B. B. B. B. D. '08 San Juan Puerto Rico to San Francisco, California


This year we went on a 14-day cruise (our first) aboard RCI's Serenade of the Seas departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico April 19, 2008 with ports at Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic; Cartagena, Columbia; Panama Canal transit; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Huatulco, Mexico; Acapulco, Mexico; Cabo San Lucas, Baja
then arriving in San Francisco, California on May 03, 2008.

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Here's the intinerary map courtesy of Royal Caribbean along with a picture of the ship

Serenade of the Seas        Panama Canal Cruise Map

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Our next port was Puntarenas, Costa Rica. On our last Panama cruise we went to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica on the east (Gulf) side. It is the "wet" side. The west (Pacific) side is the "dry" side of C.R. Norma had the idea for the 5 of us to go on a nature walk through the rain forest in the Carara National Park near Tarcoles. We secured a van and driver, Miguel (whose English was about as extensive as our Spanish), at the port and headed out toward the park. First stop was to see some Capuchin monkeys. It was basically in the front yards of a few people. They feed the monkeys and expect a "donation" to help pay for food. It was pretty cool however and we also saw a coatimundi, which looks a little like a long nosed raccoon.


The second stop was a bridge where everyone views the crocodiles. They are huge and there were many of them. We did see a strange sight. A lone horse was standing by the river side not moving or doing much of anything. We expected to see him become croc food. He didn't while we were there and never found out for sure. He was gone when we came through later though.


After the crocs it was on to the Hotel Villa Lapas and our nature walk. Once there and checked in we waited for our guide who was just finishing up guiding a zip line canopy tour. He hopped in our van and we set out up to the top. The trail head wasn't much to speak of but the views were awesome. We headed out down the trail on our 2 1/2 kilometer descent back down to Villa Lapas. We crossed many suspension bridges, saw quite few birds and viewed and major trail of leaf cutter ants. They are amazing to watch! Even though it was downhill it was very hot and humid so it started to take it's toll on us. By the time we got to the bottom we were ready for AC and cold water. Even a beer could wait at this point! The ride back to the dock was pretty quiet. Everyone was fairly tired. When we got back to the dock we waited under canopy for the shuttle to take us down the dock to the ship. We didn't want to walk any more than we had to!

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The coast of Costa Rica




Mom and baby

"I'm ready for my close up"

Croc statues

Croc fest

Mr. Sneaky

Tarcoles River

Norma and a favorite shirt :)

Waiting for our guide at the end of the zip line

Here comes our guide!

View from the top

Leaf cutter ant trail

Lizard trying to hide

One of the 5 suspension bridges we crossed

Unique tree bark - Spiny Cedar?

The BBB crew resting before the shuttle back to the ship

Teddy and SOTS

Costa Rica sunset

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Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Hotel Villa Lapas

Cruise Critic

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