Yes, everyone. I'm finally getting around to starting this puppy.
If you've been following along for a while then you know that day 1 of my vacation was pretty much a huge pile of FAIL! It started out alright with me getting to upgrade to first class for the Indy to Dallas leg of my trip. This, my friends, was the high point of much of the day. It also saved my ass. Long story short my original flight had a "mechanical problem" and never left Indy. All passengers had to get rebooked on other flights. There is nothing like watching 100+ people either waiting in line, on their cell phones, or both trying to find other flights. The upgrade to first class meant that the gate attendant did all that for me, thank goodness. I was able to let them do the work while I called Dad (and Mom) with regular updates. I was also surprisingly calm through the whole thing. Until I got to San Diego with no luggage. That's when I had a teeny tiny meltdown. Luckily everything turned out well and my bags arrived about 4 hours after I did. A big Thank You to the guy at baggage claim who was really nice despite the fact that I was kind of a bitch since I was freaking out; to Blanca at the hotel for assuring me that the bags are almost always there by 11 pm; and to Patti in the brew pub for being so sympathetic and offering to go get me clothes. You guys were great. /waves
Day 2 of the vacation was embarkation day, which is always something of a treat. This time was no different. Hanging out in the hotel before the transfer to the ship is always quite telling - you get a feel for what type of cruise it is going to be from watching your fellow passengers. Dad and I quickly decided that I was the youngest person there and he was quite possibly the second youngest! OK, not really but wow did this cruise skew towards the older crowd. I have never seen so many walkers and canes in one place in my life. Still they are out there living life and doing things so more power to them. Once we got to the dock we started getting some VIP treatment. The upgrade to the deluxe veranda suite let us check in at a special desk so we bypassed the big long line. Once on ship there was lunch and our first meeting with Nino, the best bartender/attendant on the high seas. Hey, North Philli! More about him later.
And our deluxe cabin? Oh. My. God. The room was almost as big as my last apartment. Almost 600 square feet and about the only thing missing was a kitchen. We had a bar area, dressing room, sitting area, bathroom, and the biggest damn balcony ever. Enough room out there for a table with 4 chairs, 2 chaise lounges and still room to walk about. Plus the railing was all plexi so you could see the sea while lounging. Bliss, man. Pure bliss. The free champagne was a nice bonus as well.
The first day on the ship is always the day to explore, make reservations for dinners, etc. As suite guests we also received our first invitations to special lunches, etc. We skipped the cocktail meet and greet in the Neptune Lounge (open to suite guests only, thank you very much) as we had already made reservations for dinner at that time. We did go to the Indonesian Lunch the next day at the Pinnacle Grill though and the food was amazing. Who did we eat dinner with that first night? Karen and her friend, I think. Two nice ladies, one from San Diego and the other from Chicago. We never did figure out if they were friends of Friends but it was a lovely dinner with good conversation. Night two was dinner at the Pinnacle (the same day we had lunch there) and it was an event, as always. Really, you can't eat there in under 2 hours.
Our first shore day was in Cabo San Lucas. Here's a picture of Land's End:
Here we went whale watching on a 1920's tall ship. The whole idea was kind of like a pirate ship although I don't think the Talofa was every a pirate vessel. The ship was nice although there were too many people on the tour. Not over capacity of the ship but too many to have on deck all at one time. The seas were a bit rough at times but we did see whales. I don't have any pics but I'll see if Dad will let me post one of his at some point. We went whale watching a few years back in Alaska and one thing we both noticed was that this trip was way different. Not as many whales, for one. And in Mexico as soon as someone spotted one all these small ships would just flock to the area and surround it. Not a good idea since you never know where the whale is going to surface. Plus it's harasment and many of these were mothers with their young. I felt really sorry for them. Stupid humans. I want to see them but keep a respectful distance. There was even some idiot and his girlfriend on a Jet Ski getting right up close with a mama whale in the bay. Stupid, stupid, stupid! She was like 5 times bigger than that Jet Ski. Imagine if she'd decided to come up right beneath it? Still it was a lovely day. I love being out on the water with the sun and the wind and the spray in my face. Who knew?
I honestly can't remember what we did after we got back to the ship. Probably drinks at some point. :-)
No, Dad and are aren't heavy drinkers or anything. But we do like to kick back with an adult beverage from time to time and the guys onboard tend to make great drinks. This may have been the night I had a lemon drop, I can't remember.
The next day was Loreto and our failed attempt at sea kayaking. OK, Dad could probably have made it but after about 5 minutes of trying to get past the surf I gave up. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Loreto, Baja California, Mexico has to be one of the smallest ports I have ever seen. The ship is at anchor so you have to take a tender into the marina. And the marina is small! I mean really tiny. Other than the tender boats from the ship everything else was like a two person fishing boat. The big draw here was the pelicans. Lots and lots of pelicans. Dive bombing the marina for fish. It was the coolest thing. Dad has a video that I will post once I get a copy. The town of Loreto is small and very charming. More like a village, really. They are just now starting to build a tourist industry so it is still really untouched in a lot of ways. As Diane from the Piano Bar put it "Those charming tree-lined streets were quite charming".
Our excursion this day was to The Inn Of Loreto Bay to go kayaking. Only problem was the wind had the bay whipped up quite nicely. According to one of the guys on the beach the bay is usually like glass. Uh uh, not the day we were there. Nice waves, kind of windy, and the kayak had no back support at all. I couldn't keep my feet braced and trying to was putting way to much pressure on my hips so they were screaming after just a few minutes. Plus to keep yourself from being dumped you have to stay pointed into the waves - Don't Turn Sideways! Well every time I got hit by a wave I would struggle to stay straight then another would hit me and I'd end up Sideways! I didn't capsize although I have no idea how I didn't. Five minutes in, soaked, tired and in pain I looked ahead to see that some of the others were also struggling but that nearly everyone was ahead of me except Dad who was bringing up the rear. Then I ended up sideways to another damn wave and said screw it, turned around and headed to shore. As I passed Dad I told him that my hips were screaming and I just couldn't do it. He came in to shore with me so that I wouldn't be on the beach by myself. The resort was nice but pretty deserted. A couple of minutes later Judy and Linda (Dad, is that her name?) came back to shore as well. They couldn't do it either. So instead of kayaking the 4 of us wandered around the golf course paths and hung out on the beach. I still like kayaking but now I know I need some sort of back support and I just do not have the upper body strength yet for sea kayaking.
The dryer just buzzed so that's it for this entry. I'll post more later, including Guaymas (pronounced like whymas) and Copper Canyon.