Colón, Panamá

The ship Enchantment of the Seas is currently based in Colón, Panama.  While other cruise ship lines stop in Colón, all the others originate in the US.  Uniquely, this ship starts and ends in Colón and never stops at a US port.  This allows people from Latin America to enjoy a luxury cruise without the difficulties of obtaining an entry Visa to the US.  The ship’s crew came from 80 different countries; they all spoke English, most also spoke Spanish (and other languages as well).  Well over 95% of the passengers spoke Spanish, although many spoke some English too.  All of the nightly shows were presented in Spanish; not that that particularly mattered to us.

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Frank and Shirley from WindSong drove us over to Colón from Panama City.  On the way we drove over the Madden Dam that holds back the waters of Madden Lake that feeds Gatun Lake and the Panama Canal.  We stopped and took some photos of the dam.

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Here in Colón a new new cruise port is being developed – Colón 2000.  The new cruise terminal has a small shopping area already and we stopped for lunch before heading over to the ship.

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Bill and I dropped off our luggage at the drop off point and joined the long line waiting to accomplish our paperwork for leaving Panama and boarding the ship.  Our cabin is an inside cabin; no balcony, no windows, but really quiet!

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The ship has a nice pool deck, although the pools are all quite small.  There are three of them and a water park area for the children.  This photo shows only the pools near the bow of the ship.  There is also an adults-only pool toward the stern.  The ship has 6 hot tubs, which Bill and I used in the evenings.

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The main dining room is quite formal, so Bill and I enjoyed most of our meals in the much-less-formal Windjammer Buffet restaurant – on deck 9 in the bow and with a great view.  The food was also fabulous and we could pick and choose, going back as many times as we pleased.  This restaurant is open most of the day from 7AM to 9:30PM with only a few hour closure after breakfast and again before dinner to clean-up and set-up anew.

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Each evening, when we returned to our room the steward had made up the room, for the second time each day, and left us a towel folded into interesting shapes.  Here is one of a monkey that greeted us on one evening.