Mexican Riviera Cruise – catch up

Thursday we had our required Covid test, both of us were negative. Saturday morning we had our early flight. We were a little late leaving due to slight icing on the wings/plane, but Captain made up time and we landed within minutes of our scheduled time (way to go Captain!). We picked up our luggage and went to find the Princess reps. They checked us in, told us where to wait and that they would be calling for a bus and the approximate time it would arrive. They took our luggage (checked bags, always continue to keep your carry on essentials with you!). About an hour later the bus arrived and we were on our way to the port!

We arrived at the cruise port and got checked in within just a couple of minutes. However, the ship wasn’t ready for us yet so we went to the appropriate lounge (first ones in!) and waited …. for about two hours. And then the magic happened – we were allowed to board! By the time we were allowed to board, some friends had caught up with us in the lounge, so we all boarded together (also first onboard!). Since the shut down, every time I board it is almost magical. Just the knowledge that we’ll soon be back out to sea enjoying everything that comes with cruising is wonderful!

Embarkation day was busy. We got onboard, went to our cabin, which wasn’t quite ready yet, and dropped off my carry on bag. Located our cabin steward, introduced ourselves, and let him know we had popped in and left some items so he didn’t wonder!. Then we headed to a group member’s cabin and put a sign on her door for her. Then it was off to lunch, this day at Alfredo’s Pizzeria – yummy! Lunch was the 6 of us, plus two others who caught up with us a few minutes later. After an enjoyable lunch, it was back to the cabin to unpack.

My bag arrived first so I started the unpacking process. We turned on the safety video (formerly muster drill) so then we just needed to get to our check-in point. Just as we were getting ready to head out to check in, husband’s laundry appeared. So we stayed a little longer so he could unpack. Then we did our muster check-in and headed up to the aft bar for a get together. We booked a mini-suite this trip, which was a first for us. There is a video on my travel FB page – click the FB icon here:

The get together was a good time. So many people stopped by from the online group so we got to put real people behind the pictures and words on the screen. There were give aways, drinks, lots of laughs, and some photos. Before it broke up, we were able to get one of the waiters to take a big group picture. That was fun!

When some of our notes/papers were dropped off, along with our excursions tickets, was a letter letting us know that our excursion in Cabo San Lucas had been cancelled. It’s ok, we weren’t overly thrilled with any of the excursions we had picked out. We’ve been on this itinerary a couple of times. We did take a look at other excursions but nothing was striking us at that moment, so when Monday rolled around and we docked in Cabo, we did not have a tour. We ended up staying onboard. It’s ok – Cabo is a tender port, so it’s not like you can just walk off and wander around. Instead, we enjoyed even more silence onboard the ship – watched a movie or two, ate and had a couple of drinks, watched the jet skiers and parasailers from the balcony. Nice relaxing day that ended with a beautiful sunset.

I’ll end this post here and start a new one for Mazatlan.

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Another cruise is coming

Sorry I haven’t been posting as much, I’ve been spending time working on building my business, and also on purging the excess at home!

So we are headed out soon on a quick 7 day get away to the Mexican Riviera on Majestic Princess. The weather has turned chilly at home this week, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect!

The itinerary on this cruise includes port stops in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Now, we have done this cruise at least two or three times before, but living in California makes it a quick and easy get-away when you just need to go!

A negative rapid antigen test is still required to cruise on Princess, along with being vaccinated of course. We have our appointment in the morning to get that taken care of, then it’s smooth sailing until our flights.

Normally I start packing well in advance, changing my mind multiple times on what I want to wear, but for excursions this trip, we have opted to head to beach clubs where, most of which have the beach/ocean as well as a pool to cool off in. Because of this, it really makes packing easy. Shorts, t-shirts or tank tops, swim suit of course, and some clothes for dinner in the dining room and one of two formal nights. When we cruise together, we split the formal nights up. The formal night we do not go to the dining room, we will either eat in the buffet or Alfredo’s.

When I was on Majestic in August (to Alaska), I took lots of photos to share, and videos/live videos that I shared on my FB page. I am thinking about doing some more of those this trip.

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More to come, thanks for stopping by!

Debark / Tour

Finally sat down and wrote the last day from our cruise last month. Well, knowing we had an afternoon flight and didn’t want to spend most of the day sitting in the Ft. Lauderdale airport, we took advantage and booked one of the debark tours to the Everglades. However, once we knew we were going to be at least two hours late arriving back in Florida, we began thinking they would cancel our tour and we would just take the transfer to the airport. This was an incorrect assumption.

We spoke with the Excursions desk and they said the tour would continue, just two hours behind schedule, still getting us to the airport two hours prior to our flight. I emphasize our flight as it is important for each person to confirm that delays will not interfere with allowing enough time for airport check in, security etc.

Due to the later tour time, the driver rushed us to the Everglades National Park. The bus was comfortable, and had “facilities”. Another passenger learned from the guide that typically cruise debark excursions occur at the Everglades before it opens to the public. But because we were running late, it was already open to the public, hence the long lines.

I will say that the “public” were very understanding and polite. I’m not sure what they were told as they stood there waiting in lines, watching us parade right past them, but I didn’t hear a single unkind word.

Back to the tour. When we arrived, we had a few moments to (attempt) to go into the little gift shop or use the facilities while our guide got our tickets and positions set for us to skip the line to board the air boats. When they were ready for us, it was made as an announcement over the loud speaker to go down the pier towards the boat. They then filled up each boat one by one until we were all onboard. Each boat left the dock once it was full.

We did learn, once onboard the air boat, that our boat ride was going to be reduced from the typical 60 minute tour, down to a 30 minute tour. This was the only way we were going to be able to experience both pieces of the park.

When you head out on the boat, they turn down a canal, pause, then they rev it up and “go fast” down the canal. The driver will give a little history of the Everglades, talk about the wildlife that can be seen etc. The boat ride goes down one canal, turns and goes down another canal and so on. You will see other boats along the way.

If you get lucky, you’ll see a gator. Our guide (from the bus) told us about a group that came all the way from Thailand to the Everglades and they didn’t see a single gator. We saw one, so I guess we were lucky to at least see the one. It was actually very cooperative and just swam back and forth. When our driver spotted it, another boat was already stopped, looking and taking pictures. We were able to pull up and our driver turned the boat side to side so everyone could see. Unfortunately we couldn’t watch it for too long as there was another boat coming up behind us so we had to move along.

The driver continually looked for different birds, gators, or iguanas to show us. Then it was another fast drive down a canal and back to the dock.

From there, we were led over to a fenced area. There is a man, a gator catcher – which means, if you live in Florida and have a gator in your pool, he’s one of the guys you can call to come remove it – he has some that were not able to be returned to the wild so he keeps them here and he gives you a lot of information about them.

Once this demo was done, it was time to get back on the bus and head to the airport. Overall, even though it was a shorter boat ride than it should have been, and more crowded than we might have normally expected, it was an interesting experience and we were glad to not have to spend that time sitting in an airport terminal!