Saturday, September 18, 2010

Packing for a Cruise to Panama

What to bring?

For every cruise about a month before sailing we start are lists. Yup lists, and it is a saving grace because in all our travels I don't recall ever forgetting something that was needed.

There a few lists. One list of things to pack. One list of things we need to buy for the trip. One list of things to do before we go away.

On our things to do before we go are the following items:

- Call credit card company to let them know that you are travelling out of the country, they ask what countries you are visiting and that is it. It is a must to do this, because if you don't be prepared to have to call them anyways from wherever you are when your card is refussed for security reasons.
- Ironing, this is an ongoing processes, but it starts by us pulling out any and all clothes that we may take on the cruise. Then it is a process of trying everything on, yup everything. When I try the clothes on I then have to say does this fit? Do I like it? Do I have to bring it? Then once I have what I want to bring then I put the clothes on the bed and then check to see what tops go with which bottoms, and each item must intermatch with at least three tops or bottoms. Also this is the type to rule out clothes too -- do I really need 3 white tops? Nope.
- Getting our neighbour the key so they can watch the place and check the mail. Some days it is an advantage to live in an apartment.

For the things to not forget, well here is our list:

- a plastic cup like holder that has suction cups that is great for the shower to hold soap, the shampoo etc and really comes in handy in those small showers
- power bar, we picked up a smaller power bar as many cabins only have one plug with two place to plug something in, and nowadays with camera chargers, ipod charger, blow dryer, etc it is a must
- over the door caddy, ours is one that hooks over the bathroom door and is made of plastic and holds baseball caps but we use it on board to hold everything like deodarant, perfumes, sunscreen, ball caps, you name it. It comes in very handy when sailing this way you can easily locate items especially if one person is in the washroom and you can't get in.
- air freshner, we bring a small spray type - reason is self explanatory.
- Bernie loves bringing a coffee mug for his large cup of tea in the morning and it keeps it warm and he can move around the ship with it without worrying about breaking it.
- binoculars, especially for the Panama
- small umbrella
- for us we also bring a small Canadian Flag that we fly from our balcony

One thing for sure - write a list, you will thank me.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Introducing Our Mascot

Introducing our New Travel Companion

We have travelled before with a mascot but this time I wanted one that reflected our country better, so what could that be, well a Moose!

He seems rather friendly and hasn't gotten into too much trouble -- YET.

The next thing was we needed to get him a name, and we asked our friends. The winning name....

Let me introduce to you -- Jasper Moose Jaw (now two Provinces are represented by the name of Jasper, Alberta and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Stay tuned to follow the travels of Moose Jaw while he sails with us on our upcoming Island Princess Panama Cruise.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Countdown to Panama

Panama Here we Come

Some of you may know that we had booked the Panama again, sailing from Vancouver to San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale, 17 nights in total. Our friends Shelly and Rob had booked this cruise way back in February, so when we decided to book this trip in August, then we thought, lets keep it a secret from them and surprise them.

Shelly and Rob

The first month went by and I was good at keeping the secret but I kept slipping up, using words like when "we" sail, instead of when "you" sail.... anyways they finally figured it out and came right out and said "are you sailing with us" and I couldn't lie straight to their face so we told them.

Now we did this cruise last year, and the only minor change is it visits Cabo San Lucas instead of Acapulco and it doesn't visit Huatulco at all -- too bad we love Huatulco and will miss seeing our friends.

So now we are busy planning, currently our plans for each port is as follows:

San Francisco, meeting with past cruise friends for lunch then stocking up on some wine
Cabo San Lucas, take tender and enjoy a yummy Mexican Meal and visit Starbucks
Costa Rica, not sure would love to go zip lining but we really should see some of the area so may just get off the ship and hire a tour guide
Panama, we are doing a tour with My Friend Mario again, this time we are visiting the Embera Indian Village
Cartegana, taking taxi to old town again and walking around and enjoying another local meal
Aruba, well we have been here quite a few times and really we are not here that long so I am for just staying on the ship and relaxing

We fly home from Fort Lauderdale, got a GREAT deal flying home to Vancouver for $220 that is almost half what we paid last year.

I will be blogging while on board so stay tuned for our day to day adventure on board the Island Princess.