We are finally back on land...although it still feels like we are rockin' on the boat...and we had a great time! 7 days of kid free/care free time...such a blast!
We left from LA on the Sapphire Princess and headed south to the Mexican Riviera.
Our first stop was Puerto Vallarta.
We did lots of shopping and then found this delicious restaurant (recommended by a local) called PiPi's (pronounced peepees...go ahead giggle, it's funny). There was an awesome mariachi band and a guy that came table side and made fresh guacamole while you watched, oh....we had him come back a second time. And the food....YUM! I might actually crave it....too bad it's a few thousand miles away...
We were supposed to stop at Mazatlan for our second port, but due to lots of crime, etc...we skipped it and hit Cabo for 2 days.
Day 1 we did more shopping....I just love it!
and then we spent some time on the beach.
Day 2, we took a boat out to to Chileno Bay to do some snorkeling.
We stopped by "El Arco de Cabo San Lucas"
and then stopped a few times to check out some whales....
Throughout our trip, we saw a total of 5 whales (at different times), 3 sea lions, and a huge group of dolphins. I'll tell you what....these animals love to show off. The best were the last 2 whales we saw....I'm pretty sure it was a momma and her baby. Momma would put her fin out and slap the water and then baby would immediately follow. It was just an amazing site!
Our days on the ship were filled with enjoying the sun, eating, playing cards, eating, going to some shows (some better then others) and eating.
and enjoying sights like this...
It was a really great time!
Some honesty about cruising. This was my first cruise. I didn't have any expectations so I was very happy overall with everything. I will say this....the staff on the ship is amazing....amazing. Mr. T speaks Tagalog...and 50% of the 1000 member crew is Philippino....so Mr. T was making friends left and right. We had a few lengthy conversations with one guy named Manojj...he was so great...and we found out a lot about the crew on the ship. Aside from the fact that they work 12-14 hour days....
The service staff are on the ship for 10 months, and then they get to go home for 2. Pretty much all of them have families back home. That means that they only get to see their kids 2 months out of the year. Most of these guys have been working on cruise ships for years....and I'm talking 10+ years. Manojj has been working the cruise ships for 10 years...he has a 19 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. It made me so sad to think that his son has not had his dad in his life for more then 2 months a year since he was 2....just so sad. Since Mr. T lived in the Philippines for 2 years, he kinda got it. Any way these guys can make better money to provide for their family, they do it. However, the money they make is in the tips. They only get paid $50 a month...yes, a month...the rest of their income is tips. So can I just push that if you cruise, tip the service staff, and I don't mean in the automatically charged daily tip...I mean, personally seek out the service staff that served you and give them a generous tip. Along with Manojj was our room steward Teody. He was so awesome too...I mean, we barely left our room for 20 minutes and he would go in and make sure everything was perfect, down to the fancy folding of the towels...and he knew our names the first day....I loved walking out every morning and hearing him say, "good morning Miss Teri", "have a nice day Miss Teri"....he was just fabulous.
I know this is wordy....but I was just amazed at the life these people choose to live to provide for their families....the sacrifices they make....all in the hopes to make more money to give their families a better life.
I'm really glad that we were able to go on this cruise, not just for the break from my life and to see some new places, but for the people I got to meet. I was just impressed.