Day 266 – Carnival Splendor Day Six

tailSo, it’s day three in Puerto Vallarta, we are allowed to get off the ship beginning at 8 this morning, but we have to be back on by 4 – new departure time out of PV is set for 5 p.m.  We’ve been watching the repairs, they seem to be going slow.  There are a lot of grumbly people on board, folks who think we should have repaired in Long Beach before we left, others who are insisting to get off the boat NOW.  Carnival has offered $200 to anyone who needs to change their departure flights; the airlines aren’t charging any change fees and we get an extra day aboard with no charge, hell, they are even picking up the gratuities.  But, no, some people think they have to be home for Monday, I’m really glad, I’m not one of those.  In our world, it just really doesn’t matter.  We watched hundreds of people get off the ship to fly home.  Carnival made it right for all of them, not only did they cover the change fees, but they also covered the hotel rooms for them.  Now, I’m thinking about the hotels for the departing passengers, what about all of those coming in for next weeks cruise, Are they covering the hotels for those people too?  That could be another 3000 people, just because a repair didn’t happen fast enough.  Wow, that’s a cruiseline who takes care of it’s guests.

We’ve been bouncing from activity to activity today, we went to the Love and Marriage show, hoping to be on it, but they picked the newest married and we’ve already been married for 21 days, they also picked the longest married, now they were funny.

We met the girls up on the spa deck for some swimming with the grandson, he is fearless with his life jacket on.  I loved when he led the train and swam all around the pool with Kayla and I hanging on making choo-choo noises.  We got a bunch of smiles from the adults during that one.  Dressed for dinner we met the whole crew again, Jimmy (Kayla’s father-in-law ) has been quarantined.  Turns out he stopped down at the infirmary for some immodium and they threw him back in to his room for 24 hours.  No one likes the thought of an epidemic of any kind on a small floating city.

Another comedy show and a little time in the piano bar, it has been an awesome day and we are underway again. The ship is repaired and we set sail a little after 7:00, just a bit behind schedule, but not bad.

 

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Day 267 – Carnival Splendor Day Five

pinnacleSo that whole tired thing has caught up to me, we are in port at Puerto Vallarta and I have no desire to go anywhere.  I know there are about a billion things we could be doing in the city, but five days of play has created the need for a day off.  Swimsuits on, we are headed to the aft lido deck for the day.  In and out of the pool and the hot tub, it was a great relaxing afternoon.

Highlight of the day:  the Pinnacle restaurant.  We attended a cooking demonstration back on Monday held at the steakhouse on board, the food was magnificent, so a reservation at the Pinnacle seemed completely in line.  We got to dinner at 6:15, it wasn’t over until well after eight.  A squash soup, a bleu cheese salad, 10 ounce lobster tail with Yukon gold mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli followed by a chocolate sampler dessert that included tiramisu, banana pannaceta, and two other delicious desserts.  Oh, I am a happy girl.  Every part of the meal was exquisite.

Our ship was set to set sail today at 11 p.m. – yeah, that didn’t happen.  We had gotten two days in PV because of a repair that is being made on the seals around the propulsion shaft.  From our cabin, we’ve been watching the goings on near the repair site.  After dinner, it sure didn’t look like they were wrapping up.  Not long after, they announced we would be staying in PV another day.  What that meant though was that the cruise was going to last a whole nother day.  Staying in Puerto Vallarta meant we couldn’t get to Long Beach on Sunday, the soonest we could arrive is Monday.  Oh, darn…we have to stay an extra day.  This is our second vacation in six months that we couldn’t get back on time, I’m lovin’ it.

Not everyone is happy about this change, but it’s awesome for us. An extra day is awesome, we are having such a good time, and who cares where we spend Sunday, in town or out doesn’t really have an impact on our world.

Day 268 – Carnival Splendor Day Four

jacobPuerto Vallarta, Mexico, a city of 225,000 people on the Pacific Ocean.  Beautiful ocean views off the port, a city surrounded by mountains, there is not a lot of room for more growth.  As you talk to people who have been here before, they talk about this quaint little city, it is not so quaint anymore, PV is a big city.

We pulled in to port early this morning, when we woke and looked off our balcony, we felt like we had parked right in the center of the city.  There is no movement on the boat and there are grass parks and streets outside. The sun is up and shining beautifully, 80+ degrees for a gorgeous January day.  I’m loving it.

We left the boat with two families in tow, including three little ones, approached by everyone and their dog to grab a taxi for $5/ea or a personal van that would take us anywhere we wanted all day long for $20/person.  There were also car rental places, all we really wanted to do was go to the Malecon and take a look around.  When Nathan suggested the city bus I had a moment of indecision, I probably wouldn’t have thought of that on my own, but I’m so glad we followed through.  The bus stop was right around the corner from the cruise ship, for a total of $8 for the day, that’s not each, that’s total, nine of us traveled wherever we wanted to go.  The bus was certainly an experience, they cruise the city streets at a fast pace, the suspension wasn’t so good, but the brakes worked awesome.  It was a good thing too.  At one time I thought I was going to get to talk about being in a bus crash, but no, we just had an exciting ride.

We spent hours in town, Jacob played on the beach as the waves crashed in, he loved the waves chasing him up the beach.  There is a little plaza with some brass sculptures, we played there for a bit too.  We found a little torta shop for some sandwiches and then we walked along the Malecon and viewed the sights.  Our final stop downtown was a great little restaurant on the grotto, then a walk through the gauntlet.  We walked the flea market on the way back to the bus stop.  Every little space is filled with a different vendor and they all want to sell the trinkets they have.  It’s like walking to the blowhole near Ensenada.  La Buffadora is an iconic place, but sometimes it  doesn’t seem worth it to be harassed by those trying to sell you stuff.

Back on the ship around sundown, we were too full to have dinner, but we stopped in for dessert.  Imagine our surprise when our table of twelve was completely empty.  Tip, our waiter was happy to see us and fed us dessert as requested.  We dropped in on the Spectacular theater for the local folklore show and then back aft to the Piano Bar to listen to some terrific music.  We spent hours listening to the piano, then a quick stop at the pizza bar before bed time.  I’m pooped, we are running fast and furious and loving every minute of it.  I don’t know why I didn’t start enjoying cruising before now.