Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mexican Rivera Cruise ( Feb. 21 - Mar. 1, 2014)

After Amazon we went to Dallas, TX to visit my daughter Aubree and arrived home in Green Valley, AZ December 30, 2013.  We love our home.  Green Valley is mostly a retirement town and our neighborhood, Quail Creek is an over 55 community with every amenity and activity known to man.  Our house is small and  bright, easy to maintain and we have no grass.  We have great friends here, very social and endless activities so it was very easy to settle in!

Our next outing of significance was a Cruise!  On February 21, 2014 we drove with Bill And Rena to Long Beach, CA.  California freeway driving on a Friday afternoon requires your full attention but we simply acted like we knew what we were doing. There, for the night before the cruise,  we each had a very nice $250 a night room at the Hotel Maya adjacent to the cruise port.  However, the DEAL QUEEN (Debbie) got the rooms for around $120 a night which also included free parking for the length of the cruise.  The girl is good!

We boarded the Carnival Miracle the next day with Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas as our destinations.

For those of you who know us you'll recall we've done many cruises and we just had a "hankerin" to cruise.  There are not a lot of choices for easy (which means cheap) cruises on the west coast so this simple itinerary suited us just fine.  Also, Bill and Rena had never been on a cruise so we thought this might be an ok intro to cruising.  I won't try to suggest that Carnival is the very best of the cruising world but we believe you get a lot of cruise for your money on Carnival. We had aft balcony rooms and the ship was quite nice.

The one week cruise included two days with an overnight in Puerto Vallarta, one day in Cabo San Lucas and the rest sea days. We arrived in Puerto Vallarta  about noon.  We were parked (the correct word may be moored) at the pier so it was easy to go  ashore and check out the  town.  We moseyed along the Malecon (walkway along the ocean)  for a few hours checking out the sights,

                                                     The "sand men" are real people


then returned to ship to prepare for our evening.

As best we knew we were going to take a boat from the ship to a distant location (island or remote peninsula - I'm not sure) for dinner and a show (Rhythms of the Night).  It was great!  The boat ride was about 45 minutes, pleasant.  The island was BEAUTIFUL.  As you entered the tropical paradise you were greeted by huge, ornately costumed creatures hanging out in trees, hiding behind rocks or frolicking in the path.  

Yes, they were actually humans that would later be seen in the show.  The island was covered with lengthy paths that ultimately took you to dinner, the show and I guess beyond. Dinner was a wonderful, maybe even gourmet,  buffet ( my kind of eating) that was, you know it's coming, "to die for"!  The island was lighted entirely with hundreds of torches and candles.  Couldn't have been prettier. 

The show was in an open air theater with kind of a Cirque du Soleil flair.  Our creatures were on stage, in the adjacent trees and flying through the air.  The nighttime boat ride back to the ship was even more pleasant then the ride out.  DELIGHTFUL evening!!!

 The next day we had scheduled a jeep tour of the area.  The four of us were in our own jeep and another couple and the guide were in the other jeep.  We mostly just travelled the countryside, visited a little rural village,

and stopped at a tequila factory for a tour and lunch.

I'm the designated driver so Bill drove out and I had the wheel after the shots of tequila. They were really just sips of tequila, I don't want to paint Bill or anyone else as a drunk! Ultimately we ended up back in town sitting at a beach front location enjoying some drinks and the company of the other couple who were on our tour and also our cruise ship. All very interesting and nice.  Later we were back on ship and headed for Cabo San Lucas.

Cabo is a beautiful location with great whale watching.  We're off the ship at 8ish and on to a Zodiac with guide.  We never tire of whale watching and Cabo offers some of the best.  The boat ride, water and views are great and coupled with the pursuit of whales makes for a great outing.  We saw some whales fairly close and others not so but it was still a very satisfying event.

Later, on the ship, as we left the Cabo harbor the whales put on quite a show at the rear of the ship, right in front of our balconies.

Because I'm brilliant I had gone to the front of the ship to watch our departure so I missed the show but I'm told it was spectacular!

Overall, it was a great cruise.  Food and service was good and we all found the entertainment enjoyable.  We resisted the on board photographer's suggestions to get our picture taken every time we turned around, but did take a few of our own.

So after Cabo we enjoyed another sea day, arrived back at Long Beach and drove home without incident.

A great time!!


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