Archive for October 2011

Acapulco Pier   Leave a comment

Acapulco Pier by cubechick
Acapulco Pier, a photo by cubechick on Flickr.

Posted October 29, 2011 by cubechick in Panama Canal Cruise

Acapulco…blech!   Leave a comment

Maybe part of my experience in Acapulco was clouded by my preconceived notions. Let’s face it. When you read about beheadings at your port of call, your enthusiasm dampens.

We pulled into the port and found it guarded by a heavily armed military presence.  This included a helicopter circling with soldiers out on the rails with machine guns at the ready. I’m guessing the show of fire power is to make you feel safe. for myself, it just emphasized how unsettled the region is.

Our plan had been to take an excursion booked through NCL. But we decided to skip the hike when the announcement was made that there was a heat advisory. With my asthma, poor air quality can be a real issue, so I erred on the side of caution.

While we decided what we wanted to do, some sort of protest was going on. Thousands of people where marching and hollering over a loudspeaker. Not speaking Spanish, we found this unsettling. (Later we were told it was teachers protesting. Ultimately a non-issue.)

We had a leisurely lunch at Cagney’s then decided to go on shore. Right on the pier was a Carlos and Charlie’s, plus a shopping area. Honestly in the future I would either just stay right there or go on a ship excursion.

But this time we ended up following some skeevy guy to the market.  It was really weird that my DH wanted to do this. He’s usually much more cautious. Instead we found ourselves being lead further away from the main drag. My discomfort increased as we were lead to a market where we spotted only two other suckers, er I mean tourists. The market was a labyrinth, and our “guide” kept leading us further in. The shop keepers were visibly hostile when they saw that I wouldn’t shop. My unease increased the longer we were there, but I finally spotted the exit and lead us out of there. Skeevy guy of course followed and wouldn’t leave until we gave him five bucks for the “tour”.

All was well, but we were very happy to get back to the ship!

Posted October 29, 2011 by cubechick in Panama Canal Cruise

Seal Lions in Cabo   Leave a comment

Seal Lions in Cabo by cubechick
Seal Lions in Cabo, a photo by cubechick on Flickr.

Posted October 25, 2011 by cubechick in Panama Canal Cruise

Scenes from glass bottom boat tour, Cabo   Leave a comment

Scenes from glass bottom boat tour, Cabo by cubechick
Scenes from glass bottom boat tour, Cabo, a photo by cubechick on Flickr.

Posted October 25, 2011 by cubechick in Panama Canal Cruise

Cabo, Baby!   Leave a comment

Cabo San Lucas was, in some ways better than I expected.  I knew there’d be a ton of tour operators at the pier selling glass-bottomed boat tours.  I knew there were a lot of bars and restaurants (I’d planned a pub crawl for ourselves after all).  But I didn’t expect the rock formations at Lover’s Beach to be so cool.  They were unlike anything we’d seen before and even though the glass-bottomed boat tour that we took only lasted about 45 minutes, a lot was crammed in there.  You sailed out to Lover’s Beach where they paused and threw crackers into the water to get the fish to come to the surface.  Then you motored up to an area where sea lions were sunning themselves.  There was of course a pause for a photo op of the Arch, but then you went to the other side of the rocks, to the other side of Lover’s Beach and the view was just amazing.

We didn’t communicate where we wanted to let off well enough (really we should have asked to be taken right back to the pier) and we were dropped off at a beach resort.  That was interesting as the “captain” just kind of beached his boat and we had to jump off the front onto the sand…and time it just right to miss the waves coming in.  If you jumped at the wrong time, you were going to end up with a couple of soakers on your feet!  We all managed to keep our feet dry, which was good since we had a good 15 minute walk to get to where we wanted to be.

The first stop would be The Brew House, which was blessedly cool and served micro-brews.  The menu was very American though so we decided to wait until we could have some Mexican cuisine (DH was on a mission to have fish tacos).

I didn’t get to hit all of the bars on my list.  Actually, now that I think about it, we didn’t hit any of them, which means that was a bit of a failure for a pub crawl!  I had made note of the Giggling Marlin, Monkey Business (which was supposed to have amazing fresh fruit drinks), and Rips, which is known for its “rainbow shots”.  We did walk by the Giggling Marlin and Rips, which is behind Cabo Wabo, and while we would end up with a t-shirt from Cabo Wabo, we didn’t stop there.  We were hungry at this point and they didn’t serve food in the air conditioned part of the building.  Well that was just stupid.  So we continued a couple of blocks further to Pancho’s for some amazing fish tacos and shrimp tacos and queso fundido…and some Patron and some beer.  🙂

It was a hot, sweaty day in Cabo, but it was a good day.  Senor Frogs is right on the pier, but again no air conditioning, so we didn’t stop.

 

Posted October 25, 2011 by cubechick in Panama Canal Cruise

Let’s talk about sea days…   Leave a comment

I’m not going to post each of our sea days individually.  Let’s face it.  Sea days all kind of look the same. 🙂

I didn’t really appreciate sea days until our first balcony cabin on the Spirit in 2007.  Before that sea days either held anticipation as you headed toward your destination or boredom/depression as you sailed home.  Having that little slice of personal Heaven called the balcony changed all of that.  Now you had a great place to have that first cup of coffee in the morning, read that book with the wind teasing your hair in the afternoon, and drink that glass of wine in the evening.  How can you not love that?  Then throw in our first glimpse of the suite life in 2009 and well, sea days just became AWESOME!

This trip had five full sea days (not counting embarkation day or the Panama Canal).  The routine is pretty much the same on all of them.  Cappuccino, breakfast at Cagney’s, walk off breakfast at Cagney’s, go read, have lunch, walk a little more, take a nap, have afternoon snacks, then start thinking about getting ready for dinner. 🙂

That pattern was broken up on this trip by the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet the first morning, an emergency medical evacuation outside of Manzanilla (between Cabo and Acapulco) of two patients, martini clinics, and a tour of the bridge the Captain kindly offered those who attended the meet and greet.  This would be the fourth bridge we’d been on and it never gets old!

So, you get the gist.  We relax and do very little!  I think I did step out and take in a session of trivia just to break things up.  Oh and got to watch football that first sea day.  Yay!

There are our sea days in a nutshell.

Posted October 23, 2011 by cubechick in Panama Canal Cruise

NCL Star Pool deck from the Bier Garten   Leave a comment

NCL Star Pool deck from the Bier Garten by cubechick
NCL Star Pool deck from the Bier Garten, a photo by cubechick on Flickr.

Posted October 21, 2011 by cubechick in Panama Canal Cruise

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