Our Cruise from Puerto Rico to Valparaiso, Chile, South America via the Panama Canal
(February 24 to March 14, 1999)
last year's cruise
aboard the M.V. Royal Princess,
so this year we came back to the same ship, and indeed to the very same cabin!
This year, our cruise started in San Juan, Puerto Rico,
and ended in Valparaiso, Chile, via the Panama Canal.
The following is the day-by-day
itinerary of the trip:
pictures are available at the italicized areas.
(For those of you with access to Princess Cruises
brochures, our trip is listed
on page 27 of the 1999-2000 "Exotic Adventures" brochure: It's called the "South American Explorer"
cruise. We traveled on American Airlines to get to San Juan, and from Santiago Chile to home. Many
of the tours we took off the boat were at additional cost. Everything on the boat was at no additional charge,
except drinks, the casino, and the on-board shops.)
- February 24: Fly from Kansas City to
San Juan, Puerto Rico.
We started in early morning, and arrived in late afternoon, and the boat sailed at 11 P.M.
It was a long day, but well worth it. Unlike last year, everything went perfectly on the trip from Kansas City to Cabin C-100 on the
- February 25:
At sea. Not much to do but relax, enjoy, and
look around the boat.
- February 26:
We left the
and took a catamaran to go snorkeling
at the island of Aruba.
- February 27:
posed for tourist photos,
(we bought clothes and coffee, but no emeralds).
- February 28:
We visit the
San Blas Islands, home of the Kuna Indians and their excellent
- March 1:
- March 2:
holds court as the Royal Princess crosses the equator. Our Staff Captain
gets inducted then
takes a break.
- March 3:
Manta, Equador. Fantastic
Incredibly low prices.
In the evening, local
came on board for us to enjoy.
- March 4:
Manta is a
fishing port, as well as Ecuador's second largest shipping port.
- March 5:
At sea. Took photos of some
on the Royal Princess.
- March 6:
The city of Lima, Peru.
in the Cathedral, an old home, a Franciscan
a Gold Museum, and a native market.
Ate at an excellent Chilean restaurant
Bought more stuff.
- March 7:
in Lima where we ate more
and visited still more markets. The trip should be renamed "The Mall of South America."
- March 8:
Pisco, Peru. A dilapidated but beautiful old
church, and an unexpected
- March 9:
And a photo of our friend and tablemate, David.
- March 10:
- March 11:
- March 12:
Coquimbo and LaSerena.
factory (they had lots of free
And final photos of the three of us.
- March 13:
Leave the Royal Princess at Valparaiso, Chile; take the bus to
spend the day goofing off at the Convention Center and a megamall (Alto Las Condes Shopping Center).
Then, in late evening, travel to the airport for our flight home.
American Airlines screwed up: over 50 of us from the Royal Princess
who were scheduled to leave about midnight weren't in their computers, although several
of us had called American before the cruise and had been assured that everything was okay.
At 3 A.M. on March 14, we finally get to the Embassy Suites (a wonderful hotel in downtown Santiago:
if you ever need a place to stay in Santiago, this is it!).
- March 14: Spend the day in Santiago courtesy of American Airlines.
Fly home from Santiago. Collapse.