Off to South America travel blog

The shore of Costa Rica

The shore of Costa Rica - the ship couldn't dock because of...


Another country today!!! Costa Rica!!

Christopher Columbus became Costa Rica's first tourist when he landed on this stretch of coast in 1502 during his fourth and final voyage to the New World. Expecting to find vast mineral wealth (read gold), he named the region Costa Rica (rich coast). Imagine the Spaniards' surprise to eventually find there was none.

But it is rich in natural beauty, beaches, volcanoes, rain forests and diverse animal life packed into an area the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined.

Our excursion today was to be a Jungle River Cruise!!

But alas! Mother Nature stepped in and said, NO, NO, NO, not today!

We sailed into the Atlantic Ocean when we left the Panama Canal.

We received the following certificate:

Oceania Cruises Order of the Ditch

Know All Ye by These Presents and to all Mosquito-Bitten, Malarial-Ridden Salts of the Seven Seas

Greeting: Know Ye That

Douglas and Beverly Brown

Did complete the transit of the Panama Canal on the good and trusty ship M/S Marina on January 14, 2020.

we are in the Caribbean Sea, but it's really just a big bay off the Atlantic Ocean. Remember when I said the seas of the Pacific were calm and peaceful, well the Atlantic is rough and turbulent.

The water was so rough that they tried several times to tie up at the pier in Puerto Limon but failed. So we had to sail away and all the day's activities in Costa Rica were cancelled. But to add insult to injury, the ship had no WiFi all day!!!

That's what the tour brochures mean when they say "expect the unexpected."

Actually Doug wasn't too upset since our jungle tour was in the afternoon and the afternoons have been getting very hot and humid.

So the ship's crew had to scramble to find things to entertain us on this unexpected sea day. And they did well!

The first enrichment lecture (the professor has many lectures tucked away for just such an occasion) was "Caribbean Islands, Early Inhabitants & Wildlife." Very interesting as usual.

Then they called on the Culinary Chef in the ship's culinary learning center to tell us about working for Julia Child. She worked for 15 years as the Executive Assistant for TV personality and Master Chef Julia Child. It was fascinating.

Then our Irish lecturer gave us his stand-by lecture on "The War of the Worlds." It was about Cortes and Montezuma and how the Spanish conquered the Aztecs in Mexico.

Some notes about the cruise:

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I told you previously that the ship's crew is very concerned about sanitary conditions so the ship isn't closed down due to the noro-virus. Well, there are not only hand sanitizers at every corner but they have sealed off the food at the buffet. It used to be that you just reached in and took whatever food you wanted. But now they have wrapped some kind of saran wrap completely around the food areas. Someone from the restaurant staff stands behind each food item to serve each person as they ask for the food item. Do you want 1, 2 or 3 slices or pieces? They probably save a lot of food this way too. You still get as much food as you want but you have to ask for it.

Doug has noticed how many people wear their ball caps to eat in the dining rooms at breakfast and lunch, women as well as men.

Bev has noticed how many women are carrying their cell phones - they have cords that hang around their neck that holds the cell phone at each of the four corners, then just hangs down in front. So all they have to do is pick it up to use it. Not very fashionable but very clever and useful.

We've also notice how many very heavy people are on this ship. It's really very sad. There are more fit people though.

We ate at Tuscano Specialty Restaurant last night. Lasagna, pork chop, calamari, cream brulee and cheese cake. All excellent. The pork is especially good here on the ship since it has fat in it!!

Tomorrow is an official sea day.

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