April 26, 2023 – Wednesday – San Diego, California, USA
2023 Panama Canal Cruise
I am up at 7AM and out on my balcony this morning as the ship enters the harbour. It is an overcast day to start, but the clouds clear off later. I go down to the Main Dining room for breakfast, since I’m in no rush to go ashore because I don’t have an excursion booked.
It is a frustrating morning once we dock in San Diego, since US Customs and Border Protection insist on clearing each and every passenger and crew in person this morning. So despite docking at 7:30AM, I’m not allowed off the ship until 10:30AM since I have a 10AM time slot to see the CBP officers. It appears passengers with shore excursions booked and those who are leaving the ship by rolling their own luggage ashore are first in line. Next are passengers debarking, and then those of us who are “in-transit”, followed by crew leaving the ship. There are nine CBP officers, but the lines of passengers extend most of the length of the ship.
Once that hassle is over, I disembark the ship and walk over to the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier, an historic US Navy warship docked close by. It is an interesting way to spend about three hours by both exploring the inside of the ship, as well as the flight deck, where many historic aircraft are displayed. There are lots of helpful and friendly volunteers around to ensure people don’t get lost, and also to give information about the amazing systems and historic equipment they are seeing. I photograph every detail of this warship, so view my photo album for those who want all the details!
Our sail away out of the harbour is interesting as we pass the airport, marinas, US Navy and Coast Guard facilities, Sea lions, and the city itself. I have dinner this evening in the main dining room, but we are moved upstairs since it’s so busy. I go to Guitarist Nester Santurio‘s late performance in the Main Stage, but walk out before he finishes since I can’t stand his cornball antics. I end up in the Ocean Bar to have my usual martini, since I think I need an attitude adjuster.