Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cabo San Lucas



We are in the harbour early and thankfully we slept thru the tenders and we are happy that we have been able to sleep in today.

We head ashore around 9:30 am after a short tender ride.  The weather is nice, not too hot but the sun can still burn so be careful.


ship's photographers

When we hit the dock we start walking, and one thing about Cabo you really have to walk all around the whole pier to get anywhere and the whole harbour, so if you have mobility issues take note.  But for all others it is flat and there is a lot to look at so enjoy the nice stroll.

Now our only real goal here is to head out for a great local meal.  We kind of remember the place we want to and where it is but it is one of two roads and we start heading north on the road we think it is on only to realize after about 20 min that it must be the road to the right so we head over one block and start walking back hoping to find it but we can’t seem to locate it.

Bernie says lets just try a new place and we walk into the restaurant right there and enjoy a wonderful meal.  So good, and the spices, oh my mouth is watering just thinking of it.




We leave and cross the street heading back to town to our laughs we see the restaurant we were looking for right there!  Silly us.  But we had a good meal anyways.

We have to be back on board at 2:30 and I am okay with heading back now at 1:00, I don’t really care for Cabo that much, too commercial, too American.  It is pretty and there is a reason all the celebrities come here but I much prefer the smaller authentic less touristy spots.

Once back on board I head up to the aft pool on deck 16 to read and watch sailaway but can’t keep my eyes open so head back to the cabin to sit on the balcony to watch the wildlife, lots of seals, whales, birds and some said they saw dolphins but I didn’t.

Tonight we are having dinner with friends and meet up in Vines.  While at Vines we see Captain Perrin and since he is getting off in San Francisco we meet Captain Todd McBain who is taking over.  We remember him from our last voyage on the Star.  We all head into the dining room.  We are such a large table though and we can’t really communicate very well. 

The dinner theme is the Chef’s dinner again, this is the second time they have done this menu on this voyage. 

It is an early night for us, need a good sleep and it is nice to spend some time together on the balcony just watching the seas go by.

We have two sea days left and then home.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Manzanillo


We dock early and we are so happy to see we are at the pier right in the downtown.  Last time we were here we were at he port in the harbour that is the container port and a distance from town. 

We get off around 9 am after a small bite to eat in the Horizon Court then a latte.  We walk down the long pier and there are people there welcoming us to Manzanillo, it is so nice to be back in Mexico.



We head straight past the large statue of the Marlin, the large Mexican flag, the large bicycle and the large propeller statue, they like things large here in Manzanillo.



One of the main streets for shopping is right in front of the pier, we quickly find the one main thing we have been looking – Maja soap.  We use to be able to get it in Vancouver but haven’t seen it for a few years.  We ended up buying all the soap they had which was 13 bars!  But I am still going to look for more soap in Cabo.




We wander around a little bit more but we really don’t have much time as we have to be back on board for 12:30.

Once we are back on board I head up to take some pictures and to watch sail away and Bernie joins me soon after.  It is a lovely city and we both agree we really miss Mexico and definitely want to do a land vacation back soon.




We grab our books and head out to the open back deck to enjoy the sun but don’t want to be out too long as the sun is still really strong and the last thing we need is a burn.


the white resort is a place we stayed at for a two week holiday

We are now back in the room, we spend some time on the balcony watching turtles and spot a few whales.  Bernie is just napping when the Captain comes on over the speaker in the cabin and we always brace ourselves because when that happens it is something important.


Captain Perrin has just announced that we have picked up speed to get us to Cabo sooner, two hours sooner.  Apparently the weather forecast is showing strong winds for Saturday and Sunday and because the last thing you want to arrive late into San Francisco on Monday he has made the decision to get in two hours early into Cabo and leave two hours early and try to get in front of the storm as much as possible.

This is a good thing and once again Captain Perrin has done a great job keeping us all informed and doing everything in his power to ensure the trip runs smoothly.

Tonight Bernie and I have decided to have a lovely dinner for the two us for a little romantic time together.

Clocks go back another hour today, our final change – defiantly a plus when doing the voyage East to West

We head down to the Capri dining room and let Oscar the head waiter know tonight we just want a romantic table for two, we are sat in Rico’s section and he was a dear and very attentive.  The menu was the Princess Dinner and I started with the fettuccini appetizer and then the salad then I had the prawn kabob as my entrée.  Neither of us want dessert so we get up to leave and see Ernest/Bill, Dow/Nancy, Robert/Gary at the table near us so we pop by to say hi and they ask us to join them at the Rainbow Bar.  I ask where is the Rainbow Bar?  They say the casino bar and it is where the LGBT people meet.

We do meet up with them in the Rainbow bar!  We had a great time and a few Cosmos, well three!  Bill kept buying them for me!  Since he is a doctor he says it is okay, and I trust him.  One of the bartenders Chris said “you are Vickie right from Cruise Critic” yes I said he remembered us from the Emerald last January and he really liked us and was so happy we were back and we were loyal to Princess.  How sweet, and we comment that the reason we love Princess is because of crew like him.  We meet lots of new people and all of sudden it was one am.  Thankfully the clocks go back so it really is only midnight.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sea Days

Another rough night, coughing and it is in my chest and I know this is not normal.  I even tried to do the Sudoku and my head just was totally out of it and was able to complete it but I didn’t get in the top three.

I head back down to the doctors and he does confirm I have bronchitis and it has gone deep into my chest so he prescribes antibiotics and cough syrup with codeine and the total bill came to $104 which will be covered by our provincial medical. 

I wish I could say I had an exciting day but I just crashed, took my medicine and slept, read, watched tv, and relaxed.  Bernie brought me soup and tea for lunch and slept some more.

Bernie is also suffering with bronchitis but he has his inhaler to help him but we are worried they may be close to being emptied. 
We decide to shower and head upstairs for dinner in Horizon Court (it is formal night but we are so not into it), in fact we were suppose to do Crown Grill but with so many of us sick with this cold we cancelled.  And just as well since all I can eat is a bowl of soup and some tea. 

We wander around for a bit and buy some ball caps in the boutiques (port ball caps two for $20). We are both so drained we are in bed at 8 pm and have a good sleep.

I wake for the second sea day feeling much better, not a 100% but I know that the antibiotics have kicked in.  Bernie has to see the doctor for more inhaler medicine since he has officially run out and he is not doing well with his lungs really having a hard time breathing, even climbing one flight of stairs is tough.  I send him down to the doctors.

We have breakfast in the dining room and sat with a lovely couple from Oregon.  Then our standard sit in the International Café and enjoy my latte and Bernie his tea.

I tried the Sudoku but it is a hard one and I just can’t get into it, feeling way out of it and didn’t even complete it, will try it later.

This afternoon I have invited the ladies over for a little girl time, afternoon tea and facials and pedicures/manicures.  With Elite status you can have afternoon tea delivered to your cabin so I have arranged that and Mae has given me extra face clothes and towels and wine glasses so we are all set.


I have the room set up for the girl’s pampering session, I have facial mask stuff, nail files (from Mae), got some fruit from Horizon Court, extra napkins and when the tea is delivered I set it up and open some wine too.  The ladies arrive and we all have a good laugh as we sip tea and put on facial masks and then start doing our nails.  It is a fun day that doesn’t cost anything and a great way to spend the afternoon with wonderful friends.


Bernie goes to the Princess Theatre to watch the Movie “the Help” while we are busy in the cabin.

After everyone leaves and Bernie returns we relax and I finally finish that tough Sudoku.  Matais said if we bring the completed puzzle to the next challenge he will draw three from them for prizes.  I am just glad I finished it finally.

We both are not interested in dressing for dinner in the dining room so we head up to the Horizon Court and have a lovely meal of Indian Food, funny I had just been commenting two nights ago that I would love some good Indian Food!  La Voila Indian Food, it was tame but it was a nice change.  Not to worry if you don’t like Indian there were lots of different options.

Connie joins us for the Multi Media Trivia which is all about movie posters, 40 questions and we got 38 out of 40 but one team got 40.  But since we have seen this trivia before we know it and I am sure the team that got 100% has seen it before too.  The prize was a bottle of champagne so we don’t mind not winning.

We take a lovely walk up on the open decks checking out the stars and some cuddling, a few kisses under the stars, you would think we were honeymooners but something about being at sea brings out the romance.  Even when we are under the weather.

Tomorrow we are in Manzanillo and we can’t wait we love it there, we spend a two week vacation there once.  Sadly we are not there for very long though.

San Juan Del Sur



We are tendering this morning and the dropping of the tenders wakes us around 7 am.  We feel today would be a great beach day.  We arrange with Alice to meet her at 9;30 in the International Café and we will go ashore together.

We head up to the Horizon Court for breakfast.  The place isn’t too busy but the service is very poor.  Lots of staff but many of them are just standing around.  Our table must have been invisible as not a single person came to ask us for water, tea, coffee etc.  I finally get up to get some milk and water and the first station has no milk.  I go to the second and they have only a little milk.  A head waiter is right beside me (I’ve dealt with the same guy before when he asked me to leave a table cause the section was closing, which I didn’t) and I ask nicely for more milk.  He said someone would be by to get more milk soon, I then walked five feet to the next jug and filled my glass there and said thanks I took care of it myself.  For some reason the service in Horizon Court is the worst we have ever experienced, sure sometimes it is good but more times than not it is very bad.

We are told the wind is very strong and the tenders are going to take longer (45 min) and it is very wind on shore and the three of us decide to just stay on board and enjoy the sun decks.



The entire day was spent sun tanning, reading, burger and fries and then a nap.

Dinner is in Capri dining room and it is Italian night and Alice brings a bottle of wine and we brought a bottle of wine and well what can I say after three bottles of wine we are feeling no pain.  Thankfully two sea days coming.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sea Day

I sleep in and if I am going to make it to the Sudoku challenge I have to run, which ends up throwing off my game.  It was an easy puzzle and I made a silly mistake, corrected it and then forgot to fill in one square!  But that is okay, it is just fun to play, and I am happy Russell won something for coming in second.

I get my latte and read for a while then head to the casino for a little video poker and walk away while I am up $15.



Alice was nice enough to include me in the Most Travelled Passenger Luncheon.  There is no way I would of qualified or even come close, apparently the cut off for days for the lunch was 400 days!  So I went as Alice’s guest and was thankful.  We were sat at a table with a lovely couple from Washington state, and then Federic the Captain Circle Host and Sylvain the Future Cruise Consultant who is from Asbestos very close to where I grew up in Drummondville and he now lives in Vancouver.  The meal was delicious, we started with a ceviche, then I chose the veal and there was a lovely chocolate dessert.  We got out of there around two.

I need a nap, something about being a ship says “have naps!” so I listen. 

We arrange to have dinner with Jan and Michael in the Amafi dining room which is the traditional dining room at 8:15, they have a table for six and they are the only ones there.  Dou keeps telling us to come eat there so we decide to give it a try. 

Dou gives us a special serving of soup that he prepared for Barbara and her cold.  It was very good.  I had the surf and turf and it was very good. 

Now Bernie and I haven’t done traditional since anytime came into being and boy after last night we realize traditional is not for us.  Our poor server is run off his feet right in the beginning when all the tables get sat at once.  We brought a bottle of champagne and he didn’t get it opened for 15 minutes and it was not kept chilled.  Water glasses were not refilled very quickly.  Again I can’t blame the wait staff they were very good but they need more staff period!  Also a very loud passenger is sat right at the table beside us, annoying yes but having to sit beside him every day would of driven us totally made.  Nope Anytime is for us.

Puntarenas Costa Rica



This is our third time here and we really were torn at what we wanted to do.  We were hoping our favorite adventure park would have been opened by now but sadly no because we would of done that hands down!

Instead we booked an Eco River tour thru Princess for a cost of $69 per person, but once we got on board the price had rise to $75 (but we were charge the price we originally booked at). 

Again we never do Princess tours, and swore we wouldn’t do it again but this was the only option to see the river tour and wildlife as I couldn’t find anything private.

We met in the Princess Theater at 8:30 and right away people are complaining around us and then we are shuttled off to the pier and an air conditioned bus, and thank God it is because it is HOT, very HOT.  This is their hottest month they said and I feel like I am sitting beside a barbecue.

We are on our way and our guide is very knowledgeable and gives us great information about the country and the city and what we are going to see.  The drive is about an hour long.

We arrive at the park and there are about five large buses there and it is very busy and I start to get worried, oh no is this how it is going to be? 

two scarlet macaws in the trees along the banks


Right away we make our way to the boat and we are sat two by two and we travel for about an hour and a half up the river seeing 17 different species of birds and mammals.  Check out the pics!






When we return to the main area we are excited to see two scarlet macaws right in the tree near us!  What a treat.  We are served cold beverages (water, ice tea or Imperial Beer) and then fruit and oh my that fruit was so good.

video


We are back on the bus and I am having trouble keeping my eyes open so I doze off and on for the ride back.

When we are back at the boat we decide to head out to town to try and find a pharmacy to get some cough syrup for it seems our colds have gone into our chests.  Thankfully we find one open on a Sunday.

The heat is just too much so we both agree time to head home to the ship and air conditioning and a bite to eat, we are back on around 3:30.

Barb and Craig come over for a glass of wine and Bernie and I try to decide what to do for dinner tonight.  Neither one of us is really hungry but wouldn’t mind something small and we really don’t want to dress for dinner.

We throw on our bathing suits and t shirt and shorts and head up to the Horizon Court for soup, roll, cheese and some olives. 

The enclosed pool is very quiet only two others are in the pool and we swim for a bit and then make our way to the Lotus Spa and the sauna hoping that it will help with our chest congestion and it does.

We are back in the cabin and we both think an early evening is just fine.  Tomorrow we are in Nicaraguan. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Manta Ecuador


tuna boat unloading all day long

We are pulling into the harbour, we are about an hour late because we left Lima so late but that only means we are arriving around 8 am.  We dock and on the other side of the dock is a tuna boat that is off loading frozen tuna, it was still unloading the tuna when we left the harbour at 6 pm.

We have a tour today that Sandy from Cruisecritic organized.  We meet ashore at 9 am with our guide, there are ten of us in the tour.  Our guide Terresa was very knowledgeable and her English was very good but some pronunciation of words was interesting in fact one time we thought she was talking about bottles, when in fact it was buttons she was saying.  That was funny.




I wish I could actually name the places we actually visited but the tour group was just a bit much!  It seemed that two people just talked and talked and constantly complained that it really took away from the tour.  Every chance we could we got away from them as fast as we could. 



 
I wanted to learn more about Equador and especially Manta and tried to speak one on one with Teressa.  I also wanted her to know that we were not with those two couples. 




Panama hats started here and you will see them everywhere!  Definitely try one on and maybe buy one!



Our next stop was a beautiful rainforest.  We arrive and start getting bitten by mosquitoes, thankfully the guide had repellent but had to laugh when a woman in our group said “I didn’t realize there would be mosquitoes here” gee I wonder what she was expecting.






The walk thru the rain forest only takes about a half hour but it is muddy and the humidy is at 100%, and it is hot, and the terrain is up and down.  Half of the group stayed behind, but sadly the one guy who never shut up came along.  The signs said silence – we wanted to hear the birds, the frogs, the monkeys but all we could hear was this guy (who will remain nameless) complain, ask tons of question “how much longer” “why didn’t they warn us it was like this” over and over.  At one point the guy came to Bernie and said “I am under distress” and Bernie said “doesn’t look like you because you never shut up”.  Well that shut him up but not for long he just went looking for someone else to complain to. 


We did see lots of birds, and two howler monkeys and beautiful plants. 



We then arrived back at the meeting spot and was served a lovely meal of either chicken or fish.  We had the fish and it was outstanding!

Now for the drive back…  and all I can think is get me back to the ship because again we can’t hear the guide because these two are yapping constantly.  One actually had the nerve to make a phone call home and then complained when she missed something.


Okay I have vented enough.  Overall the tour was great and would do it again but I learned a lesson today, only go on tours with those you know and like.



Once back on board we relax for the rest of the afternoon catching up with Barb and Craig and their day.  I head over to Alice’s cabin for a glass of wine and sailaway.  When I get back to the cabin Barb and Craig come over and we enjoy a few glasses of wine.  Barb is suffering with that cold.


Bernie and I agree that dinner in the Horizon Court is again in order.  We meet up with Russell and Gail there and then head downstairs to see what is happening about the ship.  We check out the pictures from the Crossing the Equator ceremony, and I buy the one of me and we also get a picture of the two of us from the renewal ceremony.

We are with Derrick and Connie and we try our hand at the Multi Media Trivia and we came in third, but really enjoyed it.


I am just going to post all this now, the internet went down two days ago and it has just come back up. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sea Day -- Crossing the Equator and Connie and Derricks Renewal of Vows

Today is the big day… all of us Pollywogs officially become Shellbacks.  I am very excited to be participating in the ceremony but a little nervous too but I know they won’t do anything bad to me.

We are up around 6:30 and we know it is going to be a very hot day because we are so close to the Equator. 



We head down for our espresso and chat with Gerry and Lynn and Tommi.  At 9:30 I participate in the Suduko challenge and come in first and get another Lanyard.  Thankfully it was an easier one today.

I put in our form to get two more Future Cruise Credits, this will give us four each so we have to do some bookings when we get home.  Always remember to get a Future Cruise Credit when you are on board.  They cost a $100 each and they sit in your Cruise Personalizer on Princess until you need them for a booking.  The next booking you make you can apply the $100 Credit to your booking and it is used as your deposit!  Also you then get an on board credit for that cruise which is based on the cabin type and cruise length, so you can’t loose!  Plus if you don’t use the credit within four years they refund you money!

Back to the cabin and I have the official invite for the ceremony, the invite says:

Dear Pollywogs….  Just a quick note to remind you that today is our big day… you will be proxy for all the guests on board to cleanse their sins in hopes that King Neptune, Ruler of the 7 Seas will permit our ship to cross the line!  Meet us at the deck 15 AFT Pelicans Youth Center at 1:15 and look for Matias.  Wear an old t-shirt, shorts or a bathing suit, and leave your glasses, shoes and jewelry with us in the Youth Center.  You will enter in the procession with the team.  Have fun with this, and we will be sure to launder your clothes and we will be sure you get a gift!  Have fun with this and thanks for being a good sport.   Sammi

I am ready!
We all meet in the youth center where we are prepped, there are four passengers involved, two women and two men.  We are lead out to the aft pool area that has been covered and is acting as a stage. 



When I was brought up I was accused of drinking all the gin and tonic on board forcing all the others to drink tea and King Neptune found me guilty.  I was hit first with chocolate sauce, then eggs, then whip cream then flour.  Yuck

chocolate and eggs

flour


here comes the whip cream

I got Andrew good, asked for his help getting down and then gave him a big hug


After the ceremony I made it back to my cabin with a few towels wrapped around me, quickly went into the shower and peeled off my clothes and needed to use almost a whole bottle of shampoo to clean my hair (even after that I still smelled chocolate).  I dried my hair put on some clothes and we then headed up to the renewal of vow ceremony.

Connie and Derrick have been married for 32 years and Derrick surprised Connie with this ceremony.  When they originally told us about this we were honoured to be included and a few days ago Barb, Rose and I cooked up a scheme, now when you attend a wedding you need to bring gifts right.  So we thought maybe they registered with Princess.  We called all the guests and suggested a item for them to bring.  One couple brought plates, another bowls, cutlery, napkins, towels, cups, salt and pepper all from the Horizon Court, we were all very imaginative with our wrapping and we set all the gifts on a back table.  Connie at first thought oh no gifts but then she quickly understood.  Even the Captain had a good laugh. 






The ceremony was beautiful, they have both been thru so much recently and their love was very apparent.  Many tears were shed in the ceremony.




After the service we all went to their cabin for some beverages and appetizers and a good time.

Dinner was Horizon Court we just couldn’t manage to get dressed and head to the dining room, we were just too tired.  When I get back to the cabin there is a large Princess bag that is full of everything, an interchangeable Princess bag, bottle of champagne, pens, lanyards, carabineers, pens, flashlights, water bottle and passport holders. 

We crash and we were asleep before 10 pm.