Royal Caribbean Cruise April 24, 2011 Part One

OK. I am ready to start putting together my thoughts on the trip that Lilliam and I returned from the end of May. It was an outstanding trip and happened because I read a post from a fellow blogger on a repositioning cruise being offered by Royal Caribbean.

This was the first repositioning cruise I had taken. They are used by the cruise companies to move a ship to another part of the world and if you have to move a ship, it is always good to offset expenses with passengers.

This particular cruise left from Colon, Panama and it’s final destination was Palma de Mallorca, Spain. It was a 17 day cruise with stops at Curacao, Barbados, Tenerife, and ending in Palma de Mallorca. Between Barbados and Tenerife were six days of nothing but Atlantic Ocean.

With that background, let’s talk about logistics and getting started. Since the cruise begins in Colon, Panama you have to get to Colon. For me that meant my flying to Panama City, spending one night in a hotel and then getting transportation to Colon. I had transportation lined up for me by Jularmo Travel & Tours. It went flawless. Several flew into Panama City and were picked up by a RCCL bus at the airport.

This may be a good time to mention a little information about Colon. Colon is not a safe place. The areas where the cruise ships dock are secure, but they are fenced in and protected. However, many that boarded this cruise came from Europe, because the cruise terminated in Spain. I talked to two people that had spent some time while waiting to walk around down town Colon taking photos. Not a wise thing to do. One individual said he took a taxi to the ship from town and the taxi driver told him he was lucky he got in one of the honest taxis because he might not have gotten to the ship. WORD TO THE WISE: DO NOT SPEND TIME IN COLON SIGHTSEEING!!

The ship boarding in Colon is always easy, based on my two cruises leaving from Colon. This one was slightly easier because I had taken the time to fill out all of the information on the Internet prior to the trip and didn’t have to do it there. Entire time to get on the ship was about 20 minutes.

The first thing Lilliam and I did after putting boarding was go to eat. While we were eating, Lilliam was sure she recognized the people at a table close to us. I looked and sure enough there was Kevin Sanchez, who used to work at Mrs. Mendozas. He had taken a job with RCCL and was now working in the Ben & Jerry’s on-board Ice Cream shop. His grandmother, Raquel, had come this day to visit him while he was in port before he left for the journey to Spain and future destinations with the Grandeur of the Seas.

We set sale in the evening.

We followed a larger RCCL ship (Jewel of the Seas) away from Colon.

As we left, I got a nice shot of one of many gulls that were circling the area.

As the sun was setting, everyone was beginning to look forward to the journey ahead.

Most who follow this blog know that I posted my previous cruise and I will try make this a little shorter for areas that were previously covered. If interested, you can check out the previous posts and any differences will be covered in this series. The previous posts may be found at:
Post 1.
Post 2.
Post 3.
Post 4.
Post 5.
Post 6.

I don’t know about all repositioning cruises, but this one had a small number of passengers for this size ship. We left Colon with about 600 or 700 people and picked up another 200 in Barbados. You really noticed that at dinner time.

I typically like to have the early sitting for dinner with the entertainment following. Lilliam’s preference is the second sitting for dinner with the entertainment show prior to eating. We went with Lilliam’s desire. I know you are surprised.

Our dinner table would accommodate 10 people. We had 6. The following photo is two of the people.

This photo was the second couple at our table. They were newly weds and sharing their trip with the parents of the husband (the previous photo). For some reason they seemed to miss several of the dinners and were never to be seen at the breakfast hour. Wonder if that had anything to do with being newly weds?

That is probably enough for a first post. I think I will use the next post to cover activities, food and spending 14 days on a ship.

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