Friday, October 5, 2012

San Diego

Since this is our first port of entry into the United States after being in Mexico we all have to clear customs when we get off.  If you are not getting off you are required to meet at a specific time and clear then.  I am hoping because of this we won’t have to clear customs to the extent we normally do in San Francisco.  Hopefully it will just be handing in our declaration form.

This is how close the station is to the pier
We head ashore around 10 and walk to the Sante Fe Station and catch the train to Old Town.  We bought a day pass $5 per person from the machine – note $2 more for the compass card that you can reload.  We will keep the card for the next time we are here. 

The train is very efficient and within about 10 minutes we arrive at the Old Town station.  It is a short walk to the site and we walk around for about an hour.  It is hot, Vickie is tired (woke up very early) and the whole site seems more touristy than the last time we were here.  But there are lots of cute shops, lots of Mexican Restaurants and some interesting historical sites.

We walk back to the station and catch the Green Line back and get off at the Gas Light District and walk around.  We find a few stores to buy a few things and then Bernie looks at me and says “I am craving a really juicy burger” so we ask a local for a recommendation for a great burger and she points us in the direction of Rockin Baja.  And boy oh boy was she right, it was damn good. 

lots of touristy shops

With our bellies full we walk towards Horton Plaza (large shopping mall) and wander around and make our way back to the ship.  We arrive back just after 2 pm and there is a long long long line!  It was fine for us as we are able bodied, but felt bad for the passengers that had mobility problems as there was no place to sit or jump the queue. 

The problem was is we had to show our passports and cruise card and go thru the metal detectors on land.  Guess they are worried about people coming on that shouldn’t so they double check here.   But all the other ports they check too so not sure why they have the “extra” check here.  All in all it would have been fine but the 45 minutes waiting to get on board was a little long.

Right away we head back to the cabin and I lay down and I notice that they have changed out our mattress for a new one.  I did notice in the long line to get back on that they were taking on and off mattresses.  Guess we were the lucky one, now we have brand new mattresses.  We crash for two hours (yup the new mattress is comfortable). 

It is now time for sail away and they are calling names.  Now I will say there were quite a few people who wanted to disembark today and go home, guess they live closer to San Diego.  There were also people on Puerto Vallarta that tried to get off too.  Security dealt with these people.  I know it can be done but there is a procedure and they have to make sure it falls within the rules of Maritime Law. 

Peter John

Pippa Taylor

Also we are late leaving, we find out later at the Captain’s Cocktail Party that there were issues with the gangway on land.  We leave two hours late.  Yes tonight is the Captain’s Cocktail Party.  There were three parties in total, two the night prior and one tonight.  The most travelled passenger was 1,041 days and we are a long way from that. 

Jasper Loves Pippa's shoes
After the party we head towards Explorer and take part in the Movie Theme Song Trivia being hosted by Kelly and we actually don’t do too bad considering it is just the two of us. 

Time for dinner, and it is the Chef’s Dinner themed menu.  I am happy it is the goat cheese soufflĂ© to start, made perfectly.  For my entrĂ©e I had the fried chicken, I know I know fried chicken you say, but when it is hot and crispy it is darn good.  We enjoy another bottle of the wine and play a trick on Douw, but he is such a sweetie and makes us feel so welcome every time we dine in Portifinos.  Thanks Douw!  I will also shout out for the amazing wait staff too, tonight our waiter is Antonio from the Philippines and Ajay from India.  But trust me all the staff in the dining rooms have been great.

It was a long dinner and we are too late to see the comedian so we do our regular walk about stopping to say hi to the staff in Facets and catch up with them. 

We are in bed around 11:30 and looking forward to a relaxing day at set tomorrow.

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