It only took about 20 minutes to embark as I am a past Carnival cruiser. The fact that the ship left on a Wednesday meant that we were the only ship at the Port of Miami. We found our cabin easily enough and set off to the Lido Deck for our first meal. The food was diversified and yummy. The TV in the cabin pulled in Channel 4 from New York so we saw all about the big snow in the Northeast. They also had CNBC so I could keep an eye on the world markets. The service and the presentation of the meals was outstanding and the pools and hot tubs were used day and night. This cruise left on 2-12-03 and took two days to reach Belize. Cave tubing in Belize is a fantastic experience. We then set sail for Costa Rica and the coffee plantations. I took a bus ride around the area and had a chance to taste coffee liquor. After 5 or so drinks I had to be led back to the bus. Panama was an all-together far out day. I took a bus ride to a train that started at the Atlantic Ocean and followed the Panama Canal for 50 miles to the Pacific end. On the way I saw a few ships going through the Miraflores Locks and was totally amazed as to how it is done. The Gatun Lake is a marvel to behold. T-shirts are $5 U.S. The entertainment on the 'Spirit' was close to perfection. The athletic Jason McPherson was hilarious. For the $$$$ I paid for a balcony accommodation for 8 glorious nights --- I do not see how that deal can be beat. Kudos to Carnival for a wonderful time.
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