I am finally getting around to posting about our Royal Caribbean Cruise. This is a new cruise that only started late last year and it has been written up on several other blogs. Since I am late in taking the cruise and not the first to post on the cruise, I will try to cover other things and some will be my observations of the differences I saw in this cruise and others I have taken in the same area.
I think that Royal Caribbean started this cruise as a test to see how much interest there was in a Caribbean cruise departing outside the US. From all that I saw and all that I have heard it has been a tremendous success. From the people I talked to from Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Chile Uraguay and other Latin American countries, most were motivated to take this cruise because they didn’t have to obtain a US visa.
We arrived in Colon a little after noon and carefully chose some individuals to ask the correct directions to the dock. It was really uneventful in Colon and what I saw of Colon was a very pretty city. I still would not be caught walking around there, but with the right police enforcement this could be a good tourist destination.
Cruise Check in – The first sign that this was going to be different than any cruise I took leaving out of Florida, the last being about 13 years ago, was the check in process. The first part was to check the bags. This took 10 maybe minutes. This was done outside the embarkation building.
You always wonder when someone in Panama walks off with your bags whether you will ever see them or not, but this is a fenced compound and there are no worries.
Next we entered the building, where I was sure the long lines would begin. To my surprise, there was a short line to fill out a embarkation information form which took about 10 minutes and then the actual boarding check in where we got our computer boarding passes which may have taken another 10 minutes.
The entire check in may have taken 30 minutes and was the least stressful cruise check in I have ever seen. We boarded the ship and spent some time exploring the ship since the rooms would not be available until 1:00 PM
The ship is immense and we tried to take a quick look at the main areas and didn’t get to our room until a little before 2:00PM.
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