Carnival Corp. lost more than $10 billion last year as the pandemic swept the globe, but said this month that it would have enough cash to survive through 2021 even with no revenue.

Dee-Ann Durbin, Associated Press

My husband and I discovered cruising when we retired to South Florida, where getting to the Caribbean waters is as simple as driving an hour or so to Fort Lauderdale or Miami. However, between the pandemic and my very narrow miss of dying while crossing the Atlantic in 2019, we are unlikely to cruise again. For now, my travel blogging will be by armchair as I look back on places we visited by cruise ship.

A couple of weeks back, The New York Times helped us visit the world from our couch with books, movies, and food. Sebastian Modak wrote about Cartagena and the magic realism of novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez. All of which got me to looking back at 2016 stop in Cartagena — city that I’d last visited as a child when my family lived in Colombia — during a Holland America Panama Canal cruise.

Here is a photo journal from that trip. Put on your sunglasses, turn your heat on high, and come with me to these Caribbean ports of call. Enjoy!

Walls and houses from the colonial era still dominate old Cartagena

We met a man in Cartagena who was making his living by letting people hug — and be hugged by — a sloth. My husband became quite taken with this dear, and we later saw his relatives hanging out in Costa Rica.

We spent a day entering the Panama Canal, sailing halfway across the isthmus to Lake Gatún, before turning back around to exit at Colón.

We enjoyed a beautiful day in the mountains of Costa Rica at a coffee and hazelnut finca.

As is so often the case, our best memories of this trip are the people we met, including this congenial and genuine Costa Rican farmer.

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