Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas writing

Day 1

Departing from San Diego, CA to the downtown ship for boarding to Cabo San Lucas was smooth. The seas that evening were not.
We had our group of eight people loaded with gear for the five nights and six days at sea. We were on our way by noon, arriving at the harbor by 12:20pm. We were checked in and on the ship by 1:15pm. Two in wheelchairs (the grandparents) made the trip a bit faster than normal, because they needed to deliver and get the wheelchairs back for more cruisers. Four children, ages 6-12 and their parents in early 50’s along with two grandparents were heading for the high seas with high hopes.
The food was a plenty and the comforts were high for the start of this journey. A practice drill for 3000 plus 900 crew went smoothly; prepared for the dangers at sea we don’t anticipate this week. As we pulled away from the comfort of the B Street Pier and the Port of San Diego, the clouds were still hanging low and solid over us, remnants of a four day deluge of rain and windstorms of January. Once we past the breakwaters, however, the ocean was not our friend. Much swaying of the boat was felt among the guests. In our party, five were popping seasickness pills and three were now confined to their rooms for the night. These were some tough minutes for those no expecting to be tossed around on the boat. Sleep brought some relief to them and hopes for a better tomorrow were on their minds.

Day 2

“Much calmer today,” I overheard a person report to a friend. Yes, that is the weather report. Still cloudy, but not threatening at all.
This was our first full day on the ocean and the sun did come out so we could swim in the pool on the Lido Deck, Deck 10. Carnival Cruises make a big deal of their great service, and keep reminding us of how good it is. With high hopes for a great week, we headed to the spa/exercise area on Deck 12 for some good workouts. That was after getting each child to their respective “Camp Carnival” group. Groups are split by ages, and we have three different groups, over 12, who can come and go as they please, 9-11, who basically can come and go, with a bit of extra parent participation. And the 6-8 year olds, who need to be checked in and out each time.
The workout room was packed with equipment as well as people. They have classes, massages, and plenty of the same equipment seen at our gym at home. It was easy to access, and even had a sauna and a steam room. Later that day, we enjoyed the outdoor Jacuzzi as well, soaking up the Mexican rays and getting warmer as the day progressed. Later that evening, we posed for a photo, had a chance to meet and greet the captain, Giuseppe, from Italy and the food and beverage manager, from India. It was a very well executed meal, and most of us chose the lobster entre. We especially liked the cherries jubilee for desert, too.
After dinner, we enjoyed the “Broadway-themed” musical entertainment in style. The tunes were light and fluid. Fifteen dancers and seven musicians put us in a fantasy, rocked just a bit before bedtime. This was a solid performance of talented young people from all around the globe.

Day 3

Today we arrived in Cabo by 8. The coast was barren up to the tip of the cape, and the harbor not deep enough for our vessel. So we climbed aboard the smaller tenders which delivered us for our one day adventure on land. Our group wandered around the marina, the shops and the downtown area until we found the well-known beaches near the “Office”. Here we drank margaritas and ate lunch (see photos above). Allen and Katie went to the Glass Factory while the rest of us swam and took a boat ride to the arch(photo above( and to see the seals on the rocks nearby.
Cabo SanLucas was a newer city than most. We didn’t see much heavy traffic on the streets. It was full of tourists. On our next trip to Cabo, we’ll explore further into other regions, including San Jose del Cabo, which I understand has more culture and history to reveal.
By 4 pm, we were back on our ship and getting ready for more of the Carnival activities, kids club, etc. I was tired from a day of sun and alcohol and went to bed by 8pm. Brian fell asleep at 5pm and never woke up til the following morning.

Day 4

We were on the seas today again, this time going back North. The weather became markedly windy and colder. The winds made it impossible to play mini golf on deck as we had planned. By afternoon, the kids were in the pool and big slide, as well as the Jacuzzi. I spent two hours on deck watching the kids enjoy the fun. We had a second cocktail reception by the captain and then a formal dinner that evening. I had the short ribs and for dessert warm chocolate cake.
After dinner, Wanda and I took in the entertainment again. It was hard to stay awake, even though the show was good, I was sleepy.

Day 5
Today we head out to Ensenada, MX for the day. It’s sunny and brisk today from our cabin window. I can see the port activity here as we arrive at 8am. Many working vessels are throughout the harbor. We’ll be visiting the fish market(fish photo above) here and also our favorite winery, Santo Tomas(photo above), a few blocks inside the downtown area. We’ll be doing our shopping here for the most part.
The cruise is going to wind down tomorrow in San Diego. It’s been enjoyable to relax with the kids and the in laws. We’ve kept ourselves busy on ship with exercising and eating. We’ve taken in the locals at the shore excursions as well. We’ve gotten good sleep and will be well rested when we return.
We’ve also kept up on our work through the internet connection on the boat, so we shouldn’t have any surprises when we return to our offices.
One of the best things about Carnival is the Camp Carnival activities for the kids. They always are available and kids like them. On this cruise, there are not very many kids, so they combined some camp activities. For example, they put the 9-14 year olds together for some games. There were less than a dozen in the combined group. Had we been here over the Christmas holiday, or when schools are not in session, the numbers would be much larger, probably tripled.
The truth about cruising is that people eat more than they should. Yes, there are some fat people on this ship, and they are getting fatter.

Cruising is a family activity and it’s something that three or more generations can do together and it’s enjoyable. And it doesn’t cost a lot of money, either.

Dr. Travelbest’s advice for those who want to save money is to watch what your charge carefully. No money is used on board, people just charge on their card.
Cruising deals during a soft economy are worth considering. You can get a lot for your money, but be careful to only spend what you can afford.

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