Cruise to Panama on NCL Pearl

Our friends Anita and Clay go back a long way (Anita and Betsy were college buddies). We’ve long wanted to do a cruise together. They have cruised on NCL and are comfortable there and we’re Platinum on NCL, so that seemed like a logical starting point. We looked over the itineraries and one stood out — Anita and Clay have not yet been to the Panama Canal. None of us wanted to go all the way through and have to fly back from California. We discovered an NCL Pearl cruise from Miami to Cartegena, Columbia, then through the first set of locks and into Gatun Lake on the Panama Canal. The ship then turns around and goes back out through the locks, and a brief stop in Colon, Panama to pick up guests who took excursions to cross the isthmus by land.

From there, the cruise continues to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize and Costa Maya, Mexico before heading back to Miami. The cruise is 11 days and begins November, 19, 2015 — about 10 days from now.

Pearl is one of the smaller NCL ships, part of the Jewel class. We’ve sailed on Jewel, so we knew we’d be comfortable on Pearl. She’s about 93,000 tons, or about 50% larger than the largest of Oceania’s ships, our favorites. Pearl is rated to carry approximately 2,400 passengers, roughly double Oceania’s Marina or Riviera (and almost 4 times as many as our world cruise ship, Oceania Insignia). This is about as large a ship as we ever want to sail. We and our friends are booked next to each other in mid-ship balconies on deck 10. This puts us in ideal position to easily reach any area of the ship.

Ouir Ship

We’re looking forward to a fun and restful voyage with our friends.

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