Christmas in November

christmas-presentThat’s what it seemed like. Opening package after package that contain treasures that you have wished for. But it had nothing to do with Santa – We just returned from Royal Caribbean’s repositioning cruise. This cruise runs each November from Miami to Colon, Panama. For those of us from South Florida it means loading our cabin with boxes, containers and suitcases with stuff in our storage unit.

When we packed last March, we put many things aside for this cruise. There isn’t a weight limit like there is on an airplane. Anything heavy went into the November shipment. We also were able to make purchases of things not available here in Panama. We ended up with 25 pretty large and very heavy bags in our little cabin. Once we arrived in Panama, they were put in a large charter bus and then we rode from Colon to Boquete.

Today we unpacked. Thirty cases of Fancy Feast (for 1 year), 10 packages of egg noodles, 3 containers of slow-cook grits (real Southerners would never eat instant), 3 containers of Buttermilk powder, Christmas canes, lightbulbs and other wonderful items. We now have our KitchenAid, food processer, meat grinder, sewing machine, and PS3 (and PS2). Next week I will put up our Christmas tree with lights and decorations. Fancy Feast

Some things are either not to be found in Panama or are very expensive. For example, grocery stores will not grind chicken. Since I don’t eat beef or pork, that means no meatballs or meatloaf – until now! Grits are hard to find north of Tennessee and never found here. Our pasta machine is complete and there’s nothing better than freshly made pasta. And we have clothes and shoes. I was so distressed last spring to have to leave so many clothes behind but, to be honest, I could not even remember what I had left. We have more clothes now than will fit in all the closets in the house. Not even kidding. I grabbed a bunch of photographs. Our house seems so sterile I wanted to personalize it a bit. It turned out to be a hodgepodge collection of travel photos in frames but that’s OK. And David has his tools and a big smile on his face.

It was a hectic trip but worth it. I hate cruises but this turned out to be a very needed break. We even fell asleep at the pool. Since this cruise only goes one way and is in the middle of the school year, there were very few kids 🙂 The food was pretty good. It rained most of the trip and the ship was rolling, but it was fine. Royal Caribbean does this trip to Colon every November. The ship returns to Miami in the spring. What a great way to bring a massive amount of stuff! This is our cabin AFTER almost all of our luggage was transferred for arrival in Colon. Before, there was only a two foot path to the balcony.

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5 thoughts on “Christmas in November

  1. I read your post about the cruise and immediately after yours I read this post by Lee of Boquete Guide. (“There and back again, this time no Hobbits involved”–November 18, 2013 by Lee Zeltzer)
    He was on the same cruise and wrote this:

    ……I took advantage of the last of the Royal Caribbean repositioning cruises from Miami to Colon Panama. Royal Caribbean apparently has decided the cruises from Colon through the Caribbean are not profitable and has decided that this, the fifth season is the final season. The unofficial word is that Panamanians and Colombians do not spend enough money in the bar and casino to make the trips worth doing.

    Just found it funny that both posts came same day to my email address. Here’s hoping that Royal Caribbean snaps out of it and continues this cruise for those that want to get there things shipped to Panama in this manner! It seems like a win-win situation!

  2. Oh, my hopes went up and then down. I can relate to the Christmas atmosphere of opening boxes and finding items that were packed so long ago. This happened when I divorced (a very long time ago) in Florida and all I owned after the papers were complete fit in 6 cartons. Well, ex kept putting off shipping the boxes to me in California; until I filed a court order. Finally, what joy to see and feel books, presents, souvenirs and stuff. 30+ years later I have those items and wonder if they’ll make it to Panama or if I’ll leave them behind as I start a new life. Well maybe, just a few items. 🙂

    • People here have done everything from bringing everything they own in one or more cargo containers to bringing only a suitcase. We chose something in between. Funny thing, I don’t regret any of the decisions to get rid of the tons of stuff we left behind. This, after years of storing it, toting it across country and to different houses. I really enjoyed opening the box of photos though.

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