Sunday, October 31, 2010

Oct 9 - Cabo San Lucas

To wake up and feel the heat - we are in Mexico.  Bernie and I have been visiting Mexico for almost two decades now and it always feels like we are coming home.  Now Cabo San Lucas is not our favorite place, a bit too much money here - not the "real" Mexico, but we are off to find some "real" Mexico while we are here.

Cabo is a tender port and we are here only until 2:00 pm, so we are determined to get off as soon as possible and we are down to the tenders first thing.  We must of been on the third tender and grabbed a seat in the open tenders that you see above that are run by the Port of Cabo.  Highly recommend waiting for the open tender as you will hear more about the experience in the tender coming back.

Our home away from home - the Island Princess

Now when you get off the tender you go thru a pier area that has the duty free shops.  Once you exit the pier you walk along a dock.  You will see people lining both sides of the dock offering you EVERYTHING, a simple "no thank you" usually works but it is amazing because the next person asks you the same question.  It can wear on you but just remember this is how they make their living.  If you are wanting to take a boat to Los Arcos or the beach this is where you can find a deal.

Los Arcos

the town of Cabo San Lucas from the ship

Ah here is one of the "Princess Recommended" stores.... don't worry you will get your paper with the "recommended stores" as soon as you get to the gangway.  As we are walking we look across the way and see that Shelley and Laurie/Jim are in the store and Rob is running across the street to us.  I walk into the store to see what the ladies are up to and both are looking at amazing diamond rings.  I tease the sales person by saying "oh that diamond is kind of small I think you need a bigger one" and then I laughed. 

Bernie and I wish luck to Rob and we head off in search of the Starbucks, I know,  I know I said I was looking for the "real" Mexico but heck Starbucks is a necessity in my life. The last time we were here two years ago they were just building this Starbucks so we knew it was now open.

Vickie is happy she has her latte, an iced latte but still a latte - did I mention it was hot here

We handed out Canadian pencils and lanyards to the staff.

And of course Jasper wanted part of the action.  The guy on the left is wearing a totem pole Canadian pin we gave him.

We left Starbucks rejuvenated and started walking away from the harbour, and walked and walked.  We checked out some local stores, went by a school, and came across a large open air restaurant.  We sat down and the waitress came over and asked in Spanish what would we like....   ahhhhh Our Spanish is not that good, but we looked up on the wall and there were pictures and we muddled thru.  We were hoping for a cold beer but she rambled off something and with my broken Spanish figured out that they don't have a liquor license but we could go and buy some beer and bring it back.  Nah, we ordered two Cokes.  For our meal we ordered two tacos and two quesadilas and a potato with steak and peppers with cheese.  They had a salsa bar with about 10 different salsas.  In total the meal cost us about $15, now that is a deal.

the staff pose with Jasper

This is the cook as he prepares our potato

Here is Jasper enjoying our Coke and the potato with steak and cheese

We start to head back towards the harbour and check out a few local stores.  Bernie has promised his nephews some t-shirts with specific designs so he is hunting, and he find the blue t-shirt with dolphins.

Below is a craft/flea market where you can find tons of crap.

and did I mention there were quite a few dolls, including Jasper

Jasper gets into the Mexican spirit

Now Jasper really gets into the Mexican spirit
We are heading back to the ship - we get back to the tender around 1 pm and the last tender is suppose to be 1:30.  We made the mistake of being some of the last people on one of the tenders and we get on in one of the enclosed tenders and I grab a seat all the way forward right against the wall. It got so hot in there I thought maybe I would pass out and started getting dizzy.  Thankfully a man across from me saw this and opened one of the forward windows - which caused a bit of spray to come in but everyone was glad just to have a bit of a breeze.

As soon as we get back on we head straight for the Sanctuary for the 1:00 - 5:00 allotment, which costs $10 but is well worth it.  We noticed we still hadn't left at 2:00 pm, we didn't really head off until around 3:00 pm apparently a few of the tours were running late because of road work.

As we set sail we noticed a pod of whales following us, and followed for about a half hour.

Tonight we had dinner in the dining room early with Jim/Laurie and Shelley/Rob.  

Tonight we find out that Jim proposed to Laurie!  YEAH congratulations.  

We all went back to our cabins and changed into much more comfortable clothing and grabbed pillows and snacks for the movie called Invictus starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon which was playing on the Movies Under the Screen.  It was a fun day and a great night!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Oct 7 & 8 at Sea

Thursday and Friday we are at Sea, heading South to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

We had an organized Cruise Critic Meet and Greet for the first sea day at 3:00 pm.  Craig arranged the gathering thru Princess, and they set us up in the Wheelhouse Bar.  Paula and Ming did up name tags.  I did up personalized letters for the officers to attend. 

Craig and Jerry with Jasper

Maitre D' Silvio Zampieri

Laurie shows off her "Blue Card"

 This is Klaus the Executive Chef and I have to say he was the life of the gathering.  He was very entertaining and loved to talk.  He talked for a half hour at least. In fact when the Captain arrived he waited, and waited and finally had to cut Klaus off so he could say hi.  Throughout the voyage we would run into him running to the next galley and would say hi, but if you stopped to talk that was it, he talked your ear off. 

He is an excellent chef and is so nice and approachable but have to say he is the most talkative chef we have ever met on board.

Amelia and Joe with Jasper
Joe and Amelia could be found either at the pool or at Crooners bar.  What a nice couple and thanks Joe for keeping the roll call going.
Paula and Ming with Jasper

Paula and Ming from California are travelling with Paula's Mom Bea.  Fun couple who organized a few afternoon teas for the group.

Derrick and Connie with Jasper
Derrick and Connie from Powell River who got on in Vancouver with us.

Ken, Caroline and Klaus with Jasper

Ken and Caroline who we sailed with once before on the Grand Princess.  They are from Abbottsford and were lucky enough to be doing a back to back on this voyage.  Klaus (wife Krista is not shown) from Miami.

Jan and Michael and Jasper
Jan and Michael from Seattle who also got on in Vancouver.  We hope to sail with them both again soon.

The Captain talking to the group

We invited Al our friend from work to the gathering so he could find out what Cruise Critic was all about.
The next day I planned a girls gathering in my cabin for 2 pm.  I pre ordered afternoon tea which arrived with an abundance of food, and I ordered it for three people instead of the four.  Laurie, Barb, Shelley and I relaxed with some tea, sandwiches and cakes.  We all did facials on each other and did our nails, while enjoying a bottle of wine.  Lots of laughs and fun.... I am not allowed to post pictures !!

Since the girls were busy Shelley and Laurie told their honeys Rob and Jim that they had to attend the Mexican Fire Opal event -- and get this, they did!  Now that is love.

This afternoon at lunch I went to the Horizon Court as they had a sushi buffet, which was their usual sushi buffet, nothing spectacular just simple rolls, but it hit the spot.  Bernie went to lecture on the Aztecs, The Warriors by Dr. Thomas Ryan.  He said he enjoyed the lecture but was a little put off by some of his comments about politics and warned me I may not like him.  I will hold off judging him till later on. 

Tonight was a rather quiet night, we had a quick dinner in the Horizon court and then we both decided lets head up to the enclosed pool area for a hot tub and a dip in the pool.  We had the place to ourselves it was so nice to just float in the pool staring up at the stars, I am so happy.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tomorrow Can't Come Soon Enough

Last minute touches are getting done, packing room is a mess.

Friends have arranged a limo for pick up and we will be picked up around noonish and should be at the pier by one!

The Island has been docked in Vancouver at Canada Place for the past two days, which is surprising and hate to think of the costs of that. I imagine that she is getting some last minute things done before we board tomorrow. I wouldn't be surprised if there are some workers on board for our voyage to San Francisco doing some last minute items.

We finally got our cabin assignment. B716 a BD category. We booked an obsturcted view for the two day portion and a BG obstructed balcony for the 15 day leg, so we are happy that we got a BD and in the same cabin for both legs.

Weather forecast is cloudy with showers with a 40% chance, but I refuse to put a damper on the festivities.

We've arranged to meet some of our Cruise Critic friends on Tuesday at 12;30 and then have lunch together.

Well off to do more packing and pick up those last minute items.

Bon voyage everyone