Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Panama Canal

The reason we took the cruise in the first place was to go through the Panama Canal. This is one of those things on Ryan's list of things to do before he is too old to do :o)! Let me remind you that he is the one who got up at 4:30 a.m. 19 months ago to be one of the first people to book this cruise. Apparently there are hundreds of people who did the same thing because it took a couple of hours of trying to get through on line and on the phone to get this cruise booked. The cruise was completely sold out by the end of that afternoon!

Anyway, back to the Panama Canal. A few days before we entered the canal Captain Ken Puckett, who is a former Panamal Canal Captain, gave a presentation on his experience driving ships through the canal. It was so educational. The girls better ace this on a test if they talk about it at school.

We started our approach around 6:30 a.m. by going under the "Bridge of America". It is called this because it is the only bridge to connect South America to North America. When we passed under it everyone cheered! Here is Ryan with the bridge in the backround:

We had no idea that the Panama Temple was built on the canal so it was a real pleasure to look to the starbird side of the boat and see this:
It was truly spectacular with the lush vegetation around it!
Can you believe I would post a picture of me in a bathing suit (prepare yourself)! I guess I can use it for my "before" picture if I ever loose some weight :o)!!!
Panama is so beautiful with the lush tropical rainforest on both sides of the boat it was a sight to see all day long! We swam and hung out on deck 9 most of the day to take in the beautiful scenery. Around 3:00 p.m. a rain/thunder storm rolled in and I mean THUNDERSTORM. Tt was so loud that is scared the pants off these girls just before this picture was taken:
Here is a cargo ship that was entering the canal next to us. The small boat helps guide that huge cargo ship into the canal.
We entered the slip on the right side:

Here we are in the middle of the first lock. There are three locks on the west side that raises the ship up, then we said on a lake for 19 miles then there are three locks that lower the ship on the east side. The locks are not very wide- there is only about 12" on either side of the ship. There was a lot of people on shore cheering our ship on and taking tons of pictures because they were so excited to see the spectacular Disney Magic. The Captain blew the famous "When you wish upon a star" horn for everyone- that was a big hit!
Here we are going towards the third lock on the west side:

This was an experience our family will never forget and we are so glad we did it Disney Style.


Becca Jones said...

Dude. Disney Style was so worth it. I'm so glad I was able to go with you guys through the canal! It was so awesome! I love the pictures- I'm stealing a few! :)

Becca Jones said...

Glad you approve of my fellow Jones friend.... :)