Thursday, January 28, 2016

Mexican Rivirea

Mexican Riviera:
December 10 Thursday, 2015

Figure 1Grand Princess under Golden Gate Bridge
After embarking the ship and locating our room number 263 at deck Plaza and we get the mid-ship I say "we are in a good spot". Our  room being near the main hall where the fun activities go on we do not have to go far at the end either side. Once we get the luggage in our room we go for our lunch at the buffet at the 14th  deck. As we approach  toward the buffet we are directed to sanitize our hands and then take the napkin with cutlery in the fold of the napkin. As we glance through the display of numerous and varieties of food, no doubt our eyes are bigger than the stomach specially when we are hungry. Starting with bread in different shapes and sizes then mashed potato, chips and eggs boiled, scrambled and poached uploaded in the plate the next table with pastas prepared with cheese, chicken roasted, steamed, rice plain and fried, pork and beef roasted, by now our plates are already full. lastly I see soup, two types one with chicken broth and the other tomato. Next table has all fruits cut and uncut.  As we hold carefully our plate full to the brim we look for a table but only sharing with other people available we settle at the available table. Well this is our first day why not enjoy. We enjoy our lunch and then only after we have our tea, we are ready to take the elevator down to the 7th floor to watch the departure of the ship from the port of San Francisco. Grand Princess is still at the dock and not going to move till late in the eveningM to avoid encountering an approaching bad weather.  We jon a group of people  waiting for the ship leave tthe port and cross under the Golden Gate Bridge. Around 6pm the ship starts sailing, the stream of lights from the slopes of the city and also lights of the Bay Bridge slowly fading away. The ship slowly passes under the bridge in the darkness of the approaching night and my camera clicks to capture as much as I could. My mission accomplished we are ready to go inside try to locate our assigned restaurant for dinner. It is at Botticelli dining  located at he far end of the ship. We are already late by one hour  as it is 6.30 pm by the time I find the dining place.  we are directed to our table number 273. Emi apologized vigorously for our late arrival and I fee it is not necessary as it is our first day. Already two couples are lready sitting and we introduce ourselves. One couple is from City of San Francisco, Donna Parkare and Paul Fappiano, and another from Southern California, Mari Ryan and Joel Simoff.
  As the ship moves we feel the roughness of the sea, Emi starts feeling of dizziness and  taking advice from the couple in the dining room she gets herself a wrist band for the sea sickness, but she still feels it as the hand band has not yet shown its effectiveness.  We are lucky that one generous lady offers a plastic bag for Emi to use and hence there is no mess around.
December 11, Friday 2015
 Today Emi sleeps while I go around for breakfast and look for other activities like jumba and line dancing classes. By dinner time she feels better and ready to join to dinner alright. Later we go to  the comedy and music show by Steve Moris of North Carolina. As I feel tired and can’t stay awake I return to our room while Emi continues to watch the show till the end. I miss the invitation of Cruise captain Ronald Wilson to join the meeting of the inner circle as I skip picking up the card from the slot.
December 12, Saturday, 2015
Still at sea and anxiously waiting for docking at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Today  again I join the Zumba and line dancing classes at Vista Lounge deck 7 aft 9.45 am. Breakfast at DaVinci where we meet two ladies from San Francisco and another lady from Fairfield who owns a ranch who are  both singles. Today we try Hi tea at DaVinci, meet an elderly lady with Oxygen tank who has come alone from Seattle and also it is her 36 cruises during last 6 years. Very interesting to meet so many adventurous people. I continue walking at deck 7th twice today  and I am overwhelmed to watch the wake of the sea as the ship passes. We enjoy the evening show at Princess theater “the British Invasion” a song and dance presented  by the cruise artists.
December 13, Sunday, 2015

Figure 3Wake  at sea of  Grand Princess
Still at Sea and anxiously waiting for to dock at our destination Port. The first thing I see is on the daily  brochure  a romantic quote of the day “Love is a fruit in season at all times and in reach of every hand.” Mother Teresa
Today, time change 1 hr forward and we lose sleep by one our as our daily tea is at 6.30 am. Finding out many of the passengers are  going to take shuttle or taxi but still we decide to go through Cruise ship the shore excursion of Puerto Vallarta costing for the shuttle $ 29.90 ticket each. Joining line dancing in the morning is very vigorous one and had slight pain at the lower back and hence rested in bed for some time and rubbed the icyhot. I felt better after some time and hence did all the walking and eating and watching all the program like piano, songs and band in various locations.
.Puerto Vallarto.December 14,2015, Monday 
We are finally at Puerto Vallarta. Passengers are advised to carry the ship card before leaving along with government issued I D card.  As we have purchased ticket already for the shore excursion  we join the group in Princess Theater. We all are advised to follow the guide for the group. The guide Ms Santa introduces herself and also the bus driver Rahul.  She gives a guided tour of the new and old town of Puerto Vallarta.  We are told tha Puerto Vallerta was originally a silver mining town and still the mining goes on in some areas. There are many activities one can do here  like snorkel, swimming with Dolphins, and taste tequila at the factory at Hascianda Dna Engracia. Our guide takes us at the Diamond International as the cruise advises to do so. Another main attraction is the Cathedral and behind it is the house of Liz Taylor  gifted by Richard Burton. After we come back we decide to attend high tea at DaVinci and dinner and late night dinner at the same restaurant.
Manzanillo: December 15, Tuesday,2015
Here we decide to take a shuttle paying $20 each for sightseeing. The driver doesn’t know  English well and hence he takes the help of someone to explain whenever we stop at a place of interest.  He drives us to the flea market where products of local artists are sold. At the end of the

Figure 4 A a Iguana  farm in Manznillo
 tour he takes us  Iguana  farm(species of lizard) farm
Manzanillo  is the biggest commercial port on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Places of interest are Cuyutian Turtle Sanctuary for these endangered turtles, snorkel for colorful fish and popular hiking places. Gateway to ancient cities of Colima and Comala. Time change again as the ship’s clock forward. We have to get back by 3.30 PM as the ship starts sailing  just after.
At Mazatlam street E,mi and Jamuna 

Colorful fish swimming glass floor of boat.

Grand Princess crossing  Golden Gate Bridge

man ready to dive down 

Jamuna near the swimming pool 

On way to Manzanillo town

Jamuna in whale watching boat Puerto Vallarta
Mazatlan, Wednesday, December 16, 2015
As soon as the ship is docked at 8.15am  we all are allowed to go out of the ship and take tour of the town. We take a shuttle paying $25.00 each. The driver Carlos is eager to show us all around the old and new development of the town. The 19th century Cathedral Basilica of Immaculate Conception is one of the main attractions with its interior design and the stained glass windows. The most interesting is the man standing for diving into the sea and people all around waiting to see him jump. We also wait for sometime but have to leave as he is still debating.
 For the first time today we try  at Michaelangelo restaurant and have only one menu of the day: fish and chips. Those two couples from Walnut Creek and another from Reno Nevada are very entertaining people. Food is excellent and we want to go again. But never have a chance to go again as it is no more open for lunch.
Cabo San Lucas: Dec 17, Thursday, 2015

Figure 5 Whale watching in Cabo S L

Figure 6 Emi and me posing at street of Cabo S L
At Cabo San Lucas we have to go to the shore taking tender as the ship is docked quite far away from the shore. Tender ride takes  about 20 minutes to reach the shore. Once on the shore we decide to take whale watching in a small boat. We have to wear life jacket during the ride to middle of the sea where the whales can be seen. On the way the boat man explained about the different rocks and the beaches along the sail. Lovers beach and the rock partitioning the Pacific ocean and the gulf of California are places of interest.                                            
Figure 7 Lover's beach Cabo S L
Cruise Summary: December 10 to Dec 20, 2015
San Francisco USA to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico  Distance (Nautical Miles) 1430
Puerto Vallarta  to Manzanillo                                                                            155
Manzanillo to Mazatlan                                                                                        289
Mazatlan  to Cabo San Lucas                                                                                190

Cabo San Lucas Mexico to San Francisco USA                                                   1138                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Lover's Beach at Cabo San Lucas

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