Mexican Cruise Trip 2017


Diary of Roger and Linda's Mexican Cruise to Baja and Sea of Cortex - February 2017


02/09/17 We left today on our cruise to Mexico - Sea of Cortez. Matt delivered us to the ship about 1:30pm and we got checked in within 15 minutes and go into our room almost immediately. Departed at 5:00pm and was at sea the rest of the day. We had a nice dinner at 6:00pm in the dining room with Conrad & Kathy Evans and Terry & Susanne Fillmore. (Kathy’s brother and sister-in-law)

 

02/10/17 At sea all day. Had breakfast in the main dining room with the same travel companions as above. The Eggs Benedict were very blah, but the group conversation was lots of fun and the food service was very good. Linda, Kathy, and I went to a lecture about the Sea of Cortez present by Michael Hick which I enjoyed but they did not. More food between 12:30 - 1:30pm lunch. The egg salad panni sandwich and sushi was good and the free wine was very reasonable. We all celebrated Kathy’s 65th birthday at Aqualina a classic Italian premium restaurant. The food and service was excellent. Kathy bought an 1912 bottle of Cabernet wine which was superb. I got to split it as I was the only other person in our group who drinks wine. Yum Yum Conrad and Kathy had so much free ship board credit and decided to buy us all dinner and pay for the wine to get rid of their credits. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. We all went to the Music and Dance mini broadway type show after dinner. For a small ship with only 650 passenger the quantity of the this show was excellent and enjoyable to us all.

 

02/11/17 At sea all day. Slept late this morning as we had a time change 1 hour of sleep time lost. Linda, Kathy, and I again attended a 11:00am lecture about the Mexico Sea of Cortez area history. Next was a special 12:00pm buffet in the dining room with Jazz Band music which was Linda and my breakfast for today. Did another lecture about DNA technology at 2:00pm by Dr. Hal Tinberg. Very interesting as he went over how the Russian Romanoff’s family assassination was done and how they proved it happen using DNA. Did a trip to the pool and jacuzzi next which was very refreshing, also getting to talk with another fellow passenger on the ship. Had dinner tonight at the main dining room with the whole group.

 

02/12/17 Arrived in Mazatlan located on the Mexican mainland this morning at 6:00am. Had breakfast in the dining room. It was beautiful sunny day in the 70’s. About 10:00 four us exited the ship looking for the free shuttle to down town. We could not find it, so Kathy contacted a cab driver who had a van and negotiated a guided trip for 3-4 hours to down town Mazatlan for $10 per person The driver spoke very good English and began the tour by driving to the highest point in the city for photo opts which included views of our ship and pretty ocean coastal views. We then drove north along the pretty coast. It was Sunday and the van was parked next to a large cathedral which was having mass. Next we walked about 2 blocks to the city market which was very scenic and interesting, especially the produce, meat, and fish I enjoyed photographing. The girls bought a couple items and our guide negotiated the price and paid for it in pesos, the girls promising to pay him back in dollars at the end of the trip. We continued on to a cliff diving site for photos and then to the fresh shrimp market area the Mazatlan is famous for. We then went to a restaurant with seats right on the Sea of Cortez for drinks, chips, and salsa. The exchange rate was very bad so we paid via credit card. Terry wanted some pain pills which were hard to get in US. The driver went to two pharmacies and found a doctor to write prescription. He got the hard to get drugs at a very reasonable price. We then returned to the ship around 2:45pm very happy with our tour at a cost of $20 + $20 tip for both me an Linda. What a bargain. Rested on board ship until dinner in the dining room.

 

02/13/17 Arrived this morning on the Baja in La Paz Mexico. We left about 9:30 am on a ship excursion called the La Paz City Highlights and Artisans. The bus ride about 25 miles to the city was very scenic. This is a large city about 790,000 population. We visited an anthropology museum that was small but quite impressive. I had to pay $3 to take photos in the museum. I enjoyed the old photos, paintings, statues, 3d manufactured scenes and artifacts We did a visits to a small pottery shop and a weaving shop. Of course a Catholic church is always included in one of these Mexican tours. Our bus was comfortable, but we got stuck in the back so getting out was a long ordeal. I swear older and more handicap people are present on every tour I take. We went to a local fish restaurant on the ocean that had excellent fresh fish tacos and cerveza. I invited 2 women from Indio California to join us which turned out pleasant. Returned to ship feeling fatigued. Rested a while and did the jacuzzi for an hour. Very relaxing. Did dinner with the group but skipped the entertainment in the show room.

 

02/14/17 Arrived this morning in Topolobampo Mexico the only ocean going port on the Mainland. This is the day for Copper Canyon excursion. It is a 18 hours plus mostly on a bus and a train that could cause motion sickness. Linda and I decided that the tour would be too strenuous. About 1/3rd of the ship took the excursion. This port is heavily guarded by the Mexican Federally and completely encircled by a high fence to keep potential terrorist and thieves out. No town or tourist activities near the ship. We took took a free shuttle bus 15 miles at 10:00am to a town called Los Muchias which could have passed for a typical 350,000 population city in the US. We had a high school age guide on the bus who spoke very reasonable English and he was quite entertaining. The highlight of our tour was a walk through a large wonderful botanical garden. Two high school age students who were practicing their English spent about 1.5 hours guiding us through the gardens. It was slow pace walking and a great place for photography. The guides did not ask for tips, but we liked them a lot ant tipped them. After the tour one of the guides walked us about 3 blocks away to a great Mexican seafood restaurant which had great beer and seafood tacos. Yum Yum. The guides did not ask for tips, but we liked them a lot ant tipped them. Jumped back on the hourly shuttle bus back to the ship. In the port next to the ship a folkloric music and dance troupe performed various acts most of the day. The same troupe also played in the ship theater at night. The troupe had very high quality musicians and dancers with lovely costumes. At the outside performances they allowed photography which I shot stills and video. At night are whole group of 6 dined at the Prime C steak house ship restaurant. I think this will be my favorite restaurant on the ship. Conrad and Kathy have more ship board credit than they can use and treated us by paying the extra cost to eat at prime restaurant not included in the standard fare. I loved my desert; hot cinnamon donuts with chocolate, vanilla, and carmel dipping sauces.

 

02/15/17 Arriving at noon on the mainland at Guaymas, Mexico. Cold high 50’s cloudy day. Watched another lecture about DNA. I walk the stairs between floors 95% of the time on the ship to get some exercise and burn off a few calories. Had lunch at the outdoor cafe. This city is very poor with abandon buildings all over the place. The ship excursion was one of the worst tours I have ever experience. Uninteresting places visited and a guide with a very shrill and horrible accent in her speech. High lite of this town was observing a drone flying over us during late partially dark sunset.

 

02/16/17 Arrived this morning in Loreto, Mexico. The ship anchored out approximately one mile from shore. Kathy, Linda, and I took the tender boat into town to pick up our 5 hour excursion to San Javier Mission. We got a friendly female guide who spoke excellent english and had an extensive knowledge of the area including the flora and fauna. The group was only 10 and we got to ride in relative comfortable modern van with air conditioning. We briefly viewed via van the small clean scenic town of Loreto. We first stopped at a Mission in town which was very well restored and quite photogenic. This area is very well known for sport fishing. Our guide and her husband ran a sport fishing and whale watching business which consisted of one small boat. We next headed up into the mountains to the first Jesuit Mission built on the Baja. The drive up the mountain was remote and very scenic high desert type terrain. The very small town at the Mission was very nice. The atmosphere was incredibly clean good smelling. We spent about 2 hours in the Mission and then walking outside around it. We were served a good local fare lunch with a Corona beer. Returned back to town down the mountain road which paralleled a partially dry wash. The long wash had a donkey trail next to it which the Jesuit Missionaries used to travel between the two Mission sites. Our hiking buddies from San Diego would love to hike this trail. Got back to the ship in an hour. Slept 2 hours and got ready for dining at the Prime C restaurant. The food was superb especially the 8 oz fillet mignon steak with mushroom sauce. Only disappointing thing was the Grand Mariner souffle which did come close to mine. Should have stuck with the hot cinnamon donuts with chocolate, vanilla, and carmel dipping sauces. It was another fine dinning experience with the group financed by Conrad and Kathy.

 

02/17/17 We are skipping our second day in Loreto, Mexico (bummer as I liked this town) and instead have been heading for Cabo San Lucas since last night and today. They are expecting rain tomorrow and are having the Azamara amazing event (outdoor event in “Wild Canyon” called DANCE OF THE DEAD) tonight instead of tomorrow night. After breakfast Linda and I attended another lecture by Mr. Michael Hick about the Pacific Ocean. He is my favorite lecturer on board and has an incredible knowledge of history and politics of the world. He presents his message like a college professor with lots of build up and reinforcement which is the way my brain likes to ingest this type info.

 

02/18/17 Our second day in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. A beautiful warm partly sunny day with a brisk wind. Linda and I left at 9:30am on the Azamara tender to catch our boat for a Whale Watching excursion. The first part of the excursion was very nice and I was able to take several good photos of the distinctive landmark rocks along the Sea of Cortex and Pacific Ocean land mass leading into Cabo San Lucas bay. As we went out into the Pacific Ocean looking for Gray and Blue Whales the waves got quite high and riding and moving around on the ship was very challenging. I saw 3 women get real bad cases of sea sickness. Linda and I took no preventive drugs but survived without getting sick. I visually saw perhaps 10 whales but they only stayed above water a few seconds and usually the only thing you could really see was the spout of water they released. It was virtually impossible to get a good photo with a long lens. Still in all, it was an enjoyable excursion as the crew on the boat was very helpful and informative. We ate at the Italian theme 9th floor buffet tonight. The standard food on this ship is not nearly as good as the Celebrity ship, we were on recently to the Panama Canal. The overall service may be better on this Azamara ship. The Prime Restaurants are good especially the Prime C steak house. However do not order Soufflé’s at the Prime Restaurants as they are not good at either restaurant. The hot cinnamon donuts (something like a beignese) with chocolate, vanilla, and carmel dipping sauces IHO was the best desert served on board this ship.

 

02/19/17 At sea on our way home. The seas have 4-6’ swells today. I took a Bonine motion sickness pill last night around 1:00am when the turbulence started and so far no motion sickness. We had breakfast in the 5th floor dining room this morning to avoid excessive rock and the 9th buffet crowds. I attended a lecture at 10:00am by the captain and crew members about how the ship operated and interesting statistics about the ship. At 11:00am I attended another Michael Hick lecture about the Myan and Aztec take overs by the Spanish man Cortex. Had lunch at 12:30pm and then came down to my room to work on my diary and photos. Did another DNA lecture about Jack the Ripper. Sea is still in turmoil and I am feeling a bit woozy. We all had dinner tonight in the main dining room enjoying conversation about; food, cooking, and stories about the antics and habits of the Fillemore kids. Linda and I went to the show tonight called Voices. which was a song and dance group who used live music accompaniment produced by four humans using their voice to make musical instrumental sounds!!! Linda liked them a lot and I thought the performance was so so.

 

02/20/17 At sea on our way home. Rough seas now for the last 3 days. I never got sick, but have had a mild nauseous feeling the whole time which really sucks. Attended two more final lectures after breakfast this morning. Then did lunch at the buffet on the 9th floor. Conrad and I can not figure out why the women like the very busy buffet instead of the sit dining down on the 5th floor which has less motion and no fighting off crowds to get served. We all ate at the Did some computing and packing in the afternoon. We all dined for the 2nd time at the Aqualina classic Italian premium restaurant tonight which was very pleasant experience. This has not been one of my favorite cruises, but it was still quite enjoyable socializing with Conrad, Kathy, Terry, and Susanne.

 

02/21/17 Arrived this morning in San Diego, USA around 6:00am. It feels wonderful to be on a stable platform again after 4 days rocking and rolling on the incessant swells. Disembarkation went well and Matt picked us up at 10:30am


Last updated on February 28, 2017