Awake at 1:00 am to use newly restored iPad hotspot to do church work.
Up with the sun and hiked up the 4 flights of stairs to wait for the bus to pick up up at 7:00 am. We saw lots more damage from rocks falling in the night.
We rode for a couple hours until we reached the small town of Filadelfia. We waited outside the park for quite a while for 2 women and a young baby. They would accompany us for the rest of the trip.
On the way to our main event, we passed several soccer games and a LOT of sugar fields. We passed El Viejo Mill (Azucarera El Viejo, S.A), a Costa Rican company dedicated to growing sugar cane and sugar production. The company annually produces 50 thousand tons of sugar in the forms of raw, white, and special; by the industrial processing of half a million tonnes of cane grown by over 500 farmers in the Tempisque Basin. The sugar here in Costa Rica goes mainly to the Coca-Cola Company and for producing energy. I was very surprised that there was no rum production like in Barbados and other sugar-growing countries.
After many dirt roads, we stopped at the Palo Verde Restaurant and had juices and coffee while we waited for others to arrive. Since we were going to Palo Verde, I assumed (you know what they say about assuming!) we were close to beginning our trip. Well, no. Back on the busses. More narrow dirt roads.
Finally, we got to the Temique River and into our small boat. One of the women getting in commented to Michael that she had sat behind him in the plane from New York. Small world.
Right off the bat (no pun intended!) we saw these weird little bats. They line up on a tree and pretend to be a snake, even moving slightly to simulate a snake writhing.
We saw lots of white-faced capuchin monkeys – several came right inside the boat. The Capuchin monkey is named after the order of Capuchin friars – the cowls of these friars closely resemble the monkey’s head coloration. I’ll bet those friars are happy to hear this!
Also, we saw Jesus Christ lizards, so nicknamed for their ability to run on water at an average speed of 8.4 km/h (or 5.2 mph), for about 10 to 20 meters.
We saw lots and lots of iguanas of various colors, in the trees, on the ground.
We also saw something that looked like a hawk but were told it was a black vulture. We also saw blue heron, egrets, and of course, crocodiles. The crocks saw we were there and slowly circled our boat.
In the photos below, the guide is showing us a huge grasshopper with red underwings.
After our boat tour, we went back to the Palo Verde Restaurant for what is called a “tipical meal”. We had Casados (black beans and rice) with chicken, beef, salad, fried plantains, white cheese and corn tortilla. Casado, the name referring to the eternal “marriage” of the beans and rice.
A l-o-n-g bus ride and we were home again, ready to rest up for the next day!
What a day! I spent most of the first part being nervous that we would miss the ship. There were phone calls from employees that weren’t sure what to do while we were gone, emails…
At 11:00 we were supposed to check out and housekeeping came by to check on us and I told her “soon”.
My sandal broke, the part next to the heel separated from the sole. <sigh>
Finally, we checked out at noon and set off to find the place to return the rental car that we never really used. A wrong turn or 2 and we finally got there about 1:00. Tom called for a taxi. We waited and waited. Tom called again. Finally, the driver got there and we reloaded our luggage.
Fortunately, the port was only about a mile a way but there was a lot of traffic to the port and all cars had to stop and everyone had to show IDs. That slowed everything up.
Dropped off our luggage and finally got in the terminal building. It was nearly 2:00. Tom had been thinking we had until 4:00 to get onboard – I reminded him that this ship sailed at 4:00. We had to be on by 3:00.
Fort Port Lauderdale Embarkation
Weather Forecast: Sunny High 77 / Low 69
Sunrise 6:41 am / Sunset 6:23 pm
From the Navigator: As soon as all the passengers and crew are onboard and all pre-departure checks have been completed, the Captain will give the order to let go our mooring lines. Once clear from the berth, Coral Princess will make her way out of the harbor before disembarking our pilot and altering our course to starboard. We will then set southwesterly courses through the Straits of Florida toward the Old Bahama Channel, as we make our way towards Aruba.
A hustling, bustling port – not just cruise ships. As far as I could tell, we were the only cruise ship there.
A lot of people got there about when we did but the lines moved fairly quickly…until it was time to actually board the ship. That’s when you swipe your new card and they add your picture to the record for to be sure you’re who you say you are when you come back from port.
We got on the actual ship and were directed to the left. We followed lots of other folks and ended up at an elevator. Up to our cabin and our first 2 pieces of luggage were already there. The third was only a few minutes later. Very speedy!
I like this ship – Coral Princess!
The cabin is (or seems) bigger than the one on Norwegian (NCL). There is a desk instead of a couch (NCL). The couch wasn’t very practical – the desk really is.
We have a walk-in closet which is really nice. We haven’t even filled it halfway up (yet). It’s at a right angle to the sleeping area which makes it seem like a separate room.
The bathroom is small. I think the shower is smaller than NCL’s but I don’t spend that much time in there.
The end tables by the bed have actual drawers instead of open shelves.
The chairs on the balcony recline. They’re fixed on NCL.
No coffeemaker, though. NCL had one in the cabin.
We have a TV guide telling us what is on for the whole trip. The new Hobbit movie will be on later. Glad we didn’t see it in the movies.
Pool/Beach towels are in the closet. We return them to the cabin and the steward brings us new ones. We didn’t have to check them out and return them to the pool each day. Hooray!
This ship has a self-service laundry on each deck. I’ve never seen that on another ship.
We went off for muster Here, we had to take our lifejackets and put them on at one point. NCL, we didn’t take them. They showed us how to jump off the side, if necessary. Um, no.
I noted for future reference that many women on here wear white long pants. Not likely!
Tom went off to a meeting, I did some church work – uploading Sunday’s sermons.
I took a little video of the sail away and some regular pictures.
Tom came back and wrote some emails. I think I napped. I didn’t feel like getting dressed for dinner so we went to the buffet. It seemed smaller than NCL but then I realized that they didn’t have the pizza and burgers mixed in. The buffet was all real food. Among other things, I had prime rib. Yummy!!! We got to sit right ”up front” in the center of the stern. Very impressive!
We walked around a bit, trying to get our bearings. This ship has a lot of wood on it, more “real” than the mostly metal ones I usually see. Teak tables, wooden doors.
I understand that this ship line used to be P&O from England before they became Princess. There are British hints all over, from the afternoon Tea Time, to the huge selection of teas at dinner. There are also pictures from the P&O line on the walls and 2 grenadiers guarding the casino. Tom thinks that P&O might have stood for Pacific and Orient – I’ll look that up when we get home. (Note – it is Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company)
I had wanted to go to the 7:45 Welcome Aboard show but there was some email to be sent. I think I rested my eyes.
Then, we went out and walked around some more – by Movies Under the Stars (MUTS) which seems to mostly be showing a variety of things. There are 2 movies later this week that I’d like to see. They put cushions on the deck chairs and give out blankets, popcorn, cookies and milk. It’s also right by the ice cream, pizza and grill so not too much chance of hunger.
We walked all around a couple of decks. It seems like we’re nearly alone on this cruise. Except for embarking, we’ve seen very few other people.
At 9:30, we did see the show. I thought that they would do snippets from upcoming shows but the singers/dancers did a “welcome to Princess” type song and dance and the comedian told some jokes. The cruise director, Susan Rawlings, told us a bit about what was coming up.
Walking around some more. We decided to get some pizza but they were just closing up. Back to the buffet – Horizon Court – and I had some fruit (and another egg roll)
There was a note on our bed after dinner that they would be happy to deliver whatever fruit we wanted to our cabin. Nice touch. Also, a Princess tote bag.
We had chocolates on our pillow!
Just a bit of church work, should have taken about 2 minutes, tops, but it took 11, thanks to this s-l-o-w internet connection.
I think I fell asleep almost immediately. If anything, I read one paragraph in my book.