My husband celebrated a milestone birthday recently and earned the right to choose a trip from his bucket list. We have been avid boaters our entire life, so it wasn’t surprising when he chose a Panama Canal Cruise.
Windstar Cruises are known for their sailing vessels, but they have added some ocean liners and we cruised on their Star Breeze which accommodates only 212 passengers. Much smaller than your typical ocean liner. The crew was predominately from the Philippines and they were outstanding – genuine and professional. The food was perfect. We had breakfast and lunch each day al fresco on the aft deck and one night to celebrate the big birthday we dined alfresco under the stars. This was the same night that we cruised through the many locks of the Panama Canal.
I didn’t expect the locks to be such an interesting experience but to my surprise it was! My husband was in his glory and had acquired another check on his bucket list.
We spent two nights before the cruise began in the city of Panama, staying at the beautiful Hotel Bristol. The city of Panama is a dichotomy of old & new. I preferred the old. Casco Viejo (Spanish for Old Quarter) is the historic district of Panama City. It was built following the near and total destruction of the original Panama City in 1671 when the city was attacked by pirates.
Today, it is vibrant and authentic with many wonderful restaurants and homes. It’s a must see when traveling to this part of the world.