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Time to Return to the Caribbean

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We had been tossing out the idea of heading back to the Royal in April since December.  

We knew that not being in the Caribbean in January (our usual destination) would be hard this year. Even though we loved Peru and the Mexican Riviera cruises we knew we missed our friends on the Royal.

So when we got home we researched costs and decided to jump on the Royal for it's last cruise in the Caribbean. Makes sense.  We were on her for her first Caribbean cruise this season, why not be on for her last Caribbean cruise of the season.

Of course with booking just over a month prior to sailing cabin selection was limited but we were able to select a great cabin forward on Aloha deck and teased a friend who will be on board that we will be lounging in their large cabin!

Prices were at the same price per day as what we paid last year so we are quite happy.  We considered an upsell that we were offered soon after booking but decided to pass as it was an obstructed view balcony on Emerald and the…

Time for a Change

As many of you know we did something different this January.  We spent two weeks travelling around Peru and then went to LA where we joined the Ruby for 3 weeks. You can read about the cruise here.

The trip to Peru really was life changing.  I really can't explain it easily here how it affected us but it really made us examine our lives and what we want and how to attain it.   

After getting home and back to work and the usual grind of things we both felt uneasy, conflicted, it just did not feel right.  On the fourth day back we both agreed it was time to put into place what we really wanted.  

First step is to sell our condo that we have lived in for 14 years.  That day we contacted 3 agents and we interviewed and chose one within a few days.  Next the process of cleaning the place and getting it ready for showings started.  

Boy you don't realize what you accumulate.  We made numerous trips to the donation center.  We sold a lot of things, we gave away a lot of things.  

I starte…

Last Day and Disembarkation

The last day is always sad.  Especially after such an amazing trip.  

It is hard to believe we left home and have been to three countries and three very different types of holidays. Peruvian journey, Disneyland, and Mexican Cruise.

The last day is spent first sleeping in!  Bernie and I head to Horizon Court for lunch and again the buffet is exactly the same as the day prior.  I have never seen this before like it is on the Ruby.  This happens only during lunch and there is still a lot of options to choose from but it surprises me.

We make the rounds of the ship stopping to chat with people we know - passengers and crew.  

Bernie is feeling quite melancholy as he knows that some we will never see again and those that we will see again won't be for a long time.

Barb and Craig have us over for drinks and we sit and chat for quite a long time.  Great cruise friends that I have a lot of respect for.

Tonight is Mongolian Stir Fry at the Cafe Caribe tonight.  Each week this theme has gotten mo…

Mazatlan

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We once again sleep soundly and are woken to the sound of room service knocking.  They are 15 minutes early (8:15 - requested 8:30-9) but they are busy and probably just getting a jump on things.  I roll over and wait for alarm to go off while Bernie sips his tea.

Today we slather on the sunscreen (using the 60 SPF now) so we don't get fried. There is a light breeze and the sun is out in full force and it can be misleading.

We meet Lydia and Marco at Vines and we head ashore.  Here in Mazatlan you dock at their industrial pier.  So you will see containers ready for shipping all over the dock.  Becausse of this it is not safe to walk to the gate so there is a small train shuttle with benches that shuttles people back and forth.  It is very efficient and fast and we have never had to wait for one. 

Once we jump off the shuttle we are ushered into the maze of the shops and people selling tours, taxis, tastings for tequilla, and time shares.  We focus and just keep walking to the ga…

Puerto Vallarta

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Happy Vallentine's Day.  Last night on our pillow as a card from Princess and two of the heart shapped chocolates.

Again this week we wake around 9:30!  Seems every PV day we sleep in.  We don't dock till 10 am but we arrive early and we get clearance around 9:50. 

The ship is decorated with hearts and Valentine decorations all over.  It is lovely and festive.  We have been handing out Valentine treats all week to the crew.

We head ashore around 11 and walk out to the WalMart to the bus stop to Bucerias.  As soon as we arrive there is a bus there and it is one of the AC buses.  Cost to Bucerias is 16 pesos each - just under a dollar each.

One thing we would do differently next time we sail to Mexico we would definately get Pesos.  Currently we have been using US dollar which is widely accepted.  Current exchange rate is 20% so $10 equals 200 pesos.  Exchange rate though at stores, restaurants, taxis etc varies from 18 - 13% ! 

Sure if we were just down for a week with three…

First Two Sea Days

I haven't been posting for two reasons.  First things are very similar to the last two cruises.  Second wifi has been intermittent from our cabin location at least - not sure about elsewhere.  I can usually get on but then getting to a webpage is difficult.  So I just log out and take it as a sign that I should post later.  But overall the wifi has been pretty good - we have certainly seen it a lot worse.

For the first sea day we went to the buffet in Horizon Court and I was very impressed with the food.  I especially enjoyed the sandwich station.  Now many other ships have this too but this one was especially great with lots of different spreads and salad mixtures - chicken, egg, tuna etc.   I also enjoyed the spring roll and beef satay.

The next sea day we were up there again for lunch and it was exactly the same buffet.  Spring Rolls, beef satay, fried chicken, thai soup - exactly the same.  I have never seen them repeat buffets.  Of course there is still lots of choices even i…

Embarkation Day - Last Cruise on Ruby

Today is the end of our second leg and the begining of our next and last leg of our trip.  We dock early and the ship is cleared and the first group of passengers is allowed off at approximately 7:20 (self assist disembarkation).

Of course it is impossible to sleep in on turn around days as cabin stewards get their carts ready and filled with supplies for a busy morning of changing everything in the cabin for the new passengers.

Then passengers are up early and lots of banging of doors/closets/drawers as the last items are packed away. 

We gather our items that we want to wash in the laundromats and put a wash in.

Today I agree to go with Bernie to breakfast in the dining room.  Da Vinci on deck 6 is the dining room that is always open for breakfast and lunch.  We ask for a table of two and we are told are you sure you don't want to share.  Nope we want a table for two.  Gee it feels like we are being reprimanded for wanting to sit just the two of us. 

The head waiter - Antonio…