January 9, 2013
Up at 5 a.m. this morning for the entrance into the Panama Canal. The last time we did this we went from the west to the east. If you want all the history of the lock I am afraid you will have to do your won research. All I remember is it took a long time, a lot of people died from diseases and they had to move a lot of dirt. All kidding aside this is as absolute wonder of engineering, 100 years later we are still using the same locks and system(they have had to change the trains twice I think). This however is a very slow process to transit the 48 mile canal it will take us 12 hours. We heard from one of the crew that it cost $200,000 fir this ship to transit. Cruise ships have to pay a higher price due to the fact that they have the highest priority. I say t is worth the price or else you have to go an extra 7,000 miles around Cape Horn at the tip of South America, which can be very treacherous. I did that once and was lucky to have fairly good weather but that doesn’t happen very often. As you can see from some of the pictures it is a tight squeeze for some of the container ships, so now they are in the process of building a third lock to accommodate the larger ships and supertankers.
We notice going through that the Columbian flag was flying at half mast, not sure why and our ship commentator never mentioned why, maybe one of you know and can let us know. We also had one of our guests taken off the ship in the canal, have not heard why but Kelly said he was smiling and waving while being wheeled off. I wonder if his wife stayed on board, interesting, Hmmmm.
Dinner in the dining room tonight, the service ahs been very good form our servers Andri and Sinyo. I had braised short ribs which were excellent and Kelly had Turbot.
Went to the evening show, a couple who had won contests ballroom dancing performed a Tango, Rhumba and another Latin dance. All I can say is they must have been a lot better when they were younger to have won any contests.