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Showing posts from February, 2017

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…

Thoughts After Our Second Mexican Riviera Cruise

As I wake to the sounds of cabins around us waking up and preparing for our arrival in San Pedro.  My mind starts to ponder the last cruise and what I should write about.

After tossing and turning for an hour I finally grab the tablet and start to write while it is fresh.

We are on for three cruises in total that all do the Mexican Riviera.  We have just finished our second leg and have one more to go.

First off we are really enjoying the demographics of these 7 day voyages on the West Coast.  Lots of first time cruisers and newer cruisers with over half of the ship having done less than five cruises.  This last trip had only 200 elites!

It is so lovely to see the excitement and fun that the people on board are experiencing.  Many more people are out late, drinking in the bars, playing in the casino, attending shows, participating in events and dancing into the evening.

I am guessing when I say I think the average age is around 45 with more kids and famillies (multi generational fami…

Cabo San Lucas

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We wake and realize we are anchored in the harbour of Cabo San Lucas.  Tenders are required here and they are giving out tender tickets in Michalangelo Dining Room. 

But for us we are staying on.  I know sounds boring but because last tender is 1:15 and by the time we are up and ready we really would not have that much time ashore. We love Cabo but unless we had something really planned we are better off staying on today. There is a restaurant we love to visit but it is open only from lunch onwards and it is a bit far from the pier so it is fruitless to head there.

Instead we head to the International Cafe and enjoy two coffees and a bite to eat.  The staffing here has improved this voyage I am happy to say.

The IC is very very quiet though and most servers are just wandering around chatting up with everyone.

Have to say I love the three guys who work at the IC food bar handing out the food.  So lovely and I especially love when they are putting the food out and they are singing.

Mazatlan - Relaxing Day

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I had a night of minimal sleep.  Not really sure why but I was awake at 4 am and tossed and turned.  When Bernie woke at 8:30 he turned and said that we should just stay on.  I know he is right.  I need to sleep or I will not be a good travel companion and my patience will be minimal.  And we were here last week and had a great day and we are back next week too.

Bernie dressed and went out and I rolled over and feel asleep finally.

There is an Crew Emergency Drill happening and they make announcements that can be heard in the cabin so it is hard to sleep too much but I sleep in between announcements.

When I finally woke at 11 we both doned our bathing suits and lots of sunscreen and went up to deck 16 forward where there was no one and settled in.

It is very hot and we needed to cool off periodically in the pool.  Oh and the pools were cold but once we were in it was perfect and we were so very hot getting in so anything would of been cold.

The new group of dancers on board are pra…

Puerto Vallarta

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We sleep so well that we don't wake up until 9 am; however we did go to bed rather later as we watched a movie.

Docking is scheduled for 10 am and we are the #1 pier. 

We head ashore to meet up with our friend Greg who retired from our work last October.  He and his wife Barb moved here a week later!

We had told him to meet us around 10:30 - 11 but of course we are there then, but we are on ship time.  Which is one hour behind.  So keep that in mind if you are meeting up.

A quick ride in a taxi and we are at their apartment.  A beautiful 2 bedroom 2 1/2 bath place overlooking the hill side with stunning views of the water.  Oh I could get use to this.



We enjoy their company and get to learn all about the ins and outs of moving down here as Canadians full time.  We have always thought about it as an option for us, now it only makes us think even harder about this option.

Later in the day we head down the hill to the malecon and have a great meal all together.

Around 5 we head bac…

Monday Evening - Dinner at Share

Tonight we are dining at Share.  Our reservation is for 7 and we start with a drink in Skywalker's Elite Lounge.

I order a Cosmo and notice they have the menu cards on the table.  This is a good idea because normally we can order any of the drinks from the elite menu but since this is a 7 day voyage there are a few less choices.  Last week I ordered a mojito and was charged full price. Normallly this is one of the choices (or at least on a longer voyage) but not on a 7 day voyage.  So take note.

We are sat at a table that is well I think way too big for 2, but great for 4 or 6.  Our waiter introduces himself - sorry I forgot his name but he is from Serbia.  He explained the menu to us and we asked for a wine suggestion and he had a great suggestion.

We had brought up one of the coupons from the coupon book that gives you 15% off a bottle of wine when you order one in a specialty restaurant.  Problem is later we notice it was not put thru.  We are working on getting the Purser'…

2nd Sea Day - Monday

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I wake and feel very rested.  I dress quickly to head to speed suduko but when I get there we soon all realize that there was an error.  The Patter says speedy scrable, but the online version says speedy suduko.  Oh well - I suck at scrabble so I just return to the cabin.

I shower and get ready and we are down in the International Cafe enjoying our coffees.  They are having the big bijoux sale today so there is a long queue until the shop opens then it flows well. 

After about an hour we head up to Crooners to a bit more quiet.

Here we run into Jerry and Nanette where we catch up with them.  Then we head to the Pub Lunch together where I enjoy fish and chips!

Back to Crooners to talk some more until we agree we should head out to the balcony to watch for whales.


And boy were we not disappointed.  We are sailing right past Cabo San Lucas. I swear we saw around a 100 sightings of whales - now sometimes it was the same whale reappearing but it was truly a lovely sight.



Also there were…

Sunday Night on the Ruby - ARGH Dining Room Issues

We dress for dinner and head to Vines to meet up with Karen and Barb.  Just after 7 pm we head to Michalangelo Dining Room (Anytime all evening) and request a table for four.  But they said if we join two others they can accommodate us.  So we said sure but then we are told to wait.  Not long though.

We are sat at a table and we introduce ourselves.  The other couple is from Nevada.

Sadly things went downhill from there when it came to service and food.  I started with the pineapple and prickly pear salad which was good.  Bernie and Karen got the crab and artichoke dip which came and it looked horrible - kind of like cat food.  It was so dry and had obviously been sitting for a long time.

Then we wait and wait - almost 20 minutes before the entrees come.

Eveyone gets their entree but I am waiting for mine. I ordered the Fetticini Alfredo - the one off the always available items. Everyone is eating but me - I am told they are backed up in the galley. 

Finally I get it and it is hot a…

First Sea Day

Bernie is up very early today and is showered and dressed by 7:30.  I just stare and say I will relax in the cabin while he heads out to get breakfast.

I forgot to mention that we went to see Colleena our Captain Circle Host and find out that we are #9 Most Travelled this voyage.  I am not sure what the cut off is for the top 40, sorry.  I also let her know that our loyalty credit did not get applied this cruise.  We get a $100 on board credit so it is important - you get $100 after sailing 51 times.

It is always interesting to be on the same cruise as a back to back to see what exactly is different from the first cruise.

There are some new crew members.  Also the party band has changed; Starwave joined yesterday.

Also a new group of Princess singers and dancers joined yesterday and will be rehearsing all week and will be on their own next sailing.

Today Magic to Do is in the theater instead of last formal last week.

Of course today is also the American Super Bowl game.  It is being s…

Turn Around Day - Saturday

Well you already know that I was up early.  I later returned to the cabin and we did a load of wash.  I know we get free laundry but it works but it really doesn't get items really clean.  For example a shirt Bernie had with a mark on it on the front did not get removed after the ship's wash but came out perfect as we did are wash.

We shower and dress and tidy up the cabin.  Our new mini bar is delievered and we just leave it on the desk as we want to trade out many of the items, but wait until tomorrow to get thru to them.

Our In Transit gathering spot is Wheelhouse Bar at 10:15.  But we head off the ship around 9:30 to do a few errands. 

Oh you know how often they are looking for the missing In Transit people to meet up.  Well we were told later when we reboarded that they were looking for us and another couple. Gee didn't they realize that we binged out at 9:30 with our old cards?  So when you get angry that someone hasn't shown up for in transit cutsoms clearance …

Ruby Princess - Thoughts on First Cruise

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As I sit here in Vines very early Saturday morning as I woke at 4 am and can't get back to sleep.  I sip my latte and enjoy a fresh baked croissant that is still warm.

I have spent the last hour in bed pondering the last voyage and knew I should write a blog (or for me it truely is like my journal that I share with others).

This seven day voyage is different, it has a totally different vibe than the usually cruises we take at this time of year (10 Caribbean).

Definately a younger crowd, more families, more children of all ages (but a lot of little ones).  I have really enjoyed this crowd.  I am in my early 50s and I would say my age is probably the norm or a little higher than the norm.  Yes there are much older and much much younger.  Whereas on the longer cruises I am definately one of the younger. 

Having this demographics has been a nice treat.  Disco is busy at night, after 10 you still see people out and about and there is a different energy in general.

This voyage had a …

Last Sea Day Evening

Last night and lots happening still. 

Tonight there is the Princess Pop Choir Perfromance, Jewish Sabbath Service, Voice of the Ocean, Muts is showing The Magnificent Seven, The Oceans Trivia, Day of the Dead Festival, The Blank Gameshow, Concert Pink in Melbourne.

The Buffet is featuring a Mongolian BBQ Buffet.

They are offerring Last Day Internet Access of 15 minutes for $8.99.

We head up to the Platinum Elite Lounge (first time up there this cruise).  Where we run into Ginny and Ali and get to catch up with them.  Haven't seen them much this cruise.  It always surprises me how you can be on one ship and not run into people or always run into others.

I ordered a mojito and noticed later that I was charged just over $8 for the drink.  Normally this is one of the elite lounge drinks for $5 but I will check the menu later for this 7 day voyage to see if it is one of the offerrings.  If it is they overcharged me, if it isn't then it is charged at regular price.  Either way I will j…

Last Sea Day - Friday

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I did not sleep well last night.  I woke up at 2:30 am and was wide awake for two hours. Just not tired!  So I read until my eyes kept dropping and I could fall back asleep.

But needless to say when Bernie woke around 8 he got dressed and went out.

I didn't actually get up until 10:30.  When I showered and dressed and met up with Bernie in the International Cafe.  Still having issues there.  The wait staff seem to wander around but not taking many orders.  So we line up and get a drink -- which is much faster.  But it is too noisy here so we head up to Crooners and sit and read and do crosswords.

Around noon we heading to the dining room for lunch.  We unfortunately get there at 12:15 and ask for a table for two.  This ship does not have as many tables of two - really miss the Royal that does have lots.  Also this dining room has the Club Class dining so a fifth of the dining room is closed off to tables for the rest of us. 

We have to wait for a table for around ten minutes but we d…

Thursday Night - Share Restaurant

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A lot happening tonight.  It is formal night and there are formal portrait stations set up all over.

Activities happening include: LGBT get together, Mariachi Music in the Piazza, A Tribute to Neil Diamon with Jumari 6:30, 8, and 10:15, Movie on MUTS Jack Reacher: Never Go Back 6:30 and 8 pm, Yellow Diamond Event and Raffle, Los Brillantes in the Piazza, Production Show Magic to Do at 8 pm and 10 pm, Latin Dance Hour in Club Fusion, The Marriage Match Game at 9:15, Karaoke Madness, Grand Piazza Gala Party and Balloon Drop at 10:45 and a lot more.


We head to Crooners for a few drinks and chat with a man named Hugo who is from Italy - in fact his brother is the Captain.  We had seen them together and they do look a like.  Was really interesting chatting about Genoa (where he is from) and hearing about his travels.

We arrive at Share and are sat at a lovely table for two by the window.  Our waiter Allyne from the Philippines is the same lady who showed us the food the other day at the open …

Last Sea Day

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I did not sleep well last night.  I woke up at 2:30 am and was wide awake for two hours. Just not tired!  So I read until my eyes kept dropping and I could fall back asleep.

But needless to say when Bernie woke around 8 he got dressed and went out.

I didn't actually get up until 10:30.  When I showered and dressed and met up with Bernie in the International Cafe.  Still having issues there.  The wait staff seem to wander around but not taking many orders.  So we line up and get a drink -- which is much faster.  But it is too noisy here so we head up to Crooners and sit and read and do crosswords.

Around noon we heading to the dining room for lunch.  We unfortunately get there at 12:15 and ask for a table for two.  This ship does not have as many tables of two - really miss the Royal that does have lots.  Also this dining room has the Club Class dining so a fifth of the dining room is closed off to tables for the rest of us. 

We have to wait for a table for around ten minutes but we d…