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Day Six and the Panama Canal Crossing on Day Seven! Part 1
Panama Cruise January 2011 - Last Trans-canal trip planned for the Disney Wonder at this time.
If you have been following along with the story of our Panama cruise aboard the Disney Wonder, you already know that I can occasionally be a bit extreme (I have also heard silly, insane, stubborn and just plain stupid, too). After the 12 mile hike in Aruba, I used day six to rest, but not a lot.
If you have not seen Alfred and Seymor perform their comedy bit, you are missing one of the absolutely funniest shows on the Disney Cruise Line schedule. In visiting with people leaving the show (which was nearly twice as long as scheduled) everyone was either sore from laughing so long and hard or still in tears for the same. No writer could do them justice, just go see them if you ever get the chance!
After the show, I walked around the deck four promenade to see what everything looks like. We were waiting in the break water area just outside the Gatun Lake locks. Looking East, the locks resembled a refinery at our distance. Surrounding the Disney Wonder I counted over 25 other ships and gave up. In the morning, someone else counted about 40 and we are still unsure how many ships were there. We saw tankers, cargo container ships and the Holland-America ship that followed from Aruba nearby.
Originally, I planned to get up at 4:00 am to find a small space on deck for my camera and tripod, but changed to 4:50 at the last minute. After a 30 minute wake up, I sauntered up to deck 10 and discovered I was about an hour to late. People had begun to fill the area in front of the basketball court the previous night. Some spent the night, but 4:00 would have been much better.
As it was, I got stuck back on the starboard side over the villas in the Spa on deck nine. The view was okay, but I wish I was up earlier.
Now, this page started with the recognition that I do some odd things, today would be no exception. Still a bit sore from the Aruba walk I decided to spend the whole crossing of the Panama Canal on deck ten forward. As it turned out, it took about 11 1/2 hours to complete my goal. Hot sun, over heating, crowded decks and standing room only are near the top of my least favorite vacation experiences, but it was worth it.
As the morning progressed, I worked my way forward and eventually around to my original place above the port bridge wing. As soon as we completed the first set of three locks the crowds thinned and finding places was very easy. As it turned out, the starboard side was the best side to start (Atlantic to Pacific) because the sun rose behind me and there was no facial glare for the camera. I moved over to the port side as the sun changed sides after the third or forth turn of the marked area through lake Gatun.
I took nearly eight gigabytes of photos and videos during the crossing. The first locks were great, but the final sets of locks were better because I was able to get better positions. They don't look very different, either.
This crossing will be posted in several parts, just follow them in order to see our transit progress on January 12, 2011.
2011 Disney Wonder Panama Canal Cruise Index
Daily Navigator/Iwa Published Schedule