Panama Canal Cruise – Day Seventeen

Disembarkation Day for those ending their trip in San Diego.  This was the worst disembarkation I have ever gone through.  US Immigration and HAL were totally disorganized.  Immigration required that all non-us citizens register whether they were disembarking or not and would not let anyone off the ship until everyone was accounted for.  This took about 4 hours where it usually takes an hour or so.  Some people missed their flights home because of the delay.

Normally disembarkation happens in waves.  People are issued tags with a colour and number of it and when their colour and number is called, they can proceed to disembark.  After the shemozzle with immigration Cruise Director Jimmy announced that everyone could get off the ship now.  Can you imagine 2000 people all trying to get through one door at the same time?  What a nightmare.  Fortunately our group managed to stay together and find the bus for the city tour they were going on.

Since I had to change rooms yet I decided not to accompanying them on their tour so Rick was on his own from this point on with the group.  There were lots of hugs and bittersweet goodbyes to go around.  Our group from Niagara were wonderful and I enjoyed spending time with them and they seemed to enjoy having me around. 

After I got settled in my new Superior Verandah Suite, I took a pedicab to Seaport Village.  The driver was a neat lady who gave me a little tour of the waterfront on the way.  I’ve been to San Diego several times before but decided to take the Trolley Tour anyway and was glad I did.  We had an absolutely crazy driver who could spout off unlimited information about the city and its history. 

I got back to the ship after the lifeboat drill which was really a good thing.  I’d already done all that when I first came aboard.  Then I met my new group from Calgary:  Gail, Janice and Michael.  Gail and I are sharing the Superior Verandah Suite.  I would highly recommend travelling in a room such as this.  It is twice the size of the regular stateroom with a huge bathroom and lots of room to move.  And there are all kinds of little niceties that you don’t get in the other room such as a beautifully soft bathrobe, free DVD rentals, 24-hour concierge and more.  Even if you can only afford a short cruise, it’s worth trying out this life.

I don’t know if the spin doctor managed to blog on this day as he had a lot to do with the group to get them settled in their hotel and take them to the zoo, but you can still check him out at CAA Niagara Travel 

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