2010 Spirit of the West Cruise Diary and Photos

Our 2010 cruise is now under way!

Below is some information on where our 2010 Spirit of the West Cruise and Conference is headed. There's also a diary complete with photos as we travelled to the Caribbean with stops in seven countries. There should be lots of sun, lots of great food, heaps of fun, and tons of great company.

We're sailing on the NEW Celebrity Equinox - here's what she looks like on the outside.

Celebrity Equinox

Below you'll find our basic itinerary and a map of the 2010 Cruise. Go to the Itinerary below (or scroll down).

Diary, Spirit of the West Cruise, 2010

January 5th
A note from the Spirit of the West support crew. The cruise has started and today is the first day at sea and therefore the first conference day. Back here at home (-27 last night) we're anxiously waiting on some sort of communication from the Celebrity Equinox - hopefully we'll get an update and some photos for you soon.

January 7th
Here's the first message from the Spirit of the West cruise - directly from the decks of the Celebrity Equinox:

Hi everyone. Sorry it took long to get this to you. I forgot to bring the charger for my laptop and the battery is about gone. We've been trying to use the computers at the internet place on the ship and finally got connected today.

Anyhow the cruise has been spectacular. It was really chilly in Fort Lauderdale, but it's perfect now. Our first singalong and concert was lots of fun ... we did it inside, in a theater kind of setting, with our entire group and a few other folks there. We got Billie and Peggy Robinson up with Ed, Andrew, and myself and did a full harmony version of "Home on the Range". Ed wrote a song about a bronc at the NFR that Bob Robinson requested, and he nailed it. We spent yesterday at Grand Cayman Island and had fun with Larry and Linda Morrill. It was a great conference session this morning - wonderful group of people. The support crew slide show was a huge hit and got a big hand from everyone.

We dock at Cartagena Columbia tommorow. The ship is beautiful and the service is great - everyone's having a super time!! The only thing missing is all you folks that are still at home!

Photos ? Ya well ... a bit of a problem here - I said that I forgot my lap top charger - well guess what - the camera card reader is with it - at home (@#$$%%$$#). They do not have any card readers on the ship but we will keep trying to come up with a way to upload photos - keep your fingers crossed.

January 11th
We bought a card reader (for the camera card) in Costa Rica and we're using the internet facility on the ship, with some help from a staff member for this one ...

We're at sea today, docking at Roaton Honduras in the morning. We had a wonderful singalong and concert last night outdoors at poolside ... lots of extra folks watching and we had a gals trio with Billie, Jeneene, and Donna joining Hugh, Ed, and Andrew. The show was so good we might take it on the road.

Note from the support crew: Apparently there have been some photos sent from the ship with Jim's blackberry, but we haven't seen them at this end. Below are the first photos that we have received.

Here's four photos from the past few days (left to right) click to enlarge:
Don and Betty Peterson from Sundre, AB. The day we boarded.
Loading the bus for our trip to the Dole banana plantation in Costa Rica where the group had our exclusive tour.
Sorting the good bananas for export into the water troughs and in the background you can see two loaded trucks with the discards - one going to the feed lot and the other was for local delivery use.
Hugh checking out the crop at the Bannana plantation
A tropical shower in the rainforest with some of our group at the Del Monte Plantation.
A view of the dining room during a spectacular brunch this morning, Monday.

January 14th
We sent four more pictures the other day, hope you got them.

Some folks have asked if the Haiti Earthquake had any effects on us. The answer is no. We were leaving Costa Rica when it happened and we were a long ways from it. No effects felt.

Had a great day in Cozumel yesterday. Some folks toured the island, some of our group went on a submarine trip, and we went to a beach.

This is our last day at sea, and tonight is our farewell reception where we'll announce the details on the 2011 cruise.

Gotta go catch some sunshine, talk to you soon, Hugh & Billie

Here's four more photos (left to right) click to enlarge:
Hugh and Billie at Paradise Beach on the Island of Roaton, Honduras with our 12 year old tour gude "Victor". He jumped into the cab and volunteered to show us around. He wants to be a singer when he grows up.
Hugh on a beautiful beach at Cozumel, Mexico, our last stop
Hugh & Billie on the same beach
Watching another cruise ship leave Cozumel, as we sat on our balcony, just before going to the dining room.



January 18th (after the fact)
The six photos above (left to right) click to enlarge:
Doug, Lyn, Jim, Karen, Billie, Hugh, Erna, and Bill - formal night
Hugh doing an interview with Dean and Lorraine Miller from Chilco Ranch
Jim & Elaine Hide with Jim & Karen
Billie and Hugh having a cool one with Larry & Linda at Grande Cayman
Donna Johnson & Bev Reay waiting at the hotel in Florida
Ed & Diane Peek also waiting at the hotel

These next photos start out with the group photo and the rest are supplied by Lyn Deleeuw
It looks like they mostly enjoyed their time eating!

The Group

Doug Halliday
& Lyn Deleeuw

Louisa, Lyn, & Billie

Ed, Hugh, & Andrew

Jim Bell
the cruise director

Doug & Lyn in front of the Equinox

Hugh & Billie
taking in some sun!

Sittiing down for supper

Jim & Doug with a local lad

Billie & Hugh
eating again

Peggy & Bob Robinson

Ed, Diane, Hugh, Billie, Lyn, & Doug

Andrew & Louisa

Lyn & Doug

Doug, Lyn, Jim. Karen, Hugh, Billie, Erna, & Bill

Bill & Erna

Jim & Karen

Dean & Lorraine






Day 1

03 Jan

Fly to Fort Lauderdale - overnight



Day 2

04 Jan

Fort Lauderdale departure


5:00 pm

Day 3

05 Jan

At sea conference day



Day 4

06 Jan

George Town, Grand Cayman

8:00 am

5:00 pm

Day 5

07 Jan

At sea conference day



Day 6

08 Jan

Cartagena, Columbia

7:00 am

4:00 pm

Day 7

09 Jan

Colon, Panama

8:00 am

6:00 pm

Day 8

10 Jan

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

7:00 am

7:00 pm

Day 9

11 Jan

At sea



Day 10

12 Jan

Roatan, Honduras

7:00 am

4:00 pm

Day 11

13 Jan

Cozumel, Mexico

9:00 am

6:00 pm

Day 12

14 Jan

At sea



Day 13

15 Jan

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

7:00 am


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Here's a route map showing all seven countries with our stops marked.
The number on the map refers to the day in the itinerary. Click to enlarge.

Route Map
click to enlarge

Area Map
click to enlarge

A special thanks to Morand Industries and Meyers Norris Penny the cruise sponsors.

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