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Coral Princess- 3-04-06- Part 4

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Costa Rica

Did the aerial tram through the rain forest. Absolutely awesome! It was pouring rain (as it usually is here) which kept us from seeing a lot of animals, but the forest itself was almost indescribable. We did see an Eyelash Viper (up very close). Saw many, many birds. The tram goes to a max of 120 feet above the forest floor. It is essentially an oversized shopping cart, seating 6 plus guide. I never felt unsafe, however, although heights don’t bother me. It is very quiet, making almost no sound at all. Because of the rain, we opted out of the walk. Kind of wish we hadn’t, because they saw an anteater and several macaws. Oh, well. On the drive back, the driver stopped so we could get a picture of a 3-toed sloth in a tree. We also drove through a banana plantation and learned more than you ever want to know about bananas, including:

*Each plant produces only one bunch and then must be cut down.

*Each plant has both male and female organs on the same plant.

A pulley system is used to transport the bunches from the field so hands won’t bruise them. The bunches are encased in blue plastic bags as they grow, to keep pests away. Each bunch is tagged with colored string to indicate when it should be picked.

*Workers make only $25 for 10 hrs of work, but get free housing for families. Single workers live in dormitories. This is considered very good wages here.


Had lunch at an open-air restaurant. Typical Costa Rican food, including rice and beans, barbecued chicken and steak and Mango juice. Rice and beans is a staple of the Costa Rican diet. Our guide explained that she prepares a huge pot about once a week and then adds veggies, meat, etc. as she goes along. They eat it every day. Our guide bought a bunch of ladyfinger bananas for us at a stand. They are about 3 inches long and very sweet. The guide explained that we can’t get them in this country because they ripen too fast to get them here. The driver also stopped and picked a couple of cocoa pods so we could see them.


Fri., Mar. 10

Day 7 Sea Day

Just had a total veg-out day. Went to the shopping lecture. Forget it! It’s just a giant commercial for “preferred” shops. The show tonight was called “Tribute”. Featured the music of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Rat Pack and some others. It was better than the first one.


Sat., Mar. 11

Day 8- Grand Cayman

Super Day! We did the Stingray City and Island Highlights tour. Stingray City is not a place, it is a boat- a semi-sub. You go out in a launch and transfer to the sub, then sit and watch as a diver feeds the stingrays. It was awesome! Unlike the Atlantis sub I went on in Hawaii, the photos turned out great. (People who did the snorkel said it was very rough and kind of scary. ) We stopped at Hell, a disappointment. It is just a cheapie tourist trap, nothing to get excited about at all. We went to the turtle farm, which was neat. You get to actually hold the turtles.

On the way back, we got stuck in a massive traffic jam for over an hour. Apparently there had been a bank robbery and shooting (never happened here before) the day before and the police were searching all cars. The folks in the stores were very upset about it. It did cut into our shopping time, which really upset some of the folks on the bus, although I’m not sure why they felt either the driver or Princess were to blame. We did end up with about an hour to shop. Instead of the uual tourist traps, we went to the museum shop, which is small, but nice. I bought a stingray pendant made of Caymanite, a semi-precious stone only found here.

Our tablemates did the helmet dive, which they raved about for the rest of the trip. If we ever go again, I want to do that. It didn't sound like anything too physical or needing good water skills, neither of which I would want.

The tenders here are the best of any on the trip- big, open and fast.

Tonight was the second formal night. The show was Broadway. Excellent!

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I have enjoyed every bit of your trip report. I do have one question, was the stingray tour that you did thru the ship on did you purchase it on your own? My family doesn't want to get in the water with the stingrays but they may do the sub thing. Thanks!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to post your very detailed experience on the Coral. It's one of the best reviews I've read:) It makes our upcoming 4/23 trip even more exciting!!


Thank you again,



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