I think we might just go back.  Since it was about 45 minutes until the evening show, we spent that time with a wonderful walk around the deck under an almost full moon.  


One change that’s been made after the WC is happy hour, defined as charging only $2.00 for the second drink (as long as it’s the same as the first).  It used to be from 4:30 to 5:30 and then from 6:30 to 7:30, fitting itself into the time before both dinners.  Now there’s just one happy hour from 4:00 until 5:00 in both the Crow’s Nest and the Ocean Bar, but boy is it popular.  We’ve attended twice and, although we miss our friends, we do know all the staff there, so we have a good time.  We won’t be attending every day, but it’s nice to know we can do so.  


After our leisurely sea day today, we head into three straight ports:  Corinto, Nicaragua; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; and Huatulco, Mexico.  Latin American ports are always fun with good food and great local markets.  We’re not sure yet what we’ll do in Corinto, but I think in Puerto Quetzal we’ll head to the colonial city of Antigua.


This two week adventure is going quickly, so we’re going to take advantage of the time we have before San Francisco.   





Edited by tennisbeforewine
wrong date

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our favorite tables in the Pinnacle Grill on the Amsterdam is 1 of the first 2 tables by the windows looking into the hallway. 


I love wedges of lettuce.


That bacon still doesn't attract me even though I love bacon.


Those are the Happy Hours we have experienced -- both in the Ocean Bar and Crow's Nest.


Have been to all 3 of those ports several times.


Great pictures.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Corinto, Nicaragua


So many times we cruise into huge ports with mega cities and high rise buildings, but today we docked in Corinto, a small town with very traditional and colorful one-story buildings.  The main means of transport here is the bicycle rickshaw, and it’s not only for the tourists but seems to be how local people get around, since cars are fairly scarce.  

As we disembarked the ship, we were offered transport to the beach, tours of the town, and any other destination we thought desirable.  


We like to walk, however, and so we set off down the main street, a very familiar location from our last visit here.  It seems that small stores are mixed in with homes and people were meeting on the street and at the entrances to buildings, just exchanging news and probably talking about all these tourists.  There’s a large park in the middle of town with comfortable benches under trees which offered shade from the 87 degree heat and about 95% humidity.  As we walked and walked, I began to drip and drip, and my hair, which would like to be frizzy, was achieving its goal.


Our destination was the beach and the casual, thatched-roof bar/restaurant which had been our lunch spot last time.  On the way, we passed two women making tortillas, kneading the dough, patting it into circles, and cooking the tortillas in a hot pan.  We took a wrong turn, however, and ended up at Costa Azul, a pretty little ocean-front restaurant.  They had some very tempting ice-cold beer, but since it wasn’t even 10:00 in the morning, we decided that it was a bit too early.  After chatting with the waitress and taking a photo of her with John in front of the beer refrigerator, we continued our walk until we did indeed find El Buzo, our prior stop.  By now it was about 11:00, and faced with several shipboard passengers fighting the heat with cold beer, we joined them.  We sat at a beach-front table, drank our beer, and fended off at least a dozen vendors of different merchandise.  However when the hand-painted bowl came by, I could hear it calling my name, so now all I have to do is figure out where to pack it.


From El Buzo, we walked back to Costa Azul, since it was then about 11:30 and we could justify lunch.  We shared a plate of fajitas, which were to be served with fried potatoes, but we begged for tortillas instead.  I think they were fresh out of the pan and everything was delicious.  The fajitas were a combination of beef and chicken cooked with onions and peppers, and the light sauce with them was delicious.  To wash them down, John had another beer and I relied on a Coke Zero.  The only vendor there was selling cashews in different sized bags, so we decided on the $3.00 size which would no doubt go for $10.00 at home.  


Then it was time to head for our “home away from home,” and while I looked longingly at those bicycle rickshaws, we managed to walk all the way back, with a stop in the city park, watching families interact (that young boy got such a smack when he disagreed with his mother), old men playing cards, and a small band playing music.  By the time we boarded, I had reached the end of my rope, and upon arrival in the cabin, all I could do was stretch out on the bed and sleep for an hour.


It was a great day with a look at a very traditional Central American town.  It’s not there for the tourists, but the friendly people are happy to welcome us and let us know how proud they are of their small corner of the world.  












Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our first to Corinto was in 2009 by accident.  We weren't scheduled to stop there but our 5 Mexican stops were cancelled because of the Swine Flu.  We had left Puerto Quetzal heading north and while sitting at the captains table he was working with Seattle to get us at least 1 replacement port.  He got the call that we would be turning around and heading south to Corinto.  The Westerdam wasn't scheduled to make her first stop until the fall of 2009.  Since everything was put together so quickly only a handful of tours were offered.


Since then we have been back to Corinto several times.  Love it when we go to small ports where the mega ships can't go to.


Love your pictures.  Glad you have a favorite place to eat there.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I would love Corinto.  A walk through town and then spending the day swimming and eating sounds fabulous to me.  Your photos are wonderful.  Also, thank you for the photo inside The Pinnacle, I haven't seen one in a long time.  Luckily when you arrive in SF you don't have to have everything packed for an airplane.   Thank you again for letting us cruise with you,  Cherie 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala


Sometimes it’s a good idea to stay in the town in which the ship is docked, but when there’s a UNESCO World Heritage City only 90 minutes away, that seems the better choice.  Antigua was founded in 1552 and was the colonial capital of Guatemala for more than 200 years until it was destroyed by a series of earthquakes in 1773, and even now, some of that damage is still visible.


We knew that the only way we’d get to Antigua (for the second time) was to book the ship’s “Antigua on Your Own” tour, so book it we did.  We docked this morning at 7:00, and had to skip the gym to be ready for our “tour” at 7:30.  The bus ride there was made extremely entertaining by Manny, our Guatemalan guide.  He was personable, informative, and really funny and he made the 90-minute ride go by quickly.  We drove between the two major volcanoes in the area, one of which erupted last June 3, killing about 2500 people and completely destroying three entire towns.  


Antigua is a beautiful city, with multi-colored single-story buildings along most of the streets.  The streets themselves are really a challenge, because while we’ve walked on cobblestones before, these streets had the biggest, most uneven stones I’ve ever walked on.  It was such an adventure.  The buildings alongside the streets were fascinating.  It looked from the front as though there was just a small room, but upon entering, one would find that the space extended far back, often around a courtyard filled with flowers and a fountain.  They were absolutely charming.


Our dropoff point was The Jade Museum, which of course was there to sell semi-precious jewels to tourists.  It seems that no matter which tour one takes, the setup is similar:  a small museum, watching craftsmen cutting and polishing the stones, and then, amazingly, a large room with an “opportunity” to buy the product.  We’ve seen this in nearly every HAL tour we’ve taken, and while many people just love the shopping available, we’re a bit more cynical about it.  We did look for a birthday gift for our daughter there, but when we realized that the necklaces we liked were up in the hundreds of dollars, we decided to find her gift elsewhere.


Along every street, there are vendors selling various handcrafts.  The ladies, clearly of Mayan descent, are dressed in colorful local dress and are selling table runners, scarves, and anything that might be woven.  The young men, on the other hand, seemed to specialize in flutes and small drum-like instruments.  They would always ask us to buy, but a simple “No, gracias” was sufficient and they were very pleasant about it.  


As I’ve mentioned before, we buy and mail a postcard to our granddaughter from each of our ports.  We found one with a couple of pretty photos of Antigua, but the shop didn’t sell stamps, so we headed around the corner to where we thought we’d find the post office.  What we found instead, was a young woman who spoke English as well as I do who explained to us that Guatemala no longer has a postal service.  What?!  That’s right.  Apparently the government contracted with a Canadian company for postal service for 25 years.  When that time was up, instead of choosing the same company (with 25 years of excellent service), they chose an 83-year-old woman (with family connections) who had no experience with the post office who managed to run it into the ground.  As of right now, apparently there are warehouses full of letters and packages that might as well be somewhere in the solar system, since they’ll never get where they should.  We were a bit skeptical about this story, but Manny, our guide, backed it up and told us of receiving mail - 18 months late or not at all.  It’s very strange.  


On our way back to our meeting spot at the Jade “museum,” we wandered into the Casa Santo Domingo, a hotel created from the ruins of a convent founded in 1542 by Dominican friars.  Like the smaller buildings which opened onto charming courtyards, the hotel opened onto what seemed like an entire city block of restaurants, gardens, patios, ruins, and even a hotel.  It was absolutely beautiful!  


We’d love to spend a few days in Antigua, and now I know where I’d stay.  For such a wonderful hotel, the prices are reasonable and they even include breakfast.  We would hire one of the young men who drive tuk-tuks around the city and see as much as possible, and then continue around the country to see such sights as Tikal and Lake Atitlan.


Another great day and now we’re looking forward to tomorrow’s port, Huatulco, Mexico.  We’re getting closer and closer to home.













Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Diane, I am sure you have told us before but I forgot; what kind of camera are you using? Your photos are so sharp, clear, and colorful.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another amazing post that makes we want to visit Antigua!!!  Thank you,  Cherie

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

We both use IPhones. Often I use John’s photos (today 8 of 12 were his) but we have found that our IPhones do as well as our Nikon SLR and are a heck of a lot easier to upload the pix. Thanks for the compliment.   

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
  • Create New...