We arrived in Puntarenas before 7 AM, mooring at the end of a long pier that leads to the center of town. While it wasn’t too hot at 7AM, you could tell that it was going to get a lot hotter and more humid soon.
The pier here is long and narrow with no place for vehicles to turn around. The tour buses were forced to either back all the way down to pier to get to the ship or to back all the way off the pier. Most busses backed down the pier in the morning but backed off the pier in the afternoon.
None of the shore excursions in this port were particularly interesting to us so we decided to relax onboard for a while and then explore the town later in the day on our own.
A little after 11 am we headed down to Deck 1 and off the gangway which was positioned in the middle of the ship on the starboard side. By this time it was getting steamy so we took it slow and took our time walking down the pier. Along the way we spotted Nyron, the HAL Excursions manager, as he was supervising the departure of the latest wave of shore excursions.
Once we reached the end of the pier we headed off thru a narrow pathway that was surrounded by various vendors who set up temporary shops selling typical touristy stuff and a few local handicrafts. We bought some post cards and key chains and then bought a Coca-Cola at a nearby café to write our postcards and get them in the mail.
After we walked up and down the street along the waterfront, we turned inland for a few blocks to walk down the main street. There weren’t many other people, local or tourists, walking around and the town had a run down, grubby feel. Most every building with anything of value inside had razor wire covering the fences which doesn’t do much to help create a welcoming atmosphere. There was Historical Museum that was closed, without any sign as to when it was open, and many of the letters in the sign had fallen off so maybe the museum is permanently closed.
One of the tallest structures in town, the Cathedral, occupies the center square, but we didn’t go inside. After we finished walking our large loop we headed back to the ship arriving around 1pm and headed straight to the LIDO for some cold Ice Tea and a light lunch. We stayed in the LIDO for about 1 hour before returning to our cabin to relax before the SailAway at 4:30.
It was still very hot as we arrived at the SailAway on Deck 8 aft by the Seaview pool. There wasn’t anyone passing snacks and the waiters didn’t seem to venture too far from the bars and shaded areas. We headed to the bar and ordered some cool drinks. Judy’s new favorite is orange juice and grenadine. We watched as the town faded off into distance and the sun almost touched the horizon before we headed down to our cabin to relax.
We were invited to an “Exclusive Officers Cocktail Party” at 7pm in the Crow’s nest. All of the 33 people from the World Cruise appeared to be in attendance along with some other 5 star Mariners that we have come to know. Waiters were passing very nice appetizers and the bar was open for the drink of your choice. A group of us enjoyed spending most of the time with event manager Mark who was very interesting and provided us some insight to working and living on a cruise ship.
We had a full table for dinner tonight as we were joined by a nice couple from open seating at our request. Late seating is lightly attended so there isn’t any pressure to fill every seat which may be the case during early seating. Judy enjoyed her Santa Fe Salad and I found the Linguine with Smoked Salmon to be very tasty. We also shared the Chef’s Meatloaf which was OK, but we prefer meatloaf that has more tomato sauces than beef sauces.
The HAL singers and dancers presented the show “Dance” which was wonderful. The dancing was incredible and this show presented them with numerous opportunities to show off their amazing talent. Kara, Kate, Wesley and Greg were outstanding as always during the shows vocal numbers.This entry was posted in Uncategorized