Katz & Dawgs Unlimited

Our Cruise from Puerto Rico to Valparaiso, Chile, South America via the Panama Canal
(February 24 to March 14, 1999)

 the Royal Princess

We   loved   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.

  1. 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 Royal Princess.

  2. February 25: At sea. Not much to do but relax, enjoy, and look around the boat.

  3. February 26: We left the Royal Princess and took a catamaran to go snorkeling at the island of Aruba.

  4. February 27: Cartagena, Columbia.  We posed for tourist photos, and went shopping (we bought clothes and coffee, but no emeralds).

  5. February 28: We visit the San Blas Islands, home of the Kuna Indians and their excellent handiwork.

  6. March 1: The Panama Canal. Awesome.

  7. March 2: At sea. King Neptune holds court as the Royal Princess crosses the equator. Our Staff Captain gets inducted then takes a break.

  8. March 3: Manta, Equador. Fantastic shopping. Incredibly low prices.  In the evening, local dancers came on board for us to enjoy.

  9. March 4: Manta: more shopping! Manta is a fishing port, as well as Ecuador's second largest shipping port.

  10. March 5: At sea. Took photos of some other memories on the Royal Princess.

  11. March 6: The city of Lima, Peru. Toured Lima, including Pizarro's tomb in the Cathedral, an old home, a Franciscan monastary, a Gold Museum, and a native market. Ate at an excellent Chilean restaurant ( Bought more stuff.

  12. March 7: Toured Pre-Incan ruins, visited a hacienda in Lima where we ate more good food and saw prancing horses, and visited still more markets. The trip should be renamed "The Mall of South America."

  13. March 8: Pisco, Peru. A dilapidated but beautiful old church, and an unexpected storefront.

  14. March 9: At sea. Killing time. And a photo of our friend and tablemate, David.

  15. March 10: Arica, Chile.

  16. March 11: At sea.

  17. March 12: Coquimbo and LaSerena. Visited the pisco factory (they had lots of free samples!). And final photos of the three of us.

  18. March 13: Leave the Royal Princess at Valparaiso, Chile; take the bus to Santiago, and 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. But 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!).

  19. March 14: Spend the day in Santiago courtesy of American Airlines. Fly home from Santiago. Collapse.
(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.)

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. . . as of March 15, 1999