The Traveling Steve's

Pre-cruise fun in Kissimmee

On Sunday afternoon we drove 45 minutes down to Kissimmee to meet some of our upcoming fellow cruisers sailing on our celebrity logoCelebrity Infinity cruise next month.  Wow – it’s hard to believe it’s so soon!  Steve booked this almost two years ago when it first came out, and now it’s nearly upon us.  We leave on Wednesday, March 11th, and are flying Copa AirlinesCopa logo to Santiago, Chile, with a change of planes in Panama.  We are staying three nights before the cruise in Santiago, and one night in the Valparaiso area the night before we sail for 14 nights ending in Ft. Lauderdale.  We did this same ship, and nearly identical itinerary 5 years ago, and both are truly outstanding!  The ship has several sea days which we love, inter-mixed with the ports of Arica, Lima, Manta, cruising thru the Panama Canal, the port of Panama, and Cartagena.

Steve is active on Cruise Critic, and had emailed several fellow passengers on our Roll Call inquiring about shared tours and transfers.  JoAnn had arranged a transfer shuttle for several people including us, and wintering in Florida, was so kind to invite several of us over for the afternoon.

JoAnn is ultra-organized and had a large folder sectioned off with the various tours/transfers and even had envelopes of currency for these tours sorted out ahead of time.  JoAnn, her husband Bob, and sister-in-law Della, as well as two other couples, plus Dos and myself were at the get together, and all going on the Infinity cruise.   John and Linda are ‘snow birds’ from Ohio, but wintering in coastal Florida, and Carl and Cler live in the nearby beach communities of Florida as well.

JoAnn, ever so organized had nice hors D’oeuvres, complimented with several bottles and varieties of South American red and white wines. IMG_2804 Quite a nice touch, and since no one could decide what to open first, I did the honors.  I chose the Sauvignon Blanc for the beautiful sunny day sitting out poolside, and a Merlot – both Casillero del Diablo labels from Concha y Toro.  Steve and I had been to the vineyard in Chile 5 years ago on our last South American cruise, and really enjoyed touring it, as well as their tasty vinos.

As we chatted the afternoon away, we shared travel and cruise stories as well as excitement of the upcoming trip. IMG_2810I recommended everyone read the book The Path Between the Seas, which tells in painstaking detail the making of the Panama Canal.  It’s quite a lot to read, but suggested they do it as I did on that previous cruise, and take the book along and read it on sea days.  Complete with photos, the book really brings the reader into the politics, challenges, logistics, and ultimately triumphs of the years the canal was being envisioned and built.

IMG_2808So as we finished up our afternoon together, and bid everyone adieu,
we said we’d see each other again shortly, but next time in Santiago, Chile. I have been traveling so much for work, I can hardly wait for the trip.

Being off nearly three weeks – priceless!

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