By LARRY VAUGHT
What a delightful time we had for 10 days and nights aboard Coral Princess that took us from Ft. Lauderdale to the Aruba, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Jamaica.
The food was fantastic. The entertainment was superb. The sunshine was glorious.
One of my favorite days came near the end in Jamaica starting with the Sky Explorer and Bobsled at Mystic Mountain. The 15-minute ride in the aerial chairlift through the rain forest took us 700 feet in the air and then we got to race a custom-designed Jamaican bobsled for a twisting, turning ride of 3,280 feet through the rain forest — and yes I might have gone a bit too fast.
But the most memorable event of the cruise for me was Dunn’s River Falls where I climbed an approximate 600-foot water falls that had sort of natural stepping platforms that were harder to navigate than I originally expected.
Our trained guide was magnificent keeping our group of about 20 focused on the task at hand — pointing out spots to step or not step, helping us with a needed hand and keeping us together.
Luckily, two Coral Princess staff members — singer/dancer Amy Hogan and customer service agent Mark Bosita — had time off and were on the same tour. I had met Amy a day earlier during a “meet the crew” session and introduced myself to Mark when we started the climb.
The plunge pools were spectacular. I slid on my butt a short distance down a rock into a pool that was a lot deeper than I expect. I came up gasping for air — something I am sure my grandchildren are going to enjoy seeing on the video I purchased.
There was also another time where you were encouraged to fall backwards into a plunge pool. I knew I was too old to do that, but I did any way. Of course, I pulled up and didn’t make a perfect landing — but it was fun.
It took us about 90 minutes to climb the falls because our group was not the fastest and the falls also had a lot of other climbers in other groups going up at the same time.
The best part of that was it gave me a chance to talk some with Mark and Amy about their jobs on the cruise ship and why they enjoyed it.
“It’s a lot of hard work and we do a lot of shows,” Amy said. “But on days like this, how can you complain.”
You can’t. Just like I couldn’t for 10 days thanks to Princess Cruises.