Mexico Blog 2006

Tony and Mary’s Mexican Riviera Adventure

Mary decided to take us on a cruise to the Mexican Riviera to celebrate my 50th Birthday. We took a cruise that left from our home city, San Diego. We decided to try what is called an aft wrap-around suite this time. This is a suite at the rear of the ship that has an extended deck that wraps around the back and port (left) side of the ship.

Carnival Spirit

This is the Carnival Spirit in San Diego 8 days before we get on.

C-Level Restaurant

We were sitting across the bay at the C-Level Restaurant

Working Hard

We were working hard… Very Hard…

Spirit Itinerary

These are the ports that we will stop in.

Day Port of Call Arrive Depart
Sat San Diego 4:00PM
Sun Fun Day At Sea
Mon Fun Day At Sea
Tues Acapulco 12:00PM
Wed Acapulco 1:00AM
Wed Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa 9:00AM 6:00PM
Thus Manzanillo 7:00AM 6:00PM
Fri Fun Day At Sea
Sat Fun Day At Sea
Sun San Diego 7:00AM
We sail on April 1, 2006

Day 1 – 4/1/06

We lived long enough to go on vacation! There were moments when I thought it would not happen.

We made it to the cruise terminal at about 11:30. San Diego needs a lot of help. When you get to the terminal they mix pedestrians and vehicles. Absolutely stupid! My Sister dropped us off, you drive through lines of people to get dropped off. You get out and drop your bags off and then walk back through traffic to get to check-in. You then walk back through traffic to get to Customs. Not smart but we lived through it.

We got up to the Lido Deck about 12:15 so it wasn’t too bad. We had some snacks and waited for the room to be ready. They will be ready at 1:00. We have 3 carry on bags with us so we just hang out and people watch. I decided to change my cell phone message and realize that I left my cell phone at the X-ray machine on the dock. Crapola! I wave buh-bye to Mary, grab my Passport and head off the ship, down 10 levels. I get to the entry point and tell the dude what I did. I get escorted like a salmon upstream through all the incoming guests, down to the X-ray machine, get my phone and I am back to Mary in about 8 minutes! Brilliant Carnival service!

At 1:00 we head down to check out the room. The door is open… We start in and there is this long hallway IN the room. We go down it and turn right, here is the room. It is an aft-corner room. This means that it is at the back corner of the ship. These rooms are very different. This one is a suite but it is all one room. At the end of the long hallway is the bathroom. Quite large plus it has a whirlpool tub. You turn right and the room is large but odd. First you have the closet, then the desk/vanity, then the King bed, then the ‘living room’. The ‘living room’ is a sofa, TV, and chair crammed into the diminishing end of the room. We head out to the deck. The deck wraps around the corner so we have a rear and side view. I measure the deck and find that it is 32 feet long. Amazing. Most rooms with a deck have 12 foot decks.

We meet Koko the room steward and give him $40 to make sure he takes care of us. This works! He is kissing our butts.

We spent a few hours getting familiar with the ship. We hung out on the deck and watched the dock crew launch the ship. We had some champagne as we sailed out of the San Diego Bay. Life is good… Very good.

We have the late-seating dinner at 8:15. They have a show beforehand. This was a cheesy dance number followed by the Cruise Director doing the obligatory audience participation thing. It was actually very funny. She turned fat old married men into Chippendale dancers. This was followed by a comedian who was clean and funny.

We then went to dinner. Very good food. I’m not going to go hungry.

Mary is right over there snoring and I am sitting here blogging and watching Food TV. I watched the Final Four earlier. They have satellite TV with all the majors. Weird.

Until tomorrow. Tony B

Day 2

We slept in until 8:30 today. Room service delivered fruit and bread. We ate out on the deck. It was a beautiful morning. The sound of the two propellers is similar to the ocean waves breaking without the pauses. It is a constant soothing white noise.

Went up to the Lido Deck for Second Breakfast. We had pancakes, eggs, and Tots (Carnival’s hash browns).

We walked a lap around the ship to work off some of the carbs. We then went to a presentation explaining the upcoming ports and available tours. We returned to Food Central and took some cheese and veggies to the cabin for an appetizer. We hung out on the deck some more. Now it was time for a nap. Tough life, indeed!

We woke up and took another stroll. We did some shopping on the Fashion Promenade and then went searching for more food. We decided on the Deli and had paninis.  We found a nice table and hung out and watched the people go by. The sea is a bit rough and there is quite a bit of side-to-side movement. It was fun watching the people trying to walk a straight line.

As we are sitting there this long-haired guy, forty-ish, walks by with a buddy. He is carrying a Beer Bong and a Bucket-O-Beer. This is a contraption that has a big funnel hooked up to a 2 foot clear plastic tube, about an inch wide that ends with a mouthpiece. What the??? The point is to have a buddy pour a beer in the top while you chug the beer straight down. This guy must be forty! He is walking around like “Dude, chicks dig this! I’m a super stud!” Mary tells me that she saw him before 10:00 in the morning proudly walking with his bong. All types are on this ship.

We watched the People Parade for 45 minutes or so and then left. We walked around the corner to the stairs and Mary remembered that she left her glasses on the table. She walks back and is gone forever. I come looking for her and she is talking to security. It seems that in the 45 seconds that we were gone somebody picked up her glasses. Now she realizes that the room keycard is missing too. This is not good since the keycard is also used to charge ANYTHING to your credit card. We are at the aft (rear) end of the ship and have to go to the Purser’s Office at the front of the ship to get the card deactivated. Down 7 levels, forward 700 feet, we get there. I tell the Purser staff that I think someone stole her glasses and keycard. She reached back and presented us with Mary’s stuff. It seems that in the 45 seconds that we were gone, a crew member saw them sitting there and picked them up and walked directly to the Purser’s Office. You gotta love Carnival’s service!

OK, we get back to the room and I decide that I am finally going to start reading The Da Vinci Code. I took this book to Italy and back and never opened it. It seems that I am so preoccupied by all things geek that I never have time to read. I sit out on the deck with the white noise and read about 50 pages. This is huge for me. Mary is reading a pile of Oprah magazines that she can’t ever get through.

We find this extreme mental exercise very tiring and decide that it is time for nap #2. Not a bad vacation at all.

We wake up and have to get cleaned up for the Captain’s Party. This means free cocktails! We put some fancy clothes on and head forward. We get to meet the Captain and crew and enjoy some champagne on the house. We then head to the restaurant for dinner. I had requested a table for 2 and they came through. Mary had a lobster tail and I had a great salmon dish. We got to people-watch during dinner. Over there was the drunken woman, 55-ish, who could barely eat. When they were finished, her husband had to put her shoes on for her. The guy at the table next to me had never eaten before so he had soup followed by salad followed by lobster tail followed by prime rib followed by another lobster tail followed by dessert. This was a major pig-out.

Our waiter, Donald, brought the dessert menu. I ordered the Diet Pear Tart. He looked at me like I was crazy. He tried to talk me out of it. No, I was going to try it. Here it comes… Imagine a granola bar with a dried-out piece of pear on it. It looked like the kind of fake dessert that they have on display. I take one bite and realize that nobody has ever ordered this before and it tastes like plastic. He comes over and says “and how is it?” I tell him it is horrible and I will take the apple pie with ice cream, thank you. This is a real dessert.

We head back to the room to hang out and read. The Da Vinci Code is awesome!

We get the list of things to do tomorrow and see nothing compelling. Looks like it is going to be a lazy day at sea!


Day 3

This is going to be a nice mellow day. I woke up at 7:30 and went out to the deck to continue reading my book. It is starting to warm up. I was on the deck in my shorts and Mary was in her medium-weight sweats.

Room Service showed up at 9:00 with First Breakfast. Fruit, coffee, and tea on the deck.

We got cleaned up and went up to Second Breakfast and people watched. We then went to a presentation on where to shop when we are in port.

I then went to the internet Café to pester some people at work via email.

We spent a lot of time reading today. I am more than halfway through The Da Vinci Code and Mary is into one of the Ya Ya books.

We skipped pre-lunch and went straight to lunch. I fixed a nice salad and before I knew it I was eating pizza and fries. Ah! Vacation!

We attended a wine and food tasting, watched the first half of the NCAA Finals and then went to the show. Tonight’s show was a hypnotist. This guy was fantastic. He started out with 16 prospects and ended up with about 10 people. It was very funny. He had this big black woman killing imaginary cockroaches with a huge plastic bat. Another guy was convinced that he was a lifeguard and was yelling at people for peeing in the pool. He sent them back into the audience after convincing 3 of them that they were Britney Spears, Dolly Parton, and a guy as Shania Twain. At the end of the show he announced that they were here and they each came up and performed a song. After the show we walked with the cockroach lady and she was trying to figure out what happened.

The hypnotist has an adult show tonight at 11:00. Mary is already in bed (10:15) and I am hoping to make the show.

Tomorrow we get into Acapulco at Noon. More Later, TB

Day 4

We didn’t dock in Acapulco until Noon today so we had a lazy morning. Hey! It’s my 50th Birthday today!

We only had one breakfast again today. We were in no hurry to get of so we let the anxious people rush off the ship and then we just casually walked off. We found out the some people waited in line for more than an hour to get off. Us? Pancakes and omelets while watching these stressed out people inhale their food.

It was warm and humid today. I even saw my little Queen, Mary break a sweat. In 30 years I’m not sure if I have seen this more than a couple of times.

We did some shopping and then took a tour called the City Tour. This was a drive through all of the distinctly diverse areas of Acapulco. Our tour guide, Temo (tay-mo), seemed to know everything about Acapulco. We found out that he is a fourth-generation Acapulcan. We also found out that he is a history teacher who spent many years in the U.S. We got quite the education today. We learned that Acapulco gets 97 inches of rain between June and September. We are right now at the very end of the High Season. During the summer you can expect very high temperatures with 100% humidity. Not great for tourism.

We drove through the downtown area and then over a small hill to the cliff divers. We watched about 6 crazy guys dive from the cliffs into the very shallow water during low tide. These guys pray to a shrine before they jump. Afterwards they are standing at the top waiting for tips. They are between 14 and 36. Most of them retire at 28 though.

At the top of the cliff is a jewelry and gift shop. Free margaritas! Woo Hoo! We are looking at the jewelry and we see this really nice gold necklace. The sales dude rushes over and puts it on Mary before she can say ‘How much?’ – She finally asks and he says “$1200.00 but for you….” Oh to watch the cheap bean counter squirm. By the time she could get it off the price was down to about $850.00. After that Mary made sure not to show any interest in anything.

We continued the tour through the wild part of town. An open-air disco on the beach, Hooters, Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock Café, and tons of other party places. From there we went through the expensive hotel-on-the-beach zone. Then it was up and over the hill to the rich and famous area.

Half way up the hill the bus decides to die. Here we are on the side of the road looking over the Acapulco Bay in the heat. Temo decides to hold an Acapulco educational seminar. It was incredible, he talked about everything from food, to the Asian influence, politics, home prices, salaries (the minimum wage is $4.50 a DAY!), societal classes, everything you can imagine. It was a real pleasure. Before we knew it another bus pulled up and we were off again. We went past Sylvester Stalone’s former house, Paul Newman’s house, and Julio Iglesias has a huge mansion.

At the North end there is another beautiful bay and what they call the ‘Future’ area. This is where the new building is happening. There are beautiful resorts and golf courses. Acapulco is completely surrounded by the jungle. It was surprisingly tropical.

We made it back to the ship and still had over 7 hours to kill. We went to the stateroom and rung out our clothes. We hosed off and then we went in search of a restaurant that Temo told us about. It was on this beautiful old town square in downtown where the residents hang out at night. We figured out that it is too hot for them to stay at home. I asked the restaurant owner if he knew Temo. Well sure he does and we are VIPs. He made these great margaritas completely from scratch. He hand squeezed the citrus. It was great. We had a huge meal and were ready to explode. He then comes over and gives Mary something that had Kahlua and condensed milk. Mary said it was very troublesome. It tasted just like a chocolate milk shake. He brought me a shot glass with a top-shelf tequila and some lime wedges… We sure didn’t want to disappoint him so we went for it. The meal and drinks cost us $30 US. What a deal. We dropped $40 and left. We walked through the Zocalo, or town square and then back the ½ mile or so to the ship. Back on board we walked all around the ship to get a last good look at the lights of Acapulco.

Acapulco was a very pleasant surprise. We would come back here for another visit. We learned that these people rely on tourism and know it in their hearts. They are very happy that we are here spending our money and they appreciate it. Many ask if we are enjoying our stay. I’m not sure that I have ever experienced it at this level before. This was a great Birthday.

We sail at 1:00 in the morning and arrive in Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa at 9:00 in the morning. More tomorrow.

Day 4 – Addendum

The ship sets sail at 1:00 in the morning. We were all warned over and over again to be back on board by 12:30. I was sitting out on the deck at 12:52 watching the dock hands release the lines when I hear this huge noise. I go over to the port (left) side of the deck and there must be 100 people on their decks yelling and laughing at 3 drunken women running for the ship. One could barely walk and was in a distant third. They all made it.

Most of the dock lines are now released. All of a sudden here comes this taxi around Fort San Diego across the street honking its horn. It is 12:58 and the ship is nearly released. The taxi has to go past the terminal, hang a u-turn and then come back. They screech up to the front and the guy takes forever to pay the driver. The people on the ship are yelling “Run you idiot, Run!!” He finally realizes what the loud noise is and they start to run. There are one hundred people laughing at them all the way. It was too funny. As soon and they got on the ship the last 2 lines were released the boarding plank was released and we were under way.

I stayed out on the deck and watched as we left the Acapulco Bay. Parts of the bay remind me of La Jolla, Monte Carlo, and Honolulu. It was a very pretty sight as were pulled away and rounded the point.

Teaser Pictures

My Nephew, Brian, guilted me into posting some pictures. There are not very large. I will replace them when we get home. Click Here

Day 5

Since I was up so late last night I decided to keep the curtains open. This way the sun would wake me naturally at daybreak. I really hate to wake up to an alarm. The sun was there right on schedule. Today we are going to Zihuatanejo / Ixtapa. The bay at Zihuatanejo is too shallow for the Carnival Spirit so we are going to anchor at the mouth of the bay and come in on smaller boats called tenders. These are actually the enclosed lifeboats from the ship that hold 70 people each. They will take us to the little traditional town of Zihuatanejo.

Zihuatanejo is a quiet old town. There is a flea market and shops but it is mostly known for its beaches, dining, and relaxation.

Ixtapa is completely different. It is a modern tourist resort just over the hill. It used to be a coconut plantation. It is still bordered by the plantation. It has a Palm Springs on the ocean feel to it.

We got on the bus at the pier. Our guide was Antonio. Antonio is a life-long resident of Zihuatanejo. He knows everything about the twin cities. Later in the day I asked him what he does for a living. He told me that he is a tour guide. They feel so proud of their heritage that they have a school for tour guides to insure that they know the facts.

We toured the old town and then went up into the hills. Speculators have started building ocean-view condos on the Zihuatanejo bay. There are plenty of people from the US who want to retire to the quiet side. Antonio told us that the condos in the area start at about $50,000 US and go ALL the way up to $500,000. There is a misconception that US residents can’t buy land in Mexico. We are told that it is untrue. You can’t buy beachfront property because the government owns it all and leases it out but you can buy land. There are also some resorts and large homes tucked in the hills.

We then headed over to Ixtapa. It is about 5 miles to the north. We did not see Ixtapa on the way in so we were quite surprised to come over the hill and see high-rise beach-front resorts and condos and golf courses. It was a shock even though I knew it was there. They have done a great job keeping Zihuatanejo traditional.

We stopped at the yacht club and walked through it. It was the life of the rich and famous. There are yachts from all over the world. Antonio told us that they got rid of all of the alligators but they came back. He joked that you don’t need security for your boat.

We then went to one of the local resorts for a break on the beach. We had refreshments and watched the resort life. There was a great game of pool volleyball going on right next to the swim up bar. There were people taking parasail rides for only $20.

We boarded the bus and went to this shopping market. It was right next to a chained off lagoon that held alligators (crocodiles??), turtles and plenty of wild iguanas. We even saw a baby crockagator.

It was now time to head back to downtown Zihuatanejo for some free time. We had a couple of places where we were told to go check out. The first stop was Mario’s Leather shop. Mary got a pair of high-quality, handmade leather sandals for $25. I picked up a new wallet. I had Mary try on a motorcycle vest but she didn’t go for it. I will make her into a motorcycle mama yet.

After that we headed off to the Café Tequila. They have free tequila tasting there. We saw one of the Carnival crewmembers there. It was Daniel the ‘Super Shopper’ – he tells you where to shop, how to shop, and what to buy. He is an awesome guy. We have had many conversations with him and he recognized us. He asked me if I have tried Anejo tequila. I said that I have not so he steps behind the bar and hunts through the 50 or so open bottles and finds his preferred brand. The owner came over and saw that it was Daniel and laughed and walked away. He told me that this is sipping tequila not shooting tequila. I see that at $45 a bottle it must be sipping tequila. He gives Mary some other kind and we start tasting. We tried this stuff called Crème de Tequila. Try to imagine Kahlua made with tequila. You can pour a shot over ice cream. Very smooth and tasty. I leave the store carrying a heavy box.

Daniel told us that we HAD to have a margarita at Rick’s Bar. We walk in and it is a plastic chair dive bar. It has a band playing right in the middle of the small place. The music in this part of Mexico is much more tropical. Sort of the Caribbean music being played by the Aztec people. Actually that is what it is! This is a great sound, electric ukulele, flutes, guitars, drums… Anyway, we ordered 2 margaritas and sit down. We watched the bartender make them and think ‘Uh oh! How far is the ship from here?’ They were very tasty indeed. We savored them and listened to the music. Here comes Rick himself. He slams down 2 shot glasses and fills them up. He shows us the bottle and it simply says ‘Rick’s’ on it. He tells us it is his special sipping tequila. I can’t believe it but here sits my Queen, Mary enjoying sipping tequila. She makes the statement that many of us have made “You know, the more you have, the better it is!” Been there, done that. It is time to head back toward the pier.

Mary stopped to see ift the water in bay was really 82 degrees. It was. We got into the line to catch a tender back to the ship. We get on the tender and I end up sitting face-to-face with this retired Navy guy from Victorville. He starts talking and I realize that his lower teeth are black from chewing tobacco. It was gross! He kept talking with his mouth open and was slapping the top of my tequila box which was in my lap. I could not wait to get out of there.

We made it back on to the ship and safely to our stateroom. I am not really sure why but we both took a nap. When we woke up it was 6:00 P.M. and the ship was getting ready to sail. Being on the aft end of the ship we had a perfect view as Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa dissolved into the distance.

This port was much more enjoyable than Acapulco. Zihuatanejo is a beautiful, clean, safe little town that has fought hard to maintain its character. Ixtapa is a clean, modern town. The people on both sides are very proud of their area and are, once again, very appreciative of the tourism.

Sorry for being so long-winded. Tomorrow we are off to Manzanillo.

Day 6

I woke up and realized that we were just entering the bay of Manzanillo. I always enjoy watching the ship dock. We came in at daybreak escorted by the ever-present Mexican Navy. Today they were in a real PT boat instead of a little motor boat.

Manzanillo is a huge industrial port. This is the main shipping connection between the Far East and Central and South America. There are very few resorts here. Tourism is just getting started here.

We took a tour called the Colonial Tour. This took us inland to the Capital of the state of Colima, Colima. We stopped at the main square. We toured the 19th century cathedral and museum of history. The people here believed that dogs would guide you to the other side when you died. We saw a burial site where a body had been placed along with artifacts and a live dog. The dog would guide your spirit.

We then visited a site, La Campana, which contained rock pyramids. Originally, villages build their houses on the top levels of the pyramids. One day the government decided to give away small pieces of land to anyone who would help build the cobblestone roads. Before they knew it, the people had almost completely destroyed the pyramids so they could build the roads and get the land. They put a stop to that and put a fence around the remaining pyramids.

We then went to the town of Comala where we did some shopping at the town square and went to lunch. It has been too many (trying to be healthy) years without having a real taco. These tacos were made of spiced potatoes folded up inside a fresh hand-made tortilla and then deep fried until they were partially crispy. They then put chopped lettuce and this really good Mexican semi-dry cheese on top of them. They were too good to be true! We also had cerviche and guacamole tostados. There were rolled tacos and something else that had dead animals in it but our new friends who shared the table said that they were extremely tasty. I know… If God wanted people to be vegetarians why did he make animals out of meat???

We took a siesta on the 90 minute ride back to the port. We got back on board and hung out on our deck and watched a large container ship come in and get tied down. No sooner did they get it secured then a symphony of machines and workers started unloading it. It was very interesting watching how quick a giant crane can grab a container and put it on a truck. It seemed like they could move 1 container ever 90 seconds or so. There were 3 of the cranes. On the ground was a synchronized army of double 45 foot tractor trailers.

We then went topside to watch the last guests get onboard and we got underway. We came back to our deck to watch the bay of Manzanillo fade away.

We went to a show before dinner. It was a comedian/magician followed by a comedian. They were hilarious. We went to dinner and had a great dinner. Mary ended up having 3 starters and a salad. She had caprese, potato vichyssoise, and artichoke hearts with Shaved Cucumbers in lemon vinaigrette. I had the caprese, a salad, and the most interesting inside-out veggie lasagna. You start with a plate that has marinara on it. You put a cylindrical pile of spinach mixed with ricotta in the middle. You then wrap the outside with cooked lasagna noodles. You top it off with a tomato slice that just fits and then put mozzarella cheese on top of it and bake it. The presentation was awesome and the taste was even better.

After dinner we went back to the stateroom to read. I thought that I would finish The Da Vinci Code tonight. Mary immediately crashed and burned. I read for a couple of hours and then headed up to the Lido deck for some food. It had been at least 3 hours since I last ate. I had the Atkin’s-approved dessert of frozen yogurt and fries. I read for a while longer and then went back down to the room. I had to give up at about 2:00 because I knew that I was too tired to comprehend the book. I will finish it tomorrow.

Day 7

We attended a Q&A session with some of the staff to discuss their life aboard the ship. This was very interesting. The have a class system here. The lowest class is the general crew. They live in a cabin smaller than an inside cabin with bunks and a bathroom. The next level has a private room. The top staff level has a room with an office. This would be people like ‘Julie’ the Cruise Director. All of the crew is served meals like the guests. The first level of training is serving the crew. When you can do this properly you are promoted to the guest area. They even train as Room Stewards and Assistants. The crew does not have to maintain their room. They have a dining room and a lounge for the crew. They call the lounge ‘Church.’ They all seem to truly enjoy working on the ship. Many have been on ships for more than 10 years.

Every night the Room Steward turns down the sheets and builds a Towel Animal. We went to a seminar that showed us how to do it. It was funny watching my bean counter try to do something creative. With the help of a Steward she made a Rabbit and an Elephant. It was really fun.

This evening they held a party for people who have cruised on Carnival before. This meant free drinks! It was really amazing how many people have cruised Carnival before. The Pharaoh’s Lounge was nearly full. They did a video presentation from the President of CCL and then showed all of the ships. Our first Carnival cruise was in 1987. We didn’t take another until Sep/Oct of 2005 and here we are in April of 2006 cruising again.

We finished our books. I really enjoyed The Da Vinci Code. Mary was reading some Ya-Ya chick book. We were sitting at a bar (yes us… really)  – The lady sitting next to Mary asked her if this book was related to The Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Mary said yes and the lady was excited about it. She said she would buy it when she got home. Mary told her that she only had 30 pages left and would give her the book. She was surprised and excited. She was even more excited when Mary knocked on her door an hour later and gave her the book. She thinks she immediately started reading it.

We decided to not get dressed up for the second formal dinner tonight. We just wandered around and then went and got some pizza and salad and took it back to the room. We hung out and read, watch Funniest Home Videos and just relaxed.

Mary fell asleep and I headed out on my nightly prowl. I ended up at the unrated comedy show at midnight. It was a full house. The guy was too funny. It ended at 12:45 and I headed to bed.

Day 8

After breakfast we headed up to the Pharaoh’s Palace for the debarkation talk. These was the Cruise Director telling us what we need to do, Customs, Put your bags in the hallway before Midnight, and remember to leave out clothes for tomorrow…

We then headed down to the Art auction for some free champagne. It is amazing (to me) that people will come onto the ship and then buy a $10,000 piece of art. I saw some amazing paintings by Michael Godard. The painting I wanted had a retail price of $1800-ish, the opening bid was $810. I almost bid on it but I had not had enough champagne yet. Afterwards I checked on line and found that I can get posters for $25 here – This is more in Mary’s price range.

After we were full of free champagne we went to a talk with the magician from a couple of nights ago. He showed us a few of his tricks. He wouldn’t show too many though.

We went to take a nap and then went to a Buh Bye Party. It is sad because the trip is coming to an end. We then headed out to our final dinner. The dining room staff was awesome. There were hugs all around.

We then went to the final show at 10:00. This was the Carnival Legends Show. This was a bunch of guests who had been practicing all week to perform as; Garth Brooks, Aretha Franklin, Britney Spears, James Brown, Elton John, Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, Elvis Presley, Madonna, and Frank Sinatra. Some were very good but most thought that they were good but truly sucked. It was fun and funny.

Off to bed for the final time.

Day 9

I woke up as we were coming into the San Diego Bay. I dozed a while longer and they we headed up for the final breakfast on the Lido Deck. This was the last time to have some guilt-free pancakes and French toast. It was now about 8:30. We had VIP access to get off the ship so we were able to walk off at about 9:30.

Customs was a joke. First they let too many people off the ship so a Customs Officer Held the line with Mary and I in the front of the line. Some dip-wad that was already through came up and asked the Customs guy if he would let his 2 friends through who were 5th and 6th in line. The officer said ‘No, I need to let the crowd inside get thinner. This guy freaks out and starts yelling that they had to drive all the way to Sacramento and they already have the bags and the car is waiting. The officer very nicely said “Sorry…” Now a rent-a-cop comes over and tells this man that he should not talk to a Government Official like that. Well… Off he goes on a tirade about how he pays his salary, yadda yadda, my sister has cancer… The officer just points and the security guard pushed him away. I joked with the Customs guy about my personal rule. ‘Never argue with a man with a gun.’ Now there is a commotion inside and this guy is still going off. He is red-faced and freaking out. The Custom’s Agent went and had him ejected. Now, this is a guy who just got off an 8 day cruise. He is tightly wound, I’m sure it wasn’t a peaceful ride to Sacramento. The Custom’s guy comes back and lets us through. We had to wait maybe 4 minutes. No big deal… Patience is my favorite word. Try a little bit of it sometime.

Here I am with a case of tequila products that is WAY over the limit so I need to pay a duty on it. We hand the guy the declaration form and he sends us on. That is it! No duty. No questions.

We had a car waiting for us on the dock and were home by 10:30.

I woke up with a cough this morning. By the time we got home I went immediately to bed. I guess my body could not fight off the germs of those idiots coughing on me. When I woke up Mary and the kittens had all of the luggage unpacked, washed, and put away.

We both have a bad case of the ‘wobbles’ – Our body’s think we are still on the ship. This will last a couple of days. Taking a shower was interesting; I had to put one hand on the wall to steady myself. In bed it feels like the bed is still moving on the ship, just a mild rocking back and forth.


Coming soon…

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