Radiance of the Seas Panama Canal Cruise, April 2002

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The Radiance of the Seas Puerto Rico,
San Juan
The Panama Canal Puntarenas,
Cabo San
San Diego,
California, USA

Use the navigation bar to go directly to your port of call, then click on a photograph to enlarge... 

The Radiance of the Seas

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Launched in March 2001, Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas is the first of their Radiance class ships.  Offering speed, comfort, space, sweeping ocean vistas and the highest percentage of outside cabins in the Royal Caribbean fleet, the 90,000 ton gas turbine vessel took her 3rd Panama Canal transit in April 2002.  Once again, the transit fee she paid broke world records...  This page details that journey (which also appeared on Wish You Were Here).

Further detail can be obtained from: Royal Caribbean International; Meyer Werft ShipyardWish You Were Here

Maiden Voyage: 10 March 2001
Passenger Capacity: 2,501
Gross Tonnage: 90,090
Length: 962'
Beam: 105.6'
Draft: 26.7'
Cruising Speed: 25 knots

Click on the image to reveal further photographs of the ship

Puerto Rico, San Juan (06 April 2002)

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This departure port is the smallest and the most eastern island of the Greater Antilles.  San Juan, the oldest city under the US flag, is a major port and tourist resort of the West Indies.  The centre of Caribbean shipping, San Juan is the 2nd largest sea port in the area (after New York City), and the largest home-based cruise port in the world.

See welcome.topuertorico.org for further information.

The Radiance of the Seas in Port (Right)
Nordic Empress (Left)
Saturday Night in San Juan


Orangestad, Aruba (08 April 2002)


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The A of the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba is owned by, but independently operated from, the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  Situated outside the hurricane belt, the island boasts year-round good weather and cooling trade winds.  Oranjestad, is the historical Dutch capital city, located on Aruba's picturesque southern coast.  A bustling meeting place, the town is full of tall-multicoloured houses and is the place to shop.

Visit www.aruba.com for additional information.

Casibari Rock Gardens Aruba's Natural Bridge (North Coast)  The Antilla
(400ft German Freighter destroyed in WWII)


Caribbean Sunset (09 April 2002)

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The Caribbean sea is clear, warm (75F/24C), and less salty than the Atlantic.  Tidal range is very low at approx. 1 ft/0.3 m.


Panama Canal Transit (10 April 2002)

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The first French engineers arrived at the Panama Canal in 1881, and in 1882 digging began.  Over the 10 years that followed, 20,000 workers died (from diseases such as cholera, dysentery, malaria & yellow fever).  In 1904 the US took possession of the canal works.  Once tropical diseases had been eradicated, construction could get underway.  Built under budget (at a cost of $342,000,000) the canal opened in 1914.  The first ocean going ship to transit the canal was the Cristobal on 03 August 1914.  The cement ship SS Ancon, carrying the Panama Canal construction workers, opened the canal on 15 August 1904, the same day WWI broke.

Today the Canal is run by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and operated by 9,000 workers.  Since the locks first opened more than 850,000 vessels have transited the 50-mile long canal.  Currently approx. 14,000 vessels transit the canal (almost 40 a day).  30% of these are PANAMAX vessels.  In April 2002 the Radiance of the Seas broke the toll record paying $250,000 to transit through the canal.  The lowest toll ever charged was 36 cents paid by Richard Halliburton when he swam the canal in 1928.

On exiting the Canal in Balboa, the ship is 23 nautical miles east than when it started its transition from Limon Bay.

For further information visit the ACP website

Click on the map above for photos of the Panama Canal Transit


Puntarenas, Costa Rica (12 April 2002)

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The Central Pacific's largest city, Puntarenas (meaning Sandy Point), sits on a long, narrow peninsula in the Gulf of Nicoya.  Once Puerto Ricos principal port, it now handles cruise ships.  A newer port nearby manages cargo, and a large fishing fleet still anchors in the estuary behind town.  The town becomes lively at weekends when people from San Jos fill its waterfront restaurants and bars.

More detail can be found on www.puntarenas.com

Sky Walk in the Forrest, located outside of Santa Elena, approx. 5km from the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Crocodile


Acapulco, Mexico (15 April 2002)

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Acapulco was first settled in 1550 and for many years was a major Mexican shipping port. Attracted by its perfect sunsets, clear waters, and many white-sand beaches, visitors began flocking to Acapulco in the 1920's. Visitors still thrill to the sight of Acapulco's intrepid La Quebrada cliff divers, who routinely risk their lives by leaping from the 130-foot-high rock formations into the surf below.

Visit www.acapulco.com for further information

Acapulco by Day Acapulco by Night
Papagayo River & La Venta Dam (Rambo & Tarzan country)
Sierra de Gerrero Mountains, Mexican Riviera
Shotover Jet


Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (17 April 2002)

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Once referred to as "the millionaires' sand box," Cabo San Lucas is Mexico's "jewel" resort at the very tip of the Baja Peninsula. Its remote location and unspoiled beauty make this a seaside paradise.

Click here for more about Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas Vicky, Peter, Margaret & Ian Tendering


San Diego, California, USA (19 April 2002)

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San Diego is the seventh largest city in the US, and the second largest city in California.  San Diego County encompasses 18 incorporated cities and numerous other neighbourhoods and communities, including downtown's historic Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, Coronado, La Jolla, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Escondido, La Mesa, Hillcrest, Barrio Logan, Chula Vista and more.  Known for it's near-idyllic climate, 70 miles of pristine beaches and array of attractions (including San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld and Legoland) San Diego offers a wide variety of things to see and do.

Further information can be obtained from: www.sannet.gov; www.sandiego.org

The Shamu Show The Shamu Show Dolly the Dolphin

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Copyright M Pawezowski 2002

Contact * web@mikep.co.uk or web@zoep.net