Thursday, April 3, 2008

Chance of a life time....

Several months ago my wife called me excited about a cruise she had the chance to book as part of her job. She had to put in for approval and wait and see if she would be accepted, but in the meantime she gave me the basics.

Now first let me say that the idea of cruising, for me anyway, was not the top choice on my list of vacation selections but since this was for work....well, sacrifices had to be made. I had gone on a couple of cruises with her in the past and to be honest, while it can be relaxing and have its entertaining moments, the idea of spending my time on a ship with thousands of other people sitting through the evening shows, gambling in the casinos or spending a ton of cash shopping in the overpriced ports is just not my cup of tea.

Great once or twice, but now I've crossed it off my list of things I need to do before I die.

Anyway, she gave me a basic idea of what we could expect which had me at once excited and leery right along with her. I was excited because the boat (yeah yeah, I know, it's a ship) only holds 100 guests so I wouldn't have to be stuck with thousands of people I didn't care to meet and I was leery because the boat didn't have thousands of people I could blend in with and remain anonymous which is important for someone that prefers to keep to himself like I do.

I was also excited because it is supposed to be somewhat of an Eco cruise, or naturalist type of cruise which fits in with my own interests. The trouble was that I couldn't really find a lot of information on these cruises that wasn't published by the cruise company itself so I decided that if we were able to take it I would write about it myself.

The goal of this blog is to share our experience aboard the Pacific Explorer and the "Between Two Seas" cruise with anyone curious about whether this type of cruise is right for them. If gambling and shopping is what turns you on, that's great and more power to you but you may as well click the X at the top right of the screen now because you won't find that here (well, you will find some shopping, but generally speaking you will be buying direct from the person that made the item).

If getting away from the crowds and seeing the local people and wildlife up close and personal with guides well versed in the area and history is more your speed then please, look around and feel free to ask questions. I hope my ramblings are helpful and if you get even a fraction of the enjoyment from this blog as we did from our experience, then my time writing this was well worth it.

In the interest of full disclosure, if you haven't figured it out, my wife is a travel agent and this trip was part of her job. That in no way reflects our view of this cruise and everything I say is based on my own personal experience of the staff and itinerary they provided.

On the other hand, if you come to the conclusion this type of cruise is for you then it wouldn't hurt to look here- I'm ready to go but I want a better deal


Day 1- Manuel Antonio National Park
Day 2- Corcovado National Park
Day 3- Golfo Dulce
Day 4- Coiba National Park
Day 5- Darien Jungle
Day 6- Panama Canal
Day 7- Portobelo

Photos taken with Canon Powershot A570is

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