If there were a mantra for living in Panama it would be “things change!” In fact, if there were a mantra for life it would be “THINGS CHANGE!” Living in Panama I’ve learned that you always have to be expecting change and to have a “Plan B” in mind. In Panama, also Plans C, D, E, F, etc. But here, as everywhere else, the secret is to keep plugging and respond as positively as possible to the changes life throws at you, whether they are the gigantic life-altering changes, or the little “that’s interesting” changes.
It’s been almost a year-and-a-half since I was at sea, so wanting to get back in the swing of things I agreed to do several “one-off” cruises this fall, one for Celebrity and four for Silversea. While in the Canary Islands on Celebrity I experienced loss of vision in my one eye several times. Once when attempting to start a talk, while an inexperienced AV guy tried to figure out PowerPoint, I was stalling by telling jokes I’ve used many times and in the middle of the joke I forgot the punch lines. I ended up in the medical center with the ship’s doctor sending me to an ophthalmologist. When the eye doc said there was nothing wrong with my eyes, the ship doctor, fearing a stroke, sent me back home to Seattle for a whole string of tests. Tests which proved … drum roll! … I’m normal, much to the surprise of some of my friends. But in the meantime, not to leave Silversea hanging at the last minute, I had to cancel my four scheduled cruises.
The silver lining was getting to spend some time with my daughter and her family in Seattle. I’m now with my other daughter in Sonoma County working my way back to Panama. And the other day … Princess called. They want me back at sea, doing my favorite run through the Panama Canal on ISLAND PRINCESS … starting mid-November!
Since 2014 is the 100th Anniversary of the Panama Canal, and with all the expansion construction going on, this is an exciting time to do the Canal run and be able to introduce a shipload of folks [1,970 passengers, 900 crew] to Panama. Plus, no long-haul flights! I start with a Canal transit from Los Angeles to Ft Lauderdale in less than a month, and then do the partial transits round trip from Ft Lauderdale.