Seabourn Odyssey Fort Lauderdale to LA December 15, 2015 to January 4, 2016
Dec 15th Boarding the Odyssey went smoothly. This marked the 6th year in succession that we celebrated Christmas and New Year on a Seabourn ship.
The ship was decorated beautifully for the Holidays with several trees, and arrangements of gingerbread houses and poinsettias throughout the vessel. It goes without saying that the ship's crew were warm, friendly and efficient.
Dec 19th After several pleasant sea days we docked at our first port, Cartagena, Columbia. I elected to participate in a tour to the Columbian National Avery which I really enjoyed. It was very hot and muggy, so Eleanor decided to spend a leisurely day on board the ship. We were only the 2nd group to visit the Avery which is very new. The birds were for the most part native to this area of Columbia.
Dec 20th We anchored for the day amidst the San Blas Islands. The sea was a bit rough so we skipped going ashore. We were here several years ago. We enjoyed the visit, but the area is very primitive and other than taking photos of the children there was not much to entice us from the comfort of the ship.
Dec 21st This was our sixth transit through the Panama Canal. Our first was in the 1990s while on a tour with Lindblad prior to the transfer of the Canal to Panama in 1999. One was with Regent in 2013 and the remainder with Seabourn. It did seem to me that the lock chambers were showing quite a bit of wear and tear, Lots of rust and chunks of concrete missing. The new larger locks are due for completion in the spring of 2016 when we do our return to Fort Lauderdale from LA.
We anchored on the Pacific side of the Canal for the evening.
Dec 22nd We remained anchored for the day. Tender service was available to the Panama City Port, but we decided to just enjoy a quiet day on board the ship.
Dec 23rd Sea Day
Dec 24th I arranged for a private tour in Punta Arenas, Costa Rica with Victor Moras of Vic-Tours. It was an extremely hot and humid day. We started out with a private boat tour of the mangroves and then did a short walk in the jungle which turned out to be very uncomfortable with the heat and humidity. Having said that I did get some decent photos which I have added to my Cost Rica bird photo gallery.
Dec 25 Christmas day was spent at sea. Steve Wozniak gave the 2nd of three talks on his early life with the development of Apple Computer and relationship with Steve Jobs, and other pioneers of the computer industry.
Dec 26th We previously visited Puerto Quetzal on two previous ocassions and chose to stay on board the ship for the day.
Dec 27th Our Port was Puerto Chiapas. We have visited this port on numerous occasions and enjoyed taking a long walk and looking around the visitors palapa which has a couple of shops and small stage where the perform local music and dance.
Dec 30th This was our first time visiting Manzanillo. The bay was first discovered by the Spanish in the early 1500's. It is an old city, and as such is a bit dingy with lots of pot holes and broken sidewalks. We chose to skip any tours and just walked around the city.
Dec 31 New Year's Eve was at sea. It was a Formal Night, but for some reason they chose not to have a special show and instead had a prolonged party on one of the outside decks which we skipped and celebrated the New Year in our suite.
Jan 1, 2016 This was or sixth visit to Cabo San Lucas. We took the opportunity to take a long walk. The temperature was in the low 70's with overcast skies which made for good walking conditions. Most of the nicer stores were closed for the Holiday.
Jan 2nd to 4th This segment of our trip ended with calm seas for the last two days as we traveled to Los Angeles. The outside temperature slowly dropped and it was and was in the 50s when we arroved in Los Angeles on the morning of the 4th. About 70 of the passengers stayed aboard for the next cruise segment to Auckland, New Zealand.