Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mexican Riviera Cruise, December 30 2015 - January 9 2016

Mostly a photo post. Lots of pics, not lots of talk.
All photos copyright D.W. Drang and The Cluemeter, or Ms.Elaine-ious, and Bearcat's Spin, 2015 and 2016.

All photos after the break, so as not to overwhelm slow connections...

Leaving San Francisco. There's a bridge and an island out there somewhere...
...and the Golden Gate itself.
Sunset, New Year's Eve
Moonrise, New Year's Day
Puerta Vallarta has a lot of these sculptures along the shore...
Puerta Vallarta.
Little bird, little bird....
Hummingbird, NOT in a cinnamon tree...
Puarta Vallarta.
Lunch on the beach was good...

Puerta Vallarta, back on the boat.
Frozen Margarita for her, a Blood and Sand* for me. 
Manzanilla Harbor.
We didn't debark here, opting instead to save our energy for the ports to come, and to do laundry.
Based on my parent's example, it will be years before we have enough time at sea to qualify for free laundry...
Mazatlan Cathedral.
You may have seen Richard Burton leading a tour here in Night Of The Iguana.
Mazatlan Cathedral, detail of one of the lampposts.
Mazatlan takes security very seriously.
These 4-Door pickup trucks with armed policia seemed ubiquitous.
Maybe they look so happy because they know their comrades are about to bust El Chapo.
(That was elsewhere in Sinaloa State, of course.)
Mazatlan, lunch on the beach, again. Honey, we're getting into a rut...
Not sure whether that's an actual parasailer, or a kite -- the number one toy for kids seemed to be parasail action figures.
Leaving Mazatlan, 1
Leaving Mazatlan, 2
Next stop was Cabo San Lucas, where we went on a whale watching tour. My videos need a LOT of editing before I can upload them. I'm working on it, but what I was using was my old Kodak ZX3 waterproof camcorder, which is awesome for snorkeling, but not so hot for whale watching on a bouncing catamaran, when the whales are thoughtfully staying at least the legal distance from your boat. So, later for the whales.

And I feel no sibling rivalry at all for the fact that my sister got some truly awesome shots of whales on the Family Alaska Cruise in 2013.

None whatsoever.

Anyway, leaving the crappy whale videos in serious need of editing aside...
Cabo San Lucas, our floating home away from home.
The Arches, from the "Wedding Beach" side.
The other side the surf is so rough they call it Divorce Beach...

Cabo San Lucas does not have facilities for a cruise ship to dock directly to the pier, so you have to take a lighter in.
When it gets busy, the ship exercises it's life boats.
Cabo San Lucas.
An industry standard, this lifeboat is essentially the same style used on the Maersk Alabama...
Leaving Cabo San Lucas.
At about this time the captain came on the PA to tell us that Baja and Southern California were about to get hit by a helluva  storm, and it was liable to get a little choppy the next two or three days...
After the disappointment of the little handheld camcorder on the whale watching trip we hit up the photo/video shop on the boat and bought a pair of new cameras. (Duty/sales tax free at sea...)
January 7th. At sea, San Francisco-bound.
January 7th. At sea, San Francisco-bound.
If you thought this was rough, you ain't seen nothin' yet!
So, we booked this cruise somewhat late; they must have had some empty cabins they needed to fill, because we got a great deal on it.

Of course, that great deal led to our having an outside-view cabin with no balcony, because we were on Deck 5, the lowest deck with passenger cabins.

Which led to views like this:
January 8th, at sea. Fasten your seat belts, folks...
January 8th, at sea. Is that fog, or the sea...?
It was rough enough they closed the swimming pool.
January 8th, at sea.
New cameras, so at dinner there was a lot of picture-taking of food, flower arrangements...
January 8th, at sea.
...table settings...
...Hector, our waiter...

...Victor, Hector's assistant...
Hector and Victor were great; very attentive without being smothering, personable, witty and knowledgeable.
Victor was able to explain a couple of the features on our new cameras we found confusing.
January 8th, At Sea. Desert was a bombe!
January 8th, at sea. AKA, in North America, "Baked Alaska."
January 8th, at sea.
Mrs. Drang won this bottle of wine in a drawing at the jewelry shop on board.

January 8th, at sea.
If you choose the "First Seating" for dinner, you get the same table and waiter(s) every time.
You also usually get the same table partners. Hope Mike, Jean, Sylvia, and Ron don't mind me posting a dark, blurry photo of them...
January 8th, at sea. Every Princess Cruises ship we've been on has a piano bar called "Crooners."
This is Funch, who performed "old standards", as well as Soul and R&B.
We hope to catch his performances on future cruises.
Despite the rough seas on the homeward bound leg, this was a pleasant cruise. FWIW, this was the first time we had been on a cruise where we didn't know anyone. Traveling with family is fun; traveling alone can be just as much fun.

Frankly, for anyone considering a cruise, I wouldn't let the fact that we ran into a storm deter you; I assume that those considering a cruise are free of a tendency to serious mal de mer.

*Blood and Sand: Dewars, Cherry Brandy, Sweet Vermouth, and Orange Juice. 

No comments: