Puerta de Hierro

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12 travelers at this place
  • Day13

    World Class Lectures

    August 17, 2018 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    There have been a huge variety of quality lecturers on board. We have 6 experts giving 5 presentations each (most without notes). Some of our favorites:
    Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman a NASA astronaut who made 5 space flights.
    William Miller, “Mr. Ocean Liner” has always amazed us with his stories, pictures, and knowledge of ocean liner history.
    Jim Brochu a working actor, and Jon Bailey, a composer are lecturing as part of the “Crystal on Broadway” program. They talked about their experiences with famous people, and brought insight into the stories behind musicals.
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    Love when there are quality lectures on board ship.

    Traci Van Egmond

    I loved going to onboard lectures. They have such interesting and informative topics and are usually done by really good speakers. Sounds like Crystal has some great ones.


    Jeff Hoffman was on our NW Passage trip too. Since the topography & climate of Devon Island, Nunavut Canada, is similar to Mars he was researching for NASA there. Interesting fellow.

  • Day14

    Puerto Quetzal

    December 28, 2017 in Guatemala ⋅ ☀️ 90 °F

    What a glorious and wonderful life..... we are drinking coffee on our balcony and watching the El Fuego Volcano puff smoke as we sail into Guatemala. We were struck not only by the poverty, but also by the persistence and tenacity of the hawkers, who tried to persuade us to buy their wares. This is a land of many volcanoes, most still active, and lovely people who work hard and do their best to enjoy life. Everything grows here, including bananas and coffee. The Spanish influence is palpable and the veneer of Catholicism over the native Indian religion is still strong. Guatemala was wonderful, filled with colorful markets, volcanos puffing smoke, banana trees, coffee plants and sugar cane. I learned that a banana tree produces one bunch of bananas and then it dies and another one takes its place. We drove from the port to Antigua along a winding road that took us into the mountains. It was blessedly cool in Antigua with the high of 71 while at the port the high was 93. I bought several gifts that will appear at Christmas at the local markets. The bananas are in blue bags to keep insects away. Three sea days and then we get to go whale watching in Cabo. Every year on All Saints Day Guatemalan families gather together at the cemetery. They repaint the tombs of their departed loved ones in bright colors and cook out a barbecue there by the gravesite. Once the paint dries, children stand on the tombs and fly kites, symbolizing our connection with those gone to the skies. It is a joyous and colorful celebration of the union of saints below with the saints above. Banana trees—actually banana bushes. Each produces one large bunch of bananas then dies. Seeds the bush has scattered on the ground grow into another bush that repeats the process. The blue bags prevent bees or other insects from marring the fruit. Only perfect, spot-free bananas can be exported. Bananas with even the slightest blemish are retained for domestic consumption.Read more

  • Day16

    Puerto Quetzel, Guatemala

    January 14, 2019 in Guatemala ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    It was 32 today and sunny with no breeze. We had the option of taking an $140 USD excursion to the colonial heritage city of Antigua but JS had already been there over 40 years ago so we decided to stay near the port for free. This time we docked at the cargo port, the largest in Central America. We saw huge shipping containers stacked several high with the words Chiquita or Del Monte emblazoned on the side. There were also several large, metal grain storage sheds and huge piles of imported coal.

    To get to the main tourist port we took a free shuttle bus, a rickety old school bus, about 10 km up the coast. JS headed straight to the wifi restaurant and bought 2 locally brewed Gallo beer for $4 each, which allowed us each 1 hour internet time. I asked why my internet time didn’t at least come with a Coke, instead of him getting 2 beers and just got a shrug in response! “Oink, oink”, I replied.

    The tourist market was fairly large with each stall owner anxious to make a sale. I wandered around once before deciding on my 2 small purchases. There was a lot of pressure to buy and the price dropped considerably but I either didn’t need, want or have space in my luggage for anything else. I did feel for them though because there is a lot of poverty in Guatemala. I was told by someone who did the trip to Antigua that there were a lot of “beggars with no limbs” and a lot of “guards armed with machine guns”.

    It was now 3 o’clock and JS was getting grumpy with hunger so we headed back to the ship. A late lunch, naps and working off some of those calories doing laps around the ship (3.5 laps = 1.6 km) has been our usual afternoon routine. I’s a tough life! Holland America used to be the only ship that had a veranda deck that went completely around the ship unobstructed. Our stateroom is located on this deck so it is very convenient for walks and lounge chairs.
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  • Day4


    January 31, 2015 in Guatemala ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Ab in die Sonne nach Monterrico! Gefühlt 20 grad wärmer als ins Antigua??? Strand, Sonne, Wärme...? genau das Richtige um die fiese Erkältung los zu werden, die ich aus Deutschland mitgebracht hab. ??
    Gewohnt hab ich im Guesthouse Johnnys Place. Sehr zu emfehlen. Direkt am strand, Pool, witzige Atmosphäre mit locals und travellern??
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Puerta de Hierro