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Statendam - Oct 24 - Amador

Krazy Kruizers

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This is a tendering port. We dropped anchor 1/2 hour late so naturally all the tours left late. And because the water was choppy, it was difficult loading the tenders at times. We took the Panama City tour. Even though it was Sunday, some of the vendors were open at the various sites that we visited. At one stop we given only 15 minutes to shop - could have used 1/2 hour at least as this was our main shopping stop and they had the best merchandise. When we got back to the tender pier we were disappointed in the duty free shop - mostly perfumes and alcohol - not much native stuff. Most of the tours ended at the same time and it was terrible getting back to the ship. We waited 45 minutes for a tender. Only 3 tenders were running - #8 was taken out of the water and remained unused the rest of the cruise. Our tour was supposed to be only 5 hours inlcuding tender time - we gone 7 1/2 hours total. The line of people awaiting a return tender stretched around the duty-free shop. Many people were complaining about missing lunch and the only thing open was the pizza and hamburgers and hot dogs. We were fortunate to be able to get some food in the Neptune Lounge. It was never posted that the train trip and the Panama City tours were completely sold out and many people thought they could book these tours at the last minute. They were very disappointed. In fact, nothing was put up any day of the entire cruise indicating whether tours were cancelled or sold out.

Although there is a large sign on a table at the disembarkation and embarkation area concerning alcohol, at this port people were bringing alcohol on board in large cartons and no one was taking it away from them. Alcohol may have been brought on board in the previous ports - we didn't catch seeing anyone bring it on board.

Tonight was the tropical BBQ on deck. This is the first time that we have seen a well attended BBQ in a long, long time (at least 1 1/2 years). We chose to eat in the dining room - it was cooler. The BBQ had the usual fare: Hawaiian chicken parts; steaks, sausages, BBQ ribs; honey glazed salmon; potato salad; 4 bean salad; baked potatoes, etc. A couple of added features were Hawaiian carrot slaw and white bean stew (are we on the right cruise - Hawaiian food in the Panama?). As we walked around the BBQ we noticed that 2 of the workers from the Pinnacle were assigned to work that area. Another slow night in the Pinnacle.

We were schedule to leave Amador to anchor further out in the bay at midnight but an announcement was made that we would leave at 10:30 PM - had to refuel.

We were fortunate to be out on deck when the Bridge of Americas lights went on - what a beautiful sight.

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We also watched the Veendam as she was getting ready to pass under the Bridge of Americas on her way through the canal. She got a late start going through the canal.

There were a lot of complaints about the railroad trip. It was very different than the one we did 1 1/2 years ago. For starters our train trip began in Colon. It seems that since this train begins on the Pacific side, no stop was made at the Miralores Locks as was stated in the brochure. People actually thought they were going to stop in the little villages instead of just going through them. Others enjoyed the train ride.

For those of you who have met Marty - one of the train conductors - we ran into him on the pier and had a long talk with him. He did remember us. We were fortunate to have him as our conductor when we did the train ride.

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