Panama Canal Crossing

Trip Start Aug 17, 2008
Trip End Sep 01, 2008

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Where I stayed
Disney Magic

Flag of Panama  ,
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Today was the day the majority of the ship was waiting for, the crossing of the Panama Canal.  I say the majority of the ship because Regan and Kelsie couldn't have cared less.  I had warned everyone that we were going to have to get up early and go up on deck so we could get a spot to see the ship enter the Canal.  People were planning on camping out on deck to get a good spot.  Well, the alarm went off at 6 and nobody moved.  I got up and showered.  When I got out of the shower Nikki asked me if we had stopped.  I peeked out the window and we were still moving.  It wasn't long until the ship did actually stop moving.  I went out on the balcony and watched the Pilot get on the ship and a few passengers get off.  While I was watching this Nikki had showered but there was no other movement in the room.  I then left and went up on deck to see if I could find a place to stand.  It was pretty crowded but I did find a place where I could see fairly well. 

A little while later, Nikki came up and stood with me.  We had a narrator onboard from the Panama Canal Authority who gave us history, a description of what would be happening and other tidbits about the canal.  Nikki did go get the girls up and out of bed and bring them up.  We went under the Bridge of the Americas right on schedule and then moved into the first of the Miraflores Locks.  We had moved to a little better place to see but people kept pushing in front of us and it soon became impossible to see us move into the lock. 

We ran down to our stateroom so we could see and have a front row view.  After watching the ship pull into the lock Nikki and I ran back to the Deck 7 Aft overlook to watch the gates close behind us.  I turned around and Nikki was nowhere to be seen so I went back to the room.  Kelsie said that Nikki and Regan had gone down to deck 3 to watch the ship move vertically in the lock.   Kelsie and I headed that way and eventually found the other two.  We watched the ship pull into the second lock from the portholes in Diversions.  We originally were about eye level with the top of the wall and, as the water filled the lock we moved up.  It was also while we were in this lock that they took someone off the ship in an ambulance.  No idea why but there must have been some reason.  We then worked our way back up to the front of the ship on deck 10 as we pulled out of the second lock and into the Miraflores  Lake.

We had arranged to meet with Scott and Cheryl on the deck 7 aft overlook to take photos so we walked back there and visited with them for a while.  It was REALLY hot!  The girls and Nikki went back to the room while I went to deck 10 to watch the ship pull into the third of the Miraflores Locks.  I had some problems with my video camera so I didn't get any footage but I did have a rail to watch it from.  The girls swam while we were moving into the lock.

After the third lock was the Centennial Bridge and then we entered Gatun Lake.  There was a BBQ on the deck by the Goofy pool for lunch.  It was still REALLY hot!  After lunch we went to do another family craft but, since it was one we had already done, we decided to go back to our room and watch the scenery.  On the way up Nikki and I stopped by Shutters to pick up some photos and then we met the girls in the room.  Kelsie went to Ocean Quest and Regan went to the Stack for a Q&A with the theater cast on the ship.   After that the two girls went to see Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning which was a premier as the movie was released today.

Nikki and I went to a group signing with Pluto, Mickey, Minnie, Duckie Williams, Donald and Goofy.   Then we went to Diversions where we could watch the Rainforest go by and play a game.  We decided to play 80s Trivial Pursuit (I won).  Then we headed up to the deck so that we could see the ship enter the next set of locks. 
We lucked out and found a spot on deck 10 right at the front and center of the ship.  The skies were getting dark and there was lightning and thunder and then all of a sudden, the rain started to POUR.  It was raining so hard that you couldn't see more than about 20 feet in any direction.  The ship slowed way down and ended up delaying us by about an hour.  Nikki and I went down to our stateroom to watch the ship go into the locks. 
Nikki thought we would try to do some laundry before dinner and there was an empty washing machine so we called ourselves lucky (turned out to be incorrect as we didn't get dryers until after our dinner started and the drying didn't finish until about 8:40...that means we started the laundry at about 4:15 and finished the two loads 4.5 hours later).  Dinner was in Parrot Cay and was an East Meets West Theme since we had been in both oceans today. 

Because of the rain delay we didn't get into the first of the Gatun locks until almost dark so it was very difficult to see the ship move through the locks.  We could see the inside walls of the locks from the windows in Parrot Cay and could see that there was only 2 feet on each side of the ship.  There was even a point that we were entering the Gatun Locks we bumped the side of the lock with the ship.
After dinner we went to the Walt Disney Theater to see Wall-E while Kelsie went to Ocean Quest.  Once the movie was over we went back to the room and Kelsie was there.  Regan went to the Stack.  Kelsie went to a Pajama Jam at 11 and the old folks went to bed.
Tomorrow we are in Cartegena.
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