Tag-Archive for » Peru «

Friday File: Signs, signs, everywhere…

When you travel on cruise ships, you often encounter signs that have strange, double or hidden meanings. Or maybe they’re just clever, prompting the shutterbugs to snap a few photos. And that’s what we’ve done, for your enjoyment (and ours) this week…


This was in Lima, Peru and we didn’t need a Spanish-English dictionary to get the picture, but maybe we should’ve because it probably doesn’t mean what you’re thinking.


Everybody on a shore excursion takes a bus, often trying to find the right one — this Alaska bus driver for Star Princess passengers had a with a sense of humor.


Truly the only time any of us want to visit Hell, which is in the Grand Cayman Islands, and — yes — it’s re-assuring we’ll be able to send postcards back home.


At a snack bar in Aruba, near the “Natural Bridge” the primary tourist attraction until it collapsed 10 years ago — and now home to a sign that speaks for itself.

Costa Rica

A sign from the wilds of Costa Rica and our first thought was of a feeding frenzy so we didn’t know if it was wise to proceed — except for the women, of course.


In case you’re wondering what the dietary desires are for the locals in Valencia, Spain, these eels are always on the menu and in the butcher’s (?) shops.

In the news…

• Fourth of July sales for many cruise lines a reason to pause the celebrations
• Incentives for booking early on Oceania include new ship Sirena in 2016
• Work stoppage at Fincantieri's Shipyard where Carnival Vista is being built

Today at portsandbows.com: Cruising through glaciers to Vancouver

Grandeur of the Seas
8 nights
September 17, 2015
Baltimore (return): Portland, Bar Harbor, Saint John, Halifax
Inside: $804
Cost per day: $100

Friday File: Some sights of Lima, Peru

Today’s photo subject is Lima, the capital of Peru. It’s a place we visited while on a 19-day cruise from San Francisco to South America, on the Norwegian Sun. We booked a private, eight-hour tour to give us the best chance of seeing a place new to us but our tour guide had a specific (and rigid) agenda and when it ended, we’d missed out on something we enjoy most — meeting the locals…

Found city-1This “found city” is called Huaca Pucllana, 40 acres of adobe ruins abandoned in 700 AD and discovered by accident about 50 years ago. Until then, it was just “a hill in the city” and Peruvians have been meticulously uncovering it since 1981 and are nowhere near finished.

EdithThis is Edith (we only knew her first name), the daughter of a doctor in Pasco, and well-educated herself because her family could afford to send her to “American” school. She spoke excellent English and talked a lot, which was fine, and clearly knew her history.

CrossAt the San Francisco Monastery, there is a lot of interesting religious artifacts, including a large display of crosses, most with the symbolic aspects of the events of Good Friday. By day’s end, we’d had our fill of Peruvian religion and artifacts.

Make loveGoogle “statues in Lima” and you’ll find many different angles of this one, the most popular if not the most famous artistic attraction on the waterfront. You’ll find some of two tourists in the foreground, trying to mirror this pose. No, we didn’t try it. 

Poor PeruWhen we asked Edith about this hillside settlement, she didn’t want to talk about it and tried to move us along quickly to the next stop. You see, this is where the poor live in Lima, the colors are their badge of poverty. In most cities, this would be a million-dollar view.

Casa Solar-1Inside Casa Solar de Aliaga, a colonial mansion that has been in the Aliaga family since 1535, when it was given to Jeronimo de Aliaga by the founder of Peru, Francisco Pizarro. A few rooms are still occupied by family, mostly elderly aunts.

Today at portsandbows.com: Coming back to America…MSC Cruises

Ruby Princess
7 nights
April 19, 2015
Los Angeles (return): Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas
Oceanview: $514
Cost per day: $73

What do YOU Want in a Shore Excursion?

Before our first visit to Lima, Peru, we spent considerable time reviewing the ship’s shore excursions. We found most a little too specific, and we wanted more of an overview, so we decided to blow the budget and book a full-day, private tour.

In our naivete, we thought that meant our guide (and driver) would have some ideas, and that we would have some input into what to see on a day in Lima. Hmmmm…not so fast!

Turned out the guide we hired had her own agenda, to the point that we were quietly chastised for walking away from her to take pictures of a picturesque hillside neighborhood. It happened that the neighborhood off in the distance was one of poverty, but it had colorful homes and we thought it would make a nice picture. Besides, we didn’t know it was poor until she told us. She was a lovely and bright woman, but she didn’t quite “get” what we were looking for in a tour.

Since then, we’ve discovered that Royal Caribbean has a plan that’s perfect for folks like us.

They have “excursion specialists.” They’ve introduced customizable half- or full-day private shore excursions, and planning it seems like a fairly simple process…you can even initiate the plan on Royal Caribbean’s website.

These excursion specialists create custom arrangements to suit individual tastes, or they provide you with a private vehicle and driver, and let you collectively decide on an itinerary.

Funny, that’s what we thought we did!

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