Saturday, February 07, 2009

We Board the Pacific Explorer

After an afternoon coach ride over the mountain range that runs through the center of Costa Rica, we arrived at the humidity laden Pacific Coast. We boarded our cruise ship, the 185 foot Pacific Explorer, at a dock located within a ritsy resort complex called Los Sueneos. I knew who fueled the golf course, the condos, and the private yachts when I saw a large billboard on the road that advertised tax consultations for expatriates.

Aside from short trips (the English channel, the Irish Sea, and the Milwaukee Clipper's old run to Muskegon on Lake Michigan), Jan and I had never really been a resident on an ocean going ship. The closest thing to a "cruise." we have been on was our week on the Nile in Egypt. That was definitely a cruise, but clearly minus any wave or tidal action. The Pacific Explorer is a neatly compact vessel. It accommodates up to 100 folks and our 92 Elderhostelers made up the entire passenger list. There were no elevators but the four levels were not difficult to negotiate. The public spaces were pleasant, the food superlative, and the cabins amply sized. Our bathroom was considerably larger than the one on our Nile cruiser. We did have some bouncing and jouncing when cutting across the swell patterns on open sea runs, but by and large this was the ideal choice for off-shore traveling. We could enter bays that larger ships could not approach and anchor close enough to shore to make the zodiac trips to land quick and efficient.

Our cabin.

We meet the captain. We have a lifeboat drill.

We get to visit the bridge.

We get a nice view from the observation lounge as well

The dining room is pleasant The bar gets a lot of traffic as well

Our zodiac ferry service back to the mother ship

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